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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had to install a cover on my tank to keep fish from jumping. I used a glass top for several months, but don't like the glass because it accumulates condesation and salt spray which blocks light.

This project has been in the works for quite awhile now, but I finally got around to getting it completed with a significant amount of help from beakerbob. Bob came up with the idea to put the mesh material in a standard window screen frame.

I found this clear mesh material after a lot of searching on the net. It ended up costing a small fortune due to the surcharge of ordering such a small quantity and shipping. (If someone is interested in some, I did buy quite a bit extra.) The I used mesh with 1/2-inch openings, but I also bought some mesh with 1/4-inch openings. I think the 1/2-inch is small enough to keep my fish from jumping out.

The other nice thing about this screen is that it doesn't hold heat at all. After the halide was on all day, it was barely warm to the touch right under the bulb. And the best part is, it blocks virtually no light!

Here's photos of the top on the tank. Beakerbob took some photos of us working on the top and will probably post them later.



 

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Its funy, despite the screen being the centerpiece of this post, my eyes are still drawn to that wrasse :p

A very clever idea Jim and Bob. Its amazing what we can come up with (we being the MR crew). Keep up the good work and innovations.
 

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Very cool idea. We're using the eggcrate, but I really like your mesh screens! Where did you get the material from?
 

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That is great.
Thanks for showing it to us.
Now I can get a wrasse again and not have to worry about it ending up on my floor.
 

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For you DIY reefers, here is how we made the screen mesh top:

Materials Needed:
2 - 48" screen aluminum framing material (HD, Lowes, Menards, etc)
4 - screen frame corners
1 - roll of spline material
1 - spline roller
1 - roll of screening material (see Jimsflies description above)

Cut the aluminum framing to the interior size of the top of the tank lip (minus 1/16"), insert the corner and snap together:



Lay the screening on the framework and, using the splining tool, press the spline into the groove of the frame, starting at one corner and working around:



The splining will keep the screen taunt. Trim the excess screen material off the frame:


And you have completed the screened tank top!
 

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Got any more info on the mesh material? Costs.. Where to buy.. etc. Do you think some 'tines'(is that the right word?) could be snipped out of the grid to accomodate plumbing and have it remain tight?
I just found Jack, my midas blenny, on the floor. He was rubbery and unresponsive but after a minute in a cup of circulating water he showed signs of life again and now he is back in his hole breathing like a marathon runner.
 

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I'm interested as well !!

If anyone has some that would fit a 90 gallon tank, 4 ft by 18 in, I would also be interested! If not I will go in with anyone to lower the shipping costs. Keep me posted PLEASE !!! Be4 another fish tries to beat the Olympic long jump! -jumping
 

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Jim, same question as rburn. Do you think its possible to cut a few smallish holes in the screen while retaining its taughtness? I'd love to use it on the 150 so we could keep a few flight-risk fish, alas, our tank isnt drilled and as such has the butt ugly PVC overflow and return lines.
 

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I know a solar wrasse that would have been very grateful if I'd had that on my tank... (RIP). I'm now using eggrate to "raise" the backside of the tank (only open area) and have it mounted vertically to block the back, so it's not passable.

But, a flat-cover would work better.

Can you provide some details on the material? Is it nylon? doesn't look metal in those shots. Can you provide a link to where you bought the stuff?

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Lucky catch on the midas blenny!

I actually bought quite a bit of this stuff. So, if someone wants some, I could probably arrange for you to get some at the swap, or ship it, or you can stop by sometime to get some. I'll have to figure out the price that will help recover some of the s&h& surcharge fees that I paid.

I purchased 2 sizes of mesh, 1/2-inch and 1/4-inch. I am using the 1/2-inch, but I think the 1/4-inch would be more protective especially for smaller fish.

I think you could make a hole for plumbing. But if you were using a window screen frame, you'd have to make the frame so it went around the plumbing, if that makes sense. If you were stapling it to the back of a canopy, I am sure you could just cut holes the mesh and be fine.
 

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Can you tell us the price of the aluminum framing? I just searched home depot's site and they have aluminum framing for $42 for one 6ft piece! Is that what you used? I would need three pieces to make a frame for my tank. That's one expensive screen :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Not sure about the price...that does sound high. beakerbob hooked me up with the frame with some extra he had around the house.

Too bad you can't find someone with an old sliding glass door screen that you could reconfigure the frame.
 

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Rburn,
That price is for 20 pieces of 6' strips!

Go to Menards, Lowes, or Home Depot, find their screening supplies, and you will see that you can purchase just a strip or two as needed. Don't forget to get the corner connecters, spline material, and a splining tool.

As for the question about putting holes in the mesh, I would probably melt them out with a soldering iron to preserve the integrity of the screen. You might be able to just cut it out, but I have not tried it yet.
 

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Thanks Bob! phew.. project back on again LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I can't recall off the top of my head. If you're interested, I have some more here that I'm selling depending on how much you want. Just send me a pm.
 
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