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Topless tanks


Jeff
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Every time I see ridiculous beautiful tanks (MD Fish Tanks, George Farmer, Green Aqua), they always are topless. Now, most are rimless....but that doesn't mean they can't have tops.

My question is: how do these people not lose fish from jumping? Anytime I've ever tried this, fish jump. So, I've always had a lid. I even had floating plants, and had the water level not at the top...and they still jumped.

Anyone have any insight on this, as to how these people don't have this problem?

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i think most of them don’t really keep jumpers. all but one of my tanks are open top (i like to play with emersed plants and decorations) and i never had any issues, even with killies. i do have floaters which i think help. you can also lower the water level so they arent able to jump as high but i personally don’t like the look of that. 

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I’ve ran rimless tanks without tops for the last 7 years. Nothing bigger than a 25g cube but all have never had a top on them. My main reason is because I don’t want my cats to lay on the glass top under my hanging lights and put 14 pounds of unnecessary stress on the tanks glass (and that’s just one cat, I have two). In all that time I can count on one hand how many fish that have actually jumped out (and ultimately died). It just really hasn’t been an issue for me. I’ve kept tiger barbs, several tetra species, oto cats, cory cats, clownfish (when I had my saltwater tank set up), kribs, dwarf cichlids, angelfish, etc,. I keep the water about .75” from the top. I’ve honestly not lost a fish due to jumping in years and I think it was an oto cat.

My first tank I had when I got into the hobby about 8 years ago had a top. I couldn’t imagine having a top on a tank now. I suppose if I didn’t have cats I would have glass tops but it wouldn’t be for fish jumping. I’d use it for heat and evaporation control. Evaporation is the biggest setback for me and I feel lucky that I have an auto-top-off unit from my salty endeavors. My 25 gallon cube goes through 1-2 gallons of top-off a week depending on the humidity of the season. I also have super hard water so if I don’t top-off with distilled water I have terrible calcium buildup around the water line. Being auto-topped-off with distilled helps with that issue tremendously. It also helps with controlling nutrient concentration by not being topped off with my terrible tap water considering when water evaporates, salts and minerals stay behind. My tanks tds can rise pretty quickly if I topping with distilled.

In many of Cory’s livestreams he mentions that rimless tanks are pretty much for aesthetics only. And he’s spot on. There certainly are trade offs to a rimless/topples tank and fish jumping is one of the biggest concerns. I just don’t seem to be one that has that problem and honestly I view “fish jumping and lids” as one of those things that hobbyists tend to go overboard about. Kind of like building a stand for a 40 gallon tank that can end up holding a Suburban. Perhaps I haven’t kept the right species in the right tanks but almost a decade into fish keeping I just don’t see the need to worry about fish jumping. 

Having said that though, if your fish are continuously trying to jump out of the tank to the point where you actually need a lid (depending on species, I know some are just prone to jumping. For those species, know what you’re getting into before deciding on tank style) I’d start with trying to think of why they don’t want to be in your tank to start with. Is it bad water chemistry? Other fish stressing them out? Are they sick? In my experience, healthy fish in a healthy environment don’t really tend to jump all that much if at all. And that includes fish in nature. Not much really makes a fish want to surface especially to the point of exiting the water. Food does it mostly. Or aggression. Or ultimately, stress or disease. 

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20 hours ago, igot2gats said:

Every time I see ridiculous beautiful tanks (MD Fish Tanks, George Farmer, Green Aqua), they always are topless. Now, most are rimless....but that doesn't mean they can't have tops.

My question is: how do these people not lose fish from jumping? Anytime I've ever tried this, fish jump. So, I've always had a lid. I even had floating plants, and had the water level not at the top...and they still jumped.

Anyone have any insight on this, as to how these people don't have this problem?

I know some of them actually do use lids, but they leave them off for the photo shoot.

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I almost always have lids, but rarely put the plastic strip on the back. I'm lazy, and like the ability to be able to move things around the back, dose stuff into the flow from the return, etc... I figure it at least decreases the chances of fish departing the tank by 70 percent or so. Never had it happen though. If it ever does, I'll start putting them on. 

