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Re: sealing a tank hood

Dan wrote:

I finished constructing my aquarium hood.  How can I seal it to protect it
from water and mold?  Any suggestions.

I reply:

If you use a glass cover the requirements and/or if you build the hood out
of a material that is not very effected by moisture, the requirements of
sealing the hood are much lower than otherwise. The best material for
sealing the inside of a hood is marine grade (non-blushing if you are going
to paint over it) epoxy and I don't think you would ever regret that choice.
You could make your hood out of cardboard and not use a glass cover and
there wouldn't be a problem. Epoxy is not UV resistant but the UV put out by
most lamps is not very high. I put reflectors inside my hoods and just left
the epoxy inside the hood unpainted. I don't think the cost of epoxy is all
that much more than the alternatives but it is going to outlast anything
else by far. You can get a sample kit from System Three epoxies for $10
which will be just enough to coat the inside of a small hood. The first hood
I made I spray painted the inside with primer, Tremclad and urethane and I
spent way more than $10.

If you use a glass cover exterior housepaint, urethane or something like
Tremclad on plywood or even particle board works pretty well. The outside of
a hood does not need to be sealed particularily well as it just has to
resist a little bit of splashed water. That is no big deal compared to the
hugely hostile enviroment inside the hood of an uncovered tank. It is about
the equvilent of the enviroment that is inside your mouth when you wake up
in the morning.