To lid or not to lid? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
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To lid or not to lid?

I wanted to get some opinions.

I have a nano build that's coming up soon - it's about 10 gallons. Planning decently high light with co2, probably going to use dragon stone as hardscape material.

Inhabitants will be golden back yellow shrimp and I'm thinking corydoras pygmaeus and possibly otocinclus as tank mates.

The tank itself doesn't come with a lid, totally open top. I'm leaning more towards putting a top on it but I'm not sure. Any opinions/advice/insight?
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 05:34 AM
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I would go with a lid. Shrimp are capable of climbing out of a tank.
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I may come across as a know-it-all. In reality, I have no idea.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 05:37 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AguaScape View Post
I would go with a lid. Shrimp are capable of climbing out of a tank.
Yeah, and I couldn't imagine that dealing with evaporation on a small tank would be fun.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Now this poses a second issue...how to design and add a lid. It's rimless and nobody makes aftermarket lids for them. Plus there needs to be a gap on the sides in order for my chosen light to grip the tank.

Does anybody have suggestions?
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 03:15 PM
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Appearance is always a problem but when needing a lid to stop jumpers, and all my fish do jump at times, I have used the plastic mesh like sold for weaving. It is cheap and easy to cut and fit and then I bend small hooks of wire to suspend it over the tank. I like to let air pass to let the tank cool but if one wanted to stop evaporation and flow, you could lay on a thin sheet of plastic like a sheet protector. Saran Wrap, even?
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 03:25 PM
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These can be used to create a fairly simple and inexpensive top.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 03:52 PM
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Hardware store lowes etc. Plexiglass and some plastic cement to glue some strips to the underside, and inner portion of the tank. Let cure a few days. Drill some small feeding holes which will allow bad gasses to escape.
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 05:02 PM
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I"m assuming it's a rimless tank. The whole idea is to make the tank and equipment as invisible as possible so to me putting a lid on kinda defeats that purpose. I've kept shrimp in various open-top tanks from ADA, Mr Aqua etc for years and I've never once found a shrimp on the floor. In fact I bred shrimp for years in open-top tanks when there were hundreds in the tank. You just need to leave around a 1" space from the surface of the water to the top of the tank.


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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 05:49 PM
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I've had a nerite snail sneak out twice, but otherwise, haven't had issues with leaving my rimless tank without a lid. I keep the water line about an inch below the top. Be careful if you're going to be injecting CO2. The same lid that might prevent evaporation could also prevent proper oxygenation and CO2 outgassing.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 05:52 PM
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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.

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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 06:29 PM
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I run lids on my sub 10 gallon tanks and would in your case. I use Lexan from the hardware store. Lexan doesn't absorb moisture and bend like cheaper plexiglass does.


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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 08:27 PM
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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.
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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To lid or not to lid?

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?

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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 08:50 PM
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Budget dependent any good glass shop could do either glass or the plastic lid. Make a template out of cardboard, with feed holes and any notches etc for equipment.
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 09:11 PM
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I've seen a bunch of those at my LFS recently, they seem like really nice tanks. I would probably just make a rectangular cover that went side to side, front to the black divider wall, then either glue a small, second strip on the back to level it out, or use the clear rubber cabinet bumpers. Just keep in mind that the divider wall is slightly lower so it overflows into the tank if you're outflow gets backed up, so don't block it off too much. You can use a hole saw or forstner bit to drill feed holes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redneck joe View Post
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.
https://www.plexiglas.com/export/sit...Absorbtion.pdf

If it's supported on all 4 sides, it's not going to bend enough to matter on a tank that short. Anecdotally, I originally used plexiglass and had to replace the lids with Lexan (same thickness). Fortunately I had only made 2 at the time.


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