Glass Tank Lids- a couple of facts

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Apr 2, 2002
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I needed to get a 20L and a lid for it. My old practice was to buy the tank on sale at Petco's Buck-a-gallon slae and then I would get the top from BigAls online. They charged about 60% of what Pecto charged. But Covid caused BigAls to close their USA operation.

*SIGH*

Fortunately, Petco was having a tank sale, but it is no longer a buck-a-gallon, it is half off retail. So I ordered a 20L online for $25 and the cheapest top was actually at Petco, it was $22.99. Consider the amount of glass and silicone in a 20L, consider the pair of frames and the time to assemble it. Then consider a lid- a cheap plastic hinge and an unattached handle plus two small thin sheets of glass. Then think about the price difference for the two items being $2.01. If the store is making any profit on the tank, then they are making a fortune on the lid.

*SIGH*

Now for a very useful tip I actually found online.I had two older lids for 20Ls. One had the fron [panel with the handle broken in two and the other has it's hinge splitting. Light bulb moment. take the good hinge from the broken lid and use it to replace the split hinge. have you ever tried to get the glass out of a hinge especially if you have had it for years?

A fish site came up in my Google search and it saved me. If you run the hinge under hot water or heat it with a hair dryer, the glass almost falls out. You only need less than a minute of hot water and you will be good to go. I ran the hot water over both sides for about 15 - 20 seconds each, the other 20 secinds were waiting for the water to get hot.

*Hallelujah*
 
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fishorama

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Jun 28, 2006
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Just another case of using the old stuff we already have :). I knew about the heat & hinges, my lights on 2 tanks was enough to loosen them. Now most of my hinges are broken but I'm used to that...
 

jake72

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Jan 28, 2019
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If you search around a bit - there is an fairly easy way to turn these lids into sliding slides which in many ways work better than hinged lids ...
 

FJB

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Jun 7, 2019
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Several of the hinges on my lids have split. When the first happened, I replaced the hinge. Now I don’t bother, and I actually prefer them splits. But is a very useful sugestión (heat/warm water)
 

fishorama

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Jun 28, 2006
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SF Bay area, CA
Yeah, I've seen the J track sliding lids & also the silicone dots hinge repair. I remember looking for J track at Home Depot maybe a couple times. I bet the J tracks get mineral deposits & duckweed in them making it another place to clean. & when doing tank resealing I belatedly remember I could try fixing hinges too. & sometimes I think some duct tape is all I really need for a temporary unsightly fix...

Like FJB, I just kind of go with propping the lids against the light fixture but I have launched a few into the tank. No breakage but a surprise to me & the fish, lol.
 

dudley

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Feb 9, 2005
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I did the sliding lids DIY project on 12 tanks in my fish room and they work fairly well. I spray painted the white plastic channels black so they blended better, except in the groove for the glass lids. Of course this method doesn't work with existing glass tank lids which would be too long to fit properly, I had glass cut to fit for the project.

Another option to replace the plastic hinge on glass canopies is to use silicone to make your own hinge. I made 6 glass canopies using black silicone since I was already resealing a bunch of tanks. So far, the silicone hinges have held up for about 10 years or so.

Pic #1 Cleaned glass thoroughly before taping
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Pic #2 Applied a thick bead of silicone
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Pic #3 Smoothed bead evenly with a glove finger or two and removed tape before silicone got tacky
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Pic #4 After silicone cured thoroughly for a couple days.
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Apr 2, 2002
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New York
Because I have no fish room (no basement), I have 14 tanks in our main house. If I do not keep them fairly well covered I have humidity and evaporation issues. Before BigAls closes and FosterSmith was taken out, it used to be easy to buy cheap lids online.

Part of my issue with lids is due to my having a couple of 49Bs and a 30B. there are 3 ft x 18 inch tanks with no center brace. Therefore the glass is pretty thick.

I messed with using a design where the hinged and glass opened left to right instead of front to back. The goal was to mouns an H.O.B. on one end and have the flow pattern across the tank insted of back to front. Bit this only makes sense when there is no center barace and I abandoned the idea pretty quickly.

I normally keep extra hinges and back strips. When I break a glass panel I try to crazy glue it. If that fails then I get a new panel from a local glass shop. I also have a number of tanks which all use the same size glass top. The 150, 125, 2 x 75 and 50 all use the same size lids. The 55, 2x 40Ls and 6 x 33Ls all use the same size pair of lids. The 2 x 40B and the 30B uses the same size lids. Finally, the 2 x 29 and 5 x 20L use the same size lids. This makes it lot easier to keep a few spare parts that I can use on multiple lids. I do the same with filters.

Aquaclears share a lot of parts :)
 

dudley

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Feb 9, 2005
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I like your silicone method. I may try it!!!!
You may want to try a clear silicone instead of black so there is less shading in the aquarium.
 
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