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9 Best DIY Fish Tank Lid Projects (With Pictures)

empty diy aquarium on wood pallets

If your fish tank didn’t come with a lid or you need one right away because your cat keeps eying your fish, it’s easy to make an aquarium lid by yourself with just a few materials. We rounded up nine plans for quick and effective DIY fish tank lids. All the instructions are easy to follow, whether you’re a beginner handyman or an expert DIYer.

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The 9 DIY Fish Tank Lids

1. DIY Aquarium Lids by Tazawa Tanks

Materials: Polycarbonate sheets
Tools: Scissors/Cutters
Difficulty Level: Easy

This video tutorial shows you how to use polycarbonate sheets to make an aquarium lid. The result is a well-insulated and durable solution for your aquarium that doesn’t require much skill.

This particular lid is designed to fit tanks bigger than 75 gallons, so it won’t work for small aquariums.


2. DIY Glass Lid by Simply Betta

Materials: Glass cut to aquarium size
Tools: Hinges, screws
Difficulty Level: Easy

This glass lid is made for a small fish tank. It’s also a sliding lid, so it’s easy to do regular tank maintenance and cleaning without having to take off the lid. There’s a pattern for a flip-style glass lid too, if that’s more to your liking.


3. Fishman’s Easy Acrylic Aquarium Lid

Materials: Several pieces of plexiglass, acrylic glue
Tools: Glue applicator, measuring tape
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This easy acrylic aquarium lid uses a piece of acrylic plexiglass rather than polycarbonate to make a lightweight, see-through lid. You’ll need a few handyman skills for this one, along with several strips of plexiglass and glue. However, the instruction video is easy to follow step-by-step.


4. Aquarium Canopy Lid With Lighting by The Spruce Pets

Materials: Bar clamps, paint, wood glue, 2-inch wood screws, angle brackets
Tools: Screwdriver
Difficulty Level: Advanced

Making this aquarium canopy lid requires a bit more skill than some other projects on this list, but if you’re handy and good at getting accurate cuts and measurements, it’s worth the extra time and effort. There are also instructions to install lighting, to make your aquarium a bit brighter.

Be sure to set aside enough time for this project, as it takes about 6 hours to complete.


5. Customizable Glass Aquarium Lid by Odin Aquatics

Materials: Pre-cut sheet of glass
Tools: None
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This customizable glass aquarium lid requires no tools at all, but you’ll need a sheet of glass that fits your exact measurements. If you’re looking for a DIY challenge, this project is for you. It’s not as easy as some other lids on this list, but the steps in the instructional video are fairly simple if you’re willing to put the effort in.


6. Mesh Fish Tank Lid from Finley B. Fish

Materials: Plastic canvas (from a craft store), picture frame
Tools: Scissors
Difficulty Level: Easy

If you’re looking for a project that doesn’t require a saw or construction skills, this mesh fish tank lid is for you. It uses plastic canvas that you can pick up at a craft store and an old (or new) picture frame to form the outside. This project is ideal if you want something cheap and easy to make.


7. Steve Poland Aquatics Sliding Glass Lid

Materials: Glass
Tools: Etching tool, saw
Difficulty Level: Expert

This is by far the most difficult project on this list, and it requires serious DIY skills. The sliding glass lid must be cut to size, and you’ll need to follow the instructions to the letter in order for this lid to work the way that it’s meant to. That said, if you’re up for the challenge, the video instructions are quite thorough. If you follow along carefully, you’ll have a custom-made sliding aquarium lid in just a few hours.


8. Custom Lid by KeepingFishSimple

Materials: Polycarbonate sheet or plexiglass, hinges
Tools: Cutters, screwdriver
Difficulty Level: Easy

This polycarbonate lid requires a bit of cutting but offers an easy solution to make a custom-sized lid for any size aquarium. The instruction video offers a general outline, but once you get going, you’ll likely want to customize the project to suit your needs.


9. Polycarbonate Lid from Finesse Aquatics

Materials: Polycarbonate greenhouse paneling
Tools: Cutters
Difficulty Level: Moderate

For an alternative pattern for a polycarbonate lid, this one uses greenhouse paneling. It’s easy to customize to your tank, but make sure to measure its size before purchasing the polycarbonate panels — bigger tanks will need bigger panels. Other than that, this lid can be easily made by just about anyone.

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Conclusion

Hopefully, you’ve found the perfect pattern to make a DIY fish tank lid. There are a few different options, so one is sure to fit your needs and skill level. Most of them are customizable and easy to alter once you get started. You’ll have the perfect aquarium lid in no time!


Featured Image Credit: Skylar Kang, Pexels

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