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Tank lids? Aren't they usually a bad idea?

Isabel’s Hobby

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I m still smiling about the cat fur lol ....
I have a tall Wood canopy on top of my tank inside hang the lights I also have 3 1/3 cut glass sitting above the water but pushed it all the way to the wall so most of the surface is exposed for the lights and the canopy has holes in it. I guess what I m saying is .... not totally covered lots of air still fish can’t jump out water evaporates seems like I got the boxes checked. Not totally covered yet from up front you see only wood. The tank was custom build so I had them put doors in front of the canopy and also a huge hitch to pull it up if I want to get in the tank
Yes I have to clean the glass every so often but it really don’t affect the lights much and one only sees the wood unless I open the top completely
Hope that makes sense ? ;)

mesh .... would that not crust up in time ? Also how is that with the light ?
 

ether

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Octo Aquatics. Love mine, but yeah, wasn't cheap.

I don't use, or recommend, acrylic or glass tops. Acrylic? Really? That'd sag, be crusty, and get scratched in no time. Glass works, but you've got to clean it regularly. Most folks I know that have glass tops on a marine aquarium also have huge salt creep deposits all over them. Just too much of a pain to clean.

What's the benefit again? Oh yeah, less evaporation.

You know, evaporation isn't a bad thing... keeps tank temp lower (how many of us run chillers? Not me...). If you're running Kalkwasser, gives you the ability to dose more each day. A decent ATO system means your evaporation is handled... no problem, right? Keeps the house humidity up during the winter... I don't see the problem.

I suppose, some folks pay a high cost for water... but really, you'd have to be evaporating a lot to exceed the water usage from a load of laundry or a toilet flush. Here, water costs only maintenance and electricity to get it out of the well.
These are all n=1, but here goes:
1. I rarely clean my lid and it never gets salt on it.
2. It's pretty much invisible.
3. Evaporation is bad for me. I never run a chiller. I have limited space for my ato container and I want to refill as infrequently as possible no matter the size. I dose 2 part.
 

ByronP

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I use glass lids and it serves my purposes perfectly. I have enough gas exchange in the sump, so that's of no issue. My fish rarely jump but if they did then ehhh I doubt the knock would kill. The glass does get crusty and hazy so I wash them every once in a while. The haze has actually proven to be a key success factor for me in that it does a great job of diffusing my light. Yes I have to run them a bit high power but the trade off has paid off with super growth. Also since I run multiple tanks to a single sump the glass keeps the moisture in the tanks and keeps the gas exchange and humidity in the room where all that is monitored and controlled automatically (auto top off fresh/salt, external air fans, ...).

BUT if I was not running a complex setup in a dedicated sump room I dont think the advantages I get using glass lids would be applicable. Self contained (sump in stand, no sump) would be hampered because they rely on the DT to provide gas exchange more so than the sump. The sump is usually enclosed and does not receive a lot of air flow.

My 2c
 

raketemensch

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I see the talk about kalk and evaporation, but for me, so far it has been about salinity. My ATO just feeds fresh RODI water, do those of you with mesh ever see your salinity dropping from adding too much fresh water?
 
Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock

Gareth elliott

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Hasnt been on as much as before but @saltyfilmfolks uses salt spray on his lid as a diffuser if I remember correctly.

with a skimmer and sump how much reduction in gas exchange occurs with a glass lid? Anyone actually measured, n2, o2 and co2 levels directly to say there is actually a decrease?

i wouldnt keep a glass lid, simply because of the weight. I am a klutz, i can see the toes ive just severed thinking about me dropping it. If an acrylic one was’t obnoxiously expensive, i would consider one
 
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raketemensch

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I just had a sheet of this stuff come in, and will be experimenting with it this weekend:


Not breakable, it won't warp, and it's designed to let light through.

I've got a fire goby, and plan to add a few other leapers, so I need something to keep them in.
 

ByronP

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I suppose it all depends on your local situation.

I don't use chillers, but I do need to run heaters 24-7 if I take the lids off. Evaporation reduces the temperature of the tank. Evaporative cooling is more of a problem than the water loss itself. On shallow frag tanks I find it hard to even maintain temperature without a lid unless I run huge heaters constantly.

