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Re: Open top or covered top plant tank????

> Date: Tue, 4 Nov 1997 21:51:12 -0500
> From: mason.163 at osu_edu (Matthew T. Mason)
> What are the advantages and disadvantages of both an open and a covered
> plant tank?
> Assumptions (not good to assume but who cares):
> - -Advantages (Open top):
>                 1.  More light makes it into the tank

Incident room light is very much less than hood light bulbs.  Some sun
might make it in if the tank is positioned just right.  Not really an

>                 2.  Better gas exchange

Very minor if any difference.

>                 3.  Plants can grow out

Yep, cool advantage.


o Easy access for feeding, dosing, picking out dead leaves, minor
trimming, adding new fish, etc. 

o The hood can be easily raised or moved back towards the wall for
serious trimming while still lighting the tank. 

o Looks great! Looking down on the tops of plants close to the surface
is neat. 

o If you use MH lights over it, the point-like sources hitting surface
ripples make excellent underwater shadow effects, just like real sunlight. 

o Lights are suspended away from the tank, causing less heating from
the bulbs.  

o Easier to design a more efficient reflector because there aren't any
restrictions on hood size once it's suspended.  Of course, this is
only a dream unless you build it yourself.

> - -Disadvantages (Open top):
>                 1.  Fish jump out

Yes, but we have a 6" high acrylic fence around the rim of the tank.
Nothing has gotten out of that tank, but we still lose a fish or two
from the tanks with hoods. 

>                 2.  Greater water evaporation

Yep, about double the amount of a hooded tank. One gallon per day for
a 120g tank in our dry climate!

>                 3.  Dust and air crud in tank

Insignificant factor.

>                 4.  Blocks light going into tank

Huh? How? The opposite was an "advantage"! 


o A suspended hood lights up the room as well as the tank, especially
with Metal Halide bulbs. Draws DEA agents like flies. Might be bad in
a TV room. 

o MH lights are [almost] required because of the distance from the
hood to the water, and they are not as cheap as FL.

o You need a higher wattage hood, using more electricity. 

George Booth in Ft. Collins, Colorado (booth at fii_com) 
Need Info?   http://www.frii.com/~booth/AquaticConcepts.htm
Last update: 10/21/97