Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs about Canopies, Tops and Housings for Lighting for Marine Systems: Construction

Related Articles: Canopies, Covers & Lighting Fixtures, Marine Light, & Lighting, Moving Light Systems, Marine System Components, Used Gear

Related FAQs: Canopies 1, Canopies 2, & FAQs on Canopy/Cover: Rationale, Design/Engineering, Sealing, Reflectors, Fans, Wiring, Repairing, & Marine System LightingFAQs 2, FAQs 3, Actinic Lighting, Metal Halide Lighting, Fluorescent Lighting, Compact Fluorescent Lighting Small System Lighting,

Materials must be heat resistant... at least not be of material that will ever reach flashpoint... Must be chemically inert or sealed to make them so... Must be good looking!

UV Treated Acrylic 7/1/2011
I was just wondering about some UV treat acrylic sheets I saw at Lowes. I was planning on putting an acrylic sheet over my tank instead of the traditional glass canopy. Would you know if the UV treated acrylic would block essential light that corals need?
<If you are using metal halide/HQI lighting, the acrylic will soften and may even melt.
The UV treated acrylic should only block light in the 300 to 380 nanometer range and will not block
essential light from entering the tank.>
Thanks for your time and advice.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Yet Another MH Question, heat, incl. louver use f'   -- 7/14/10
I read through the Metal Halide FAQ and am still looking for answers for my personal tank (60 gallon - 48x15x18). I have the Current-USA Sunpod 48" 2x150W fixture and, unfortunately, it sits only 4" above my tank water with the stands that come with the fixture. Given this situation, my tank has been running consistently at about 79 degrees from PC lighting up to 83-84 degrees with MH. I just bought the hanging kit for this fixture and planning on raising it the recommended 8" or so above the water. By what degree do you see this helping with the heat?
<A degree or two F.. I would leave off the MHs during the day... in the warm/er months of the year... have them on during the cooler evening hours only>
I understand that I run the risk with a glass top and high heat as well.
I'll look into getting some egg crates but will the heat melt this?
<Look for the Polystyrene variety, about 240 C... vs. acrylic (160 C)>
I assume running an open top will be fine as well, as long as the fixture is well above the water?
One last question- one of the two fans also stopped working in the fixture and am looking to replace it soon. In the mean time, do you recommend an ordinary desktop fan be placed between the fixture and the tank to cool the
fish tank even more?
<Worth using>
I appreciate your help!
Thank you,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

55 gal tank lighting, support over tank  12/28/08 Question <Hello Vickie, Minh at your service.> We just purchased a new 55 gal. The filtration is a aqua clear system. The lighting is a 48� lunar deluxe system. Are there any brackets that can be purchased other that what came with the lighting? <Most other aquarium lighting brackets/leg support systems are of similar style to the Coralife Lunar Delux System you currently have and will interfere with your Aqua Clear filters.> The lighting is sitting on top of the filtration as the brackets do not allow us to have the right placement. Our tank is on a 13� shelf. We can't hang from the ceiling. And the back doesn't allow but only ½ to 1� of space. Any suggestions? Attached are some photos <Based on the photos you've provided, a support structure from behind the tank would give the most flexibility and aesthetic value. With only 1" space available, a light bar would be fitting for this situation. ADA makes commercially available units but they are very pricey. A similar unit can be made quite easily, instructions and examples can be found here: http://www.barrreport.com/general-plant-topics/3977-making-ada-style-light-fixture-cheap.html. Another DIY option is to fabricate support brackets that would accommodate the Aqua Clear filters using "L-brackets" available at home improvement stores.> Vickie <Good luck. Cheers, Minh Huynh>

Re: tank tops, Lighting Up His Life... Hey fellow fish-keepers: <Hey! Scott F. Here> If I may, a follow-up to my homemade top questions: I only wish to use some form of fluorescent for my 55gal, up to VHO, if necessary. In this case, can I use Plexiglas? <Acrylic/Plexiglas should work okay> I lean this way so I can do it myself. How much will it cut down my light? The thinner the better?  <How much/how thick really depends on the type/grade of acrylic you will use. I'd recommend talking to your local hardware store about the different grades of acrylic and how much light (or what spectra) they'll block out> I read so many opinions an watts per gallon. Can you give me (or point me to) a reliable rule of thumb (or range-of-thumb) for FOWLR, then moving up to hearty inverts, and MAYBE (way in the future), the easier corals (if there are any)?  <Really, no hard-and-fast rule for FOWLR-although if you are interested in deep-water species, you probably won't want as much light/intensity. If your intent is to eventually move up towards keeping corals, and you like fluorescents, I'd go with the VHO in a configuration that lets you put several bulbs in the hood, preferably of higher wattage. this way you have flexibility for the future. Oh- and pick up a copy of Anthony Calfo's excellent "Book of Coral Propagation" for excellent ideas on coral husbandry, lighting, etc.> I do not want anything that you can't sneeze at the tank without them dying, and I am very flexible with fish choices. <That's good, because you can plan your population with an eye towards the future, avoiding outright coral-munchers, like large angelfish or triggers, and maybe look at reef-compatible fish that are both attractive and hearty. Then, you can add a few hardy soft corals down the line> Also, can I use a single bulb in multi-bulb fixtures until I need the extra light to cover for the future? <Probably, yes-but do consult the manufacturer of your light fixture, as there are considerations, such as electrical safety and wear and tear on the bulbs> Thanks, Rich

