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Old 09-18-2008, 04:41 PM   #1
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Display Tank Covers

So, I had two 1/4 inch plates of acrylic cut to act as covers for my display tank. I did this for the following reasons.

1.) To prevent fish from jumping out.
2.) To reduce the noise from the overflow.
3.) To prevent evaporation.
4.) My lighting (Nova Extreme Pro) instuctions emphatically stated not to use them on an open tank.

So, are there any drawbacks to having my tank covered? The only one I could think of was gas exchange, as there is only about a half inch between the plates and the water column. I figured that with all the flow through my sump/refugium and my skimmer mixing things up there would be plenty of gas exchange.

I ask because when I was originally setting everything up my LFS recommended not having one.
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Old 09-18-2008, 04:51 PM   #2
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1- Use egg crate from the lighting dept at HD or Lowes.
2- Is this a HOB overflow or drilled? Either can be made quiet pretty easily.
3- The water will still evaporate and condensate on the acrylic. Between that and salt spray/creep, the acrylic will get crusty and block light.
4- Some ppl here use that fixture and they can comment, but I think they use them over an open top.

The main drawback, besides what I listed above is gas exchange. That is most likely the largest area of open water in your system and covering it can lead to low pH problems.
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Old 09-18-2008, 04:52 PM   #3
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Gas exchange is the only issue, which then can also effect pH levels. That's why it's normally suggested to go topless. I'm surprised the fixture didn't have a "splash guard/cover" over the bulbs to start with.

Watch your pH levels and if you see them dropping over several days then you might suspect your cover. I have a "quasi-cover" on my tank - two panels of glass, but have plenty of open space across the back where all my hang-on-back equipment is. Never had a pH issue.
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Old 09-18-2008, 05:56 PM   #4
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Per the drs site it does have a splash guard. I run the nova extreme over my 55 with no cover and no issues.
Interesting, the instructions for the extreme don't say anything about having a cover. The pro does state not to place over an uncovered tank.
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Old 09-18-2008, 06:58 PM   #5
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It is a drilled tank. I have a rather large fuge, probably about 5-6 square feet of water surface plus the skimmer mixing up the water.

The literature that came with the lights said not to use it on an uncovered tank. It has an acrylic shield that comes with it, but they must have said it for a reason.

I guess I will just throw it on and see what happens.
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