Do Fish Tanks Need Lids? Our Investigation On Aquariums

You may have noticed that some aquariums are sold with lids but some come without them. Does this mean that you can actually use your aquarium without a lid? What can happen if you don’t buy this part of a fish tank? We thought about it when we saw a lot of open aquariums in one room and didn’t notice any bad smell or high humidity.

So, can you actually use your aquarium without a lid? Today, we are going to learn whether it’s possible and whether you actually can get rid of that lid and form a closer connection with your fish and other fish tank inhabitants. But this question is not that easy to answer, so please get ready to spend at least 15 minutes with us sorting out all the facts.

Here’s what we are going to talk about:

  1. Why can it be good when you don’t have a lid on your aquarium?
  2. What are the risks of using the fish tank without a lid?
  3. What fish is OK to live without a lid?
  4. When do you have to put a lid on your aquarium?

Let’s get started!

Advantages of having an aquarium without a lid

First of all, we should say that there are different types of aquarium lids. They can be glass lids, plastic covers, canopies, etc. You can even make your own cover. Sometimes people place their aquariums in some niches in their walls and the upper part of this niche forms a cover. But sometimes people don’t want to have any lid. They feel this way they experience a closer connection with their fish.

Well, the connection with your marine animals is one of the few advantages in this case. We can also think of another advantage – your aquarium may cost significantly cheaper without a lid.

But we’ve talked to experienced fish tank owners and they told us some more advantages of an aquarium without a lid:

  • natural evaporation takes place and this means that the humidity inside the tank will not be high, so no mold will be formed in the corners;
  • the water will always be fresher and less dangerous for your fish and other animals, no bad microorganisms will develop because of the humidity in the upper part of the tank;
  • you will need to add some water regularly, so the water will be cleaner and will be naturally refreshed every single week;
  • you can observe the marine world not only through the front glass but also from above which is more natural and beautiful;
  • you will not place a lot of annoying things on the top of your aquarium – this thing will always be just about your fish;
  • also, you will not need to clean the lid constantly and you will not risk breaking it when you maintain the tank.

As you see, people know a lot of advantages of having an aquarium without a lid. And before you close this page and go to get rid of the lid on your fish tank, please read further. Unfortunately, this will also have its disadvantages and some of them are really important for the health and lifespan of your fish and other marine animals.

Why are fish tanks without lids bad?

When we were talking to vets and professional breeders, all of them said that a lid is an important part of any tank. It creates the microclimate for fish, it offers wonderful opportunities to decorate the tank and to make it safer for your fish.

If you don’t have a lid, you will have to maintain your tank more often. And it’s not only about adding water nearly once every two days. It’s about a lot of other dangerous factors that really can change the way you admire your fish.

Here are some disadvantages of having a tank without a lid:

  • the water evaporation can create high humidity in the room where your tank is located;
  • you will need to add water regularly, otherwise, some fish can even die;
  • some objects may easily fall into the water and your fish can eat them thinking it’s food;
  • you will always have to clean your aquarium more often because the water will be dusty and dirty;
  • you will have to spend more money for heating your aquarium because the water will cool down faster;
  • some fish can even jump out of the tank, especially if you have different fish species fighting with each other sometimes;
  • your cat can fall into the tank which will cause a disaster for both cat and fish.

As you see, having a fish tank without a lid has more disadvantages than advantages. You will have to spend much more time and effort on keeping your tank OK. But yes, someone will still love the way the open tank looks and feels. So, you will just need to understand the risks that you take with taking that lid off your aquarium.

We don’t recommend doing so because you can risk the life of your fish and other pets you have in your house. Also, you will have to be around the tank all the time just in case some freedom-loving fish will decide to jump out for adventures.

Does adding evaporated water compensate for water changes?

Now, you can think that if you add water every two days because it’s evaporated thanks to the absence of a lid, you can forget about the water changes. Our logic says that we add a lot of water and the water should be always fresh and appropriate for the fish. But it’s not always like that.

First of all, water changes are aimed at optimizing water quality and parameters. Then, when you change the water, you take a lot of dirty water with biological leftovers from the tank and add some new clean water.

And you need to know that the waste doesn’t evaporate. It’s always there in the water. So, the clean water evaporates and you add some more clean water. But all leftovers, dust particles, biological waste are still there in the tank. And they keep poisoning your fish.

You need to control the parameters of the water each week to decide if you need to change the water or not. And you shouldn’t rely on the fact that you add up a lot of water daily. This doesn’t change the need to maintain your aquarium.

Why aquarium lids can be cool?

We know that many people have been asking about the possibility to have an aquarium without a lid just because they don’t want to have all those traditional fish tanks that look bulky and sometimes just spoil the interior. But we know for sure that you can decorate your aquarium with a lid and make it even more beautiful.

First of all, you may have different kinds of lids. Also, you may use other objects as the covers for your fish tank. For example, you can use the lid to place your collections of something or to put pictures with your most beautiful fish.

We know some other ideas of how to make the aquarium lid look better:

  1. Use light. LED light is always a good idea. You can use RGB light outside the tank to make it look more beautiful. And you also can use some warm-yellow or white light inside the tank to emphasize the beauty of the underwater world.
  2. Think about the style. Every room has a certain style. For example, you can order a lid that will match the color of the furniture in your room. Or you can buy a lid that will add to the style of the interior.
  3. Keep your lid empty. Very often we want to get rid of the lid because with this thing our aquarium looks messy. Just get rid of all those objects that you usually put on the lid and the tank will look much nicer.
  4. Buy an easily openable lid. If you love admiring the underwater world from above, you can buy a lid that is easy to open. Just open it, look at your fish and other animals, and then close the lid to protect them.

Also, you can buy a ventilated lid to ensure that the ventilation is good enough to prevent forming of mold. Fortunately, the range of lids of different sizes is now amazing. And you can buy so many kinds of lids that you will certainly make your tank much more beautiful.

Final words

We know for sure that having an aquarium with a proper lid is much better than having a fish tank without any cover. We’ve given you reasons why it’s so. Also, today, we’ve discussed what kinds of lids you can get. We think you should be very careful if you ever decide to get rid of the lid on your aquarium. This may bring problems such as some fish jumping out or something falling into the aquarium.