The Infamous Tank Cover

Discussion in 'DIY' started by Baz, 14 Oct 2017.

  1. Baz

    Baz

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    Hello Reefers.

    After searching the net and not getting any good references to building a tank cover to keep those suicide jumpers at bay and safely in the tank, I decided to do a write up explaining the hardware and equipment needed to build yourself a tank cover using locally available supplies.
    After my first build I was asked about the process and being the Speedy Gonzales I am, I didn't think about taking pictures for write up purposes. Luckily a friend of mine decided its time to build himself a cover and so I got the opportunity to help him and take pictures as we went along. Thanks @Sandlover for the opportunity to help you and get this thread going.

    Right.. Lets get to the build. You will need a frame kit and some mesh. Tools will be a hacksaw, scissors and a sharp knife or Stanley blade. For this build we used the Coolaroo frame kit currently available at builders market, makro and a few other suppliers, or you could contact coolaroo to get additional suppliers.
    They come in 2 sizes. I will leave out the prices as it will change obviously.
    950mm x 750mm
    1540mm x 1250mm
    We used the latter for the build, but the kits are identical except for the size. Here is a picture showing the product.
    IMG-20170731-WA0032.jpeg

    When you open up the box you get the following items inside:
    4x Powder coated aluminium frame sections
    Beading tool
    Bead tube
    Bag containing the frame ends and mounts
    Screen mesh

    20171014_091817.jpg

    The standard mesh screen supplied is a bit too dense for this application so we ordered new mesh from a different supplier. Thanks @Blue Reefer . Here is a picture showing the standard mesh.

    20171014_092457.jpg

    The mesh we used has around 8mm squares. You can use any mesh that you can source as long as it's not too thick for the beading to hold it in place. The mesh on the right in the picture is what we used. You can see it's a big difference and should not block any light from your fixture entering the tank.

    20171014_095953.jpg

    First step is to measure your tanks outer edges. Once you have the measurements you need to subtract 52mm off each side. This is because the end fitting of the frame is 26mm each, and you use two on each side. The picture below shows one of the frame fittings. Where the measuring tape reads 26mm is the point up to where this fitting fits into the frame.

    20171014_093430.jpg

    Once you have subtracted 52mm and have your final measurements, make a mark on the frame where you will be cutting. Use the frame fittings and visually check on the tank before you start cutting. You can cut the frame using a hacksaw or power tool. A Hacksaw is easy so we used one for this purpose.

    20171014_094333.jpg

    When you have cut all 4 lengths you can start the frame assembly. Use a rubber hammer when doing this, as simply pushing it in is quite hard to do. Be sure to have the right sides corresponding as the bead channel of the fitting has to be on the same side as the frame channel. Rest the frame on the floor (preferably a carpet to keep from slipping) and gently hit the frame fiting untill the 26mm mark is flush with the tube.

    20171014_095329.jpg
    20171014_095506.jpg

    And here we have the assembled frame.

    20171014_095723.jpg

    Check on the tank to make sure you have the correct size before you go to the next step.

    20171014_095745.jpg

    More to follow. Can only upload 10 pictures.
     
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  3. OP
    Baz

    Baz

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    Once you have the frame finished you can now start the beading process. Cut a rough size out of the mesh as it is easier moving and manipulating the smaller piece of mesh. Get someone to help you with this as it is tricky getting the net nice and firm. Using the squares of the mesh line up the mesh to the bead using a row of squares and start by doing one of the long legs of the frame first.
    20171014_100309.jpg

    Using the bead tool push the bead onto the mesh and into the frame. This locks the mesh into place. Remember to keep the mesh straight and firm to get a wrinkle free result.

    20171014_100405.jpg

    20171014_101027.jpg

    Almost done.

    20171014_101748.jpg

    Once you have finished beading this is what it looks like.

    20171014_102016.jpg

    As you can see you are left with mesh sticking out on the edges. You can now proceed to cut this extra mesh using a knife. Cut the mesh against the inside of the frame. Be careful with this process and take your time. You don't want to spoil your hard work thus far.

    20171014_102035.jpg

    When this is finished you can peel off the plastic film on the frame.

    20171014_102602.jpg

    And here is the finished product.
    Bottom
    20171014_102535.jpg

    Top
    20171014_102545.jpg
     
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  4. OP
    Baz

    Baz

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    And a few shots on the tank

    20171014_113019.jpg

    20171014_113009.jpg

    20171014_112951.jpg

    And one more just for fun

    20171014_102658.jpg

    Now sit back and enjoy a heard earned beer. :1:
     
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  5. LCornelius

    LCornelius Moderator

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    Nice DIY guide!

    Thanks for sharing!
     
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  6. tekkengal

    tekkengal Moderator

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    Thank you, this is extremely helpful!
     
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  7. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator

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    Gonna make me one of these.

    Got a parts list and where to get them?
     
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  8. OP
    Baz

    Baz

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    Thanks. You are welcome :m06:

    All you need is:
    Hacksaw
    Scissors
    Knife
    Rubber hammer
    Tape measure
    Fly screen kit
    Screen mesh.

    The mesh is a difficult one to source. Try gardening sections at hardware stores, nurseries or alternatively give @Blue Reefer a shout. He sells the net.
     
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  9. Haffy

    Haffy

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    Brilliantly done!
     
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  10. leslie hempel

    leslie hempel Sponsor MASA Contributor

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    great thread
     
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  11. Blue Reefer

    Blue Reefer

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    @Baz excellent write-up.

    The net is imported anyone may contact me. I send country wide.
     
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  12. reefer101

    reefer101

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    Thank you. Great build:thumbup:
     
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  13. OP
    Baz

    Baz

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    The next frame I am going to build will be inside the rim of the tank. I am not sure where you can get these locally, but I imported a set. Get them to fit 4mm to 10mm glass.
    343566427-688087932.jpg

    For this you measure the inside of the tank so the frame can rest on these, thus retaining more of a rimless look. Just need to leave a small gap for pump wires etc to enter the tank.
     
  14. faiyaz2

    faiyaz2

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    If you’re finding it hard to find the mesh, go to the material shop and ask for bridal veil
     
  15. Joshua1

    Joshua1

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    Nice tread.
     
  16. Kishaal

    Kishaal

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    Thanks for the info, was looking to build one
     
  17. Christo

    Christo

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    Leka Thread @Baz
     
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  18. Jscholtz014

    Jscholtz014 210 LITRE AQUARIUM

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    Could you use the netting used for koi ponds?
     
  19. OP
    Baz

    Baz

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    I can't see why not. As long as the bead can press the net into the frame to hold it, it should work. What does the net look like that you want to use? There are a few different kinds for koi ponds and among them are some very thick ones that might not work.
     
  20. Roryf

    Roryf

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    Fantastic idea!
     
  21. 459b

    459b Moderator

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    The gaps might be a bit too big to stop fish from jumping out
     

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