do I need a top on my tank
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do I need a top on my tank

This is a discussion on do I need a top on my tank within the Beginner Saltwater Aquariums forums, part of the Saltwater Fish and Coral Reef Tanks category; --> I have a 55 gallon saltwater fishtank with stand and cover. my question is this, do i need a glass cover between lights and ...

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do I need a top on my tank
Old 10-22-2006, 08:44 PM   #1
 
do I need a top on my tank

I have a 55 gallon saltwater fishtank with stand and cover. my question is this, do i need a glass cover between lights and the water? Do most people cover tank with glass top under the lights? of does this create to tight of a system?
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Old 10-22-2006, 08:50 PM   #2
 
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i would think as long as the tank is well covered by any material that allows the light to pass through it and won't be melted by the light would be fine. i generally use glass because its the most readily available in my area that works with pretty much any light fixture.
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Old 10-22-2006, 09:21 PM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jockkustow
do i need a glass cover between lights and the water?
In a way, yes. You would imagine fish splashing the electrical equipments which can be dangerous.
This link by PFK will tell you about an arson made by a catfish.

P.S. Pls type the location in your profile so it will be easy for the other members to help you specify equipments which are available in certain areas.
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Old 10-23-2006, 03:07 PM   #4
 
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I do not run tops.

I prefer open tops on my salt tanks to shed heat.

I do have fake cannopies to prevent jumpers. Nothing more that 3 sides of 1x4" (cabinet grade and made to match the stand) and a back brace that slides off the top of the tank with my lighting suspended from the ceiling. Most of the guys I deal with have a a nice canopy about 10" high with metal halides attached to the canopy.
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Old 11-19-2006, 11:29 AM   #5
 
I also do not have any lids on my 55. It's seemed to work fine for me.
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Old 11-19-2006, 01:22 PM   #6
 
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I have a 55 gallon tank and for a while I did not use the glass tops I bought with it. One day I was sitting on the couch when out of the corner of my eye I saw my puffer fish take a "running" start from one end of the tank and fly out the other. He literally soared about five feet horizontally and fell almost five feet vertically before hitting the floor. I couldn't believe my eyes. I was sure that he must have broken every bone he has in his little body but I picked him up and put him back in the tank anyways. He swam to his favorite distress corner and stayed there the rest of the night. Amazingly enough, he is back to to normal now. Well, he's never been quite normal. Anyhow, I can only imagine what might have happened if I hadn't been here at the time.

I would definitely recommend covering your tank with something or putting up some kind of guard against jumpers like the other posts have recommended :P
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Old 11-19-2006, 10:14 PM   #7
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Administrator
I have a 55 gallon tank and for a while I did not use the glass tops I bought with it. One day I was sitting on the couch when out of the corner of my eye I saw my puffer fish take a "running" start from one end of the tank and fly out the other. He literally soared about five feet horizontally and fell almost five feet vertically before hitting the floor. I couldn't believe my eyes.
lol I'm sorry, I know it's not funny but that was a great visual that put into my head.
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Old 11-19-2006, 10:45 PM   #8
 
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I run both... with top and without... the determining factors to take into account is how far the light is from the water's surface, does the fixture sit on the tank or is it hoisted above via clamp, hanger, etc.? also, types of animals in the tank, will you be likely to have jumping issues? ventilation is something else to consider, if you use other than glass, will it get hot? and what will it do to the rays of light, reflect them? allow them to pass through? Plastic isn't usually a good option in saltwater due to temperature and melting issues. Glass would be the most practical to use as it doesn't block light and it creates a barrier between water and electrical equipment... one of my tanks has a "partial" cover, where only 1 piece of glass sits over the top, just enough to work as a barrier for the light, the rest is open.
Also, don't forget to consider these things:
children putting hands into the tank
dust getting into the tank water
chemicals and other spray cleaners that may be used in the room getting into the water
evaporation levels
other pets that may want to go fishing
and salt creep... without a cover, salt creep can be an issue if it's not tended to all the time. I have seen entire walls rot and peel behind a saltwater tank, drywall and plaster both. Woodwork and salt don't mix either.
Lots to consider, but maybe this will help you out.
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Old 11-20-2006, 07:31 PM   #9
 
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Also keep in mind that a pane of glass can reflect back (essentially blocking) 25% of more of your lighting. That is an important number if keeping photosynthetic creatures.
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