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Old 10-06-2010, 02:14 PM   #1
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Cover over aquarium? Yes / No

Just wondering about a glass cover over the display aquarium. I know on my freshwater it really helps with water evaporation. I heard a couple of people talking at the LFS and they said that a glass cover will cut down on the amount of light getting through to the tank. Does the open help with gas exchange? Do you want or need some evaporation? Not sure if the salesman was just a little too lazy to order one for the lady or if it was true.

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Old 10-06-2010, 02:20 PM   #2
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A glass cover on your DT will reduce your gas exchange and in turn, cause a drop in PH. Evaporation is normal for all tanks, but in SW it is especially important to keep an eye on because as the water evaporates, the salt is left behind. Too much evaporation and the salinity level in the tank will go up. Many people (myself included) top off with fresh water daily to replace the water lost through evaporation. As for the reduction in light, yes, it can reduce the amount of light entering the tank. Glass gets dirty and can develop a film on it, so unless you clean it everyday, you'll get some light loss.

Edit: Many people use DIY covers made of plastic porous material like lighting grid or plastic mesh. This is especially useful if you want to keep adequate ventilation and keep any jumpers from carpet surfing.
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:45 PM   #3
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NO, As mentioned above it promotes poor gas exchange at the surface thus causing low PH. It also traps heat in your tank from lighting being transfered in to heat as it goes through the glass.
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:59 PM   #4
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Topless is ALWAYS the way to go.
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:00 PM   #5
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some build a frame and staple bridal veil to it and use that as a cover, to allow for gas exchange, and prevent the above mentioned "carpet surfing".
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:10 PM   #6
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All depends on how you define "cover my tank". If you're talking glass across the entire top, with no openings - then no, for the reasons already given.

If you're talking about a glass top with an opening along the back (like most 2-part tops are made), then it's OK in my opinion. It definitely reduces the amount of evaporation and doesn't really interfere with gas exchange. You will end up with salt crystals on the underside which will slightly reduce the amount of lighting getting through to your corals. But depending on what type of corals you have, and what type of lighting you have, it may not make a big difference. Depending on the size of the opening in the back though, you may need to cover that area with netting/eggcrate if you have any aggressive jumpers.
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Old 10-06-2010, 06:26 PM   #7
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How does the presence of a sump equate into this? Could you completely cover if you have a sump for gas exchange?
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Old 10-06-2010, 06:42 PM   #8
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I dont think it matters much.


I use egg crate for light fixtures to give me the insurance that carpet surfing or tile diving wont happen.

I dont have a salt but I have a planted open top injected Co2 tank and maintain the levels I need per my gh/kh and ph with an open top. egg crate is the way to go to keep the fish from thinking they can walk like us.
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Old 10-06-2010, 06:51 PM   #9
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Another problem the glass takes care of is salt creep into the light fixtures
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Old 10-06-2010, 07:25 PM   #10
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Take a look at bulkreefsupply.com. They now carry the clear screen that has been a point of discussion in this forum before 1/4 and 1/2 inch sizes. They have instructions on how to install it as well.
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