Aquarium Canopy - Purpose and ExamplesAn aquarium canopy can do so much for the aesthetics of an aquarium. The purpose of the canopy is to finish the look of the aquarium by covering the filters, lights and electrical cords. The canopy can allow an aquarium to look like a piece of furniture or a decorative centerpiece in any room of the house.
A canopy needs to be able to allow the aquarist to easily and conveniently access the inside of the tank for the sake of routine maintenance. What good is a tank topper that will not allow you to get into it? Most aquarium canopies come with one or more access points to get in and out, but for those really big jobs, the canopy is removable.
The aquarium canopy is different from the aquarium hood even though they serve the same purpose. They both cover the aquarium to prevent fish from jumping out and they both house the lighting fixtures over the tank. The difference is the canopy will give the aquarium a nicer, more finished look as if it is something that is meant to decorate the room.
Canopies usually come as a set with the aquarium stands and often times the aquarium. This makes plenty of sense because the top needs to match the bottom and both definitely need to fit the aquarium. But what happens when you already bought an aquarium and stand, how then do you attain the canopy that matches both? You can make one. Making an aquarium canopy can be fairly easy and cost efficient and you can control what it looks like and what colors to paint it. Or you can have one custom made to whatever specifications you want which can get fairly expensive.
Building an aquarium canopy yourself is a project to take on that can be lots of fun. It is essentially building a wooden box with a lifting lid and no bottom. You would have to take into account the space you need for filters and lighting and be sure to leave venting holes so that the air above the water does not get too hot and humid. Building the canopy yourself gives you the freedom to place any type of lighting fixture you want in your aquarium. Tube lighting, and spot lights are easy to install. You could even install several light fixtures to create and control different lighting moods. The quality of the resulting canopy will depend on how much you want to put into it.
If you do not have the time to make your own aquarium hood, you can always purchase one from an aquatic retail store. The challenge is finding one that will match your aquarium stand. In addition to your decorative challenge, the canopies are not always available ala carte. When asking about available products, I was told by one retailer that they never offer the canopy without the stand. Some retailers do sell separate pieces but there is not always the greatest selection available to you. Especially when you are searching for a canopy for a uniquely shaped aquarium, you may be better off finding companies who custom make them. If you have a rectangle aquarium in one of the commonly sold sizes you may likely find a canopy off the retail shelf. Depending on the size and shape of the aquarium, you might be able to find a canopy for as little as $50.00 to as much as $500.00. This is a big gap in pricing but much of it also depends on the materials the canopy is made of and how many extra features are included on it.
When having an aquarium canopy custom made you will have to pay top dollar but it could be worth it. It would be especially worth it if you do not have the time to put into it. Creating a custom made canopy would allow you to have an expert physically craft your vision of exactly what you want. You can have a canopy to fit your specification and needs with special features that you may not be able to produce if you were to build it yourself. Most custom companies lean toward building commercial sized acrylic tanks but they would be able to do one for a glass tank as well. They would just adjust certain specifications for you based on how far below the water level you want your canopy to drop.
Canopies come in as many styles and colors as anyone could imagine. From wood and acrylic to marble and laminate; aquarium canopies come in all different sizes and textures to match any home or business décor.