08-08-2010, 12:09 PM
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As you have the light strip, a plain glass cover will work fine, I have these on my larger tanks. You can buy them for the standard size tanks; the front part slides or hinges (depending upon brand) open for easy feeding, etc. Compared to a full hood they are very inexpensive.
There must be a pane of glass between the light tube and the water. If water should splash on the tube when it is on it may well shatter. Plus the evaporation will rust the ends. Some light strips have a piece of glass included, some are open tubes, so if the latter, a glass cover is needed.
As mentioned, some fish jump; you might be surprised at how many will if the top is open. Plus there is a tremendous amount of water evaporation from a warm tropical tank, and this gets into the walls and ceiling, not a good idea.
Last, there is dust (and other debris) getting into the tank, also best avoided.