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5 Helpful DIY Fish Tank Lids (With Pictures)

Sarah Psaradelis

By Sarah Psaradelis

aquarium lid made by acrylic plate

Not all fish tanks come with a lid or canopy, so it can often be better to DIY your fish tank lid rather than spend extra money on a new one. There can even be issues with the pre-made lids not fitting your fish tank, so creating your fish tank lid to ensure that it can fit properly on your fish tank is a good idea.

You have endless options for adding your lighting systems to these DIY lids, and you get to choose how it looks and what fits best with your fish tank. Some DIY fish tank lids can be simple and discrete, while others can be opened by a hinge to make feeding and tank maintenance easier.

With this in mind, we have compiled a list of amazing DIY fish tank lids that you can create today.clownfish divider2 ah

The 5 DIY Fish Tank Lids

1. DIY Cheap Aquarium Lid by Finley B. Fish

Betta Fish DIY Tank Lid
Image Credit: finleybfish.wordpress
Materials: Plastic corrugated board
Tools: Craft knife
Difficulty level: Beginner

If you are looking for an affordable and simple aquarium lid as a beginner on a budget, then this DIY aquarium lid is a good place to start. You will need a plastic corrugated board to place over the top of the aquarium which will form the lid. You could use an acrylic board, but it is more difficult to cut if you want to create an opening for filters and wires.

Make sure the size of the plastic corrugated board fits the opening of your aquarium so that it can rest on the sides of the glass. You can trim the overlapping side with a craft knife, and you can create a square on the side to place a plant through.

2. DIY Screened Tank Lid by BRStv – Saltwater Aquariums & Reef Tanks

Materials: Window screen frame, plastic netting, window screen spline
Tools: Utility knife
Difficulty level: Beginner

Another affordable option would be a screened tank lid, which you can DIY fairly easily. You need to measure the opening of your fish tank and cut a piece of the window screen frame to fit up to the edges. Then lay a piece of netting over the cut frame. Once you have cut the window screen shape to match the opening of your fish tank using a utility knife, you can add use a window screen spline to hold the netting in place.

3. Sliding Glass Lid from Planted Tank

Sliding Glass Top
Image Credit: plantedtank
Materials: Corner tile molding, glass sheets, cupboard handle
Tools: Glass cutter, glue gun
Difficulty level: Intermediate

If you are looking to make a conventional fish tank lid like this one, you can open and close the lid to feed your fish or do tank maintenance without having to remove the entire lid. You will need to use corner tile molding to hold the glass sheet in place so it can move smoothly.

The fish tank dimensions should be measured so that you can get the two glass sheets cut to the right size. You can either get the glass cut at a hardware store or cut it to your desired size yourself. Once the lid had been assembled you can glue a handle to the lid to make it easier to slide open and closed.

4. Cichlid World DIY Aquarium Canopy

Building an Aquarium Canopy I
Image Credit: cichlidworld
Materials: Wooden boards, piano or door hinge, screws
Tools: Glue gun, drill, screwdriver
Difficulty level: Intermediate

This is an affordable canopy you can easily add a lighting system to. It is made from wood to create a frame that can be opened and closed. This is a slightly more difficult DIY fish tank lid or canopy, but it is still a simple design that looks great. It will be constructed out of wooden boards from colors of your choice that are connected by screws and a piano hinge so that it can fit around the top of the aquarium and be opened.

The wood will need to be cut and measured to the size of your aquarium.

5. Odin Aquatics DIY Glass Aquarium Lids

DIY Glass Aquarium Lids
Image Credit: odinaquatics
Materials: Glass sheet, clear command hooks
Tools: Glass cutter
Difficulty level: Beginner

This is a clear and simple DIY fish tank lid that opens and closes. The glass sheets will need to be cut to the size of your aquarium which should be measured beforehand. You can either have the glass cut at the hardware store or use a glass cutter to do it yourself. The glass panel will be connected with clear command hooks that can be used as handles to lift the glass.

The clear hooks also blend in nicely with the clear glass to make it look discrete. This can be used for all sorts of aquariums because the glass is lightweight and can be fitted on small and large fish tanks.

clownfish divider2 ah


Building your own DIY fish tank lid can be fun and rewarding. You can choose from canopy lids, clear mesh lids, and even sliding glass lids. The options are endless and can be created on a budget. The type of DIY fish tank lid you choose depends on your preference and the size of your fish tank, but most of these fish tank lids look great on a variety of different rectangular or square fish tanks.

Featured Image Credit: saiglobalnt, Shutterstock

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