We make a cover for the aquarium with backlight
The cover for the aquarium can be bought in specialized stores, but it may not be suitable for your tank in terms of quality or size. There are many inconveniences that you have to face after installing the factory cap. Among them:
- Factory models of covers are not always suitable for a non-standard size aquarium.
- The factory covers use 2 electric lamps, but they are not enough to create the perfect lighting.
- Cleaning the tank will be inconvenient, since such a mechanism is disassembled in parts. It is also inconvenient when replacing water.
- The aquarium cover may be close to the surface of the water, which will cause the formation of strong condensate. Low landing mount will affect the temperature of the water, raising it by 5 degrees or more.
- The intake mechanism of water for the filter is inconvenient to install because of the narrow compartments for wires and tubes.
- There is no ventilation system.
Making aquarium cover
It is best to make a cover for the aquarium with your own hands. First you need to decide on the material. The most affordable and best option is foamed polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It is inexpensive, not heavy, tough and has waterproof properties. The material is easily cut with a stationery knife, which will allow you to build the desired structure. In addition to polyvinyl chloride, you will need such tools and materials:
- Stationery knife for cutting PVC.
- Aquarium glue for plastic. It is not recommended to use PVA glue and super glue, which emit toxic substances. If there is no possibility to buy such glue, then the finished product will have to be aired longer.
- Silicone sealant and gun.
- Rubber gloves, simple pencil, ruler (30 cm).
- Corners from plastic 4 pieces.
- Self-adhesive wallpaper or acrylic paint.
After all the parts are assembled, you can begin the work on making the cover for the aquarium with your own hands. The aquarium cover should be capacious, and should contain integrated lighting and an external filtration system. The height of the bonded design is selected with the ability to hide all the details in it. Other lid parameters, such as width and length, should fit the tank size and allow some air out of the gap.
Make all measurements using a ruler and a pencil. Leave the markings on the PVC sheet. Take a stationery knife, and cut the necessary details. The material is easily cut, does not crumble, does not break off. Next, glue the sides to the base of the cover. This should be done in a room where the windows are open and there is access to fresh air. As a result, you get a box with equal edges.
See how to make a cover for the aquarium with your own hands. Part 1.
Having retreated three centimeters from the top edge of the cover, glue one plastic corner in all the inner corners. It will serve as a support for the upper body of the cover. You can create a few more edges from the same plastic. Due to the stiffness of the material, the support will stay stronger.
Turn the cover over so that the base is at the bottom and place it on a newspaper or paper. Take the sealant with silicone, and glue all the places of the seams. When the adhesive layer dries, you can proceed to the next step.
With a stationery knife, one or two cuts should be made for the necessary hoses and wires; cut out the feed door to the fish. You can also cut a hole to replace the water, soil siphon (so that the hand, the hose, the carrying net are pushed into it). Size of each hole, choose any - the main thing is that in the future the aquarium is easy to maintain. As a cover for each hatch, you can use PVC, which remained.
In size it should correspond to the parameters of the hole, and 2-4 cm of its side should be larger. Then the cover for the hatch will fall comfortably and will protrude slightly. Inside, the product can be pasted over with self-adhesive wallpaper, foil, and externally, the lid can be painted with acrylic paint, or not painted at all. Now the design can be considered finished.
See how to make a cover for the aquarium with your own hands. Part 2.
The next step - making lights for the aquarium do it yourself. It is also easy to make, but you need to comply with all safety measures - wearing rubber gloves, avoiding contact with water. Into the aquarium cover should be built-in appliances for lighting - lamps. You must first buy two LED, two energy-saving lamps and cartridges for each of them. This amount of light is suitable for lighting a 150 liter tank.
Connect the wires from the lamps to each other, and insulate them. It is better to glue a piece of plastic material to the cartridge of energy-saving lamps so that the lamps do not touch the base of the aquarium cover. It is important to remember that lighting devices and wires should not reach the surface of the water. Carefully measure all the details so that you get a solid and durable design. The stiffeners are necessary to ensure that the lid on them lies at the correct height to the aquarium.
Do not forget that at each stage of work all surfaces must be degreased, and then glued. To avoid the ingress of toxic substances into the water, the cover should be left for ventilation. Day or two on the balcony - and it will be ready for use. After that, you can install it on the aquarium, and check the performance. If you did everything right with your own hands, the construction will be solid and reliable for a long time.
