To lid or not to lid? - Page 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #31 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 01:32 AM
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Originally Posted by varanidguy View Post
Wow, thanks for all the great feedback everyone!

To those who are running topless, are you adding water daily? A big concern with evaporation is keeping the parameters consistent enough for the shrimp and to avoid algae issues.

If I added a lid, it would likely need to be not as wide as the tank to give a small space to feed power cables, hoses, probes, etc.

Hereís a photo of the tank itself. As you can see, it has a built in section for filtration where most of the in-tank equipment can be hidden, but thereís also a small lip thatís slightly shorter than the panels of the tank. Any input on how to fit a lid that can still look pleasing?

Do yourself a favor and get an Auto topoff. It's life-changing. There are a ton of options out there. I will always suggest getting an Apex to use as an ATO because of all the other functionality. But there are plenty of other options:

https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/auto-...f-systems.html
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post #32 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 01:39 AM Thread Starter
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Do yourself a favor and get an Auto topoff. It's life-changing. There are a ton of options out there. I will always suggest getting an Apex to use as an ATO because of all the other functionality. But there are plenty of other options:



https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/auto-...f-systems.html


Hmmm, well for now my budget is getting maxed out, still gotta get it planted, BUT thatís not so expensive itís out of the question for the future!

So does the pump just sit in a bucket of distilled or RO water and top off as needed with a sensor or is it a mechanical float?


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post #33 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 01:53 AM
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Hmmm, well for now my budget is getting maxed out, still gotta get it planted, BUT thatís not so expensive itís out of the question for the future!

So does the pump just sit in a bucket of distilled or RO water and top off as needed with a sensor or is it a mechanical float?


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All ATOs basically have 3 parts:

Float Switch/Sensor - These can be mechanical float switches or light sensors. They tell the Brain where the water level is.

A Pump - This pump is used to move RO/DI water from a container to the tank or sump.

A Brain - The brain is where the switches/sensors and pump are plugged into. It takes the input signal from the switches/sensors and tells the pump to turn on or off depending on the status of the switches/sensors.

To answer your question about the pump, yes, it can just sit in the container. That said, there are also pumps that are made to stay dry like aqualifters and peristaltic pumps. If you check my build, you can see there are creative ways to hide the container of RO water. I use that peristaltic pump in the link on my freshwater tank, but have also used aqualifters for years on my saltwater tanks. I like having the pump outside the container as it makes servicing or replacing easier.
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post #34 of 39 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 03:21 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TheUnseenHand View Post
All ATOs basically have 3 parts:



Float Switch/Sensor - These can be mechanical float switches or light sensors. They tell the Brain where the water level is.



A Pump - This pump is used to move RO/DI water from a container to the tank or sump.



A Brain - The brain is where the switches/sensors and pump are plugged into. It takes the input signal from the switches/sensors and tells the pump to turn on or off depending on the status of the switches/sensors.



To answer your question about the pump, yes, it can just sit in the container. That said, there are also pumps that are made to stay dry like aqualifters and peristaltic pumps. If you check my build, you can see there are creative ways to hide the container of RO water. I use that peristaltic pump in the link on my freshwater tank, but have also used aqualifters for years on my saltwater tanks. I like having the pump outside the container as it makes servicing or replacing easier.


Thatís awesome. Might have to set something like that up for the 40 breeder. And maybe this tank as well.


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post #35 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 06:10 PM
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What did you go for in the end?

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post #36 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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What did you go for in the end?

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I purchased the UNS lid for the 45U (45S lid is the same exact size) and it fits like a charm! Almost as if the lid was made for the tank.


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post #37 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 08:18 AM
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Seems like the OP's question/situation is answered, but I thought my responses might help others who have similar questions and are reading through this thread.

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Originally Posted by evil8 View Post
I do have a top on my 10 gallon betta tank. I do not have a tops on my 29 gallon or 45 gallon tanks. All of these tanks are cheaper standard framed aquariums. I have to top off my uncovered tanks with approximately 2 gallons of water each, each week, from evaporation. I have 4 amano shrimp in the 29 gallon and have never experienced them trying to climb out.
I've had amano shrimp climb out with a 1.5" gap of water level. They can easily grip onto the corners of tanks or climb up lily pipes if they are desperate. (This has primarily happened when they feel predated by large fish or the tank parameters are off e.g. elevated CO2, large pH fluctuations, etc.)

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Plexi does not absorb water and lexan will bend almost the same thickness is the determining factor. This size tank with no weight to support the differences are not measurable.

Lexan however is easier to work with imo. Less prone to cracking when cutting.
I would strongly recommend against Lexan (and also acrylic). There are much better options out there IMO that just require a little bit more work. You can get glass cut at your Lowes/Home Depot equivalent and sand down the edges with sand paper (or even better, a Dremel). You can buy a lot of aftermarket aquarium lid clips for rimless tanks on Amazon, Ebay, etc. I personally like the ADA hooks, even though they are much more pricey than the acrylic/plastic ones you can get elsewhere, because they are much lower profile.

[QUOTE=Fallon;11197849]Evaporation was an issue for me to I made my own lid and bought some fittings which sit inside the rim so to speak which although not perfect doesn't damage the minimal look too much. It stays clean is easy too move, really happy with it.

One of the problems I've had with evaporations is that it steadily increases the TDS of your water. This is problematic for lazier aquariusts (like me), who don't like to do water changes more frequently than once every couple months. Nowadays, I just top off my tanks with RO water since the TDS on my RO water is ~20.
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post #38 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 11:32 AM
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If the lid can reduce evaporation, it can also reduce off gassing of CO2 and provide better CO2 distribution. The airspace below the lid, though not 100% air tight, captures some escaped CO2 and redistributes it evenly over the water surface for re-absorption. I have no data to prove it, as I always have tank top, but you can make CO2 measurement comparison pre and post topping to verify. My deduction came from observing no more calcium deposit on the rims and glass lid once CO2 injection was introduced.
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post #39 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 08:37 PM
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My deduction came from observing no more calcium deposit on the rims and glass lid once CO2 injection was introduced.
That's a nice benefit in of itself.

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