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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all ...

I've been slowly working on something to replace my old, broken, water-stained plastic and glass "canopy", and I'm using that word loosely.

The most unique feature is the aluminum angle frame.

I've finally got it to the point where it's worth looking at ... actually, I'm really happy about the progress so far and the way it's turning out. I have it on the aquarium and it's functional. The most dramatic difference is the amount of light that gets to the water ... it's dramatic and what I imagined when I bought my GLO T-5 fixture a couple of years ago.

Here's the link ... I have a lot more commentary to add, but there are a lot of pictures:

http://www.zimmerman-family.org/Daniels ... y_135.html

All comments, suggestions, questions are welcome.

Hope some of you find this useful,
Daniel
 

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Nice job. Why did you go with aluminum (I like it) instead of all wood? Just curious.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey Steve,

Thanks ... it's nice to get it mostly done and start to see the results.

There are a few reasons that I decided on aluminum.

The first one is pretty practical: have you ever tried to buy straight wood at Home Depot? If you have, you know what I mean: picking through tens of boards to get straight ones only to have them twist and turn after you get them home. The aluminum angle is very straight and true.

I originally thought that the aluminum would be lighter. I'm not sure it ended up that way. For sure, though, the amount of wood that would have been required to equal the strength and stiffness of the aluminum angle would have been heavier. That's the other reason, with the six ft span, the angle is very stiff and strong.

A word of caution, there are two types of aluminum angle. One has a radius on the inner corner, and is not exactly square on the outside. I think it's called "architectural" or "structural". Obviously I needed the 90 angles on the outside, so I gave up the stronger corner for the perfect square. I did use 1/8" think angle, so it's very strong ... probably overkill.

In the end, the cost was not that different. We have a local metal supply place called Speedy Metals (I think they're on the web too). I paid something like $13 for each 6 ft piece. (no shipping since it's local !).

So there you have it, straight, stiff, strong and not too expensive.

Again, thanks for the question. I'll keep this thread updated as I progress.

Daniel
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi All,

Bought a new domain ... here's the updated link to get to the Canopy project and a few others ...

www.danielsworlds.com

... it's in the works so watch for more stuff ...

djzman
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Whew ... the canopy is complete and finally documented. See that and other projects at www.danielsworlds.com.

I added some led night lighting that I'll document separately. Built a little board from scratch ... just enough to ease the on/off of the big lights.

Enjoy !
 

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suspending that light fixture over open water with plastic zip ties would make me a little to nervous for comfort,especially hanging on the edge of a hole cut in metal,I have a hagen glo,they're pretty heavy :eek:

other than that it looks great and thanks for sharing
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I agree !

The plastic ties are actually just the secondary, safety mount.

The light is bolted to the aluminum superstructure with the mounts provided from the lighting manufacturer.

Thanks for taking a look and commenting :)
 

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I hope that one day my tanks will have something that qualifies as a 'superstructure'. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey !

thanks for the enthusiasm ...

You can see the complete writeup at

http://www.danielsworlds.com

.... follow the links through Aquarium, DIY Projects to the Canopy project. Let me know if it doesn't work; the site is kinda new.

Definitely let me know how the project goes ... here are a few pics :







Hope this helps ... I'm really pleased with how it turned out ...

Let me know if you need any more pic's or any other details ... enjoy !
 

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Nice, I like the idea of using aluminum as the frame! :thumb:
 
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