Good morning. For ease of answering your questions I will respond below
We're happy owners of a 24g Nano Cube Deluxe. Unfortunately our canopy has experienced a couple of rough drops and we need to either: Replace the canopy (not necessarily the electronics, but mostly a transplant of the main plastic parts including the support hinges) or perhaps consider the HQI upgrade kit. The plastic housing is not a piece that is sold by itself.
In addition, we need to get some new B36-BW10K, unless you can suggest something better for our seahorse, live rock and coral tank. I suggest the combo bulbs for your tank.
I like the footprint of our tank, although I can see the advantages of a larger setup with better filtration and lighting. I'm even willing to give up the canopy for a better lighting setup that can be controlled independently (as opposed to the single, default canopy lighting and fan control.) Maybe some sort of retrofit that allows an over the tank lighting unit which also allows for an over-the-top canister filter and an inline UV sterilizer (I've found that the canopy lighting -in spite of the fans- still generates a bit of heat.) Open surface evaporation allows for better cooling, as long as I can maintain the water level. Wouldn't the HQI canopy heat the tank even more? The HQI canopy has 4 strong fans and a unique plastic that helps remove a lot of the heat. Options available
Get a glass hood top ( we sell for the viper tanks that will fit your current tank and a Viper clamp on light making this a open top tank essentially but with a glass hinged lid
2. Get the HQI lighting system that is the hood that fists the 28 and the 24 g nano
As for filtration system we just got in jbjs reacton canister filters with UV’s and should have them listed today @ www.jbjnanocubes.com
Please, we're open to your suggestions!