jimsflies

**CLEAR** Mesh Top

34 posts in this topic

I had to install a cover on my tank to keep fish from jumping. I used a glass top for several months, but didn't like the glass because it accumulates condensation 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!

 

screen_top1.jpg

 

screen_top2.jpg

Edited by jimsflies

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For you DIY reefers, here is how my friend, beakerbob and I, made the screen mesh top:

 

Materials Needed:

2 - 48" (or however much you need for your size tank) 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:

 

photos courtesy of beakerbob:

 

frame_1.jpg

 

frame_2.jpg

 

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:

 

frame_3.jpg

 

frame_4.jpg

 

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

 

frame_5.jpg

 

And you have completed the screened tank top!

 

frame_6.jpg

 

 

Edited by jimsflies

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haha, that's a much nicer job than my quick 10 minute throw on with light diffuser and zip ties. I had the mesh netting from my parents 2500g koi pond... keeps the blue hering away!

 

84.jpg

 

 

Nice Work!

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great idea how much for some??? it would need to be 1/4 inch i got a snowflake eel

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Darkwaterdevil, try going to a local pond place. Maybe they have a roll you could buy a little off of.

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when jim and bob get together they cant be stopped :)

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when jim and bob get together they cant be stopped :)

 

Hey Brent! When you coming over to get your frag plugs?

 

 

great idea how much for some??? it would need to be 1/4 inch i got a snowflake eel

 

I have enough to share if you'd like. A typical nano tank would be about $12 for the mesh which includes priority shipping.

 

This mesh is nice because it holds its shape well compared to some of the pond stuff.

Edited by jimsflies

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my tank is a 46 bowfront so its 3 feet long

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Last year we sold the same type of material at work (Ace Hardware in Canada) and it was called something along the lines of "Plastic Hardware Cloth" .. We still carry the exact same thing, but in steel. We carried the plastic before in 3' x 25' rolls, and I believe it was around $17 or so...

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2 thumbs up - very creative thinking. One question: will that aluminum eventually rust?

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2 thumbs up - very creative thinking. One question: will that aluminum eventually rust?

 

I don't think aluminum rusts...one of the reasons it makes a good material for storm window and screen frames.

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Aluminum won't rust, (rust is technically applied to iron/steel - iron oxide) It will oxidise though, and salt will attack it from what I've seen.

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this is a very interesting idea

right now im using 2x10 gal reptile screen hoods for my 33gal which is same size as 55gal but shorter

sor for custom tanks this would be awesome

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Do you find this makes a square pattern of shadows on the bottom of the tank due to the light passing through the mesh?

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No it doesn't make any shadow...which is why this is working out great.

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even with my wiremesh reptile cover which i think is 1/8" doesnt make any shadows

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Hey Brent! When you coming over to get your frag plugs?

 

 

 

 

I have enough to share if you'd like. A typical nano tank would be about $12 for the mesh which includes priority shipping.

 

This mesh is nice because it holds its shape well compared to some of the pond stuff.

 

 

I'M INTERESTED IN SOME MESH!

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This is very similar to the parts I've accumulated to build mine.

 

I used a plastic poster frame from target, the kind with the plexiglass cover and the cardboard backing with the slide-on frame. I will mitre cut the frame with a hacksaw to fit my tank. Then, where you've used spline, I'm gonna use a very thin piece of dowel rod that I found at Home Depot. My plan is to wrap the mesh once or twice around the dowel rod; glue, tape, or staple it in place, and then insert the dowel rod inside the plastic frame.

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This is very similar to the parts I've accumulated to build mine.

 

I used a plastic poster frame from target, the kind with the plexiglass cover and the cardboard backing with the slide-on frame. I will mitre cut the frame with a hacksaw to fit my tank. Then, where you've used spline, I'm gonna use a very thin piece of dowel rod that I found at Home Depot. My plan is to wrap the mesh once or twice around the dowel rod; glue, tape, or staple it in place, and then insert the dowel rod inside the plastic frame.

 

 

 

why not use window screen kit?

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why not use window screen kit?

 

 

1) I didn't know about window screen kit at the time I bought all my materials.

2) Having considered both now, I'm somewhat partial to my lightweight plastic frame.

3) The materials are cheap enough that if mine doesn't work out, I can try window frame then.

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the window from kits are light weight also.

 

and frame kits are like 7 bucks :}

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Aluminum won't rust, (rust is technically applied to iron/steel - iron oxide) It will oxidise though, and salt will attack it from what I've seen.

 

Spray it with a good epoxy paint before you put the screen in.

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