I'm curious from people who have had fish jump out--what kind of fish, and if you have any idea for the reason they may have done it?

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No lids mostly, I am never a 100% on anything.

Some lidless tanks are stocked with classic jumpers, that is swordtails. I haven't had any jump yet because I use hornwort as a pseudo lid, and I also keep the water an inch lower than normal in tanks with swordtails. Still could happen as swordtails are very athletic.

I did have jungle val jump out of my big tank once.

20200730_2793.JPG.63494da4eea6b077367aee

But it wasn't fatal

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23 hours ago, Daniel said:

No lids mostly, I am never a 100% on anything.

Some lidless tanks are stocked with classic jumpers, that is swordtails. I haven't had any jump yet because I use hornwort as a pseudo lid, and I also keep the water an inch lower than normal in tanks with swordtails. Still could happen as swordtails are very athletic.

I did have jungle val jump out of my big tank once.

20200730_2793.JPG.63494da4eea6b077367aee

But it wasn't fatal

Now that is funny!!

 

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On 10/3/2020 at 6:56 AM, Bill said:

I'm curious from people who have had fish jump out--what kind of fish, and if you have any idea for the reason they may have done it?

I've had a few fish jump over the years.

Swordtails, by far the most common. I'm not sure why, they've done it when they've been in small (20long) tanks and big (75 gal) tanks. Only tanks without lids/several inch wide gaps from edge of tank and lid. They've jumped from tanks with and without floating plants.  They've jumped when they were the only swordtail in the tank (an overly aggressive male) and when they've been in species only tanks with tons of swordtails. I think swordtails just jump because they can. Thankfully since keeping lids on tanks with swordtails, they haven't gotten out. Though several have sure scrambled their little brains smacking them against the lids trying.

African butterfly fish - these absolutely need a tight fitting lid. They have excellent vision, an in the wild they will jump out of the water after bugs. I got to see just how precise they could be one day when mine spotted a fly that had gotten in the house and been buzzing around, and launched itself out of the tank through the small gap between the lid and the filter return pipe to go for it. Was less than a one inch opening and this is a four inch long fish. My husband and I who were sitting on the couch were both stunned. Did that really just happen? Sure enough she was angrily flopping around on the tile. I put her back in the tank and she was totally fine. We made extra covers of plastic mesh that snug fit around the pipes to make sure she couldn't do it again. 

Congo tetra - they're really excited feeders for a certain small pellet they get a couple times a week. I had taken the front lid piece off to put the pellets  in. One of them went for the pellet so hard they launched right out of the tank before I'd  had a chance to close the lid. They held one pectoral fin at their side for several days after being returned to the tank, but eventually regained used of it and were fine.

Kuhli loaches - honorable mention. These aren't jumpers so much as escape artists.  Is there a filter  intake tube they can squeeze in? They're leaving your tank, your filter is clearly way better housing. You'll find them in your HOB or your cannister. Still alive if you're  fast to notice the sudden lack of kuhlis in your tank. Dead if you don't  notice and check for more than a week.  I find a pre filter sponge on the intake stops them from going up that way. Although Ive also found if you've  got a return from your HOB that touches the water, they'll  swim up the current there to end uo in the filter. Its why I prefer sponge filters with kuhlis - nowhere for them to leave the tank to. 

 

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I have some new tank lights that you clip onto the side for plants. I was going to go topless, but I was more worried about the splashing of water than the fish jumping. I have endlers and bettas in these tanks, so I am not too worried. I mean is the water splashing that big of a deal or does it not happen as much as you think? 

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On 10/2/2020 at 1:09 PM, Kriskm said:

While I love the look of lidless tanks, I always use lids for evaporation and jumping fish. I keep the back open enough for plants like pothos to grow. If you check out Foo the Flowerhorn on YouTube, he makes some really nice custom lids for his tanks. 

I came here to say this. Foo the Flowerhorn has some great tanks and some amazing custom tops.

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