Dealing with condensation

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Oo-er, my first post.

How do you control condensation on a rimless tank? I love the look that George and Co. achieve, but I'm concrned that if I go with an open topped set-up, my (single glazed) living room windows will be running with condensation, which will ensure my Significant Other aborts the enterprise instantly!

I'm completely new to aquaria, and have been lurking here for quite a few weeks, with an aspiration to start with a top-notch high-tech set-up. UKAPS has taught me tons (thanks for a wonderful site!), but my LFS is not good at all, and there are probably obvious questions like this that I'd like reassurance on.

If I need pointing in the direction of a more mainstream fishkeeping forum, do say so...
 

vauxhallmark

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Tropica have an article on this - it doesn't have a direct link, but it's easy to find if you go to tropica.com, click on aquaristic (top), and then on The open aquarium (right).

Good luck with your new hobby!

Mark

PS it's not rims that reduce evaporation/condensation, but cover glasses or hoods :D. You could use a clip like ADA sell (in Japan and America) and use a cover glass.
 
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Thanks for the advice, Mark, I'll have a look at the Tropica site.

I can see that a hood, a condensation tray or cover glasses would help, but getting ADA-style glassware neatly past them might be tricky, and I'd lose the minimalist look of an open top :(
 

zig

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I have 3 open top tanks in one room with a large window( double glazed mind you, maybe thats the difference?) and don't have any problems with condensation. I'd say go for it, you could always put a cover on later if it became an issue.
 

Ed Seeley

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You could always stick a little dehumidifier in the room if it did prove to be a problem. I think the rule is the tank shouldn't be more than 5% of the floor area to prevent problems, but many seem to have bigger tanks than that without issues.
 
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The Tropica article suggests the surface area of the tank should be no more than 2% of the room's floor area, plus the air/water temperature difference should be no more than 5°C. I'm looking at putting a 90x45x45 tank (yes, I'm being guided by your ace article Mr. S!) in a 12m² room, with a daytime winter temperature of significantly less than 26°C. So I'd be breaking both the rules!

But as you've pointed out, there are obviously ways around it and the total lack of any previous discussion of this issue on this (very comprehensive) forum, suggests I'm worrying about nothing.

So I'd better continue trying to persuade my other half to let me spend some serious dosh on this project - watch this space...

And thanks for the prompt and authoritative advice - UKAPS really is very special.
 

Ed Seeley

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Glad to have helped. We aim to please! The one thing I'd say since writing the article is that you might want to get an even higher turnover filter! I have a 2128 on another 180l tank and am thinking of adding a koralia to up the flow in there too! Aim for at least 10x the tank's volume.
 
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Yeah, I've been trying to keep up with developments, and it's obvious maximum desirable flow is getting higher all the time, while manufacturers use pretty optimistic flow figures. Plus I'd like to have an external heater and reactor, which will reduce flow (I think?)

As a total newbie it's difficult to know what's what, but I'm thinking of getting two filters - maybe 2x Tetratec EX 1200's? Lights - something like an Arcadia OT2 luminaire... FE CO2... Rummynose tetras or neons... Shrimps... Snails? And plants... oooh, plants...
 

Ed Seeley

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paul.in.kendal said:
Yeah, I've been trying to keep up with developments, and it's obvious maximum desirable flow is getting higher all the time, while manufacturers use pretty optimistic flow figures. Plus I'd like to have an external heater and reactor, which will reduce flow (I think?)

As a total newbie it's difficult to know what's what, but I'm thinking of getting two filters - maybe 2x Tetratec EX 1200's? Lights - something like an Arcadia OT2 luminaire... FE CO2... Rummynose tetras or neons... Shrimps... Snails? And plants... oooh, plants...
That sounds like a good plan. You're right about the CO2 reactor reducing flow and the heater will to a lesser extent too. Personally I'd put one on each filter to spread the reductions. You going with Aquasoil? Those new Arcadia lights look very nice; can't wait to see some pictures!
 
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Don't know about substrate yet - I'm picking different elements of the job, and trying to get my head round them one at a time. I'd like a dark substrate that doesn't need top-dressing (not quite the right term - my outdoor gardening roots are showing).
 

