We all have always dreamt a beautiful tank for competition, one of those full of luxuriant plants that emerge above water surface. There we go, we need to face one of the most important step in the choice of our aquarium: open top aquarium or closed top aquarium?

First of all, we need to consider what our tank will host. As a matter of fact, there are organisms for which a covered tank is fundamental to prevent diseases or accidental jumps that may compromise the health of fish. Betta fish represents an example of these circumstances. It belongs to those fish that have labyrinth (together with Trichogaster and Macropodus, some of the most famous ones) and the Betta fish need to breathe air to live, pretty much as we do. For its health, it should breathe moist warm air and, in an open top tank, especially in winter, it could have difficulties in finding the ideal conditions. This could expose the Betta fish to stress and inflammation. Moreover, in spite of its long fins, this fish is an extraordinary jumper and for this reason we suggest a closed top tank.

For example, other jumping fish are the hatchetfish, proper flying fish, but also many poecilid fish such as the swordtail or the molly. These fish, especially during the sparring display, risk to jump outside the aquarium.

In addition to this, another factor to consider in the choice of an open or closed tank is the temperature that we would like to keep. A tank with high temperature, such as the one with discus in it, may encounter a high heat dispersion and an elevated evaporation. This means that an open top aquarium requires frequent filling up. Nevertheless, an open aquarium has surely more charm to the observer’s eyes: it is possible to see everything that happens inside from every perspective. Moreover, you can observe what happens also above the surface: lush plants with leaves outside the water and light games caused by the reflection of the aquarium lights onto the water surface. These aspects pay you back the time of maintenance that a fish tank like this requires. However, if you are searching for an aquarium with clear design and many customization possibilities the open top tank is the right choice!

The closed top aquaria are already provided with filters and lights, but the open ones are easier to customize. Adding supplementary lights or high-performance filters is fast and simple, just as every type of maintenance work, from the trimming to the feeding.

It seems clear that there is not a better aquarium: our choice depends on what is better for our fish.


Lorenzo Tarocchi

Lorenzo Tarocchi

Laurea Magistrale in Agriculture, Master degree in Aquaculture and Ichthiopathology

Born in 1986, Laurea Magistrale in Agriculture, Master degree in Aquaculture and Ichthiopathology. Passionate about fishing and everything that lives underwater, he began working in an Aquarium shop in 2010 and over the years in one of the major Italian ornamental fish facilities, in the meantime collaborating with the Natural History Museum of the University of Pisa and with some important companies of the sector.