DIY Aquarium Cover
Without a lid that covers the aquarium, a long and happy life of ornamental fish will be impossible: the lack of light and heat, dust and debris will lead to their illness and even death. To pick up and buy these devices in specialized stores is not such a big problem. In addition, some aquariums already include covers that are part of the overall design. Why do many aquarists make them yourself? The fact is that at home it can be done, as they say, to your taste and a certain size.
The aquarium cover has two main functions: practical and decorative.
In practical terms, it performs the following tasks:
- protection of the aquatic environment from falling into it of debris, dust, foreign objects;
- interferes with evaporation of water and increase in humidity of air;
- is a structural element to which aquarium fixtures are attached;
- does not allow jumping of fish;
- maintains the required temperature conditions inside the aquarium.
As a rule, caps in their form correspond to the upper section of the aquarium and are semicircular, triangular, square and rectangular. This is the most common form.
This accessory has common design features and technological requirements.
Its height most often does not exceed 10 cm. This is enough to attach lighting devices on the inside.
In the side and top surfaces of the cover there are holes for electrical wiring, ventilation, filtration and feeding of aquarium living creatures. The source material must be waterproof, and the inner, water-facing side of the product may have a reflective coating.
In addition, the wires on the inner side must be closed by a safety channel.
The decorative meaning of the lid is that it gives a finished look to the whole structure, and its color can be varied.
Branded aquarium covers, sold in stores, are usually made of hard plastic. Home craftsmen use plastic and wood, PVC and plexiglass, chipboard and even laminate as working material.
How to make a cover of polyvinyl chloride (PVC)?
The material has now become quite widespread in the aquarium business due to its properties. Foamed PVC is durable and light, well glued together, even cut with a knife, it can be decorated with a film or just painted, it is waterproof.
Creating a piece
For the manufacture of covers of medium size suitable panel thickness of at least 5 mm. First, a piece of PVC must be cut so that the size of the future finished product coincides with the size of the upper edge of the can. Therefore, you need to make patterns of the four side surfaces and the upper part.
Details can be cut with an ordinary stationery knife, and then drill holes for the cables, hoses, and ventilation in the places designated in advance.
Assembly of parts
Bonding parts into a single trough is made in 2 stages: first the side parts, and then the top.
As an adhesive, it is recommended to use a special agent, the basis of which is just dissolved PVC or, as it is called, liquid plastic (for example, PROK or COSMOFEN PLUS).In the liquid state, the vapors of such glue are poisonous, so you need to work in a ventilated room.
From the inside of the side walls, you should definitely glue several vertical stiffeners, which in their upper part are joined to the lid itself, and their lower part rests on the cut of the aquarium. Only after that cut a hole for feeding fish.
Its shape can be any, but it is easier to make such a hole rectangular. A place to feed can be closed as a retractable lid, and folding, but in this case have to mount the loop.
How to attach a lamp?
It is quite simple. From the inner side of the upper surface from one side wall to the opposite, 2 long plastic strips are glued. Their width should be slightly less than the width of the side panels themselves.
The fluorescent lamp is inserted into the groove thus obtained and can be fixed in the same way with glue. Wires are laid in the cable channel. You can experience the finished design in the work.
Laminate as a material for the aquarium cover
Indeed, some homemade craftsmen make it from ordinary laminate flooring. True, the time and cost of labor for such work takes more. The fact is that laminate can not be glued.
No, there is, of course, glue for him, but such a cover will quickly collapse if you do not use metal fasteners - corners.
Then why are a fairly large number of aquarium fish owners using laminate? The fact is that it already has ready slots (locks) that can be used.
Parts and Assembly
The minimum width of a laminate board is 90 mm, which is exactly suitable for side walls. The board is sawn with an electric jigsaw according to previously marked marks, the frame is fastened with the help of corners. Here there is one subtlety: the corners must be screwed so that the cover rests on them (and not just on the board).
The top panel can be made of one wide board (maximum standard width of 330 mm), but, as a rule, it is not enough to cover the entire area of the aquarium. Most often they take 2 ordinary laminate boards with a width of 195 mm and join them together with a lock. Of course, it all depends on the size of the jar. The top panel also joins the frame using the corners.
