The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,890 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I'm thinking that a glass top on a tank blocks a fair deal of light...I'm thinking about replacing my tops with something that will let more light in but also not allow fish to jump out.

I want to know what you guys do to cover your tanks while blocking as little light as possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
794 Posts
I tried a sheet of 0.25inch plexiglass that I got from lowes. After about 2 weeks it began to curlup. So I don't recommend that. It may work if you got 0.50inch plexiglass but then you may be blocking more light than glass. I personally no longer have covers on my tanks.

Have a gniess day. -Scott
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,439 Posts
So just to add my two cents, egg crating will diffuse more light away from your aquarium than a piece of glass will because that's what it is made to do, diffuse light,, and acrylic will bend under the heat of the lights. I had acrylic tops and they are horrible. If you get some that are thick enough not to warp and bend it will yellow over time and no longer be clear.

I am currently using DIY glass tops for my 75 gallon and they work really well. The glass is pretty thin so it does not seem to have too much loss of light. I am still able to grow all my plants with them on the aquarium, I just save myself from having to do a top off mid week now, so have pretty much prevented 5-7 gallons of evaporation from that tank weekly with the glass tops.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,317 Posts
I imagine the glass will absorb/reflect some light, but I doubt it's a significant amount.

And I'm pretty sure almost any other material will absorb/reflect/refract just as much, if not more.

Plus, glass is fairly cheap, rigid, strong, and inert.

Having a decent reflector will probably do far more in terms of light efficiency then removing the glass.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,890 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think I'll be keeping the glass then, maybe modifying it a bit though.

I really don't like the black plastic that keeps the front and back pane of glass together, might want to do an alternative that blocks less light.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
479 Posts
I think I'll be keeping the glass then, maybe modifying it a bit though.

I really don't like the black plastic that keeps the front and back pane of glass together, might want to do an alternative that blocks less light.
Careful when removing the hinge, I've broken a couple glass tops trying to remove it. Best bet is to spray WD-40 down into the hinge. Alternatively soak it in hot soapy water for a bit.

I use my glass tops without any hinge, I just remove one piece when I need to get into the aquarium for something. I found that even the "clear" hinges blocked more light than I liked.

If you still want a hinge you can remove it, cut out 90% of it and have 2 small hinge pieces on either end that you reconnect. There will be a gap in between but that should be ok.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,840 Posts
There are some posts somewhere but to my knowledge, I think glass reduces light the least of all covers, at least when clean. People actually use things like mesh to reduce light output so I don't think that will do it for you. I recall reading egg crate reducing light output more than glass but I could be wrong.

Another idea is to make a "euro brace" type of edge for your tank. It doesn't have to actually be functional as a brace but it should keep the fish from jumping out of the tank as if they jump in the middle, they won't make it far enough to get out. Many people use this idea purely for jumpers and less for bracing of a tank. You could get 4 pieces of glass cut, silicone them together, and place them on the rim like a glass top. Or do a hood. I think anything else would be worse than glass.
 

·
Newbie
Joined
·
1,983 Posts
Glass tops are going to be your best bet for letting the most amount of light through. Acrylic (i.e. lexan and plexiglass) will end up blocking more light and scratch very easily. With all the on-off action you want something that will stay scratch free for as long as possible. Screens will block light as well. I've seen reef guys use screen tops to block some light because it was too intense.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,317 Posts
Someone in the lighting forums came up with some fairly accurate measurements for how much light screens block.

I think it might have been Hoppy, but I'm not certain. I think it reduced light levels to something like ~70% for one screen and ~50% for two layers of screen, but again, I'm not certain.

As to hinges, yeah, plastic supply places and some pet stores and stuff sell clear/translucent living hinges, and I've also read about people DIYing a living hinge out of silicon. Something like place the glass next to each other with a gap(not sure how big...), put masking tape over the gap, turn the whole mess over, fill the gap with silicone, and then saran wrap or something and let it sit.

I've also seen setups where people found some type of moulding/extruded bar that they could use for a sliding top, one piece over the other. That should work really well, but might be harder to find the wright piece of moulding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
435 Posts
Standard screening is used to block light. I was surprised at how little light that BRS mesh blocks (which is the main reason for using that type over a reef - to let as much as possible through).
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top