Re: acrylic adhesives used in proximity to a stocked tank Great site! by far the best/ most informative fishy site I've ever encountered! Onto my question: I have a 180gal FOWLR tank stocked with a 80cm Fimbriated moray eel and a few disposable (obviously) damsels. The eel, "Corporal Clegg", has been my pet for about 8 years now and am looking to make an improvement, but am concerned about the Corporal's safety.  Currently weighting down the covers of the tank is just a 4ft piece of oak.  As you can imagine, the lighting of the tank can be greatly improve upon by securing the covers with a more translucent object.. this is my goal in life.  I was thinking it would be nice if I could glue some small "swing arm" type brackets made out of acrylic to the top of the tank as the solution (small and translucent == good).  Are there any adhesives on the market that you would deem "safe" to be used in such close proximity to the water and my fish?  I am sure that mounds of activated carbon and PolyFilters would be beneficial... >  I guess I should give you a little more info: tank is obviously acrylic with wet/dry, protein skimmer, and denitrification chambers underneath in the stand.  About 120lbs of LR, and 50lbs livesand. Thanks for your advice and suggestions. Mark <Hi Mark, The solvent in these glues is very volatile and will evaporate quickly, use a fan to exhaust the fumes from the room as they won't be good for you either. If this is done, no worries!  Craig>

Re: lights crammed together!! Hi everyone, it's been some time since I've written,.......bet you missed me! <Welcome back Pam, Don with you today> Anyway, I have been plenty busy with my tank, continually trying to give it the best, which leads to my question/dilemma: I have a 75 gal reef tank. The problem is the cover. You see, I have the original cover that holds one large strip light. You know the type that opens in the front for feeding, then there's glass in the middle portion separated by a strip of plastic. This is where  I have crammed a second light into the small spot to supply adequate light. Still, I only have  300 watts total. What's out there for covers that will 1.) let you feed without taking a light off, and 2.) will allow enough room for lights??!! Do you understand me? <Yes> I would love to someday install an over the tank (suspended) metal halide model, but at this point the cost is too much for me. Any suggestions for a simple, clean design that works??? <Hmmm. I build custom covers for my tanks so the best I could suggest is to try the online sponsors listed on the WetWebMedia.com FAQ page here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/daily_faqs.htm. BTW what are your plans for this tank? 300W on a 75 is not that bad. Don> Thank you all! Pam

Custom Lighting? I have a glass 48 inch flatback hex tank. I've used it for freshwater fishes and would like to now create a reef system. The canopy has a sleeve for a single tube lighting fixture to sit in. It simply isn't wide enough for anything larger, which I know I will need for the new system. Do you know of anyone that makes a more suitable canopy for this size tank? Or do you have an idea of how I could improvise? Thanks for your help. Russell <Well, Russell, I'm not sure of your tank's exact width, but you have a few options...Lots of manufacturers make canopies and retrofits for different sized systems. You also can consider the use of pendant systems...I'd do a little web searching for lighting systems and components. A good place to check out is hellolights.com, which offers a variety of lighting components, bulbs, etc., to meet a wide variety of tank configurations. Have fun researching and developing a system to meet the needs of your tank! Regards, Scott F>

Tank Cover and Lighting Hello WetWebMedia Crew, Your help and advice have been invaluable! <Thank you for the kind words!> I just wanted to get your opinion on my tank cover and lighting.  I have a 6' acrylic 125 gallon, with a total of 576 watts PC lighting above the tank in a canopy.  I have addressed the issue of moisture build-up in the canopy by 1) adding 2 CSL fans and 2) totally covering the 2 access holes on top of the tank with acrylic sheets.  Is there anything wrong with totally covering the tank on top?  Does the tank need some ventilation on top?  Will this be enough to prevent any electrical problems for the lighting (i.e. the lighting is not moisture-proofed)? (FYI, via a built-in overflow, the water flows down to a sump and protein skimmer below the tank). <The sump will help with gas exchange, so that should not be an issue. The totally covered top may be a problem if heat builds up. A small fan blowing across the sump will help cool the water. Normally, the canopy has an acrylic, or better yet, glass lens to help with moisture, splashes, and to contain heat in the canopy so it can be exhausted. You will have to monitor your setup to see how much heat becomes a problem.> Your comments are greatly appreciated, <No problem Ed, hope this helps, Don> Ed

