Plastic Vs. Glass Aquarium Cover To Keep Cat Out

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by slovenly_muse, Jun 5, 2017.

  1. slovenly_muse

    slovenly_museNew MemberMember

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    Hi fishlore friends!

    I have a 29 gallon standard (but may be transferring to a 30 gallon long, we'll see) that I have kept for years. My partner has a cat. We are excited to be moving in together next month, and particularly excited to see how the cat reacts to the fish! However, we have some concerns. We are expecting that this cat can't be trained to stay off the aquarium. He is a rescue, and is very skittish and hyper... he seems to lack the faculties to understand that his tail is part of his own body, and not some external enemy sent to terrorize him! He climbs on anything and everything, and doesn't learn lessons from mishaps. (He sounds like a handful, but really it's adorable.) My partner and I both work during the day so won't be able to supervise him, and are resigned to the fact that we won't realistically be able to keep the cat off the tank.

    With that in mind, I am looking at options for tank hoods/covers that might be sturdy enough to keep the cat from taking a bath. If he does jump or walk up there, what stands a better chance of supporting his weight? He is not heavy, but he can be quite active. I am moving to LED lighting, so my options are more or less a standard plastic LED hood, or a glass sheet with a hinge and and LED strip mounted on top, sitting just above the glass on brackets. Glass seems like the most solid cover to take his weight, but I have never used an LED strip before, and I'm not sure how sturdy they are if the cat moves from the glass onto the light strip.

    At the moment, I am looking at a plastic hood, and considering finding a way to reinforce it by perhaps somehow attaching some corner bracers (flat metal triangles) into the corners on the inner rim of the tank to provide some extra surface area for the cover to sit on, and maybe prevent it from falling into the tank if kitty takes a leap. Of course, I'd have to be careful about the materials used to prevent toxins and rust, and I'm not much of a DIYer.

    What is your experience with kitties and tank lids? What breaks? What falls? What can they open to get at the fish? What is more likely to hold up?

    Thanks for your input!
     
  2. sfsamm

    sfsammWell Known MemberMember

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    I currently have a cat that after having my tanks going several months she all the sudden became interested in them, one in particular. On my last set of days off of removed the lid, she jumped and splashed, she no longer likes that particular tank.... It did not deter her from the rest she just reaches up and tests for a lid first now... So if you figure it out lol I'd like to know too.... She's the first cat I've had that insisted on sitting atop my tanks. The rest were content to sit next to them and peek over the top.
     
  3. KinsKicks

    KinsKicksFishlore VIPMember

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    Hello!

    I think maybe plastic might be better as you could get a thicker piece thus making it more sturdy. Also, you don't run the risk of him knocking the LED light around and dropping it into the tank or pulling a cord when he jumps off. Glass could be used as well, but there might be the risk that, unless you get a really thick piece, with a well placed jump, itll snap and shatter and you'll get shards which you don't want. A good alternate (it's a bit more pricey but lasts a lifetime) is polycarbonate sheets. The stuff literally does not break and we used to use them in the LFS to cover the arowana tanks, and those guys could never break the them.

    You could always train the cat as well. My friend had had success using double-sided tape on her hoods; cats really hate sticky things and they'll learn to stay away if there is sticky tape; plus, it's pretty cheap and you can replace it as often as you need until your cat learns (they do learn fast tho, after one or two times walking on the hood with the tape, he never went on it again). You could even add tape around the perimeter of the tank so he learns to stay away from the tank completely.

    And, if by chance he does take a bath, I'm almost sure he'll never go near it again unless he's got real guts

    Hope this helps and best of luck!
     
  4. OP
    OP
    slovenly_muse

    slovenly_museNew MemberMember

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    Thanks! I have heard about the sticky tape method, and a couple of other strategies for making the top unappealing to the cat, and we'll sure be trying! But just in case, I'd like the top to be as sturdy and secure as possible.

    You're right, though. With a glass hood and light strip, there's a lot more that can go wrong. With a plastic hood, pretty much the only thing that can happen is it will hold up or fall in!

    Maybe I'll ask the folks in the DIY thread if they have any advice for reinforcing a plastic hood...
     
  5. Nada Mucho

    Nada MuchoWell Known MemberMember

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    I have an Aqueon 3o gallon tank and a matching 36" Versa-Top. I have my LED light bars (four of them) sitting right on top of the glass without any issues. No way that cat is getting through that top even if he weighs 25 pounds.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    slovenly_muse

    slovenly_museNew MemberMember

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    Thanks for that! So, your light strip just rests on the glass, not on brackets above it? That is something to consider...
     
  7. Nada Mucho

    Nada MuchoWell Known MemberMember

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  8. OP
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    slovenly_muse

    slovenly_museNew MemberMember

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    Thanks! That's really helpful :)
     
  9. fissh

    fisshWell Known MemberMember

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    Is you tank glass or acrylic?
     
  10. OP
    OP
    slovenly_muse

    slovenly_museNew MemberMember

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    I'm actually not sure... This tank is secondhand. When I move, though, I will likely be getting a new tank from my LFS, to fit the new space. They sell Seapora and Marineland brand tanks, but I'm not sure what the material is. Looks like glass to me.
     
  11. fissh

    fisshWell Known MemberMember

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    I'm not familiar with Seapora but Marineland brand tanks are glass. I would get the glass to cover the tank because acrylic warps when used as a top, if your buying a new tank you could get a stand with a matching canopy. It looks good and will help keep the cat out! DSCN4469.JPG
     
  12. TerryCat

    TerryCatValued MemberMember

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    I also struggle to keep ,y cats off the tank lid. We use masking tape sticky side up on top of lids that are too flimsy to support them. A bit of an eye sore but it works for the most part. I once came home to find her on my aquaclear so now that lid has tape too lol.
     
  13. fissh

    fisshWell Known MemberMember

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    good ole duct tape!
     
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