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I left the lid off of my tank today out of curiosity. Two things become apparent as a result of about 10 hours of lidlessness.

1) the water level went down. I didn't measure it but the cross bar was more than touching the surface this morning and tonight it was distinctly out of the water, between an 1/8" and 1/4". Lots of evaporation.

2) the temperature of the water is normally just cross 78F. Tonight it was riding 77.0F so it lost as much as a degree.

Lesson learned, I can't really pull of a lidless tank as much as I'd love to let the plants grow out the top I don't think I will do it. Partly due to the temperature drop, but I was going to be putting a second heater inline with the filter so heating capacity wouldn't be problem. My water starts out at 23dGH though, evaporation and topping of at that rate will increase the hardness which is something I would like to avoid.

Jeff.
 

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I left the lid off of my tank today out of curiosity. Two things become apparent as a result of about 10 hours of lidlessness.

1) the water level went down. I didn't measure it but the cross bar was more than touching the surface this morning and tonight it was distinctly out of the water, between an 1/8" and 1/4". Lots of evaporation.

2) the temperature of the water is normally just cross 78F. Tonight it was riding 77.0F so it lost as much as a degree.

Lesson learned, I can't really pull of a lidless tank as much as I'd love to let the plants grow out the top I don't think I will do it. Partly due to the temperature drop, but I was going to be putting a second heater inline with the filter so heating capacity wouldn't be problem. My water starts out at 23dGH though, evaporation and topping of at that rate will increase the hardness which is something I would like to avoid.

Jeff.
Hi Jeff.... nice to see someone experimenting and not just relying on "read wisdom"! What you will also have noticed is that while the solutes in the tank increased in concentration there will have been a possible shift int he pH to the higher/more alkaline side.
there is such a thing as the palludarum which is basically a garden sprouting from a tank with inhabitants. This however is not for the faint hearted and its wise to really be sure of your plants and their eventual size and appearance.... otherwise partners can start to egt a bit shirty when there appears to be a weed patch in the living room! Also maintenance is usually quite high for the palludarium too!

Wat you dont mention is the size of the tank.... the bigger the tank the more the volume of water and thus the stability in the water chemistry.... however the bigger the volume of water the greater the surface area for evaporation to occur.... and if you dont have adequate ventilation you are asking fro damp problems in the room!

From another more pragmatic side, fish when frightened, will jump and without a lid, and a cat in the house, the cat gets bigger and the population of fish gets smaller!

Lits to consider but well done so far!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Jeff.... nice to see someone experimenting and not just relying on "read wisdom"! What you will also have noticed is that while the solutes in the tank increased in concentration there will have been a possible shift int he pH to the higher/more alkaline side.
there is such a thing as the palludarum which is basically a garden sprouting from a tank with inhabitants. This however is not for the faint hearted and its wise to really be sure of your plants and their eventual size and appearance.... otherwise partners can start to egt a bit shirty when there appears to be a weed patch in the living room! Also maintenance is usually quite high for the palludarium too!

Wat you dont mention is the size of the tank.... the bigger the tank the more the volume of water and thus the stability in the water chemistry.... however the bigger the volume of water the greater the surface area for evaporation to occur.... and if you dont have adequate ventilation you are asking fro damp problems in the room!

From another more pragmatic side, fish when frightened, will jump and without a lid, and a cat in the house, the cat gets bigger and the population of fish gets smaller!

Lits to consider but well done so far!
I'm not one to take anything at face value very much anymore as I find that the "repeaters of knowledge" are often just that.... not that there isn't great knowledgeable people, just that the signal to noise ratio... well.... sucks.

Keep in mind that this was a one day test with some speculating as what I might expect to be a long term result. I keep a glass lid on and I don't have any noticeable evaporation and my temperature remains mostly constant. My pH has shifted down about 0.4 while the water tends toward softening a bit... which is about what I would expect. I've have the hardness drop by as much as 25% in a week at one point.

37 gallon, 12" by 30" surface area and about 20" deep. It's a little too deep for growing many plants that might emerge from the water and, due to the glass top being only 1/2" off of the water, they are not likely to make it into my repertoire anyway. I am tinkering with a jug setup (linked in another response post) that I have four plants emerging... my wife has already asked what I am going to do with the jug of green crap... she likes plants too so I need to get it into growth mode with something other than a mass of duckweed with a few sprigs appearing.

Jeff.
 

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im also doing this experiment. ive been lidless for about 2 weeks now. ive found that my water lettuce is growing really well and my vine looking floating plants as well. ive only noticed water level go down about 1.5 inches over a week. as for temps i havent really kept track. cool experiment tho!
 

