Open or closed hood?

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by rakabos, 10 Apr 2012.

  1. rakabos

    rakabos

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    Just want to hear you guys' thoughts on hood design...

    I have always had a tank with a closed hood with T5's hanging of the top of it just over the water surface. Just happened to have bought the same design each time. So with LED lighting seemingly the way to go I, most designs are for open tank setups.

    Come September I am planning to go LED, the cost factor in the long run, electricity etc - it just makes sense to switch now.

    My only concern is the closed tank idea. I have always preferred it. Don't have issues with fish jumping out, no dust (or other crap) can enter the system. It all just seems better and safer if its closed off.

    So am I being paranoid about an open top system or do I just take whichever LED option i go for and build it into a hood?

    Open or closed hood - what do u think ?
     
    Last edited: 10 Apr 2012
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  3. magman

    magman

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    I think euro bracing with a nice lighting unit and then definatly open top looks better,

    the only draw back is insects flying under the lights and then falling in the water.
     
  4. rakabos

    rakabos Thread Starter

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    Yeah thats also a good point for having it closed off
     
  5. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    what LED system you want to go for and what does your hood look like?
     
  6. Clownfish9906

    Clownfish9906

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    hey guys - my tank is up only for a week and I am already not liking the open top idea. It doesnt have euro bracing, etc. - just heavily braced in the corners, etc. - guess thats called rimless?

    Anyways, the amount of dust that setlles on the water doesnt look that good.

    Must say the idea of a hanging pendant light does look better...
     
  7. brentch

    brentch

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    I have a hood, and hate it :biggrin: Every time a frag drops off the rockwork I have to take the hood off............... Can't stand that!!! I'd go with open, but I do understand your concerns with it.
     
  8. rakabos

    rakabos Thread Starter

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    My hood is well designed. Its a 1.5m tank with 6 t5's. The hood sits around the top of the tank and has two swivel plates which can go up for access to the tank. I will take some pics tonight. I imagine with LED's id have to re-design the hood. Open top and hanging pendants dont work for me
     
  9. brentv

    brentv

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    ....Fishfood:biggrin::tt2:
     
  10. Jayceew

    Jayceew

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    My previous tank had a closed hood which I left open most of the time anyway, the moisture and heat build-up wasn't good for the hood, the hinges of the hood and the lighting units.

    Also, LED's are quite heat sensitive if I'm correct, how will a hood influence this? Or alternatively you then also have to allow for cooling options in the hood when going LED?
     
  11. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    If gunk is collecting on your water surface then your setup is not correct. Either point one powerhead towards the surface. Do not blow away from the overflow. Or upgrade your return pump.

    Anyway back to original question. Open or closed top.
    Heat build up inside the canopy. OK with LEDs it should be less, but still there is excess heat trapped inside the canopy. So rather open, or at least properly vented

    Then water vapour on the lights. Reason why MH is closed and T5 got waterproof end caps.
    Especially DIY LED units, with water condensate inside the unit. Doubt if the excess vapour on my DIY soldering skills will be good. Neither do I want to expose my expensive units to water damage.
     
    Last edited: 10 Apr 2012
  12. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    from the Macpect brochure

    3. Moisture – To reduce the risk of fire or electric shock, do not expose this apparatus to
    rain, moisture, dripping or splashing.
    4. Ventilation – The apparatus should be situated so that its location or position does not
    interfere with its proper ventilation.

    So - that implies to me, no hood.
     
  13. rakabos

    rakabos Thread Starter

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  14. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    Just a quick heads up regarding LEDs and hoods. My LEDs are around 45cm above the water with 80 degree lenses. It is about 60cm above the water with 60 degree lenses. So it would need to be a really big hood to cover the light unit.
     
  15. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    like mine :whistling:
     
  16. fly*

    fly* MASA Contributor

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    Martin I have both and there are pro's and cons for each.

    Hood Pro's

    1.) There is a lot less worry about contaminants getting into your water. Furniture polish, flea powder etc etc.
    2.) Insects are a pain in the ass and I used to have to constantly pull bee's out of the nano's water till I finally moved the nano tank to another room. So having a hood stops that completely.
    3.) In winter the hood traps the heat in saving you costs on the heater constantly running.
    4.) If youre smart with the design and use LED's, the hood wont overheat the tank.

    Hood Con's

    1.) The hood traps in heat in the summer so more need for fans etc. Saying that, I only had one day in December where the tank went up to 30. Normally it sits at around 27 - 28 during peak summer.
    2.) You need to remove the hood if you want to do any serious scaping on the tank. That or pull out a ladder. This all depends on your design though.
    3.) This has changed with LED's but the height of your hood has to be considered when factoring in what lighting you want to use. So generally no to halides.


    Hoodless Pro's

    1.) Looks cool
    2.) Keeps a lot cooler in summer (my main reason for going this route)
    3.) Easier to maintain the tank.

    Hoodless Con's

    1.) Crap gets into the tank. Youre braaing outside and the wind picks up, guess what? you get charcoal flakes in your tank. Maids cleaning the house, eck! furniture polish. I was constantly paranoid about crap getting into my tank so its a concern. As for bugs being fish food, the only meeting my fish had with insects was when one of the Gobies was stun by a bee (truth, I have pictures :D) so it was not a really benefical one.
    2.) The tank gets seriously cold pretty quickly in winter, as soon as the lights go out you can see the temp dropping.
    3.) Water seems to evaporate quicker when youre hoodless for some reason.
    4.) Although it looks cool fish can go carpet surfing from time to time so I always had a sheet of eggcrate over the top which kinda detracts from the overall look.
    5.) If you're having a party, people WILL stick there fingers in there. Its like a natural phenomenon, people have to see if the water is salty. telling them so is simply not enough.


    Personally I prefer a hood. Its not as sexy but that all depends on your hood I guess.
     
  17. fly*

    fly* MASA Contributor

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    Mine sit 5cm from the water and my lenses are 90 degrees and they are fine although I guess it really depends on the size of your tank. But good point!
     
  18. rakabos

    rakabos Thread Starter

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    That sums it up pretty well thanks. The cool-factor for an open top is certainly true but i would worry non stop about the crap getting in the tank and the fish getting out!

    So i guess Id keep a hood of some shape or form when i go LED. Even if it is just designed around the LED units. Time will tell
     
  19. fly*

    fly* MASA Contributor

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    Well fish going carpet surfing is definately not a concern of mine. I have a piece of plexiglass that covers the top of the tank and seperates it from the lights completely. Nothing can get out :)

    This idea wouldnt work on a hoodless tank though, that plexiglass gets some serious salty build up from time to time.
     
  20. rakabos

    rakabos Thread Starter

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    I think building the LED units into a hood is what i will end up doing, taking cooling and airflow into account of course, oh and fish splashing
     
  21. fly*

    fly* MASA Contributor

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    A good idea would be to try and not incorporate the heatsink for the LEDs into the hood, so maybe some funky design to expose the fins to the outside world would work nicely :)

    Nice thing about LEDs is that the heatsink's are the only things that really get hot. So if you pump air over them you're good. I have 2 fans constantly blowing on the PAR38's and i'm fine.
     
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