General African Cichlid Discussion • How low should my water level be in a lidless tank?

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How low should my water level be in a lidless tank?

Postby FreshAgua » Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:48 am

Hello,
I am a new member to this forum and African cichlids but not to the hobby. I have talked with several other African cichlid keepers about this topic but none have given me a straight answer. I am starting up a new 55g Johanni/possibly also Taiwan Reef tank. The tank is rimless and lidless... A friend offered to give it to me for $20 so of course I said what the #%$&. Anyways, I'm wondering how far below the rim of the tank should I keep the water level to avoid jumpers? (Putting the tank in a room with good lighting so not having a tank light won't bother me) I'm more concerned about them accidentally jumping out during feeding time when they're excited than I am with them just trying to escape the tank purposely. Would love some expert opinions and just some extra tips on keeping Johannis/Taiwan Reefs as well. Thanks.
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Re: How low should my water level be in a lidless tank?

Postby Old Newbie » Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:16 am

Hard to give a "straight" answer to that question. I keep Africans; I use tops on all of my tanks and keep the water level about 1/2 from the lip the top sits on. If the fish get startled or say if maybe a male is giving chase to a female, I have had fish hit the under side of the top. I don't think having the water level lower would have made a difference, unless it was several inches lower or more. I've had fish jump out of tanks with tops on that I thought they could not get out of, but apparently they were moving just fast enough and by accident left the water near an opening for an intake or output; ended up finding them at a later date dried up behind the tank.
90g Metriaclima Estherae, Metriaclima Lombardoi, Labidochromis Caeruleus, Synodonitis Nigrita
55g Psuedotropheus Demasoni, Synodontis Nigrita
55g Astatatalapia Latisfaciata
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Re: How low should my water level be in a lidless tank?

Postby punman » Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:06 pm

I would think at least an inch. May depend on the size of the fish. A half inch fish won't jump as high as a three inch fish. My cyprichromis are jumpers and an inch might not be enough. An open tank is going to lose more water to evaporation and going to be more expensive to heat. I'd look at a cover or partial cover down the road. A glass supply place could maybe cut you a piece pretty cheap compared to a pet store.
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Re: How low should my water level be in a lidless tank?

Postby BlueSunshine » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:37 pm

Lids.....you are going to need lids. :)
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Re: How low should my water level be in a lidless tank?

Postby FreshAgua » Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:54 pm

Appreciate the replies. I will definitely look into lids in the future but I'm getting these guys at 2" so I'm not super worried. I'll just keep the water level down like 3" for now.
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Re: How low should my water level be in a lidless tank?

Postby DJRansome » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:35 pm

I keep the tanks full to minimize noise and definitely lids...they are complete jumpers.

Young ones are just as bad as old ones.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: How low should my water level be in a lidless tank?

Postby Steve C » Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:23 am

Completely agree with DJ on that. I found out the hard way back when I first got back into cichlids that not having a closed top was not a great idea. I lost a few to jumping before I started going with full glass lids.
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120g 4x2x2 Bichir tank
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75g Bichir tank
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Re: How low should my water level be in a lidless tank?

Postby The Morning » Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:46 pm

Recently found a pictus cat and yellow tailed acie behind my tank. Not real happy as the tank had full lid. The yellow was only about 1 inch so yeah they can jump.
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Re: How low should my water level be in a lidless tank?

Postby Steve C » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:49 pm

Wow that is really surprising. I would never have guessed a cat would jump out :o
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240g Hap tank
120g 4x2x2 Bichir tank
75g Oscar tank
75g Bichir tank
75g Paludarium
20g grow out
10g grow out
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Re: How low should my water level be in a lidless tank?

Postby DJRansome » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:36 pm

I've had Synodontis jump fairly often. One heartbreaking time it was a true Petricola.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: How low should my water level be in a lidless tank?

Postby Steve C » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:32 pm

That sucks to a lose Petricola :( I haven't lost any cats to jumping thankfully. Never really knew they would to be honest.
______________________________________
240g Hap tank
120g 4x2x2 Bichir tank
75g Oscar tank
75g Bichir tank
75g Paludarium
20g grow out
10g grow out
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