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youcallmenny

Double carpet surfers

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I've been running with glass tops on my tanks since I started the hobby.  This has allowed me to use wooden canopies to hang my lights from.  Recently I've decided to use the LED light hanging kits that my ReefBreeders came with so I can ditch the clunky canopies.  Unfortunately this means that I had to ditch the glass tops as well.  I altered my top off reservoir to account for the additional evaporation without too much hassle.  

 

Then came the issue of covering the tanks.  I didn't want to have a completely open top because I have jumping fish in there and also three young kids that could potentially throw things into the tanks.  I wanted to use screen kits with bird net but due to both the side brackets of my LED's and external overflow boxes, there was no real way to do this.  In the end I opted to just use eggcrate.  It may block light, but it blocks a lot less than the glass typically did.  Beyond this, the increased gas exchange from open tops seems to have made the coral a lot happier.  Overall I've been pretty happy with the transition.  

 

Then I woke up this morning to a purple firefish on the floor and our black headed jawfish cooking on top of the eggcrate.  I'm bummed.  I knew it was a risk but didn't really think they'd make it through the gaps.  The majority of our fish are smaller ones, but there's quite a few.  It's become evident in recent months that I needed to let the herd thin itself out and once the bioload was decreased I could replace them with fewer, larger fish.  It still sucks losing them to the carpet.   :nono:

 

 

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Hey - that for sure sucks. 

 

You might be interested in doing what I did - and I can get you photos later.

 

But basically, I used egg crate with bird netting stretched very tight across it - all tied down with zip ties, and all painted black. 

 

I was worried about having so much egg crate up there (for blocking light etc) so I just sized the crate to the top sizes I wanted and then cut out the majority of the egg crate in the middle sections - leaving a 2in border and then 2in braces in the middle. Then, when you pull the netting, you can secure it to the four sides of the top and along the middle support brace - which creates a very tight surface. I wouldn't set stuff on it, but it won't dip down into the water.

 

If you want smaller holes then order some of the screen material from BRS or something like that. I got a bunch for $10-$15 I think and the spaces are quarter inch, and it's made out of a higher quality plastic vs. the looser, 1/2in bird netting. I feel like a goby or firefish could get through the bird netting, so if you go that route then just wrap the netting twice so theres overlap, which reduces the spacing.

 

Hope that helps.

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Wow - sorry to hear about this. My new setup is currently "topless" so I am also a bit concerned.  Given the way it is set up, it will be difficult to cover but I may have to get creative. Then again, I lost my lineatus wrasse to "hard wood" surfing even when I had a full canopy so never any guarantees I guess.  Hope you don't lose anyone else!

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Hey - that for sure sucks. 

 

You might be interested in doing what I did - and I can get you photos later.

 

But basically, I used egg crate with bird netting stretched very tight across it - all tied down with zip ties, and all painted black. 

 

I was worried about having so much egg crate up there (for blocking light etc) so I just sized the crate to the top sizes I wanted and then cut out the majority of the egg crate in the middle sections - leaving a 2in border and then 2in braces in the middle. Then, when you pull the netting, you can secure it to the four sides of the top and along the middle support brace - which creates a very tight surface. I wouldn't set stuff on it, but it won't dip down into the water.

 

If you want smaller holes then order some of the screen material from BRS or something like that. I got a bunch for $10-$15 I think and the spaces are quarter inch, and it's made out of a higher quality plastic vs. the looser, 1/2in bird netting. I feel like a goby or firefish could get through the bird netting, so if you go that route then just wrap the netting twice so theres overlap, which reduces the spacing.

 

Hope that helps.

 

That is a great idea!

 

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Wow - sorry to hear about this. My new setup is currently "topless" so I am also a bit concerned.  Given the way it is set up, it will be difficult to cover but I may have to get creative. Then again, I lost my lineatus wrasse to "hard wood" surfing even when I had a full canopy so never any guarantees I guess.  Hope you don't lose anyone else!

 

I think I'm just going to have to consign myself to keeping smaller jumping species out of the tank.  I have a christmas wrasse and a blue sided fairy wrasse but they're too tubby to fit through the eggcrate.  I guess "carpet surfing" was a bit of a misnomer.  Keeping a tank on carpet sounds scary.  The firefish hit the pergo but poor "Jaws" the jawfish baked under the morning led's on top of the eggcrate.  

 

That's such a bummer.  I got tired of it too, fish can jump through egg crate surprisingly.

 

Picked up one of these...

 

http://www.pnwmas.org/topic/37987-custom-acrylic-clear-mesh-top/

 

That is a killer idea but since I have drain pipes on the back from the external overflows and their returns plus the brackets from the led's on the sides I'm not sure how well I could get this to work.  I'd be interested in doing something like that though if it was feasible.  The eggcrate is all right but I hate that it blocks any light at all.  Compared to glass that was impossible to keep clean it's still hands and feet better where light obstruction is concerned though.  I'm also not a fan of it being white where all my tank trim is black.  I considered spray painting it but didn't because I'd rather not be dipping paint in the tank.  There is also black eggcrate you can order online but I just spent $30-40 on the sheets for this.  If I don't find a better option in the next couple of months I'll probably replace the white with the black.  

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I tried that but since I have plumbing coming out the back and light brackets on the side. Typical screen won't work.

 

20161118_201402.jpg

 

20161118_201408.jpg

Edited by youcallmenny

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Hope you figure something out. Right now I'm in a similar dilemma but am just going without and keeping my fingers crossed. Well, that and not buying any flasher wrasses (even though I love them)!

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Oh, no worries.  It's not ideal but definitely not a problem.  The coral is all happier than it was with the glass and though losing fish sucks, it'll give me a chance to replace them with bigger and better ones.  Always gotta find that silver lining.

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The eggcrate is doing a nice job, perfect fit.

 

One thought... You can put that mesh on the bottom side of the egg crate and have the best of all worlds!  I did it for a while before getting this current lid.

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