Subject: DIY Aquarium Canopy Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:31 pm
DIY Aquarium Canopy
This past winter break I undertook the challenge of a DIY Canopy Build. The project was triggered when I discovered that the canopy that came with the used 100 gallon that I bought wasn't tall enough to house my AI Sols in. While the project took FOREVER, the end product turned out really nice. Below is the process of the DIY build (aka: story of my winter break)...
I decided that I wanted to build a canopy that had doors in the front and hinged open on top. I wanted the doors for quick access to the aquarium and the hinge so that I could access the entire tank without having to take off the canopy (this is important since I'm a shrimpy 5'4" girl).
The project began by gathering lumber at Home Depot. I bought pine for the foundation, red oak for the skin, and birch for the top. I also picked up a piano hinge, cabinet doors hinges, railing, bolts, etc.
Home Depot cut most of the wood for me, but more exact cuts were made at home (with the gracious help of my brother and dad )
The first step is to build the frame. Each pine 1 x 2 was first drilled (since pine cracks easily), given a glob of wood glue, and then screwed in place.
Next step was to add the skin to the frame, which I used the red oak plywood for.
Finally, I added the doors and screwed the piano hinge in place. Then I just had to paint it. Everything was first covered in several coats of primer, and then I painted the inside with semi-gloss white and the outside black. Then I covered everything in several coats of polycrylic to help ward off water and salt damage over time.
The final product w/ AI Sols bolted in place:
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In summary, the project took much longer than I thought and was a lot more challenging than I had initially imagined.
However, I had no previous wood working skills and had never used a drill before in my life, so for others this DIY may be much less complicated than it was for me. I am very happy with the turnout and don't regret doing the build. The build saved me a lot of money, allowed complete customization of the canopy, and taught me some valuable lessons.
The pic with you there I didn't even realize and then I went OH SNAP ITS A FACE!!!
Totally flipped me out...for a second at least!
How are you controlling the lights themselves, timers or are you using Audrino?
Join date : 2011-07-12 Posts : 755
Subject: Re: DIY Aquarium Canopy Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:50 am
Looks very well done. And first canopy too, I cant imagine what that'd be like
Join date : 2011-01-15 Posts : 2530
Subject: Re: DIY Aquarium Canopy Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:48 am
Thanks, guys! Yeah, I'm pretty proud of how it turned out.
@Drew, the LEDs are controlled via the AI Sol controller that came with them. They all link to each other, and then the last fixture links to the controller. The controller isn't exactly user-friendly, but it allows for lots of customization. For instance, currently my LEDs come on at 10am at 1%, and then ramp up to about 65% around noon, it then holds this until around 7pm when the lights start dimming to a "dusk" setting, then they dim down to a "moonlight" setting which they hold until 10pm when they turn off. The LEDs also know the lunar cycle, and adjust intensity accordingly. It's pretty CRAZY!