maintenance, care, compatibility
PVC aquarium cover
Having purchased an oval aquarium of 1500x500x600 by an unknown company, it turned out that the standard covers for it are not suitable, and besides, in the factory covers there is a place for two lamps, and this is not enough for successful cultivation of plants.
Without hesitation, I decided to make a cover for the aquarium with my own hands. Having studied the Internet information on materials from which you can make a cover, I found two types of material that are most suitable for manufacturing.
In the first place is high-impact polystyrene, and alternative, foamed PVC (more suitable for the manufacture of covers for small aquariums). These plastics can be purchased at firms selling materials for advertising.
Since I did not manage to get high-impact polystyrene in the nearest company, I had to restrict myself to 4 mm thick foamed PVC. highest density. In addition, they purchased glue for PVC, Cosmofen CA12 50 ml.
Sheet PVC is very easy to cut with a construction knife, however it should be noted that the blade of the knife should be thicker, otherwise when cutting with a thin blade on the edge of the sheet there will be a small wave, which in turn will need to be processed with emery paper.
Starting to manufacture the cover on the aquarium, cut into strips of PVC plastic.
The lid was made without any drawings, and in the manufacture was guided only by a sketch. And since I wanted to get a comfortable cover and with the original design, the manufacturing process became more complicated and took a little longer.
The base was glued in a couple of hours. It is necessary to glue on flat surface, since even a strip of PVC 90mm wide bends along the axis up to 10 mm.
After the base was glued, proceeded to manufacture the cover itself. To get the correct radius, put plastic on the aquarium and from the bottom outlined the cut line with a marker.
Both parts were useful to me, pasted only a strip 40 mm wide.
On the perimeter, I glued a bezel of two PVC strips with a width of 15 mm.
In the places of fastening furniture canopies glued for rigidity aluminum corner 20×40.
Having calculated the places for the lamps, pasted between the ribs. Plastic corners 40×40 will be glued to these stiffeners, which can be purchased in the construction market (used for stickers on slopes)
Cut out feeding places.
For reliability, the external and internal corners of the lid are plastered over with a 10×10 PVC
Then the same corners 10×10 glued under the lamps, and the corners 40×40 between the lamps. They will serve as reflectors.
After that, he proceeded to pasting with a mirror self-adhesive film. The self-adhesive imitating mirror turned out to be very tough and had to be glued in strips.
After external pasting with a film, fasten furniture awnings. But before you drill holes for sheds, I highly recommend that you familiarize yourself with how they work.
Because if you install them in the center (as I did), then the lid will not open and you will have to adjust a strip of plastic.
After the cover is fully assembled and glued, proceed to the installation of electrical parts. In my case, for each lamp I decided to use a separate starter and for each pair of lamps a separate time relay.
The cover for an aquarium made by hand is ready. As it turned out, it turned out tough and very convenient when opening and closing.
Three lamps that are installed in the cover at the time of opening can be turned off with the toggle switches, the fourth lamp which is mounted in the base will illuminate when cleaning the aquarium.
It remains only to attach the moonlight and work on the design.
Without a lid that covers the aquarium, a long and happy life of ornamental fish will be impossible: the lack of light and heat, dust and debris will lead to their illness and even death. To pick up and buy these devices in specialized stores is not such a big problem.
In addition, some aquariums already include covers that are part of the overall design. Why do many aquarists make them yourself?
The fact is that at home it can be done, as they say, to your taste and a certain size.
How to make a cover of polyvinyl chloride (PVC)?
Before you learn how to make a cover for the aquarium, you should understand the designs that are sold in pet stores. Standard aquariums, which are on the shelves, often equipped with a finished cover.
They all differ in price and quality characteristics.
- Price segment. The cost of factory design varies widely. It will depend on the manufacturer, on additional elements, on the illumination equipment, on the material. In other words, any aquarist can afford a ready-made cover just by carefully studying the options.
- Dimensions. Of course, not always the lids sold in the store correspond exactly to the size of the aquarium. In this case, the best option is to purchase an aquarium with a lid. But no one has canceled the opportunity to make a cover to order. True, it will cost more.
- Color solution. Most often, the covers on the shelves are made of plastic. Usually they are made in restrained colors – gray, black, light brown. There are also transparent models. If you do not like the colors, it is easy to fix, using self-adhesive film.
- Quality. Properly selected cover will last a really long time. Largely because the finished designs are always made from a single piece of material. No seams, and therefore no leaks. The backlight built into the design, in most cases, changes in the event of a breakdown.
- Backlight. The number of bulbs in the aquarium cover is usually one or two. For some aquariums, lighting is selected in four lamps. Installing additional lighting, of course, is possible, but sometimes it can greatly spoil the appearance of the cover.
When working with laminate it is necessary to take into account the properties of this material:
- so that when it gets wet it does not swell up, the places of the cuts are treated with a sealant;
- in order to prevent heating of the operating lamp from the inside of the lid to the area of the laminate using a silicone adhesive, attach a PCB plate;
- the role of the reflector is well played by aluminum foil glued across the entire inner surface;
- the lamp can be mounted on the cartridge with metal clips.
The finished structure is usually decorated with a self-adhesive film under a tree or under a stone, or with some other pattern – as far as the imagination of the home craftsman allows.
Similarly, you can make a cover of other materials: plexiglass, plywood or plain glass.
However, you need to understand that this important part of the aquarium should not be too heavy, as the glass walls and so are under pressure from water pressure. In addition, on their own at home, only rectangular or square caps are available for making their own hands. To make it for a round aquarium, you need special tools for bending materials.
It is easier to purchase such a cover along with the aquarium in the store.
Video: how to make a cover for a PVC aquarium:
Covers of laminated chipboard or laminate rarely prefer to use for aquariums.
Its main advantage is ease of assembly. True, provided that the pieces are already fitted to the size of the aquarium.
Assembling a ready-made “designer”, pasted over the cover with edging tape, is not difficult.
The disadvantages of such a cover more than the plastic. The most important of them is weight. The material itself is quite heavy, and if the volumes of the aquarium are large (say, 150-200 liters), you can imagine how weighty the lid will be.
After all, you regularly have to remove it and put it back during cleaning and cleaning the aquarium. In the worst case, you can not hold the design and damage the container.
In the manufacture of such a cover using metal fittings. Obviously, the risk of rust is very high.
To design served for a long time, the metal elements will have to change and lubricate, and it is also unnecessary trouble.
The important point is the quality of the material. If you choose a low-grade one, the cap will last very, very briefly.
Even if you install excellent ventilation. And on the aesthetic side: changing the color of the cover is no longer possible.
Of course, you can try to glue the laminate with a film, but such an experiment clearly does not improve the appearance of the aquarium.