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20 gallon low tech evaporation problem

1455 Views 34 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  ROCKgurl
Tank Info:
3 months old, cycled
hygger 16W Full Spectrum Aquarium Light
20 Gallon Long
Sponge Filter & 20 Gal Heater
Black Aquarium Sand & Organic Potting Soil mix
Java Fern, Pearlweed, Java moss, and Water Wisteria.
Currently home to 6 Otocinclus catfish!

Hello everyone! My tank is coming along nicely however since I started I've noticed that i'm having to top off my water every week. I've come up with a few reasons as to why, but I thought i'd share with everyone to get some actual advice on what to do to stop the evaporation. The two pictures below are examples of the evaporation of the course of a week, and by the end of the week if i don't fill it up the water line goes down to the tube of the sponge filter. I even leave the light off some days and I still need to fill it up by the end of the week. I have a heater, and the temperature in my tank is around 71-70 degrees. In the second picture you can see how close my light is to the surface. I really have no idea why this is happening and I've never dealt with evaporation to this extent before. Is it because of my heater? Is the light too close to the surface? I usually keep my light on for 8 hours, is that too much? Should I get a tank cover? Please let me know if i'm missing anything and if this problem can be solved. Thanks!

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What temperature is your room at?

It's winter where I am and my house is a chilly 60-65*f and dry, I need to top off my 20 long with a quart or two of water every couple of days. In the summer when its warmer and more humid I never have to worry about it. A lid will help keep the water from evaporating as fast but I don't know if they make them for 20 longs.

So unless your tank is leaking somewhere, just keep a gallon jug with treated water nearby for top-offs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
What temperature is your room at?

It's winter where I am and my house is a chilly 60-65*f and dry, I need to top off my 20 long with a quart or two of water every couple of days. In the summer when its warmer and more humid I never have to worry about it. A lid will help keep the water from evaporating as fast but I don't know if they make them for 20 longs.

So unless your tank is leaking somewhere, just keep a gallon jug with treated water nearby for top-offs.
It's winter where I am too! The living room my tank is in fluctuates but mainly stays pretty warm in the low 70's. Do you think if the room is that hot I even need the heater in the tank?
 

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With your current stocking it might not matter too much, but consistensy is key. Especially if you get more sensitive livestock in the future. As long as the room is say 70-76* without sudden drops you should be fine without the heater though. I've never not used a heater, but I've always kept my house cold.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
With your current stocking it might not matter too much, but consistensy is key. Especially if you get more sensitive livestock in the future. As long as the room is say 70-76* without sudden drops you should be fine without the heater though. I've never not used a heater, but I've always kept my house cold.
I see, I will be getting shrimp in the future but probably not for a month or so. I'm going to take the heater out and see how the temperature is for the next couple of weeks. I will also look into getting a cover however as you said earlier I don't know if they make them for 20 gallon long tanks. Thank you!
 

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approximately 250 total gallons between 16 aquariums ranging from 2.5 and 125 gallons
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Low tech user also. 16w @ 8 hours of light is on the short end unless you get some partial sun imo. Unless you run high output incandescent bulbs, lights won't cause that level of evaporation, certainly not LED's. It's winter in Ohio, I have to top off constantly whether it's the living room @ 65*f or down in the fish room 75*f. The gallon jug nearby method is great! We keep about 10 g on hand like that for the various systems, gives them all time to sit for a while and age before use. Several companies used to make 20L covers, no reason why demand for them would disappear...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Low tech user also. 16w @ 8 hours of light is on the short end unless you get some partial sun imo. Unless you run high output incandescent bulbs, lights won't cause that level of evaporation, certainly not LED's. It's winter in Ohio, I have to top off constantly whether it's the living room @ 65*f or down in the fish room 75*f. The gallon jug nearby method is great! We keep about 10 g on hand like that for the various systems, gives them all time to sit for a while and age before use. Several companies used to make 20L covers, no reason why demand for them would disappear...
Wow okay this is all great info I’m definitely going to do the jug nearby idea. This is my first winter with a tank this big so I’m still learning. Thank you!
 

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They should still make lids for 20 longs.
They do, indeed. My favorite are the type that have a rubber/silicone hinge in the middle. That allows the front section of the lid to be lifted up for tank maintenance and feeding.

