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6/16/2016 6:34:27 PM

Reef Aquarium Double-Sliding Light Box

For most aquariums, a small lid or an opening in the front is enough to maintain the tank.  However, reef tanks seem to need constant maintenance and feeding corals from every angle to keep things running well.  A lid that opens at least half way along the front then is what most people would need.  Alas, do I ever do anything the easy way?

Nope.  My reef tank is two sided.  That means there is no real back or front along the length of the tank.  And a reef needs lots of light.  And since I have two sides, it means having double the light to cover both sides.

For the last year or so since replacing lights and getting the tank back into order, I have been forced to pull a light completely off the tank to get to one side, or perch it precariously on top of the other light, then do again for the other side.  Also, fish jump.  Even with these temporary guards I made covering the exits, I lost a fish to jumping when they were just a little loose from moving the lights.

So I envisioned something better.  Something safer for the fish.  Something relatively easy to access both sides of the tank.  Not to mention something that would look a lot better.

While I still need to complete the decorative "nose" of the cover that will follow the curve of the front end of the tank, I am done for the moment with things that require way too much sanding and poly and sanding and poly and....


For easy access to the tank, the top slides a little over half each way.


Finding something to clamp the non-moving parts down to the tank was quite a challenge, but luckily I always have some PVC laying around and was able to make brackets that hook under the edge and then screw into the framework.

It didn't slide as smoothly as I would like at first, but after rubbing some paste wax (for woodworking and such) onto the tracks, it slides great!

A picture with the lights off shows the hood more clearly.  The safety mesh that protects the fish also helps to dim the bleed-through of light without blocking too much airflow.


          6/23/2016 1:02:25 PM - It hasn't all been fun and sanding in the sun.
          8/16/2015 3:17:30 PM - Reef Tank Progress

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6/17/2016 7:25:07 AM Mom
Reef tank looks great, bet it will be much easier to maintain

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