Topless tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-12-2020, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Topless tank?

Hi everyone I have a 36 gallon bow front tank that is heavily planted. Some of my Anubis have started to breach the water line and hit the cover of the tank. I wanted to remove the cover and have an open top tank to allow the Anubis to grow out of water as well as in. I think it would be cool. I am a little bit worried of jumpers though. I am in the salt water hobby as well and have lost a fish to jumping. Currently I have some guppies, panda Cory’s, glow light and rummy nose tetras and a Hindus gourami. Do you think any of these fish may jump given the opportunity or will I be safe?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-12-2020, 02:44 PM
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Nothing is 100%, but I can tell you in the 7 months I've had my tank setup (Tank link in Sig) I haven't had any jumpers. The tank houses Black Neons, Ember Tetras, Shrimp and a couple of guppies.

The key is to keep at least a 1" gap between the waterline and the rim.


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-12-2020, 03:46 PM
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FWIW all of my tanks are topless. I like looking down Into them. I've had a few jumpers but only when something was wrong.



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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-12-2020, 06:49 PM
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A lot depends on the species. I pretty much never have guppies or white clouds jump out of their open tops, whereas I've had giant danios jump through the small filter slot on their covered aquariums.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-12-2020, 07:27 PM
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As mentioned above- it really does depend on the fish, the setup, and the risk you are willing to take.

Think about what is important to you and that can help to guide the decisions.

I have run with glass lids, hoods, canopy, and open top in the past. I have rainbowfish that are in an open top (with canopy). When I walk into the room late at night (not often) and get too close to the tank they will jump. Lucky for me (knocks on wood...) I have not lost anyone due to jumping.



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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 10:26 PM
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I occasionally find a bronze cory dried up on the floor. Sometimes they get pretty excited about something and jump clear out of the water instead of just hitting the surface. I'm not sure how closely they match the temperament of the pandas, I've never had any (yet!).
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 10:30 PM
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I promised my wife fish dont jump when I started up our first tank years ago......40ish tanks up and running in the fish room now. All have lids. The wife always wants to kill me when she finds, or when I tell her, about a jumper. It happens more often than I'd like, but I suppose I've increased my odds due to the number of tanks I keep.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 01:38 AM
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I went "topless " 4 years ago, and I've never looked back ;-) Unfortunately I have lost way too many fish in those 4 years. One of my favorites are the threadfin rainbows. I had 8 of them, and over a three month period they all bailed. I often didn't realize they were gone, as my tank was so heavily planted, but my cat was licking his chops almost daily. All I would find was a few dried up scales on the floor in front of the tank. I have a four year old Siamese algae eater that has been on the floor more often than I'm sure he's like to be ! Once I found him so covered with dust bunnies and I thought he was a dead, but I did some fish CPR, and brought him back. Since then he has stayed put. I think most fish ,if startled by lights going off and on will most likely jump. So buyer beware ! Oh, and dwarf frogs are a definite NOPE ! Good luck


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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 02:13 AM
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There are a lot of factors in jumping fish -besides some types being more prone to (surface dwellers that leap out of the water to catch bugs for example)-such as distance from water line to rim of tank, floating plants and other obstructions at the surface to deter jumping, is your light dimming for dawn/dusk or just full on/full off (more jumpers this way) moving around the tank when its dark starling fish, keeping both predatory and prey fish (even if not being actively hunted).

I currently have n class endlers in an open top 75g riparium with a TON of roots + water line is about 3" below rim. No casualties even though light is abrupt on/off and husband walks by when its dark in the morning. Having the waterline low+roots all over the surface really helps.
I've kept white clouds in a 20g long riparium without a top and had no issues there.
But when I had cherry barbs in an open top I did have jumpers. I kept both males and females-so more dominate male harassing weaker males or going after a female a bit to much lead to jumping. That tank also had an angelfish but she didn't eat them.. though she did get territorial hen she laid eggs (no other angels but she was hell bent on having fry).
When i had a dwarf gourami I'd see it leap out of the water of the lidded tank and hit the lid sometimes... would have lost him to jumping if not for that old lid.

A thing to keep in my with the anubias-it will need a lot of humidity above the surface. You may need to mist it several times a day depending on your rooms humidity. I'm growing some emersed in lidded tanks with some shallow water and even sealed still have to mist at least once a day.

Due to photobuckets new bs cost for use of images on forums I have deleted all photobucket accounts. I apologize if you enjoyed or found my photos helpful.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 02:22 AM
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I have had really surprisingly weird things jump out of my tanks and I have a lot of fairly expensive fish so I don't like to risk it. Plus the evaporation is so high on topless tanks. I got sick of having to top off all the time. I do agree that it looks really nice though.


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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 06:34 AM
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In my experience with corys I wouldnt go topless. They do this thing where they go up and get a gulp of air and sometimes they do this with enough speed to get seriously airborne. Its not a problem with water quality or anything they just like to do it from time to time. If they are doing it consistently it could be a water quality or similar issue theoretically.

Ive had my false juliis go up so hard they smack the glass lid of the tank. Not startled or anything just doing what they do.


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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 02:17 PM
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I have open tops too, but I also have floaters so I keep the waterline down around an inch from the top. With rimmed tanks it doesn't show much, but my first rimless tank (waterbox clear 16) will be delivered today. Yay!


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