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Making Your Own Tank Covers

By Clint Norwood
 
I needed several tank covers for my aquariums that house Killifish. Killies are especially prone to jumping out of the tank, but they are also fond of cooler water than other tropical fish. So a glass cover wouldn't do, it traps heat. I needed to come up with something better. Reptile screen covers are available but they are quite expensive and they are somewhat cumbersome to lift off for feeding. So after thinking about it a while I came up with a pretty good solution. I gathered up the materials and tools and here is what I did.
 
Tools and Materials:
 

Putting It Together

      First measure the inside length and width of your tank, this needs to be exact because there is little tolerance for error here. You want it to rest on the small lip of the black rim of the tank. In my case I deducted a quarter inch off the front to back measurment to leave just enough room for an airline in the back. Next cut 2 pieces the length back to front and 2 pieces the length side to side. These ends will nest together really well when the corners are pushed together so the measurments need not compensate for the width of the channeling. Now cut the plastic mesh "mat" to the exact measurment of the inside of the tank.
 
putting it together
 
The picture above should give you a good idea of how this thing goes together. Slip the channel over the 4 sides of the screen and push the shorter channels inside the longer ones. Now when you are sure it's going to fit you can hot glue the corners, or glue the whole length if you have a larger tank. And then glue on the marble for a lifting knob. Here's how it looks
 
Finished Cover
 
Not bad! The final price is about $1.00 each for a 5 gallon tank cover.
 
Try to center the marble if possible unlike the above example. I had just lost my marbles and was a little crazy by the time I finally got around to gluing it on.

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