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[APD] Eclipse -> open-top tank

My 20H tank currently has an Eclipse hood/filtration system, retrofitted with a 55W PCF. I've been thinking about switching to an open-top tank for some time and the recent discussions have inspired me. I have a tight budget but am considering the following modifications. Any changes/suggestions would be most appreciated.

I'm thinking of raising the existing light up on legs, similar to what Tom Barr did, but instead of using wood or glass, using pieces from the original cover. Any ideas how to do this without drastically altering the existing structures? Would it be safe/advisable to remove the plastic cover over the light after having raised it up? I assume the plastic cover was mainly there to protect from splashing, which seems an unlikely threat from 8" or so from the surface. The raised sides of the hood should do well against some of my jumper-esque fish (a few gourami and some SAEs). The Eclipse filtration has worked well for me so I'm planning on leaving that as is, but will not be using the cover for it anymore. To lessen the evaporation from over the filter pad, cutting down the rest of the cover to just fit over this area (middle back section, about 3x8"). For aesthetics, I thought of loosely attaching a few Chinese evergreens in the back, roots free to the water.


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