RSS Write-Up Wednesday: Glass Tops On Saltwater Tanks

Discussion in 'RSS Feeds' started by MASA Admin, 3 Dec 2014.

  1. MASA Admin

    MASA Admin Moderator

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    Using glass tops on a saltwater tank serves two main purposes:


    1. Keep fish in
    2. Cut down on evaporation
    Keep Nemo in his house

    Keeping fish in your saltwater tank is vitally important and yes, some saltwater fish are prone to jumping. Dartfish, triggerfish, firefish, midas blennies, wrasses, and anthias are all common saltwater fish that often test their carpet surfing abilities.

    No matter how skilled the fish, they aren’t going to pass through glass and make it out of your tank. Unless they go through the one shortcoming of many glass tops: the last four inches.

    Most glass tops leave about 4” of the back of the tank uncovered. They do this to allow room for any plumbing lines or hang on the back filtration. Often the glass tops will come with plastic that will cover this last 4” and can be trimmed to fit around plumbing or filtration.

    Leaving the plastic piece off will allow for an easy escape for fish. And as I’ve said many times before, if there is a way out, fish will magically find it.

    If you are using a canopy, then there isn’t a need for glass tops on your tank for purpose of keeping the fish in tank. However, the second reason for glass tops may be right up your alley.

    Reduction of evaporation

    Looking to reduce the amount of water that evaporates out of your saltwater tank? Using glass tops to cover the top of your tank goes a long way to cutting down on water loss. Unlike mesh or screen tops that keep the fish in, but let air flow through, glass tops massively restrict airflow at the water surface. Less airflow means less evaporation.

    Warmer tank temperatures often accompany glass tops as restricted airflow means more heat build up. If you live in a warm climate and are going to use glass tops, be ready to manage your tank’s temperature through cooling fans or a chiller. This fact is especially true if you are going to use lighting such as metal halides or T5s that let off a lot of heat.

    While glass tops are very effective at keeping fish in your tank and cutting down on evaporation, they are salt creep magnets. Glass tops will need frequent cleaning and can build up scum that can only be scraped off with razor blades or vinegar baths.

    Glass tops will also reduce the amount of light getting into your tank so if you have dimmable lighting and are going to use glass tops, turn your lights up to make up for the loss of light. Also keep in mind that the dirtier the glass gets, the more light be shut out of your tank.

    Of all my saltwater tank builds, I’ve only utilized glass tops once. However, I regularly use glass tops on quarantine tanks as they do a great job of keeping the fish in and cutting down on water evaporation.

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