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  1. #1
    Senior Member colesy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005

    Canopy/Moisture Issues?

    So I built my canopy for my tank and it turned out pretty good considering my lack of wood working skills. I put it up on the tank for a few days before staining it just to see how it looked. After that period of time the joints where the wood meet have started to bend/warp. I figured it had to do with the fact that I used nails to hold it together.

    So I tore it apart, and re did it with screws. I then stained it, and put it all back up. A week or so has passed, and I notice the same thing is starting to happen again.. It's not happening as quickly, but it's starting to become a problem. What the heck am I doing wrong? Do I need to add a water seal or something? The stain I used apparently has something in it for moisture, but it's obviously not working that well..

    I will get some pics in a bit.. Gotta charge the camera batteries.. Any ideas, or suggestions?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ricepicker's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    did u brace it? did u dry the wood agian before u put it together again? get daddy to do it, he'll probably do a better job

  3. #3
    Senior Member Seahunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    do you have a fan running in there?
    225g SSB display, World Fish Custom Sump/Fuge/Filter, H&S A250-2X1260, h&S sulphur reactor, Reeflo Dart 3600g return on a wavy sea plus, 4X Tunze 6101, Deltec PF600, Octopus 3000, Aquazone Ozone 100,
    Lights: 2X250W 10K XMs, 1X400W10K XM, 6XT5s Al lights controlled by AC Jr.

  4. #4
    Moderator mike536's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Also depends on what type of wood you used. When I made mine I put 3 or 4 coats of white pint on the inside. I made sure that I whole thing was sealed with paint before I put it on the tank. I must have gotten it all because I used MDF and if that stuff gets wet it swells like a mother. If you were staining the inside I would paint it instead. Make sure every mm is covered with paint. For that matter you could even silicone all the corners to make sure that no water gets in there. Oh and put a fan in your canopy as well. (If you don't have one)
    Mike Philpott

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Any kind of mechanical joint is going to warp, cup twist and bend due to moisture wicking into the material at cut ends. No stain with finish in it is going to be appropriate. Polyeurathane at the least for this kind of project. I have built several hoodds and canopies for people and I always use laquer.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Wood moves with humidity - that is just a fact. Polyurethane (or laquer) will limit how much water is absorbed by the wood. Polyurethane is much easier to use than laquer. I would suggest 3-4 coats of a wipe on, oil based polyurethane over the stain to seal the wood.

    Veneered plywood is more stable than regular wood so if it comes down to re-doing the canopy you might have better luck with that. You can get veneer strips to finish off the exposed ends. It comes pre-glued and you use an iron (like for your clothes) to apply it. The birch veneered 3/4" ply at home depot is not bad but you do have to dig to get a decent piece.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003


    when you lights go out there is a build up of moisture, best bet is to install a small fan that will come on with a timer [after lights out] or run your present fan 24/7. I ran an additional fan that ran 10 minutes every hour at night. worked awsome

  8. #8
    Senior Member bebitte70's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    I would also put several coats of polyurethane and add fans. If you decide to add fans, make sure you make the holes before putting coats on. You will be able to seal the hole from humidity.
    55G CSS 3004, 2 Seio 620, 220WT5HO lighting, Yellow tang, yellow tail damsel, 2 clownfish, 1 shrimp, pulsing, soft corals.

  9. #9
    Senior Member colesy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Thanks for all the help guys.. I guess there really isn't any point in posting pictures.. You all know what I am talking about.. Unless you want to see them, then I can post them.

    I was starting to think about moving away from the wooden canopy idea, and a custom one built from sheet metal or something.. Kind of like this..

    I was thinking about making it the exact dimension of the top of my tank.. The top flat part is where I would put my existing reflector. I would paint the outside black, and do something with the rest of the inside to avoid corrision/rust or whatever... I was thinking about having the entire front hinge where it meets the flat part at the top... I know my dad and I could built it.. I would obviously include fans in the design...

    Does anyone see any downfalls to doing something like this???

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Hey Mike,

    If you want to keep the hood so it matches your stand.All you have to do is seal it with an outdoor Varathane.Then add a copule fans.
    I have 2 plug and play fans if your interested.$25.


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