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Wanting an open top tank.


New Member
1 Sep 2021
Should I go for open top. Like to hear of any issues anyone has or regrets. Or should I be happy with below & just rescape from scratch?


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If it's not broken don't try and fix it, it looks great by the way.

That said I did take the lid off of mine as I prefer the way it looks, ease of access and more possibilities with respects to lighting.

You will need to consider some things:- potential jumpers, this can be limited to a small extent by lowering the water line a little, worst I've had is the odd nerite snail taking a wander down the outside of the glass ; evaporation and damp, though I've not experienced issues with either; any little hands or pets; external contamination such as air fresheners / bug sprays etc - I'm probably missing some obvious things but gives you an idea.
It does feel more aesthetically pleasing and magical. You do get more evaporation and presumably use a little more electricity. I had a lid in two halves and broke one, I quite enjoy having half a lid!
I went lidless with the Aqua-one 980,shame because the trickle filter next to the lighting is great but it's hard to maintain a planted aquarium with the lid..Evaporation is a concern of your away a few days and agree with @Mat H about not suitable for some fish
It looks nicer (in my opinion) and is easier to maintain, also allows floating plants, and hardscape to come out of the water etc.

Downsides are a bit of evaporation (only about 1.5 litres per week in my 60 litre tank), and potential escapees!! If you have the water line too high, I find Amano shrimps will explore your living space, lol. Other thing is if you have hard water, then you need to keep that waterline looking nice using a razor weekly (when you clean your glass), otherwise you will see a calcium deposit.

With all that said, they are only small downsides, I think the advantages more than outweigh the disadvantages, but I guess it depends what you find the most important.
Hi all,

I have an Eheim tank, where I can take the lid off and I do prefer without it. I bought it with a lid, because of my cat water liking (bath). Has grown up and doesn't jump to the tank any more. That's why I could open it up.

The good thing about not having a lid, is a much bigger lamps/lights choice. With the lid, there are only a few options. Other colleagues already mentioned more downsides.

My personal view is having a tank with a lid is far better.
No evaporation
The light is hidden away
The light doesn’t blind me when my eye level drops below the tank.
I personally think it provides a neater and cleaner aesthetic as you can’t see any cables etc….
I like how my aquarium “frames” my tank.

The only con being, i really do enjoy seeing the water movement from above. There’s something really soothing about it.
However, i can see it from below the waterline. So swings and roundabouts.
I love growth above the waterline too much to have a lid, but the humidity from it is almost enough to make me keep lidded aquariums,
I think there is a bit of jumbling between terms e.g. lid/glass cover/hood. You can have a glass cover panes with or without a hood, and a hood without it necessarily having a top e.g. you can have a 6" tall trim around the tank that cover the water line/hides a light bar without the top being enclosed. So it's not just an either/or - there are degrees/variations. So think about what you want from the tank, technically you could have a wrap around hood to stop glare from a light and still have enough of an open top to grow plants out. Or you can reduce evaporation/prevent with clear glass cover panes that are more subtle than a full opaque hood but will leave your light/wires on show.