The DIY Sliding Glass Lid

     This is a short and simple DIY project if you don’t feel like paying an arm and a leg for a Cadillac of a lid for your aquarium. But first, let me explain the benefits of having a lid on your tank from my personal endeavors.

The Benefits:

  • Eliminate water evaporation. I went from losing about 3 gallons of water a day to now just under a gallon a day. That’s saving me 66% in adding water to my tank. Right on!
  • Keep those pesky jumpers from committing “fishicide?” With speedy little suckers like chromis or firefish for example, you’ll no longer find them on your floor gasping for water, or worse, dead.
  • Help reduce foreign contaminates and debris. This one is pretty self-explanatory… You’ll reduce the amount of boogers your toddlers try to flick into your tank. Less boogers is always good!

Here’s the stupid-easy process to make this happen:

  1. There’s a black lip that runs around the top edge of your tank. Measure that sucker L x W. Be accurate! Measure twice, cut once. If you’ve got that pesky divider piece in the middle that most folks do, you’ll need to make four separate measurements or two for each side.
  2. Next, take those measurements into consideration and account for about a one inch overlap (because you’ll need two separate panes of glass for each side) I suggest glass vs. acrylic because glass (if properly maintained) won’t haze up over time. For example, if your measurements for that section are 23″ x 11″, you’ll want to get one pane cut to about 23″ x 5″ (for the back piece) and 23″ x 7″ for the front piece.
  3. Head down to Lowe’s (because Lowe’s will actually cut glass for free) and get them suckers cut by a professional.
  4. Next, you want to buy some of this nifty stuff called Tile Board Moulding. This stuff can also be found out Lowe’s for less than $1
  5. Finally, pick yourself out a couple of rock star handles out of the hardware section and some clear 100% silicone to glue these suckers to your glass.
Here's what Tile Board Moulding looks like. Image Courtesy of

Here's what Tile Board Moulding looks like. Image Courtesy of

**Note – If you have got a HOB filter like I do, take that into consideration with your measurements!

Put it all together:

     At this point you’ll figure out how to use the Tile Board Moulding just by playing with it. You’ll want to cut that first to create your tracks. Your back piece of glass for each section will be wedged in the Tile Board Moulding itself. You can spraypaint it, glue it, whatever you need to do to make it visually appealing. I personally just cut those guys to where they’d be a snug fit on each side and called it a day. Next, glue your fancy new handles to your top (front) piece of glass for each side, let it dry, rest the front glass pane onto the top of the Tile Board Moulding and BAM! You’ve got yourself a sliding glass lid on the cheaps!

     What did all this cost me? About $20; but it’s a lot better than $100+ for some lids that I’ve seen. You can also make a lifting lid pretty much the same way but with “H” hinges instead of Tile Board Moulding. My LFS recommended this option to me, but sliding glass sounded more practical and sleek. 

I hope this helped some of you reefers out there looking to cut costs. Got some ideas yourself? Feel free to comment, share, and like us below!