Bulk Reef Supply’s DIY Aquarium Screen Top Kits allow aquarium hobbyists to put together their very own screen net tops for their tanks. This allows them to be specially made to fit any aquarium. Many reef fish species including gobies, eels, and wrasses will jump high enough to get out of the tank, so it is important to keep the top covered. Keeping your aquarium top covered also prevents objects from falling in, which could harm your inhabitants.
Benefits of Clear Netting
The clear netting Bulk Reef Supply offers has many benefits over glass or acrylic tops. Glass and acrylic tops tend to get dirty easily, not allow the right amount of light to shine through, over-heat, and prevent evaporation. Glass tops can block up to 30 percent of light from shining through. Egg crate tops also block out a significant amount of light, and at times still allow small fish to get through. Egg crate tops also frequently cause an awkward grid-like shadow across the entire tank. Screen tops do not have any of these problems. Also, the small squares on the netting will hold in even tiny fish. Unlike other types of aquarium tops, clear netting lets about 99 percent of light through.
There are several kits available, including 2 foot, 3 foot, 4 foot rimless, 4 foot rimmed, 5 foot rimless, 5 foot rimmed, 6 foot rimless, and 6 foot rimmed, to accommodate almost anyone’s specific needs. All kits consist of aluminum frame sections, screen corners, a roll of polypropylene plastic netting, a spline roller, and 25 feet of spline. The 2 foot kits come with four 2 foot frame sections, four screen corners, and 6.5’ x 2.5’ of netting. The 3 foot kits come with two 3 foot and two 2 foot frame sections, four screen corners, and 6.5’ x 2.5’ of netting. The 4 foot rimless kits come with two 4 foot and two 3 foot frame sections, four screen corners, and 6.5’ x 6.5’ of netting. The 4 foot rimmed kits come with four 4 foot frame sections, eight screen corners, and 6.5’ x 6.5’ of netting. The 5 foot rimless kits come with two 4 foot and two 5 foot screen sections, four screen corners, and 6.5’ x 6.5’ of netting. The 5 foot rimmed kits come with six 4 foot frame sections, eight screen corners, and 6.5’ x 6.5’ of netting. The 6 foot rimless kits come with two 6 foot and two 4 foot frame sections, four screen corners, and 6.5’ x 6.5’ of netting. The 6 foot rimmed kits come with six 4 foot frame sections, twelve screen corners, and 6.5’ x 6.5’ of netting. Each of these kits is available with 1/8 inch or 1/4 inch netting. Be sure to select a netting size that your smallest fish cannot get through. To piece together the screen tops, you will also need a utility knife, a tape measure, and a hack saw. Extra corners are available for purchase if needed to build around a filter or an overflow box.
How to Assemble
To set up your aquarium screen top, you have to first measure the inner lip of the aquarium frame or rimless tank and subtract the corners (about ¾ inch each) from this to get your dimensions. Then, cut your frame sections to the lengths required for your tank with a hack saw. Then, assemble the frames together with the screen corners. The corner pieces slide into the ends of the frame sections easily. A curved piece of acrylic, glass, or polycarbonate (not included) can be added to cover a bow front portion of the tank if necessary. Next, roll the netting into place. This is best done with two people. One person should hold the netting in place and the other should roll the spline. This can be done by yourself if necessary without much trouble, though. To add the netting into place, first cut it to a few inches larger than necessary for your frame. Then, roll the netting on top of the frame and use the squares of the netting to create a straight line. Once the netting is aligned, push a piece of spline into it to hold it into place. Then, cut the end of the spline and use a spline roller to push it in deeper to hold it in place securely. Add spline to each side of the frame. Once in place, the netting should be stretched taut. Lastly, cut off the excess netting with a knife. For plastic trimmed tanks, you can just set the new top right into place. Rimless tanks require a little more work. For these, you can either use a reef safe epoxy covered magnet or silicone pieces of acrylic added to the glass to create resting seats for the screen top.
Bulk Reef Supply’s DIY Aquarium Screen Top Kits make the process of making your own tank screen net tops easy by providing everything you need in one kit rather than having to hunt down all the different necessary supplies. These kits can accommodate any tank, even those with unique shapes.
Photo courtesy of http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/diy-aquarium-screen-top-kits-1-4-netting.html#tab-full-details.