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Re: Closed top planted tanks

George Booth writes:

<< > I`ve read about aquarium tops with Co2 injection having "very tightly
> closed tops" to keep the Co2 loss down a bit. Can anyone share with me how
> this is done ?

I could but I won't. Having a tightly closed top is a *very* bad idea. You 
"keep the CO2 loss down a bit" but you will also prevent oxygen from getting 
the water surface. DO NOT DO IT!!! >>

I have a 55-gallon with no gases of any type being pumped in.  It has a "VERY 
TIGHT" fitting, homemade lid.  It gets opened twice a day for feeding and 
when I do water changes.  During the summer heat wave I got lazy and it went 
ten weeks without a water change.  The water level did not drop enough for me 
to see it or measure it.  The fish and the plants do fine.  So I guess I WILL 
tell folks how to do it.  Sorry, George.

I make my own lids.  I cut two strips of glass to cover all but about two 
inches at the back.  The front section is only 3 inches wide, and is used to 
feed the fish and poke around in the tank.  A marble or a porcelain cabinet 
handle can be glued to it with aquarium sealant.  The back couple inches I 
cover with lexan, as it is more durable than plexiglas.  I use 5/32" glass 
and lexan for smaller tanks and 3/16" for larger tanks.

I use submersible heaters for these set-ups, as that is the only way to get a 
close fit around it.  I cut/melt a small slit in the lexan with a soldering 
iron for the heater cord.  It is wide enough to match the width of the cord 
and long enough to allow the cord to just clear the frame of the tank.  I use 
a powerhead and hydrosponge filter for the larger tanks, and cut another slit 
for that power cord as well.

Now the most significant place for leaks will be between the panes of the 
lid.  I place a bead of silicone along the top of these "seams", and mear it 
down.  Then I use a wet paring knife or one coated in petroleum jelly to form 
a "V" shaped groove directly over the joint of the front two pieces of glass, 
and this allows it to move like a hinge, if you get it thin enough.

That's it.  I also use air-powered filters in my smaller breeding tanks with 
the same kind of concept in lid design.  My planted tanks do well, the fish 
don't run out of oxygen, the plants grow well, and the evaporation is 
negligible.  At feeding time, there is enough swirling around of the air that 
I don't even have to worry about stagnation.

Think about it.  We seal our houses up tight in the winter, and yet I haven't 
ever heard of an oxygen shortage causing anyone trouble, except when furnaces 
or water heaters foul up.

Bob Dixon
Cichlid Trader List Administrator        o
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