Use glass top or not? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-28-2008, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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Use glass top or not?

I was thinking about using the glass tops to prevent fish from jumping out (hatchet fish etc), but was curious if this is a problem with planted tanks? Is it better to just leave the top completely open, or is it a non-issue?

Thanks,
Chris
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-28-2008, 12:10 PM
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I prefer an open top, though if you did plan to stock fish that were prone to jumping it might be a good idea to have either a glass or clear mesh/netting cover. The only negatives to an open top are evaporation and jumping fish. I lose about a gallon a day to evaporation on my 75 gallon.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-28-2008, 01:46 PM
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EDIT: I just got off the phone with AH Supply and asked them if it would be better for glass tops and Kim said it would be better by far. He said when the water evaporates it will collect on the reflectors and tubes and make a film on them witch will greatly reduce the effectiveness. Even though you will get condensation and deposits on the glass top it will still be far better transparency than the above. Hopes this helps.



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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-28-2008, 04:35 PM
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My strip lines are protected by an acrylic panel, so those issues don't happen with me. I would say you could retrofit an acrylic panel for your lighting as well for minimal cost.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-28-2008, 11:19 PM
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Yes, same here, acrylic protective panel. A year in with an open top and my reflectors still look as though the fixture is brand new -- I've never cleaned them. I do take off the acrylic panel and give it a good wipe with vinegar windex about every two weeks though. It only gets splashed on while doing water changes. I'd never have directly exposed bulbs over an aquarium, ever shot out light bulbs with a water gun as a kid?
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-29-2008, 12:58 AM
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I use glass tops to cut down on evaporation.

Since they are a bit awkward to handle, I built my latest canopy with an integrated acrylic cover, so when you lift up the canopy you get full access to the surface.

To protect the acrylic sheet which protects the electrical stuff, I added some clear wrap. If water splashes and leaves ugly white calcium rings, I just replace the shrink wrap.


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-30-2008, 04:00 PM
 
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If you are going to keep hatchet fish, no question, you will need something to keep the fish in the tank.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-30-2008, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
EDIT: I just got off the phone with AH Supply and asked them if it would be better for glass tops and Kim said it would be better by far. He said when the water evaporates it will collect on the reflectors and tubes and make a film on them witch will greatly reduce the effectiveness. Even though you will get condensation and deposits on the glass top it will still be far better transparency than the above. Hopes this helps.
What they say is true and they will sell more glass tops now that it is mentioned

Quote:
If you are going to keep hatchet fish, no question, you will need something to keep the fish in the tank.
I agree, if you have animals known to jump or crawl out you need a top.

Quote:
I'd never have directly exposed bulbs over an aquarium, ever shot out light bulbs with a water gun as a kid?
No, what happens?


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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-30-2008, 06:11 PM
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my bulbs have always been exposed, flourescents run a hell of a lot cooler than their incandescent cousins, and i've yet to shatter one

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-31-2008, 12:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indiboi View Post
I'd never have directly exposed bulbs over an aquarium, ever shot out light bulbs with a water gun as a kid?
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeonShrimp View Post
No, what happens?

They explode.

In the case of fluorescent lamps over your aquarium you can count on mercury and other nasty chemicals in the phosphors going into the water, along with plenty of glass.


Protecting the lamps and reflectors from water doesn't mean you need to have ugly glass tops, even the coveted Tek has the option of an acrylic splash shield. One could setup a splash shield for the AHS stuff too, just most don't and just opt for the cumbersome and ugly glass top instead.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-31-2008, 12:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indiboi View Post
They explode.

In the case of fluorescent lamps over your aquarium you can count on mercury and other nasty chemicals in the phosphors going into the water, along with plenty of glass.


Protecting the lamps and reflectors from water doesn't mean you need to have ugly glass tops, even the coveted Tek has the option of an acrylic splash shield. One could setup a splash shield for the AHS stuff too, just most don't and just opt for the cumbersome and ugly glass top instead.
Thats from rapid change, which can not happen from evaporation. It is impossible.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-31-2008, 12:16 AM
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You need to work on your critical reading skills. ;-)

Evaporation won't cause thermal shock, correct, but a big ol' splash of water can, which is, of course, what my earlier post in this thread was referring to and why I called it a "splash shield."
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-31-2008, 12:25 AM
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Thanks for the warning! I would rather be safe than sorry.


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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-31-2008, 12:34 AM
 
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I have lost SAE by not having a top but no other fish recently. Personally, I don't like the fact that it blocks light (especially if it's dirty). But the main thing is that it traps heat. Because of my lights, it's hard to keep my tank below 82 degrees as it is. Someone once told me that floating plants can prevent jumping, but that would block light too. If you do a search, I think I remember a thread about various contraptions to reduce fish jumping - like optical illusion kind of things (could be remembering wrong though). One negative of not having a top, besides fish jumping, is that water evaporates much more quickly. That's fine for me b/c it reminds me to do that weekly water change.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-31-2008, 05:38 AM
 
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I actually had one end of a shoplight fall in for a few seconds... luckily no problems and it kept runnin' even. Its possible maybe CF or T5HO might get hot enough to shatter, not sure.
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