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Are you topless or topped?

Well, kinda a hybrid for me. I originally made the "blast shields" because sitting on the couch next to the tanks resulted in a blinding experience. Then the cat tried getting into the end closes to the camera. Now, as a result, there is not too many places for the fish to jump out. To date I have only lost 1 fish who jumped toward the back wall.
 

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Back in the day, before rimmless tanks became popular and the standard I used glass tops on all my tanks. Now I've only got one old rimmed tank an Aqueon 50 gallon that collects dust. Actually had a bad experience with tops. I had a DIY Compact PC bulb fixture about 3 inches from the glass tops. The heat would heat up the glass to very hot. Condensation collected on the top glass and well it shattered all into the tank. Never used tops since.
You learn real quick which and what fish to keep in rimmless tanks. On that note you learn their behavior according to pecking order or water flow. For example having a school of rummy nose tetras with multiple males causes problems due to them chasing the females or fighting thus causing fish to jump. Water flow throughout the tank plays a big role too. If its too intense of a flow the fish try anything to get out of it. If there are rocks blocking the flow it goes upwards and so do the fish etc etc.
 
My experience is similar to @BigWave where I started with tops and now am completely topless. I honestly don't know if I can go back to having a top, but I certainly understand if one has a large setup and they aren't going to be changing it out to go topless or if they have fish they don't want to risk.

The type of scape also does factor in how beneficial an open-top is. For me being more of a nature aquarium type having the ability to go above the rim with hardscape and attached plants is big for me, not so much if your all stems that don't break the surface. Other benefits are not having to move anything during maintenance and seeing unobstructed view of the tops of plants.

Keeping the water level 1" to 1 1/2" below the rim seems to work for me. I've had tetras, rasboras, otos, snails, shrimp over the years and I can only recall losing one fish and a few shrimp over many years. Some snails like nerites will go right over the top.
 
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I have a lid on all my tanks except the most recent one I set up in March or so, a 16 gallon low tech pea puffer tank. In my 40 breeder high tech tank, I’ve had a lid because I had fish that would jump. I don’t have those fish anymore though now that I think about it lol, so I may take it off for a bit and see how I like it rimless. A good option for a lid that is heat resistant and won’t bow is polycarbonate. You can go with a nicer type like lexan, which is what I did for my 40 breeder, or you can go a really inexpensive route with green house paneling that still doesn’t look bad IMO. I’ve had it on my tank for at least a year and a half and it’s held up great.

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All topless for me. Looks better if you have wood coming out the top or plants. Plus to me I feel like it makes the scape more of the focus.
 

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Well, kinda a hybrid for me. I originally made the "blast shields" because sitting on the couch next to the tanks resulted in a blinding experience. Then the cat tried getting into the end closes to the camera. Now, as a result, there is not too many places for the fish to jump out. To date I have only lost 1 fish who jumped toward the back wall.
Oh my! Functional for sure.

Are those Radions? Have you seen the 3D printed shades for them? It may solve the blinding issue but not the cover issue. Radion XR30 Light Shade
 
Back in the day, before rimmless tanks became popular and the standard I used glass tops on all my tanks. Now I've only got one old rimmed tank an Aqueon 50 gallon that collects dust. Actually had a bad experience with tops. I had a DIY Compact PC bulb fixture about 3 inches from the glass tops. The heat would heat up the glass to very hot. Condensation collected on the top glass and well it shattered all into the tank. Never used tops since.
You learn real quick which and what fish to keep in rimmless tanks. On that note you learn their behavior according to pecking order or water flow. For example having a school of rummy nose tetras with multiple males causes problems due to them chasing the females or fighting thus causing fish to jump. Water flow throughout the tank plays a big role too. If its too intense of a flow the fish try anything to get out of it. If there are rocks blocking the flow it goes upwards and so do the fish etc etc.
Sorry to hear about the glass issues. I think today the custom tops come with mesh to avoid the issues with glass - heating up and condensation causing a loss of par.
 
I have a lid on all my tanks except the most recent one I set up in March or so, a 16 gallon low tech pea puffer tank. In my 40 breeder high tech tank, I’ve had a lid because I had fish that would jump. I don’t have those fish anymore though now that I think about it lol, so I may take it off for a bit and see how I like it rimless. A good option for a lid that is heat resistant and won’t bow is polycarbonate. You can go with a nicer type like lexan, which is what I did for my 40 breeder, or you can go a really inexpensive route with green house paneling that still doesn’t look bad IMO. I’ve had it on my tank for at least a year and a half and it’s held up great.

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Completely agree. The one I use is polycarbonate as well. Kraken Reef® | Premium Nano Lids
 
All topless for me. Looks better if you have wood coming out the top or plants. Plus to me I feel like it makes the scape more of the focus.
I love those of you that break the water surface (intentionally). Who said we need to stay within the box?!
 
I love the looks of the Waterbox type open tanks. But I also hate glass tops. That's why I doubt I could have one.

Rainbowfish are known jumpers. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when.

My tanks have always been open top but with a canopy, which helps keep the Rainbows in the tank.
 
I love the looks of the Waterbox type open tanks. But I also hate glass tops. That's why I doubt I could have one.

Rainbowfish are known jumpers. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when.

My tanks have always been open top but with a canopy, which helps keep the Rainbows in the tank.
Get a custom lid from Kraken, Gregg. I know you have the canopy so it’s not a necessity but it’s been great for me.

By the way, I have no affiliation with Kraken. I just like their lids.
 
All topless for me. Looks better if you have wood coming out the top or plants. Plus to me I feel like it makes the scape more of the focus.
I do think the partly emergent open top style is very cool and want to do it at some point. I pretty much love all styles of aquascaping.
 
Oh my! Functional for sure.

Are those Radions? Have you seen the 3D printed shades for them? It may solve the blinding issue but not the cover issue. Radion XR30 Light Shade
Yep, Radion XR15 Freshwater - 4th generation. The shades look interesting but as you pointed out - I would loose some protection
 
Topped, and the biggest factor by far for me is evaporation. I don't have space under my current set-up for auto top off. I hate mid-week top-offs and suspect changes in water level contribute to instability in parameters. A good lid allows for very little evaporation between water changes. Also nice to keep top water fish without a care.

lid.jpg
 
Wow, that looks like good work! Home Depot/Lowe's?
 
Wow, that looks like good work! Home Depot/Lowe's?
parts used below :)

need to cut the frame corners to go around equipment, but it works.
also used a lil crazy glue to hold down the splines

 
parts used below :)

need to cut the frame corners to go around equipment, but it works.
also used a lil crazy glue to hold down the splines

So you use this basically to keep the fish in the tank while not blocking the light?

If so looks like a good solution and a neat product. How easy is to remove for maintenance? I have done the same with egg crate in the past.
 
So you use this basically to keep the fish in the tank while not blocking the light?

If so looks like a good solution and a neat product. How easy is to remove for maintenance? I have done the same with egg crate in the past.
essentially to keep my roselines from jumping. they just lay on the lip of my tank, simple lift and its off
 
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