Available at most big box pet stores, mom and pop shops and online. (You're looking for 12x30 lids, OP.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
They do, indeed. My favorite are the type that have a rubber/silicone hinge in the middle. That allows the front section of the lid to be lifted up for tank maintenance and feeding.

Available at most big box pet stores, mom and pop shops and online. (You're looking for 12x30 lids, OP.)
12x30 lids got it that actually saved me a ton of time. I’m definitely going to get the ones that open for maintenance and feeding. Thank you!
 

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I have 10 tanks ranging from 7 gallons to 125 gallons.
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There are some on eBay. They’re pricier than I remember, but I guess that’s normal these days. You also might check PetCo. That’s where I bought my lid, a few years ago.
 

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I’m gonna start looking, if I find some I will definitely send some your way!
https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/aqueon-versa-top-hinged-glass-aquarium-top-30-l

I'll never understand them using opaque brown hinge material though.

And yes inside dry winter air in older homes will definitely suck the water out of your aquarium.
;)

A piece of dual wall polycarbonate works too.
Costs about the same but diy sizing
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/aqueon-versa-top-hinged-glass-aquarium-top-30-l

I'll never understand them using opaque brown hinge material though.

And yes inside dry winter air in older homes will definitely suck the water out of your aquarium.
;)

A piece of dual wall polycarbonate works too.
Costs about the same but diy sizing
Is that petco one have a hinge in the middle? Or is it just a straight lid? Thanks!
 

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Is that petco one have a hinge in the middle? Or is it just a straight lid? Thanks!
Not sure but don't know of any "Versa tops" that don't have a hinge.

LOL actually if you look at the text of the link..versa-top-hinged-glass-aquarium-ect...

May not be exactly in the middle though..????

From reviews..
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Not sure but don't know of any "Versa tops" that don't have a hinge.

LOL actually if you look at the text of the link..versa-top-hinged-glass-aquarium-ect...

May not be exactly in the middle though..????

From reviews..
I’m most likely going to get that the only problem I have with it is the black strip where the hinge is do you think it will block some light?
 

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I’m most likely going to get that the only problem I have with it is the black strip where the hinge is do you think it will block some light?
I use this style of "lid" on every rimmed tank I've got. Just position your lighting so it's over the glass. Never been an issue.
 

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I’m most likely going to get that the only problem I have with it is the black strip where the hinge is do you think it will block some light?
Yea if the light is over the strip it will block some light.
For my 40b which has the strip in relatively the middle I eventually modified it to be more .. psychologically pleasing.

First modification involved just cutting it into 3 small hinges eliminating 50% of it.
Worked fine but still bothered me.
Sooo went looking for alternatives.
There are 2 styles.
One is a stick on type:

MODERATOR EDIT

Opted for that one.. The 40b glass is un- tempered 3/16" thick.
Now for the " catches".
The hinge is a very tight fit and as such unnerving to assemble. A blow dryer and vegetable oil is your friend.
Second the one I bought is much stiffer than the brown one

The covers (2 required per tank due to center brace) for the 55 fortunately had uneven panes like 3" and 8"
so the brown hinge wasn't bothersome.
Oddly there are 2 different 55 gal size covers.

What's the point?
Next glass cover I'd use I probably just make.
We'll have someone cut the glass but I'd assemble. 1/4" glass should be standard as well for the smaller tanks.


As a hypothesis the only reason they use brown is a compromise by the physical properties of it.
Like softer and easier for a consumer to deal with it.
But this squeaky wheel will continue to campaign for change. :)
 

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For everyone: Please don't post Amazon referral links. Sharing an Amazon link is fine - just make sure there's no referral code in the URL. Just had to remove a ton of links from this thread.

Hygger is notorious for this and there are a few others. Usually occurs when sharing an Amazon link directly from a seller's website or after clicking through to Amazon from their website. It's unscrupulous behavior on Hygger's part and should be a huge red flag to anyone considering a purchase of their rebranded AliExpress bulk buys. That kind of referral link behavior on Hygger's part is gross and illegal when it's not disclosed.

Whether people are sharing their links intentionally or they're being scammed into sharing their referral links, it's happened a lot on the forum the past several months and it needs to come to an end. They need to find a more ethical way to make money than by scamming hobbyists with referral links.

If anyone sees referral links like this that aren't for the forum itself or for the forum's parent company, VerticalScope? Feel free to report them so we can remove them.
 
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