for the week of 11/12/98
A good aquarium cover keeps OUT: dust, other pets, small children, their toys, and the other half of their baloney sandwich.
A good aquarium cover keeps IN: fish (that jump), snails and eels (that slither), newts and crabs (that climb), water (that evaporates), and more water (that splashes).
In short, an aquarium cover serves as the divider between the land and water environments. In order to perform its job most effectively, the cover should be properly sized, covering as much of the aquarium's top as practical. Openings for heaters, airlines, filters and so on should be cut carefully (or better yet, drilled, in the case of round holes) to fit snugly around the objects.
If possible, the cover should rest on the inside lip of the top aquarium frame, rather than on the top of the aquarium. This not only reduces the risk of it being accidentally knocked off, but also channels water that has condensed on the cover's underside back into the aquarium. Since the cover should fit the aquarium so precisely, the two should generally be purchased together, or at least made by the same manufacturer.
The glass portion of the cover under the light (which keeps the water environment from becoming one with the electrical environment) should of course be cleaned regularly - especially in planted aquariums. A great deal of light can be lost if the glass is dusty or water-stained.
"Tip of the week" appeared regularly in 1999 and 2000.
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