You may not think that your little fish are mischievous enough to jump from an aquarium, but the truth is many fish are known to jump out of their tanks only to fall prey to hungry pets.
An aquarium hood or canopy can save your little fellows from a cruel death and prevent curious pets or kids from getting their hands on your fish.
If your aquarium kit doesn’t include a hood, maybe it’s time to consider getting one, especially if incidents like the ones I described above sound all too familiar to you.
If you don’t know where to start or which aquarium hood to get, this article will guide you in choosing the best aquarium hood.
Why Use a Hood on Your Aquarium?
Popular freshwater fish like the guppy fish have a strong inclination to suddenly jumping out of their aquarium. Since they’re small, it’s easy to miss them and find them only when it’s already too late.
An aquarium hood will prevent such issues, keeping your favorite pets in their aquarium and out of the reach of children and pets.
Beyond the fact that an aquarium hood will prevent fish from jumping to their untimely death and keep curious pets and kids from hurting your fish, it will also reduce evaporation and heat loss in your aquarium.
Therefore, using a hood on your aquarium will benefit you even if you have fish that don’t tend to jump and even if you don’t have kids and pets.
Simply by putting a hood on your aquarium, you can reduce evaporation and maximize the efficiency of your water heater by reducing heat loss.
Some aquarium hoods are sold with a light system integrated into the hood, so this may be another reason why you might want one.
These are the more practical reasons to install an aquarium hood. Some aquarists simply prefer them for aesthetic reasons alone.
Either way, an aquarium hood can have many uses, so you too might one to consider one for your aquarium.
How to Choose the Right Aquarium Hood?
To choose the right hood, you’ll need to consider two things:
- Tank dimensions;
- Lighting needs.
The part about tank dimensions is a no-brainer, you need to get a hood that fits your tank. So take down the measurements (length and width) and compare that to the size of the hood.
The second aspect, lighting, will depend on the lighting requirements of your plants. Some hoods come with LED lighting included, so you must choose one that has the type of lighting you need in the tank.
For example, some plants can only thrive in high lighting conditions, and the hood of your tank may not be equipped to offer the level and quality of lighting needed.
Best Aquarium Hoods for Different Aquarium Size
Regardless of your aquarium size, you will find a hood that will match it. Here are my top choices for best aquarium hood:
1. Tetra LED Aquarium Hood
Available in 4 different size configurations, the Tetra LED aquarium hood comes with LED lights that mimic natural daylight.
The LED lights are energy efficient and they’re built into the hood of the aquarium. The lights are cabled along one cord, which is then clipped into the underside of the hood.
The hood has a low profile design, which grants it a sleek look. It also includes cut-outs in the back so you can fit most types of filters with it. Besides the filter opening, there’s also an opening for the heater on the right side.
The LED lights create a natural shimmer effect under water. Hinges are available for 20 inch hoods and larger.
As I mentioned, there are four sizes, so you can pick the one that fits your tank. Although the lights that ship with it are indeed very bright, you can also use other lighting with the hood if you don’t need those that are provided with the product.
- Hood includes LED lights;
- Includes cut-outs for other aquarium equipment;
- Multiple sizes available.
- No nighttime light setting;
- Customers have reported issues with LED lights being damaged by moisture.
2. Aquaeon Economy Aquarium Hood
The Aqueon Economy hood comes with incandescent aquarium lights. The hood can be used on most aquarium brands that fit the size of the hood.
The hood also features a cut-out for filter use, heater use and a small feeding door. The hood is made of good quality plastic and has a traditional design.
If you order this hood, make sure you also order light bulbs for it as they’re not included with the product. However, do remember that incandescent lights give off more heat than LED lights, so make sure this isn’t an issue for your fish.
I’d recommend this hood mainly for freshwater tanks because the metal casing that the light bulbs screw into may become damaged by saltwater or brackish water.
Other than these, the Aqueon Economy hood lives up to its name of being an economy product, offering good value for money.
- Easy to fit hood;
- Cut-outs for other equipment;
- Incandescent lights (give off more heat than LEDs);
- Bulbs must be purchased separately.
3. Marineland LED Light Aquarium Hood
Available in three different sizes, the Marineland hood for aquariums fits most standard aquarium brands on the market.
What I really like about this hood is that it’s LED lights comes with day & night time light settings. The hood is also hinged for easy access and secures into place even when the hood is open.
The LED emits white light, which may work for some types of aquarium plants, but not others that may require red, ultraviolet, yellow or other light.
That said, if you have live aquarium plants with low light requirements, this hood will be perfect for you.
The hood features cut-outs for other aquarium equipment and it’s easily secured onto the rim of your aquarium.
Another plus of this hood is that when opening it for maintenance, any condensation drips back into the tank because of its hinged design.
- Comes with daytime and nighttime LED lights;
- Hinged design for easy access;
- Compatible with most aquarium brands on the market;
- Removable cover to feed your fish if you don’t want to open hood;
- Plastic is a bit too thin, may become damaged if dropped;
- The LED light clips are a bit loosely integrated in their slot (there is a risk of them falling out when opening hood more than vertically).
4. Aqueon Fluorescent Aquarium Hood
Designed to fit most aquariums, this Aqueon deluxe hood will beautifully match your all-glass aquarium and sit securely on the inside lip of the aquarium frame.
A fluorescent T8 lamp (a single bulb) fitted with a splash guard protection is also included. This hood is designed to reduce evaporation, maximize the efficiency of your heater and prevent your fish from jumping out.
The hood is lightweight and has a lid, which you can open to access your tank more easily.
- Lights included;
- Splash guard protection;
- Secure installation and evaporation protection.
- Fluorescent bulbs need to be replaced more frequently.
5. Aqueon Versa Top Aquarium Hood
This glass aquarium top is easy to use and perfect for anyone looking to reduce evaporation or prevent fish from jumping out of the tank.
The top is very easy to install and has a hinged-style design for quick access to your aquarium. For complete information on assembly and installation a quick video is available in the product information to get you up to speed on how to install it.
The Aqueon Aquarium Versa top also features a clear vinyl strip that goes to the back of the aquarium and it can be cut to custom fit your other tank equipment like filters, airline tubing and heaters.
This glass top is an excellent alternative for those who want an alternative to glass plastic hoods. Since it’s made of glass it’s more prone to breaking, especially during shipping.
All in all, it’s an affordable and easy to use product and especially great for those who don’t want a black aquarium cover made of plastic.
- Easy to use and install;
- Hinged design;
- Leaves room for other aquarium equipment;
- Good value for money.
- No lights included;
- Made of glass it can break during shipping.
You may not think of an aquarium hood as a necessary piece of equipment for your aquarium. And you may be right. If you don’t have fish that are jumping out of the tank or pets and kids at home, you may not be inclined to consider getting an aquarium cover.
However, despite these, you may still want a cover just for reducing heat loss and evaporation in your aquarium.
If you do decide to put a lid on your aquarium, the best aquarium hood may be just a click away. Make sure you pick the right size (take measures of your aquarium) and choose a hood that works best for you.