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DIY Aquarium Lids – Polycarbonate

How to make cheap custom DIY aquarium lids using twinwall polycarbonate greenhouse panels.
DIY Polycarbonate Aquarium Lid
DIY Polycarbonate Aquarium Lid

Why Use Polycarbonate for DIY Aquarium Lids

I've previously covered how to make DIY Aquarium Lids out of glass, but glass lids are less practical for larger tanks or configurations where you want a lid that has multiple cutouts for your equipment. I used a panel of twin-wall polycarbonate to make a custom lid for my 40 gallon breeder aquarium (shown above).

Twin-wall polycarbonate is used for roofing panels on greenhouses, so it is designed to allow good light penetration. It is also far more durable than glass. Polycarbonate sheets won't crack or shatter if they are dropped or bumped. They also will not bow or bend like sheets of acrylic, which makes them an ideal material for covering larger aquariums.

Constructing the DIY Aquarium Lids


I started with a 2' x 4' sheet of polycarbonate, and used a table saw to cut it down to the dimensions of the top lip of my 40 breeder aquarium: 35" x 17". Then I used a handheld hacksaw to make the cutouts for my incoming water line and my Aquaclear 70 HOB filter. Finally, I added "handles" to the front edge using clear Command hooks. The hooks allow the lid to be lifted off the tank easily for maintenance.

This video by Jadren Aquatics has more good information about making DIY aquarium lids out of polycarbonate panels:

4 thoughts on “DIY Aquarium Lids – Polycarbonate

  1. Pingback: DIY Glass Aquarium Lids - Odin Aquatics

  2. Pingback: DIY Hinged Glass Aquarium Lids - Odin Aquatics

  3. Tuhana

    My son has a 36 gal bow tank that we bought on facebook. He wants to use a Fluval filter system and the light system that he has instead of what came with the tank. I am trying to figure out a way to make a low-cost glass top so the water does not evaporate out. Something that I can make vs buy. I am very crafty. He is 18 and likes to start fights with me, but there has to be a way to do this. I was trying to save money when I bought the tank online so we can reuse what he has from his 20 gal tank because we have a collection of fish stuff. Any suggestions on what to do and what to make? The easiest way for me to do this with him


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