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DIY Projects Use this forum to post threads related to home made projects for your corns... Vivariums, hides, decorations, accessories, you name it. Anything to save some bucks or give your personalized touch.

DIY Locking lid on Fish Tank
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Old 06-20-2013, 04:11 PM   #1
DIY Locking lid on Fish Tank

Ok I am new to this whole snake thing but my son has really wanted one for years. His mom has now given in (yay). I enjoy snakes but do not have any experience. I have read thousands of articles on this site and it has been very helpful. I read all of the recommendations and in the past week we now have completed all of these task: Under Tank Heater on a thermostat, Sculpty Clay III snake hides (son loved that). So far everything is going great. Saiko (named after SC Baseball Player) has eaten. Our current setup is a 10 gallon fish tank. After reading about all of the problems with the screen on top and the cheap clips allowing escapes, I have been thinking of an easy was to improve it. Basically what I am thinking is to sandwich fine metal hardware cloth between 2 sheets of 1/4 inch MDF. The bottom MDF would be cut so that it would just drop into the top and sit on the plastic inside rim. Then Top MDF would be same size as the tank top. Then plain cabinet cam locks could be drilled on 4 corners so that it would catch on the underside of the plastic ledge. I think this would really secure it and be nice and clean. The thickness of the MDF may have to vary to get the correct fit but I think it could work. Since I have received so much education for you guys I just thought I would share my idea.
Old 06-20-2013, 04:19 PM   #2
Alicia P
That looks like a workable design. You could use velcro straps on the corners of your current screen lid to make it more secure.

Post pic's if you decide to DIY something
Old 06-20-2013, 04:21 PM   #3
I have all intentions to build it this weekend, time permitting. So I would be happy to post when complete.
Old 06-21-2013, 11:02 AM   #4
Very creative! Please post pics if you make it, it sounds like a great idea! Good luck!
Old 06-21-2013, 11:33 AM   #5
Very nice concept . I would suggest that you should have 6 of the clips instead of 4 . ( 2 more in the middle edge )
Please inform us how this works out .
Old 06-25-2013, 12:01 AM   #6
yeah those tank clips can suck. I bought some for my 29G recently and they kept popping off and landing across the darn room.

I now use luggage straps on my 29G tank and small bungee cords on the 10G. looks ugly but those lids aren't gonna move.
Old 06-25-2013, 07:49 AM   #7
The "clips" that you guys are referring to in the images are not the normal spring clips. They are the keyed cabinet locks. The rim of the tank would break before the locks broke. I was unable to build one this weekend but I still plan on building one.
Old 07-22-2013, 07:11 PM   #8
I was looking for ideas for securing my fish tank to be herp-proof, and the idea in this thread seemed like the coolest solution. I went to Home-Depot to get the parts to try it out, and they did not have those cabinet locks. playing with the locks they did have, I came up with this variation-

I made a ventilated lid with one layer of MDF the size and thickness of the tank's inner lip. (so that it can sit securely on the lower inner lip and flush with the outer lip)

I installed sliding-bolt staples around the outer lip of the tank using epoxy glue-

I placed the lid, marked the location and installed the bolts themselves onto the lid

After some paint-

I have left to paint the staples and polyurethane the lid...

It might not be as elegant as the locking cabinet latches, but I feel confident that there's enough redundant bolts to keep the critter in- even if some will fail.
Old 07-22-2013, 07:46 PM   #9
Alicia P
That looks cool and secure. What did you use for the mesh screen?
Old 07-22-2013, 09:31 PM   #10
I like it!

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