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I recently bought a 40 gal breeder and bought a cover that was supposed to fit but it's about 1/8 of an inch to big. I'm looking to get a cover cut but was wondering what would work best. I know acrylic and cheaper glass warps or bends and so I was thinking polycarbonate. Please Let me know if this would work. I was thinking either 1/4 or 1/8. Any feedback would be great thanks. So far the cover hasn't caused a problem but I'm looking to add an Arowana and they have a reputation for being jumpers. Thank you.
 

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Any polycarbonate or acrylic material will warp over time. The side exposed to the water will expand and the opposite side will contract. But you do have some options.

1. Shave the inside lip of the frame down 1/16" on either side so the glass fits. Glass doesn't warp so it makes a better cover. You could do this with a Dremel or sander.
2. Use polycarbonate greenhouse sheeting. This is a less expensive hollow material that has vertical ribs for support. You can cut this to fit your tank and it's less expensive than a solid polycarbonate sheet.

If you go with polycarbonate, shape the lid so it's symmetrical. That way when it does start to warp you can flip it over and let it warp back into the other direction.

I prefer glass myself. But in my new fishroom I am going with the greenhouse sheeting for my 10 gallons because they are end out and the standard glass lids aren't oriented in the direction I would like them.

Rick Borstein (a well renowned hobbyist in Chicago) uses this material and swears by it.

Andy
 

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I like the clear greenhouse material as well, it's super cheap and durable. BUT it is super ugly, glass looks a lot better IMO unless you have a canopy, then it dose not really matter. Getting glass cut at a glass shop is super cheap as well, they usually have plenty of drop material laying around that cost only a few dollars and it only takes a minute or two to cut it.

I wouldn't cut the tank support frame to accommodate a 10 dollar top but that is just my $.02. They put that on there for a reason :wink:
 

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When I did a fishroom, I shopped around a lot. Material glass definitely. But the glass cutters want a lot of $$...I bought Aqueon glass covers.
 

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DJRansome said:
When I did a fishroom, I shopped around a lot. Material glass definitely. But the glass cutters want a lot of $$...I bought Aqueon glass covers.
I have seen people say that before, I guess my local guy is just cheap. I know he is cheaper than buying a piece from the hardware store and cutting it yourself.
 

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Lee79 said:
DJRansome said:
When I did a fishroom, I shopped around a lot. Material glass definitely. But the glass cutters want a lot of $$...I bought Aqueon glass covers.
I have seen people say that before, I guess my local guy is just cheap. I know he is cheaper than buying a piece from the hardware store and cutting it yourself.
One thing that I found added to the cost when I needed a custom top piece made a few years ago was having them sand/polish the edges to reduce chance of cuts. That said, one can usually find the glass tops cheaper from the manufacturer than any other source all things being equal.

If your cover is not made by the same company that makes the tank, get one that is, and if you have fitment issues, you have recourse.
 

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You can sand glass yourself, though.

Polycarbonate will absorb 1% of its weight in water if submersed, but much less than acrylic. It can warp but it warps much less easily than acrylic which is a pain.
 
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