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I have noticed that without glass tops on my 80 gal and 55 gal that I lose approx two and a half gallon's of water each week,each tank, due to evaporation.(two to three fish):-(
With glass top's on ,,I only lose about a half gallon to a gallon of water per week.(no jumper's):)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
im also doing this experiment. ive been lidless for about 2 weeks now. ive found that my water lettuce is growing really well and my vine looking floating plants as well. ive only noticed water level go down about 1.5 inches over a week. as for temps i havent really kept track. cool experiment tho!
I have been wanting water lettuce but, after a little more looking, found that it doesn't like to get the topside wet... close fitting dripping glass tops will probably kill it in short order. I'm going to have to stick with my duckweed and now some pennywort that is working out nicely on the surface.

I have a jug on the go, not heated plant only that is losing nothing to evaporation but there is literally a 1.5" layer of duckweed on the surface. If I went with really low light fully covered with surface plants, I think that the plant cover would mitigate evaporation and heat loss.

I have noticed that without glass tops on my 80 gal and 55 gal that I lose approx two and a half gallon's of water each week,each tank, due to evaporation.(two to three fish):sad:
With glass top's on ,,I only lose about a half gallon to a gallon of water per week.(no jumper's):smile:
That's a lot of water... and a lot of fish:shock:. I can't say that I lose anything with the glass lid on, nothing that I have noticed and I think I would notice.

To be honest, the only reason I had the lid off was to try to catch our "sick" betta. The water and temperature loss were sidebars. I still have not caught him... feisty bugger considering he hasn't eaten in 6 days... and the shrimp seem to all still be around.

Jeff.
 

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all depends on the climate. in winter here in mn when we were having really cold weather i was lossing about an inch of water every 2 days in my 55 g
 

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Discussion Starter #8
all depends on the climate. in winter here in mn when we were having really cold weather i was lossing about an inch of water every 2 days in my 55 g
Expensive humidifier.

Jeff.
 

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I have been wanting water lettuce but, after a little more looking, found that it doesn't like to get the topside wet... close fitting dripping glass tops will probably kill it in short order. I'm going to have to stick with my duckweed and now some pennywort that is working out nicely on the surface.


Jeff.
how close to the top do you bring your water? i just go a lil above the black trim. they fit ok. i didnt know they dont like getting wet!
 

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I have a 20 gallon lidless that is absolutely thick with floaters and evaporation is still noticeable.

Most of my aquariums though have glass lids with the rear plastic left unattached. Two of those tanks have dwarf water lettuce and it grows well. Perhaps too well since I have to weed some out every week. ;)
 

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Neither of my tanks have lids, although my 35 does have the glass section for the light (though I have the light raised with two glass cups under it so my floaters don't burn...). I have noticed about an inch of evaporation per week, but sometimes less depending on how humid it is here. I haven't noticed much of a temperature difference, but our house temperature is probably much higher than yours and closer to my tanks.

The main problem I have is the cats, quite honestly. My female cat has jumped INTO the tank (that's like 4 and a half feet off the floor) twice. Like just straight up and into it.

I've never had a fish jump, even with the cats occasionally batting at the tank. The only time I had a jumper was when I was trying to catch the Gourami -____-
 

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Discussion Starter #12
how close to the top do you bring your water? i just go a lil above the black trim. they fit ok. i didnt know they dont like getting wet!
Until recently I kept the water within a 1/16" from the top of the glass which leaves about 1/4" to the glass top from the water. I've lowered it to just above the black trim now. I'm going to try the DWL anyway as I am not one to take advice from only one source (yah, sometimes even if confirmed i will still try things out myself anyway... LEDs don't work for plants for example:roll:) and I think the wet water lettuce issue may have just been from the store manager.

Jeff.
 

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I have regular water lettuce and I can honestly say it HATES to get wet. It's like as soon as a leaf goes under water for a few seconds it turns yellow and dies. It's constantly putting off new leaves and babies though. I think you may be safer with DWL, always worth a try though :)
 

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as some of you know I rock the lidless tank and have been doing so for the past 2 months or so. I do get evaporation but it really depends how much furnace is on. (has a austomatic humidifier/dehumidifier) at most I see about maybe a inch or two a week by which times its ready for a w/c anyways ( I do weekly w/c) whiel my ph does flux its at most by .5 or less by the end of the week so its a change the fish can tolerate since its so gradual. cant tell u how my hardness changes since I don't have a test for that yet.... but just thought id chime on this
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Here's one example of a lidless thank that I really liked... if only...

Jeff.
 

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What about fish loss when I broke part of my glass top and had to replace the glass I lost 2 fish from jumping one was a queen loach that are rare around here call me paranoid but that would be my biggest fear it took a few weeks to get a new one I even put a lattice plastic piece over should have adapted a screen and one got through
 

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Discussion Starter #19
If I were to do an open tank it would only ever be to accommodate plants growing tall enough to clear the glass and they would likely be plants at the rear so I could just cut the plastic to allow them to poke through... Although a fully open with lots of plants would just mean a lower water level to prevent jumpers from getting out... or a plant only tank with snails and perhaps shrimp and the like.

Jeff.
 
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