There are two main reasons I would remove the glass top on any high light planted tank.
1. The glass blocks at least a portion of the light, or least reduces the intensity that drives it to the bottom of the tank. Especially if its dirty.
2. I hate cleaning the darn things. Its just another maintenance chore I choose to avoid.
1. I never seen a significant difference in evaporation rate or tank temp with or without a glass top. But, I have also never had a real tight fitting top that went all the way to the back.
2. I like the reflections on the ceiling from my MH tank.
I just recently took the glass tops off of 2 of my tanks and I like the fact that I don't have to clean a glass top every water change. Granted, I have to top off my tanks every couple of days but that to me is easier than cleaning the hard water deposits on my glass tops. Plus, I know that I am getting a little more light to the plants.
I prefer open tops but when i first switched to an open top I hated being blinded when i was sitting next to the tank. (lazy boy is right in between 2 tanks :)) So i made some sheilds for the side of the fixture. I used some rubber type material, not exactly sure what it was from (found it in the garage) but it was thick and plyable...perfect!
I cut it to length and on the side of my coralife aqualight there are 2 screws. I took those screws out poked them through my new rubber sheilds and then screwed them back in to hold the new sheilds on and they have been working perfectly ever since. If i ever need to get to the tank from the side they just flip right up.
I also made a sheild for the front of the fixture that is see through but tinted...if anyone is familiar with welding curtains I made it out of that. I hung it from the grills on the fans on top of the fixture and it just hangs over the front of the light stopping at the trim of the tank.
So basically i have an open top but it is all enclosed to keep the light from floding the room and blinding me or glaring of my TV. I can still see through the front even with the sheild hanging down, its just tinted. and if i need to get into the tank it just filps up and rests on top of the light untill im done.
It works great for me...and since everythign is black it just blends right in like it was made for it. :)
I was thinking of some type of sheild. Just a guess here, but did you get the welding curtain at say,,,maybe a welding supply place.:p Would you happen to have a pic. Thank's.
I started out with a glass top but removed it rather quickly. I didnt care to clean it nor did I care how the divider of the glass top obstructed my lighting.
Good luck in your choice.
I love open top because it allows me an even greater freedom in aquascaping. I can use driftwoods that extend out of the surface. The moss can then be used to accent points here and there near and above the water. The only drawback is invariably some fish or shrimps will jump out.
Hmmmm. I never really considered an open-top tank, but it sounds like it's almost 'the norm' here. I have a tight cover for 2 reasons:
I don't like loosing fish to unauthorized exploration.
I have a 2 year old. He feeds peanut butter sandwiches to the DVD player. I can't even imagine what he'd put in the fish tank. :) :) :)
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