Glass cover or not? - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-20-2019, 02:26 PM
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I keep my 15 tanks open, with respect to glass tops, but for my several tanks that have hatchetfish, and my surface schooling/hunting brown pencil fish (Nannostomus eques) some form of "barrier" is required. I have settled on the "DIY" brown/black aluminum frame-clear UV stabilized polypropylene 1/4" mesh tops. These fit nicely down and onto the ledge and are not expensive, frame parts from the hardware store, the mesh you have to get from one of the online pet stores (I have found the "mesh" company's min quantity required to be way too large). You can use the corner connectors to configure your top for filters/intakes/outlets/cords. The 1/4" mesh allows the fish food to pass through. I run my tanks at a min of 80F so I have to top off at least once a week to keep the surface skimmers happy. I found the condensate, light reflectance, and effort to maintain the glass tops clean not worth it...but then my tanks are in the unfinished side of the basement and I don't care about the humidity that 15 tanks generate. I tried the "egg crate' plastic for barriers but they are too "thick" and therefore block too much light and unless they are black, reflect too much light.
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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-20-2019, 02:43 PM
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If you have fish with an open top at some point you will lose a fish to jumping. Also, larger fish can also splash the water unto the ground when feeding or chasing... etc. I used to run without lids but over the years I've changed over to lids on all my tanks. The amount of work to clean a lid twice a month pales in comparison to the work involved topping off my tank and dealing with fish loses due to jumping, or cleaning the water off the the sides of the tank or floor.

my setup run's co2 and I have mostly easy growing non demanding plants. My 90 gallon tank is 24" deep and I'm running a 2x48 T5HO light fixture on this tank. I'm getting enough light to grow my plants with the lids on.
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-20-2019, 03:51 PM
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As I brought more tanks online...I needed to reduce maintenance time and reduce CO2 connections (my regulator solenoid valve set up has 6 bubble counters)...I use a 1" id U tube between two identical size tanks ( I have (2) dual 20L, dual 20H, dual 29, dual 40Br). One canister filter, one CO2 ISTA "reactor" on outlet , one heater per dual tank. I run a T5 HO light strip above the dual tanks. Now I check the 3 water parameters (GH, NO3, PO4) 5 times/wk vs 10 or 15 tests vs 30...that saved a lot of time. My tanks are amazon biotope, so I got two 55 gal barrels and made a plexiglass perforated plate that I put mesh over in one barrel and then circulated the water between the two barrels. I put peat moss in the barrel with the perf plate/mesh and a heater in the barrel with the pump. I put water heater insulation blanket on both tanks. I have an RO system on a float switch on the pump barrel (that stopped me forgetting to turn off the RO and from having to hang around to turn it off when full) Now I have 100 gal of 80F pH 6.3 ish RO slightly brown tinted "amazon" water that has a tee in the circulation loop that I run overhead and can top off a tank in a couple min and makes water changes way faster...Next maintenance reducing project is to run pvc along the floor to the sump pump so that once I am done siphoning out the "crap" I can run the clear water to the pvc drain line and not haul buckets to the sink.
I also have several different types of floating plants...and I think this reduces the surface area for evaporation somewhat, calms down the hatchets and pencils. The pencils like to hunt around them and grab the wingless fruit flies off of them.
post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-20-2019, 05:38 PM
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One thing I have read about and concerned me to some degree is being careful with various cleaners/aerosols/treated dog/cat fur....... A lid may not be a perfect deterrent but it helps keep these things out of the tank.

I would really like to run open top however Ive scene too many times my corys rocket up and actually smack the lid. Granted I dont want them running into it either if I didnt have something they would be out of the tank. I also have dogs that require on occasion flea/tick treatment, and lastly the home I am staying has maids come in once every two weeks. I dont know what chemicals they use or where they use it. They dont touch the tanks but I would hate for them to be spraying some cleaner and get it in the tanks.

If none of these were a concern I would definitely like a open top tank just for viewing and aesthetics.
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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-20-2019, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by shaonrahman View Post
Thank you everyone for your information. For the time being, I will keep them open. I am aware of the evaporation part. Thats not too much of a big deal for me. My main point was any effect on my CO2. Since there are not much, its not a big deal then.

At the moment, the tank has just some snails that found their way in my tank. When I do add some critters in it, I will give the glass top a more closer look.
Depending on your DIY skills, another option would be something similar to what I did. Had a couple fish jump over the edge of my open top 75g tank. Figured I would make getting to the edge a little more difficult without effecting how my overhead lighting was working. If you look at p.41 of my build thread there is more info on how this was done.

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post #21 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 09:55 AM
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My nano reef and planted tank are both opened. There is no glass top in nature.
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post #22 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Haggai1.5 View Post
My nano reef and planted tank are both opened. There is no glass top in nature.

I don't understand the relevance of this statement. Pretty much 90% of our aquarium components don't exist in nature. Following that premise we wouldn't have aquariums at all. I'm not trying to start a fight, I just really don't "get it".
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post #23 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 09:53 PM
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I'm almost split down the middle, 6 of mine have open top and 5 are covered. Pros and cons to each, really. Aesthetically, I prefer the look of an open tank. I haven't had a fish on the floor in ages, but most of mine more prone to jumping are in covered aquariums. The rate at which water evaporates from the open tanks is probably over 10x the covered ones. I do get an errant moth in them once in a while, and worry more when using solvents and cleaners anywhere in the house. And if you have small children visiting, I found that the urge for them to stick fingers in open tanks is ridiculously strong.

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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