By the way, there are projects where half of the top panel is not fixed, but plays the role of a retractable segment, opening up space for feeding the fish. Pretty good solution for those who once again do not want to bother themselves.
After the trough is assembled, the technological holes are cut out with a drill on the tree, as in the first case.
When working with laminate it is necessary to take into account the properties of this material:
- so that when it gets wet it does not swell up, the places of the cuts are treated with a sealant;
- in order to prevent heating of the operating lamp from the inside of the lid to the area of the laminate using a silicone adhesive, attach a PCB plate;
- the role of the reflector is well played by aluminum foil glued across the entire inner surface;
- the lamp can be mounted on the cartridge with metal clips.
Similarly, you can make a cover of other materials: plexiglass, plywood or plain glass.
However, you need to understand that this important part of the aquarium should not be too heavy, as the glass walls and so are under pressure from water pressure. In addition, on their own at home, only rectangular or square caps are available for making their own hands. To make it for a round aquarium, you need special tools for bending materials. It is easier to purchase such a cover along with the aquarium in the store.
Video: how to make a cover for a PVC aquarium:
DIY Aquarium Cover
This article will describe how to make a cover for the aquarium with your own hands. The material for its creation will serve as PVC wall panels. If someone is not familiar with the device panel, I will explain: it has a hollow structure with longitudinal cells, on the one hand there is a groove along the entire length, and on the other - a spike.
The sizes of the panels are different:
• the narrowest (plastic lining) have a ten-centimeter width with a three-meter length;
• average and most common in stores - 25 centimeters by 2 meters 60 cm;
• imported - 37 centimeters in width and length as previous ones.
Their thickness varies between 0.7 - 1 cm, depending on the variety.
Which panels to use in each case is up to you, it will depend on the size of the cover. Thus, covers for aquariums with a depth of less than 37 and more than 25 centimeters are best made from the widest ones, so that the upper part consists of a single piece, for large ones you will have to join several panel pieces, therefore, first you need to calculate the use of which width will be most appropriate. Panels fit perfectly, they are designed for this type of assembly.
As for the color, it does not have a decisive value, because the lid for the aquarium with its hands after the end of the assembly is glued over with self-adhesive paper. Outside, its shade is matched to the color of the pedestal or other surrounding pieces of furniture, and the mirror self-adhesive is attached from the inside for better reflection of light.
All work can be divided into four stages:
- the creation of side walls;
- the creation of the top;
- assembly of the structure;
- sticking film.
The best option would be not to cut each side wall separately, but to prepare a single panel 10 centimeters wide and bend it four times. Thus, all the corners will be neat, which is not so easy to achieve by joining the cut parts at the corner. The perimeter is closed in the middle of the back wall, so no joint is striking. Moreover, a single piece adds design strength. If the length of the purchase panel is not enough for the perimeter of your aquarium, you will have to do an insert. It is also better to place it on the back side. To beautifully bend the bar across, you need to mark the corners and make a shallow triangular kerf, and then after that bend.
You also need to take care of the base for fastening the upper part.
To make it lay like a glove, from the inside of the perimeter you need to cut off a part of the plane and almost entirely the internal partitions (1-2 pieces) in order to form a place where the upper bar will fall. Glue the details to each other must be a special glue for PVC and linoleum, epoxy plastic does not hold and, in the end, falls off.
Now about how to make a cover for the aquarium and more lighting device. Firstly, this is the case for those who at least approximately imagine the principle of operation of the electrical network. Secondly, you need to be extremely attentive to the issue of isolating wires from moisture. Still, water and electricity - a dangerous neighborhood. For lighting it is best to use electronic ballasts. They give an even light, do not heat very much and are also very economical. So that the cover for the aquarium, assembled by hand, could allow the installation of electrical appliances in it, the installation of an additional plastic box is required. These boxes are used in the installation of electrical wiring and local networks. You need to install them on the back wall, there you should also install a computer fan, which is programmed to turn on periodically.
The lamps themselves are installed either in special fixtures or in plastic pipe sections (sewer) of suitable diameter.
As you can see, the cover for the aquarium do it yourself rather simply. And if you consider that in the finished set it accounts for most of the cost, then self-gluing this part for all your home aquariums is a significant savings.