Canopy for 90 gallon

Discussion in 'I made this!' started by bsutton, Feb 2, 2014.

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  1. bsutton

    bsutton Feather Duster

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    Location:
    Boynton Beach, FL.
    Ok, so I started my DIY canopy yesterday, plus I got my new LEDS! I will try to explain the build as I go, as well as cost when I'm done ;)

    Not sure how to do this, so bear with me. First off, I wanted a canopy that I would have easy access to my bare take for adding corals, fish, water changes, etc. I chose to go with a height of 15". I will drape 3 sides...front, left and right. Debated for a while on how I wanted the opening to be built. I decided to have the whole front face to attach with magnets instead of messing with hinges and such. I picked up some pine 1x 3's and built the frame. Luckily I had some deck screws, finishing nails and liquid nails sitting around. Cost for frame, under $40.

    Next I picked up 8 x 4 x 1/4" hardwood red oak. Idea is to keep the canopy light...$26. Now my wife picked out this funky molding with etching in it. I like the look but will not like applying the stain...will explain later. She got 3-eight foot lengths at around $25 I will wrap the top and bottom with this. I decided to jazz it up a bit and bought 3-eight foot lengths of rope trim. Think it was around $30.

    I attached the oak hardwood to the frame with my finishing nails, however I cut to a height of 17" to cover the rim of the tank. As I mentioned, the etched trim lined the top and bottom, then I took the rope trim and squared it off...make sense? Pics will explain.

    This morning I found some semi gloss paint, which I will use for the inside of the canopy. I'm also going to use the rope trim to make the front canopy appear to have 2 doors. My wife is even buying some type of aquarium/nautical handles to attach for easy removal of the front face. Choices so far are mermaids, mariners cross or some fish. We want to match our actual handles from our stand.

    Here are the only pics I have so far.. I will be back later with updates...
     

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  3. RoloSaez

    RoloSaez Millepora

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    How will this open up for access? Looks great so far. Just curious how it will open up?
     
  4. bsutton

    bsutton Feather Duster

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    The front face will attach with magnets...
     
  5. bsutton

    bsutton Feather Duster

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    Ok, the last few evenings I've been able to wrap a few things up. First I put 2 coats of white glossy paint on the inside of the canopy. Then I added the rope trim to the front face to make it appear to have doors. Next I got some channel C aluminum, cut to size and drilled holes to I could attach the 2 LEDS bricks to it. I have to modify the canopy a bit more tonight and add the magnets to the front face, then I should be ready for stain.

    Question. I have PAR readings from my T5's. When I put in the LEDS, do I want to match my PAR readings then mark that as my max %? Or should I up the PAR a bit more? Not to sure about this. Once I know, I will slowly acclimate the new lights over the next few weeks.
     

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  6. oldfishkeeper

    oldfishkeeper Giant Squid

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  7. kstafford003

    kstafford003 Feather Star

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    I like what you have done here, very unique. How to you plan on mounting the light support bars to the canopy? I would suggest nuts/bolts if possible, although it may be overkill. I screwed lights into my old hood and worried everyday the screws would give out and the light would fall into the tank. Keep up the good work.

    As far as intensity goes I would start by matching your current PAR levels to the 100% mark on the new light output. I might even decrease it a little at first just to be safe. LED's can be quite intese and your old bulbs may have already started to lose life and the PAR levels you think you are getting may be a bit higher than you are actually getting (unless you have a meter handy). Watch the corals and over a couple of weeks slowly increase the intesity to where you want it to be. IMO....
     
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  9. bsutton

    bsutton Feather Duster

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    Location:
    Boynton Beach, FL.
    Thanks. As of now the channel c aluminum is 48" long and it rests on top of the canopy. I got the idea from the dealer who sold me the lights. I may adjust the height though to less than 15". And yes, I did use the screws from the housing to mount to the aluminum and am a bit paranoid about them falling too. I was thinking of backing it up by building a brace above the lights to attach the hanging kit to.

    My old lamps were actually only 4 weeks old. As I mentioned, I don't know much about PAR and whats to less and whats to much. I will get another reading in the next day or so. So, I will take everyone's advice here and just wing it...
     
  10. bsutton

    bsutton Feather Duster

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    Location:
    Boynton Beach, FL.
    Ok, all done. made a few MODS to the canopy. I added some 1x3 to the back of the canopy so it wont pull forward when I take the front face off. I also added some 1x3 the the bottom half of the front face to sit on top of the tank. We have handles in the mail. Stain is a bit darker than the stand and the side cabinet. All thats left is another 2 coats of polyurethane.

    Roughly I think I spent less than $175 on this. I had the paint, stain and most hardware sitting around. If I had to buy everything, I think total cost would of been around $225. Started the build 2 weeks ago but probably put less than 25 hrs into this project. As far as my lights, I tested the PAR with my old fixture and pretty much matched the same PAR with the new LEDS. They actually sit right on top of the canopy about 13" above the water line. I have some pics. My lighting is bad and still using cell camera...
     

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  11. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Fantastic job. Your idea for an easier access canopy really turned into something pretty innovative. Do you have matching side panels as well? Looks great all the same. Nice work.

    matt
     
  12. bsutton

    bsutton Feather Duster

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    Thanks Matt. Its very nice to just pull the front face off for maintenance. The wife love's that feature as well as the lightweight. And yes the side panels match the front but they are not removable...