Ed Seeley

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paul.in.kendal said:
Don't know about substrate yet - I'm picking different elements of the job, and trying to get my head round them one at a time. I'd like a dark substrate that doesn't need top-dressing (not quite the right term - my outdoor gardening roots are showing).
Well that sounds like Aausoil Amazonia to me! Awesome substrate IMHO.
 
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Sounds good.

What about the tank itself? I'd like Optiwhite glass, which I think means I have to go with Aquariums Ltd or Aqua Essentials. But are there any off-the-shelf systems that are made in Opti-white? I guess the Juwel tanks are not, but perhaps another manufacturer does use it? If they do it might save money - even if some of the equipment needs upgrading.
 

Ed Seeley

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As far as i know no major manufacturer makes Opti-white tanks. Also with your very clear ideas on equipment you'd end up using none of the equipment it would come with so I'd just get the Opti-white tank for starters! It's going to be an awesome tank when you get it going.
 

Ed Seeley

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Ha ha! Good luck with those!
For task 1 try showing her some set ups in a really good LFS and how much they will enhance your room (some photos off here might help too - just none with any equipment showing, algae farms or plants being re-planted!)
Task 2 requires spook levels of secrecy! Women can smell money being spent I swear!!! :lol:
 
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The problem with the LFS suggestion is that all she'll notice are the puddles of water and the high humidity! We're down to London over Xmas so I'm thinking of taking her to the London Aquarium - if that doesn't wow her, nothing will!

And bribery might work - I'm going to suggest some snorkel-friendly holidays for next year - we went to Hurghada twenty years ago and she loved that!
 

Themuleous

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I have often wondered about condensation problems, as I get condensation quite badly in my house. Could be due to the open top 120x45cm tank in my living room. The worse affected place is the front door which has single glazed windows in it. That thing you could swim on there is so much water.

The lack of double glazing could be the issue, as its the cold air temp outside the house that cools the windows and causes the condensation. Im guessing that decent, modern double glazing is so good the internal temp of the glass doesn't drop sufficiently for the condensation to occur.

Sam
 
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We have some double glazing (no condensation) and some metal-framed single glazed panes set in wooden surrounds(mucho condensation). I'm sure an open tank will add to the problem, but I'm going to assume that I'll be able to manage the problem either with a dehumidifier (good ideas as always, Mr S ;) ), or retrofitting cover glasses or even a hood, if necessary.
 

Ray

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I've got a 90x45x50H (see my journal). Flow requirement depends on plant density. I have an Eheim 2028 (1050lph) + a 400lph internal filter (could also be a powerhead) are giving me plentiful circulation for my current planting level. A 2076/8 would have allowed me to do without the internal. Dan Crawford ran just a 2028 on his 160l "Route to Wilderness" (all be it with 24/7 CO2) and JamesC uses a "small" powerhead to supplement his 2028 flow on his 200l 4' tank.

If your other half isn't interested in fish she will never imagine how much it all costs (pay cash where possible). But if she isn't interested in fish, she might get jealous of the tank, so some kind of buy in is helpful - especially if you flood the living room and then get green water like I did (even I had had enough by then).

Aquasoil is superb substrate, but watch the ammonia spikes, I'd consider soaking the AS or fishless cycling it if you don't have mature filters from day 1.

Oh, I'm evaporating about 1 inch or 10 litres/week at 25 degrees, room temp 22 degrees.
 
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I've already read through your journal, Ray (nice stand - ;) ). Your experiences, as well as the aspirational stuff, are what makes this forum so incredible. That's not to say your latest pictures are anything short of aspirational, of course - but the mistakes you made and shared on the Forum are really useful, too. Your algae issues :( made me realise how important it is to get max flow and plant heavily - and I mean HEAVILY! Interesting to see others bunging in bunches of floating plants to begin with, to help in the early days.

Flooding the living room? I'm not even contemplating it - I reckon a thought-through water-change routine from the outset will be essential. And proper kit, carefully installed, should avoid any silly accidents (shouldn't it?)

I'm confident that, once it's going, she herself will be won over - planted tanks look so beautiful even in static 2D, she can't help but love the real thing.

Substrate - I'm pretty patient, so I'm intending to go for fishless cycling anyway. Although the AS ammonia spikes do seem a hassle - aren't there other good substrates that don't do this?
 
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