How to make an aquarium hood

Updated February 21, 2017

The aquarium hood serves the purpose of keeping dust and other objects from falling into the aquarium, and supports the aquarium lighting fixtures so that they are a safe distance from the water. Aquarium hoods are optional but convenient and can be made simply and quickly to do their job or can be meticulously detailed to add decoration to the room. Making an aquarium hood is a simple project that shouldn't take more than a couple of hours to complete.

Measure the top of the aquarium to determine what size the aquarium hood will have to be in order to cover the entire open area. The measurement will give you the specification you will need to follow to make your frame and cut your Plexiglas-glass sheet.

Cut the sheet of Plexiglas-glass to fit over the aquarium top and then sand the edges to a smooth finish. Drill at least one small hole in the Plexiglas-glass to allow food to be easily dropped into the water. Sand the edges of the hole as well.

Use the dowel pieces to trim the edges of the Plexiglas-glass. Assemble the pieces using small screws and strong wood glue. Framing the Plexiglas-glass adds character and will help to keep the glass sheet and the aquarium hood in place. The framed edges can then be fitted with the wooden border to make the finished product more appealing to the eyes.

Construct a small box frame tall enough for the lighting fixture to fit inside, and wide enough to fit inside the Plexiglas-glass frame. The finished frame should leave no surfaces of the Plexiglas-glass uncovered. Again use the wood glue and small screws to assemble the box frame.

Cover the box frame with panelling on the top and sides, but leave the bottom open. You will need to measure and cut the panelling pieces first. Attach the panelling with the screws and adhesive glue. The panelled frame makes up your aquarium hood. Cover the edges of the frame, where the panelling meets, with the wooden border.

Attach the handle fixture to the centre of the top panel using the screws that should come packaged with the handle. The handle makes lifting the hood to feed your fish easier and adds another admirable decorative detail.

Place the lighting fixture on top of the Plexiglas-glass sheet, plug it into the wall socket and turn it on. Cover the lighting fixture with the aquarium hood and sit back and enjoy your aquarium in full colour.


You may spray paint your aquarium hood but never do so while it's on top of the aquarium, as chemicals in the paint could enter the water and kill your fish.

Things You'll Need

  • A sheet of Plexiglas-glass
  • Sandpaper
  • Safety goggles
  • Safety gloves
  • Strong adhesive glue
  • Strips of small wooden border
  • Saw
  • Small elongated lighting fixture
  • Wood panelling
  • Half an inch by half an inch square dowel pieces
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Small screws
  • Screw gun
  • Handle fixture
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About the Author

Giselle Diamond is a freelance writer and has been writing since 1999. Diamond is experienced in writing in all genres and subjects, with distinguished experience in home and garden, culture and society, literature and psychology. Diamond has a Master of Arts in English and psychology from New York University. Diamond has articles published on both eHow and LiveStrong.