Aquarium cover- buy or not to buy?

An aquarium with a cover

In the natural environment most of the water tanks are open areas. Of course, there are some exceptions to an above rule in view of the Arctic Ocean, which water surface is usually covered by a thick layer of ice or basins that have a dense vegetation.

However, things that come naturally in the world are not comparable to those that happen in our aquarium. Evaporating water is replaced during the rainfall and the wind makes the water to purify on its own. This is the exact reason why we need to take into account a lot effort while taking care of an aquarium. And one of the products that we may consider equipping our tank in is an aquarium hood.

What roles do aquarium hoods play?

Aquarium cover is an important part of an entire tank and it has some special features that are not visible at first sight. We may point out:

  • Aquarium covers prevent from excessive water evaporating from the tank- this may cause a drop in the water level and increase humidity level in the room and as result even a mould can appear in any corner or on the wall around the fish tank.

  • A tank hood helps us to avoid temperature fluctuations in aquariums and also the amplitude between water and air temperature is not big. Too huge amplitude can cause some common fish diseases, especially among labyrinth fish that breathe oxygen directly from the air i.g. betta splenden fish.

Betta splenden near the surface
  • Lids may also prevent gas emissions and smells that come from your aquarium, especially if you haven't done a proper cleaning and haven't changed the water for so long. The full hood stops the leaking of smells that is caused by an accumulation of ammonia or nitrogen compounds.

  • Fish tanks, that have a full hood, make it impossible for fish to jump out beyond those.

  • The water is cleaner because of the fact that any dust can't pass through for example any kind of glass covers- a function of a filter itself.

  • An aquarium lids are also a perfect places to hide cables, filters, lighting systems or other items that are not designed nicely but we wanted to add them to our fish tanks.

  • If the fish tank is in a lower place in our room and we have got kids or pets, we should think about a full hood for safety reasons. We don't want our hobby to be totally destroyed.

  • There are also some groups of especially beginner aquascapers that don't find themselves confident in running a fish tank and they stress themselves all the time due to a horrible thought of dried out fish that have jumped out.

A fish tank without a hood

What kind of an aquarium hood should we select?

First of all, you may choose from many options that are available on the market and the simplest way it to purchase ready-to-use complete aquarium kit. It's a very convenient thing that we may receive at the beginning of our hobby. They are usually made of plastic and often come with LED lighting. The best advantages of this solution are affordable price, light weight and possibility to fit the size of a tank and it is easy to find the cover for the most common aquarium sizes but sometimes that kind of a cover may overwhelm the view of the aquarium.

If you reject the standard version of a plastic hood, you are going to find an item that suits your needs. On the market there are products made of glass. To understand the difference, it is a form of covering glass that is higher quality than a plastic one. This option is for somebody who also has bigger budget because in this case sometimes the help of a glassmaker is required to create the shape of the tank with a filter bore and a handgrip to get the chance to lift the glass cover.

If you are not convinced by the two previous options, you can choose the third one- plexi covers. It looks similar to a glass one but it is a cheaper item. Unfortunately, those kinds of lids are not a long-lasting thing, because they deform and lose their transparency over time so it will be required to change it after a few months. Another task on our to-do-list.

The fourth option is a hood made of aluminum. This material is more expensive and more technologically advanced. But these types of aquarium hoods usually stand out from regular covers by the matter that they can be made completely or divided into parts.

An aquarium with a cover

Is an aquarium hood obligatory?

Of course not. Installation of the aquarium cover is a decision that is made by the owner and terrible things won't happen. Most of aquascapers prefer aquariums without lids because in their opinion the full hood often spoils the overall aesthetic impression and breaks the harmony of the space of the particular aquarium. They are not going to cover the aquarium even under threats of any inconveniences that are connected to open-type aquariums.

A fish tank without a lid

Are there any fish that can be kept in an aquarium without a hood?

Fish that you are going to have in your coverless aquarium should be intelligently matched. You should think twice before you get fishes that swim close to the surface or have a tendency to jump out beyond the aquarium. Those are examples of species that will be suitable for the aquarium without a hood:

  • Threadfin rainbows

  • Sewellia

  • Dwarf cichlids

Dwarf cichlids

To buy or not to buy the cover- that is the question.

So in general it is possible to have an aquarium without a hood but you must be aware that the water evaporates faster and the level of it drops leaving a sediment on the glass, a mold may appear and some inappropriate fish can commit suicide. Having the aquarium hood is very useful if we want to have any jumpers or have small children and pets.

A nano planted aquarium without a cover

If you decide to have an aquarium without lids, accepting all the cons, in exchange you receive an aquarium that can be more composed to the surroundings. Moreover, the crystalline water surface can be admired and the contact with nature reflected in the aquarium is a little bit closer.

A great idea is also to have for example nano planted aquarium and only plants in it so the problem with jumping fish disappears and this kind of aquarium allows to have plants and rocks that break the surface of the water.

A covered fish tank