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

Ratvan

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Personally I use plastic condensation trays as a lid
 

Sixty7x

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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
and there it is....the best of both worlds!!!
 

Bars

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I'm using a glass lid. Helps with evaporation and looking at the amount of cat hair and dust (my house is old, very old) that settles on the lid, I'm happy that's not getting in the water.

Not sure how harmful that'd be but I rather have it on the lid where I can just wipe it off. Plus hair floating in the water column looks nasty.
 

reefwiser

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Any kid is a good thing. Mesh are nice though they can get a lot of salt creep on they and you need to clean them regularly. The screen will sag over time and after a few years the screen will get brittle and need to be replaced. Glass are nice they are easy to clean and gas exchange is not an issue. They need to be clean just like the meat screens.
Keeping fish from jumping is a real thing. After a few died fish on the floor you will get a top what ever type.
 

GrumpyAlison

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I use twin wall polycarbonate lids. It does block about 20% of the light, but it cuts evaporation so ungodly much that my tank stays way stabler. I used to need to top off every day (which i didn’t always do and was hard for my roommates while I traveled) and now o only need to do it every 1-2 weeks.

I’ve not noticed anything behaving worse for ware in the tank, so I’m assuming air Exchange isn’t an issue. There are some holes in the lid for cables and my automatic feeders etc and I usually have power heads pointed at the surface of the water to make it ripple. I don’t run skimmers or bubblers in any of my reef tanks.

Cleaning them has been a dream - I basically never need to unless I have a bubbler In the tank (Berghia culture). It got a bunch of built up algae and crud on the lid because of the bubbles popping, but i rinsed it in the sink and it’s been fine since.

The other nice thing about it is that it’s super light (I don’t keep any fish known for jumping, but I assume it might to them less damage than a solid glass lid. Perhaps like running into a large wall of thick cardboard instead of brick? I have no idea though) and you can easily cut it yourself without worrying about adding sharp glass edges. I also got 5 giant sheets of the stuff for about $80, which was enough to make covers for 6 10 gal tanks, 2 20 longs, 2 40breeders and some tiny tanks and still have 2 sheets left over. It also doesn’t warp.

I’ve not noticed significant heat buildup on the tanks either, but they all live in the basement or in my tiny office which is air conditioned pretty aggressively on the summer for my cat and to counter my 3d printers which heat up the space when they’re on.

The light blocking does kind of suck, they’re ugly as sin (not really) and you can’t see into the top of your tank without taking them off, but I’d still 100% recommend polycarbonate lids.
 
Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock

EMeyer

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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).
Sorry, yes, 20 gallons of RODI water. 20 gallons of DI resin would indeed be crazy :)
 

EMeyer

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Who sells glass tops?
Home Depot. Depending on tank size I buy 1 or 2 sheets, cut it with the diamond wheel glass cutter they sell, and pop it on the tank. If I'm feeling really fancy I take a file or dremel to the edges to polish them.
 

Pete Paschall

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Glass tops work as a great diffuser on puck leds.
310 WITH AI LIGHTS SET 40%r.JPG
Can you show a top down angle and maybe where you got the lids? I like how you have 3 panels, and would like a better idea of how you did that for my next tank build. Thanks!
 

WVNed

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I have no desire to move large pieces of glass around to access my tanks. I am very happy with my mesh tops and am about to make new ones for the 240 to replace the egg crate.
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

ScottB

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Lots of pros & cons listed here. I will share a number:

Slightly salty, 1/4 tempered glass lid reduces PAR by 125 to 150 directly under the lights. The further away from dead center, the greater the PAR loss. Just factor that into your decision making. I've not tested through acrylic yet.
 

ReefGrammie

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My tank for the last 6 years has had a canopy, which I love. My current LED is housed inside the canopy on braces my son built and installed. There is an open space across the top about 3 inches wide, and if any fish can jump through that, more power to them (I don't really mean that...thankfully nobody succeeded there)! The back of the canopy is open, but has custom cut egg crate covering the opening.

My very first canopy was custom built by my son probably 10 years ago for my original 46-gallon bowfront, which was quite a project. I can't take jumpers and after several of those, including a really nice pinkbar goby paired with a pistol shrimp (I was crushed), he figured out a way to make a canopy for the bowfront. Prior to the custom canopy, I had made a DIY "custom" egg crate cover for the bowfront. I spray painted it black and it was designed to where I could just lift it off for feeding. It was basically made of egg crate and Gorilla tape!

I looked at those Octo Aquatics lids and probably would have ordered one years ago. Maybe they didn't exist then, but it sure would have been nice! Otherwise, I'm definitely a fan of the canopy. I guess my primary reason for wanting the canopy is to prevent fish losses from jumping, because I will always have wrasses and gobies!
 

S2G

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I've used corrugated clear greenhouse panels in the past on large tanks. They work as good as glass imo
 

EMeyer

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Lots of pros & cons listed here. I will share a number:

Slightly salty, 1/4 tempered glass lid reduces PAR by 125 to 150 directly under the lights. The further away from dead center, the greater the PAR loss. Just factor that into your decision making. I've not tested through acrylic yet.
My glass only reduces PAR by about 20. That's some thick glass you've got there!

Surprising but that's why we need to measure things like this. I'd think twice about a lid that reduced PAR by that much, I agree.
 

olaf

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Solid lids especially when you have hundreds to thousands of gallons of display in your home. My dehumidifier easily gets emptied twice a day and the average ATO runs almost all the time. Going to upgrade soon to a larger display and it'll have solid lids, plus attaching the dehumidifier directly to the drain I installed in the cement floor.
 

sarcophytonIndy

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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.
If you are cutting evaporation in half, then you are probably cutting gas exchange in half as well. I don't worry about evaporation, since I have an ATO.
 

NanoDJS

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I am all about gas exchange , and surface area, I run all shallow tanks with the same footprint as double the volume tanks, so I have 2-3x the exchange most people have in their system. More surface area = more better in my book. Never saw a lid on the ocean , just vast expanses of openess.
 

DarthSimon

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Mesh lids for wrasses for sure... My Mesh lid saves a life of about 2-6 fish per day lol.... :)
 

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