- Finding a Glass Canopy - Dear Sirs, I have been looking for a glass canopy for my 26.5 inch long fish tank.  This is proving to be quite a difficult task.  Do you have any information that could help me?  I am getting desperate, and annoyed with my odd shaped tank. <Hmm... do you need an entire canopy or just a glass top - if just the top, I'd head to a glass shop and get them to cut be a couple of pieces of tempered glass. You should be able to find the plastic bits [hinge, handles, and back cover] without difficulty although you'll probably need to cut them to length.> Thank you. Joseph <Cheers, J -- >

DIY Hood Questions Hi Guys, Just built a 6' hanging style hood for my 125 gal.. Has 3 metal halides and 2 VHO's. Was wondering if a piece of 1/4" laminated safety glass is a sufficient UV safe splash shield. My glass man told me this would filter 99% of Uv rays, thus saving my eyes etc. from these harmful rays. Also have an ice cap fan with built in thermostat on one end, and planned on having an open grill on the opposite end. Should the fan blow  fresh outside air across the lights, or  pull (exhaust) the hot air out.?                     <Awesome! Building your own hood is a great way to save money- congrats.  This glass sounds appropriate.   As for the fan, it should pull fresh air in.  The side without the fan should act as the exhaust.  Good luck! Ryan>    Thank You in Advance, Louie

Egg Crate- The Good And Bad Good day, <Hi there- Scott F. with you today!> I'm changing my current lighting right now to metal halide and I would like to use an eggcrate top for heating/gas exchange and better lighting. I've been told that eggcrate can cast shadows and diffuse light and that eggcrate can be fairly opaque to point sources. Can someone please give me the complete explanation of the pros and cons of eggcrate with lighting? Thanks! Travis <Well, Travis, here are a few. Some of the "pros" are that you can use eggcrate to help newer corals acclimate to your system's lighting, and create shade effects for corals that prefer different types of light levels. Some of the "cons" are that this material will unduly shade the corals that reside beneath it, in some cases. Also, the eggcrate can become brittle and crack, or even melt over time. There are many, many other pros and cons to the use of egg crate; of course I only touched on just a few that came to mind...In the end, you might be well-served by chatting about this topic with a few fellow hobbyists...You'll probably hear many different opinions and ideas on the topic as you talk to different people. In the end, you'll probably have to pick up some egg crate (it's cheap, fortunately!) and experiment. If it doesn't suit your needs, you can always try something else with it- like build a plenum! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Use of aluminium reflectors? HI Crew, <Hello Bob> On my Juwel tank, the fitted lights come with optional reflectors (which appear to be polished aluminium). <Yes... very nice units> As the lights are set very low in the hood, and directly above the water surface, I am concerned about the condensate getting back into the tank and giving a toxicity problem? <Me too> I called the supplier, and they told me that the reflectors would be "fine for marine use", but might "tarnish a bit from the salt" Hmmm? <He is steadfastly wrong here> I'd like to improve the lighting efficiency, but I'd rather add more light than do anything silly.......it's just that they are soooooo easy to fit, and they are also not too expensive.... Any comments? <I would NOT use aluminum/aluminium in or around marine systems> regards Bob (UK)  UK.. hence the "aluminium" for you US folks, I know you call it  Aluminum   :--) <A metal by any other colour. Bob Fenner in the colonies>

Tank top/lighting question 6/9/04 hello friends!   <howdy!> just a simple one for ya': <Okey-dokey> I currently use the 1/4 inch (greenish tint) glass top that came with my tank to set my 110w pc fixture on. I have access to quality acrylic/Lexan at my work and could rout it to size. Would making a custom top out of this material (I would most likely use 3/16 or 1/4 Lexan) allow more/less filtration of  light to enter the tank, or be better for it's inhabitants? Hmmm... yes. There are two things at odds here: light admission in general, and UV admission specifically. Glass or Lexan will have various admissions of these two params. Many/most that allow  a lot of light in still often reduce UV severely (not good for corals). You need to see the mfg specs top decide on any of these random products> I want to maximize my lighting obviously, and don't think I'm willing to go topless for fear of "Gumdrop" the clown jumping out. thanks, I appreciate your time and willingness to help us all. Erich <always welcome my friend> 30g glass 15g sump, CAP 1800 return 4"sand -fine 40lbs live rock cs90 overflow urchin skimmer JBJ Versailles 110w pc lighting Millennium 2000 HOB filter -no media 1 Xenia (fingers pulse again.... hooray!) 4 hermits 5 small colonies of zoos 1 colony Shrooms 1 small (for now) gold maroon clown 1 cabbage leather frag 1 Galaxea frag  (lots o' room) ;) 1 medium meat coral 1 banded coral shrimp 2 Turbos *will be adding more zoos and Shrooms <the Galaxea, Corallimorphs and Zoanthids are all quite aggressive and noxious... enjoy them in this tank that specializes in them, and do resist any more of the weaker/incompatible species (like Xenia here). Best of luck! Anthony>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: