Sorry about your eel, that is a bummer.
Herm... I am wondering this: Since many people (including me) like to keep the top as open as possible, what material could you stretch over a custom "lid" frame that would fit onto the entire top of the tank, if one had suspended lighting?
Optimal material would allow for this: The jumpers would bounce back off of it, the light spectrum would not be changed, and the top would still be wide open air-wise for maximum gas exchange.
When you worked in the tank you could just lift it off.
Something like the material found in nylons or something.
Just a thought.