The 29g needed a nice looking canopy. It replaced the standard plastic light fixture the aquarium used previously, and had to house the power compact bulbs. Since I was building it myself, and the lights were also a DIY project, I designed it so the canopy would flip open completely to provide easier access to the tank and not be blinded by lighting.
Once it was built, I used a compressor and laquer applicator to spray coat after coat of varnish to give it a high gloss finish. Between coats, I used steel wool to burnish the surface smooth. This process took days because the rain made the work area exceedingly humid. In the end, seven coats were applied and it lasted for the entire life of my reef.
Top view of the canopy. Note the hinge was hidden. You might prefer to screw it flat on top.
The canopy opens, folding back and resting on the rear section. Lighting on both halves allows me to see when working on the tank. Both reflectors shield my eyes so I'm not looking into the bulbs.
The canopy rests on the plastic frame of the tank, and completely hides the plastic when closed.
This angle lets you see the single 55w bulb in the front half. The rear section has two 55w bulbs.
Not much to see, but the mirror allows you to see the back somewhat. Note that the rear corner's design. Same on both ends.
Side view from the left.
Rear view of canopy, as well as the rest of the tank.
- 31 7/8" long. 6" tall. 14.5" wide.
- Front section is 6 1/4" wide.
- Rear section is 8" wide.
- 30" brass piano hinge.
A 3/4" x 3/4" rail was mounted inside the canopy on the sides and front. Glued and screwed, this is what rests on the aquarium frame, and supports the canopy.
This was stained with Golden Oak stain, and varnished with an oil based polyurethane inside and out.