By the way, in the summer I get to take them off and cool the tank for the cost of water, which is very cheap here too (I'm on a well). But don't forget, its not water we put in our tanks, its RODI which has additional costs.

For me its less about the raw cost of the RODI water than the sheer amount. I go through 20 gallons of DI a week for my home tanks alone. If I took the lids off that would at least double. I don't want to make that much RODI each week.

No one size fits all solution here, but I dont see any of these disadvantages. I prioritize minimizing evaporation over almost everything else.
20 gallons of rodi water I assume... 20 gallons of di resin is crazy... I use about 60 gallons of rodi water a week... which for me is about 1 cartridge fill (buy in bulk and refill).
 

RIC13

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Glass lids for life.

I see no reason to worry about gas exchange in a system with a skimmer and sump.

And I find the cleaning concerns are way overstated. I have to clean my tank glass every 2 to 3 d. My lids ... maybe once a month?

5 to 10% less PAR to cut evaporation at least in half... glass lids all the way for me.
Couldn’t agree more. For me, these pros outweigh any of the cons mentioned. I have multiple tanks and don’t have to worry about humidity damaging my home.
 

RJ F.

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I see the talk about kalk and evaporation, but for me, so far it has been about salinity. My ATO just feeds fresh RODI water, do those of you with mesh ever see your salinity dropping from adding too much fresh water?
With mesh lids you are still only replacing the amount of water that was lost through evaporation. The salt stays behind. As long as you're only replacing the water that is evaporated off there will be no significant drop or increase in salinity
 
Lazys Coral House

jasonrusso

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The open sump should have enough surface area, especially if you are running a skimmer. Just opening a window in the fish room (not changing anything else, lids, etc), the pH goes up due to more oxygen. The lid isn't restricting anything.

Like a fenced in yard. Lids keep things in and out.

IMG_20200119_125752.jpg
 

ByronP

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The open sump should have enough surface area, especially if you are running a skimmer. Just opening a window in the fish room (not changing anything else, lids, etc), the pH goes up due to more oxygen. The lid isn't restricting anything.

Like a fenced in yard. Lids keep things in and out.

IMG_20200119_125752.jpg
Oxygen has nothing to do with ph... just fyi
 

Kehy

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Given that I have a pico tank with what would be lots of evaporation, glass lids for days. The difference for me is that my lid isn't a perfect fit, so there's still an air exchange gap, but not enough to cause significant evaporation. As far as light goes, a little bit of that funky haze never hurt anyone. And if it does, clean it!
 
Lazys Coral House

S2G

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I'm on team glass tops. Never had an issue. Everything has plus & minus's. Easiest maintenance route for me
 

Weller

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I've been running a thin plexi lid on my rimless tank, looks bad but keeps the evaporation down, and mainly keeps the cat out. I still have plenty of gas exchange because i cut it to fit my hob filter.
 

pecan2phat

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I use a mesh from May through November and a glass lid from December on. Too much heat loss on top of the the evaporation if I leave the mesh on year round.
My glass lid has 1/4" spacing on each side and 1/2" spacing front and back, I like these tabs I found on Amazon that clip to the lid vs the tank which eliminates the salt creep buildup.
IMG_6944.JPG
 

Tastee

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To those that go mesh lid or no lid... Do you see damage to the walls behind the tanks or any wood around the tank? We keep one in our office with out a lid and there's a huge picture above it (that admittedly is too close to the tank) that constantly has salt and water deposits on it and the wall. Our 180 gallon is in the living room and I would much rather clean the salt creep off of the glass lid than clean the wall.

Unrelated, does anyone have one close to a fire place? Have you seen any ill effects?
I’ve been running a mesh lid for over 2 years now on my 65g which is only about 1 1/2” away from the back wall and have no issues. This wall is painted Gyprock - think you call it drywall in the US?

An prior FW tank I had there (which had glass covers over 90% of the top) did have issues with the paint bubbling above the tank. It was there for ~20 years however and from memory I didn’t see any issue until after 8 years or so. The damage was superficial and easily fixed. I think the newer paint technology is also a lot better than it was 20 years ago.
 

Which do you prefer?

  • A few LARGE, not as colorful less expensive, coral colonies filling your tank

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  • A lot of TINY, but very colorful more expensive, frags covering the rock

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  • Other (please explain in thread)

    Votes: 27 17.4%

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