I've previously written about how to make some very inexpensive DIY glass aquarium lids. But that design uses a single piece of glass that needs to be lifted off the aquarium for maintenance. For larger aquariums, a hinged design with thicker, tempered glass is more convenient and reliable.
You can buy hinged glass aquarium lids for many standard sized aquariums, but they can be harder to find for some larger tanks. Additionally, the lids available commercially almost all have a dark plastic hinge running across the whole lid. This thick plastic strip blocks light and can create shadows in your aquarium. For my 100 gallon aquarium, which is not a standard dimension because it used to be a reef tank, I made my own hinged glass lids.
Materials Needed to Build Your Own Hinged Glass Aquarium Lids
For this project all you need is:
- 4 Pieces of tempered glass - these can be purchased at a local hardware store or glass shop and cut to any dimensions you need
- 4 Acrylic hinges
- 2 Handles (or wooden knobs like I used)
- 1 tube of Super glue
How to Make Hinged Aquarium Lids
I used a sheet of cardboard as a working surface to glue my lids together. The hardest part about assembling these DIY glass aquarium lids will be aligning the hinges so that they function properly. I recommend using a business card or shim to keep the two pieces of glass evenly spaced while gluing the hinges in place. A small gap should be sufficient.
Since my lids are almost 2 feet wide, I used two 6 inch hinges on each lid. For smaller lids you could use smaller hinges. This is one of the benefits of these DIY glass hinged lids, you can customize their design to fit your setup.
Let the glue cure for a few hours before you attempt to move the lids or bend the hinges. The good news is if you screw up during this process, any stray glue can be removed from the glass with a razor blade scraper once it dries. I used some cheap wooden knobs that I had leftover from other projects as the handles on these lids. A glob of super glue is all you need to attach these to the glass.
Once the glue cures your lids are ready to go!
Check out some of my other DIY Aquarium Lid designs: