Why Do I Need A Lid For My Fish Tank? Here Are My 5 Reasons

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Do you ever wonder why some aquariums come with fish tank lids and some without lids? Well, I am here to clear your doubt. I am going to talk about why the fish tank lid is an essential part of the aquarium.

A covered tank blocks the fish that attempts to jump out, protect the fish from household pets, and curious kids. Lids also help to avoid dust particles and insects. A constant responsibility to fill water due to evaporation disappears. During summer, water in an open aquarium evaporates faster. Furthermore, evaporation increases the humidity of the room. Since the pros enormously outweigh the cons, fish tank lids are, in fact, a fundamental necessity.

When I was just a beginner at fishkeeping, there were several incidents where fish jumped out from my fish tank. Nobody told me that a fish tank lid is an integral part of the aquarium set up.

Occasionally, my pet cat would poke the fish with its paw. There would be a situation when the number of fish count decreased from 26 to 23. Maybe my cat ate them.

Seeing this happen made me realize the importance of fish tank lids. To know more, I researched the matter of fish tank lids on the internet. So, it will also help other fish-lovers to clear their doubt about keeping lids.

Many people believe that a lid makes the aquarium look beautiful. However, you can read the following to know that fish tank lids are an essential part of the aquarium and not just a decoration.

Why Is A Fish Tank Lid Important?

You should get a fish tank lid for many essential reasons. Some fish jump out of the tank. It may cause the fish to die if nobody picks them up to put them in the right place. Likewise, fish tanks need a lid to protect the fish from curious pets, kids, dust, pollutants, evaporation, etc. You can read below to find out the benefits of using lids.

The Benefits Of Using Fish Tank Lids

You should not let the outside environment disturb the peaceful world of your aquarium. You should keep in mind that the primary purpose of using a lid is to prevent the risk of the outside world’s interaction with the internal world of the aquarium.

My study led me to find that lids are beneficial in so many ways, which are listed below.

Protect Household Pets, Kids, And Fishes

You have seen cartoons where a cat hunts a fish. The fact is not far from the fable. This scenery might come true in real life too. You should keep the lid closed so that your curious cat does not eat the fish. The cat may even flip the tank and cause your aquarium to break.

Children are stubborn and don’t listen to what adults say. In quest of their fascination, they might play with their fish buddies. This incident might kill the fish. If the fish have infectious diseases, the kids might get that too.

Children might get thirsty and drink the tank water, which is harmful to their health. They may throw electronic gadgets inside the tank and watch with fascination the things sinking slowly. It is a scary thought of the gadgets creating an electric shock killing the fishes, and shocking the children both.

This creates a lot of hassle. Besides, you will have to solve additional problems like taking care of sick children, replacing the dead fish, buying a new electronic gadget, etc. So, lids are important to prevent such mishaps.

Protect From Dust, Debris, And Falling Objects

You know that an open tank invites dust, debris to fall on the water surface. Dust and debris make the water dirty and require constant cleaning. To solve this, you can look through our article on the easiest way to clean and maintain aquarium.

An interesting thing to note is that dust reduces the surface area of your tank. Fewer oxygen particles mix with the water when the surface area is reduced. When there is less oxygen in the aquarium water, fish will find it difficult to breathe.

This low oxygen concentration in the tank water might cause diseases in your fish. The dust might even imbalance the water parameters of your tank. It can be a big factor that causes disease in your fish.

Furthermore, any nearby objects might fall and injure your fish. So, you should get a lid to prevent these incidents.

You might like the following articles too:

  • Why Do Fish Tanks Get Dirty So Fast – How To Clean And Maintain Tanks
  • How To Maintain The Oxygen Level In Aquarium?
  • How to Adjust pH in Fish Tank?
  • What is Ammonia Poisoning in Fish Tank And How to Get Rid of It?

Fish Tank Lids Prevent Evaporation

One of the major advantages you get from using lids is that it prevents evaporation. You do not need to continuously look after filling the tank.

Generally, an open tank evaporates faster than a tank with a lid. Especially during summer, you can notice that an open tank loses water quite frequently. An open tank will require you to constantly fill the tank again and again.

However, when you use a fish tank lid, the water in the tank does not evaporate. What evaporates instead is your responsibility to constantly fill the water in the tank.

You can further read on ‘How to Maintain Aquarium During Summer?’.

Lids Protect Jumping Fish

You might be fascinated to know that fish also have a biological clock, just like humans. Your fish loves sunlight in the day and darkness at night. That is why you need to switch off the artificial light at night.

Some of our readers are also fascinated by the question ‘Can I Turn off the Aquarium Filter at Night?’.

However, it is during this time that the fish are generally startled even by slight disturbance like sudden loud noise or sudden stimulus. The fishes may jump out from their tank. The fish jump out of the tank during the day also.

Some fish are curious, stressed, and bored by staying inside the tank, so they try to escape occasionally. My experience taught me that a lid helps to prevent fish from escaping.

Prevents From Pungent And Fishy Odor

Are you one of those people who feel that the smell of fish stinks? For an aquarist, you may not be the one to hate the smell of fish. However, if you are not living alone, there are certain things you should consider!

Well, then you should use an aquarium lid because it helps to limit the smell coming from your tank. The lid acts as a barrier between your room and the aquarium where fish live.

What Do You Have To Deal With When Using Fish Tank Lids?

The benefits of using lids greatly over-weigh the aquarium without lids. However, it does come with its slight downsides. These are personal preferences.

  • Closed lids cannot grow naturally long plants.
  • Slight problems in arranging the lighting, filters, heaters, etc
  • It is not as pleasing to look at as open aquariums.

Different Types Of Aquarium Covers/ Fish Tank Lids

Hood, canopy, and lids are some terms you might have come across regarding fish tank cover. Are they all the same or different? You can read the description below to find out.

Glass Lid

Most people prefer glass lids for their durability and ability to fit perfectly with the tank. They fit tightly with your aquarium to prevent evaporation. And they are easy to clean.

You should note that while buying glass lids, it should have a vinyl back strip that allows you to make cutouts for filters and accessories. Since they are durable and versatile, their price should not shock you. These lids are expensive than the plastic hood.

Glass lids give a sleek finish to your aquarium. Furthermore, it looks like you have put on no lid at all.

The glass lids that seem to work for your different sized tanks are:

  • H2Pro 24″ Glass Canopy 15/20/ 55-Gallon Aquarium Fish Tank (23.07 x 11.69 x 0.16in)
  • H2Pro 20″ Glass Canopy 10 Gallon Aquarium Fish Tank (19.33 x 9.65 x 0.16in)
  • H2Pro 30″ Glass Canopy 20 Long/29 Gallon Aquarium Fish Tank (29.21 x 11.69 x 0.16in)

Plastic Lid Or Hood

The hood is the plastic lid that covers the lighting structures as well as the entire aquarium. It is cheaper than glass and canopy.

There is a downside to using plastic lids, though. Plastic lids do not adjust that well with the aquarium and ultimately cause more evaporation. Plastic lids also become frail through time.

However, lighting is already attached to the hood, so you won’t have trouble to fix additional lighting.

I have used Perfecto Manufacturing APFBAG028 Marineland Plastic Hood Back Strip Lighting for Aquarium, Large, Clear personally and it was quite an experience.


Canopy helps to maintain the aesthetic of your room. If you like to live an aesthetic life, the canopy is for you. They are occasionally more expensive than the aquarium itself. Canopy is generally expensive than glass and plastic lids.

The decoration of the room is maintained by a canopy. Moreover, it will certainly match the essence of your room, giving your room a beautiful finish.

What Are Assets Of Fish Tank Without Lids?

Traditionally, lids are important for fish tanks. And, I recommend you to get a fish tank with lids. However, open aquariums are recently getting popular.

One example is Takashi Amano’s natural aquarium, which promotes the natural growth of plants and fish altogether.

The assets of an open aquarium are that the open aquarium looks very natural and appealing. The fish and its habitat can be viewed from above. And, you can keep tall aquarium plants too.

But, you will have more headaches than satisfaction when you use an open tank. It is because cleaning is often necessary due to dust, debris, insects, etc. falling on the water surface.

Evaporation constantly happens in such open tanks. Excess evaporation causes mineral deposits to increase, resulting in the hardness of the water. But you can use demineralized water to solve this problem.


You can choose any kind of tank for your preferred fish. Since you have read this brief article, you may have understood that lids are more beneficial and important than not having one.

Through this article, you may have also got some knowledge about which type of lid to use. Besides, you might have cleared your doubt about why open tanks exist.

Now, if you are planning on buying a tank, cover your fish tank with a lid to enjoy all the benefits. Otherwise, your fish might escape too.

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