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Old 12-17-2005, 07:35 PM   #1
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Glass Top? Yes or No?

Need some help figuring this one out please…

I ordered a TEK T5 fixture, which I will be hanging from the ceiling. I considered going open top on my aquarium but I am worried I’ll be out-gassing to much CO2, producing too much humidity (the tank is in my living room), and quicker evaporation by doing this. What are your thoughts on this?

Right now the tank has the glass Oceanic top, but I don’t like the black plastic piece near the front when the glass flips open if I hang my lighting from the ceiling. Seems it would reflect some of the light back?

I thought about getting a piece of glass cut to cover the tank, but then how do I feed and dose?

I don't have anything over the back wall of the tank, or in the tank. All equipment is under the tank, utilizing bulk heads in the tank bottom to remove/pump back filtered water... I'm trying to keep the setup as clean and neat looking as possible.

Need some ideas please. Thanks!
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Old 12-18-2005, 10:48 AM   #2
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I wouldn't close it up, as long as you don't have fish that are jumpers. An open planted tank can be really nice, when some of the plants grow out of the water.

I would raise the frame around the top of the tank a little though. You could get some plywood, make a frame (like a canopy but without the top), stain it in the desired color, take some good white, water restistant paint for the inside, seal it and there you go. That way it should be more difficult to jump out.

You will still have a high amount of evaporation if you have a DIY closed canopy, like many of us do. We have vents in there and every few days I need to refill 2 buckets of water that evaporated. It might evaporate a little quicker but not badly I think.

As for the CO2 if you have a good diffuser and not much surface agitation it should gas-out of the water. A good diffuser doesn't let CO2 bubbles get to the surface anyway.

As for cleanness, with a glass top on your tank you'll probably have to clean a lot as evaporated water will leave stains on the glass and might look quite ugly.
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Old 12-18-2005, 07:20 PM   #3
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No jumpers in my tank so I think I'll try to go open top and see what happens.

Thanks for the information... all makes perfect sense!
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Old 12-18-2005, 11:10 PM   #4
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Losing heat from your tank is also something to consider. When I had to repair two glass tops on my 90 FW, my temps dropped quite a bit and my heater had to work over time. Evap is also a consideration. My house is extremely dry in the winter time, so evap is a big concern. My lights are on legs, but I still feel more comfortable with glass tops. JMO
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Old 12-19-2005, 06:54 AM   #5
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I'm thinking about doing this on my planted tanks. The glass tops get evaporative deposits on them so quick, I worry about them cutting down light to the tank. I am thinking of doing exactly what Tiffi suggested, using cedar planking. I just have to cut vent holes for the light, a spot for the HOB, and it should work fine.

I think in the end it is a great idea if you protect the fish! Thanks for bringing it up. This thread is inspiring me to get this done.
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Old 12-19-2005, 10:51 AM   #6
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A 50+ gallon tank needs 2 heaters IME anyway. Better to have 2 smaller heaters than one big one. For instance my 75 has 2-200watt heaters. If one fails, the second will keep the temp from falling too much. Waterflow will also help keep temps stable. I also perfer open top tanks. Sometimes the only way to I.D. a plant is to see it flower.
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Old 12-19-2005, 10:57 AM   #7
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You'll lose a good gallon of water per day from evaporation when running open top. As long as you keep up those weekly 50% water changes you'll be fine (as in: you won't get a build up of Kh or Gh from constantly topping off the evap with dechlor'd tap water)
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Old 12-20-2005, 01:19 AM   #8
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Perhaps something like this is what you are looking for....

http://www.elmersaquarium.com/h108glasscover_aga.htm
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Old 12-21-2005, 06:43 PM   #9
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evap sounds like it would be a problem to me, even in my 10 gal i had to top it off every couple of days to keep my filter noise down until i got my hood, one of my friends built a cover out of plexi glass from the hardware store, he made 2 small hinged doors for feeding and he just removes it for cleaning, its not a planted tank so he didnt really worry about losing any light, it works well for him, does anyone how much light would be lost by reflection? or does it even effect the amount?? because i couldnt really see it as being a problem....
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Old 12-21-2005, 11:29 PM   #10
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This is just a side note. I also have hard water so I do get some calcium build up on my glass tops. I pull them off and put them over my kitchen sink. Lay paper towels on the tops and pour on white vinager. The paper towels hold the vinegar in place so it can work. Peek after 10 minutes and scrub with an old tooth brush. Repeat if needed. It works for me. HTH While I don't have any jumpers, I still feel more comfortable with glass tops.
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