Are glass tops required for a planted tank. I know they help keep CO2 in, but I was thinking about using egg crate instead. With egg crate, I could hang my driftwood from it and give my tank a really natural look.
You want to have a natural gaseous exchange. Just don't have excess surface agitation that will expel CO2 too rapidly. The typical aquarium hood should be fine.
There are other issues with/without covers to be aware of. The plants generally speaking won't care either way. But water evaporation from open tanks is considerable, and this water will penetrate the walls and ceiling, much as in a bathroom without extra ventilation. Dust will easily enter the water; if you wipe off the top of the light fixture periodically you will get an idea how much dust is around. And many fish will jump, even some species you would never imagine jumping. A glass cover also prevents excess heat loss during periods when the room temperature may be much less than the water.
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