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General questions

I'm not as good with water changes as @seangee at 75%, but in a 200 ltr, I would change out a minimum of 50 ltr per week. I would probably lean closer to 70-80ltrs. As I'm typing, I know someone out in internet land is making up a system for never changing water - it's a holy grail in the hobby that tends to draw opinionated old men. But consistent water changes have transformed the lives of my fish - they live far longer, look healthier and breed more easily. I grew up in the no water change, balanced aquarium era, and am now a water change diehard, and I see nothing but positives in water changing.
This is a real pet peeve of mine in online discussions. To me, this idea of never doing water changes is just lazy fish keeping. One of the main proponents of it claims that this is just keep a tank balanced and natural. But it's not natural. You cannot replicate nature in an aquarium because an aquarium is an enclosed system while nature is not. Nature has constant massive water changes. Water flows through rivers streams and creeks into lakes and oceans. The bodies of water that don't have natural water changes are like the Dead Sea or Great Salt Lake. The Dead Sea is called that for a reason and fish struggle in the Great Salt Lake.
I was just arguing with a guy who told someone to not do water changes. And while I don't agree with the no water change method, a lot of the people who do that create certain conditions in their tank to make it work. Heavily planted, very deep substrate and minimal feeding. So it makes sense on at least a certain level. It's still misinformation. And the thing about misinformation is that it gets worse. Because then you have people who think you don't have to do anything except top off your tanks every once in a while. This guy I was talking to said he has no plants and does no water changes. I asked him where the nitrates go. He thought they evaporated (they don't). And they all swear they have the healthiest fish even when the fish have to live in their own filth for years.
 
This is a real pet peeve of mine in online discussions. To me, this idea of never doing water changes is just lazy fish keeping. One of the main proponents of it claims that this is just keep a tank balanced and natural. But it's not natural. You cannot replicate nature in an aquarium because an aquarium is an enclosed system while nature is not. Nature has constant massive water changes. Water flows through rivers streams and creeks into lakes and oceans. The bodies of water that don't have natural water changes are like the Dead Sea or Great Salt Lake. The Dead Sea is called that for a reason and fish struggle in the Great Salt Lake.
I was just arguing with a guy who told someone to not do water changes. And while I don't agree with the no water change method, a lot of the people who do that create certain conditions in their tank to make it work. Heavily planted, very deep substrate and minimal feeding. So it makes sense on at least a certain level. It's still misinformation. And the thing about misinformation is that it gets worse. Because then you have people who think you don't have to do anything except top off your tanks every once in a while. This guy I was talking to said he has no plants and does no water changes. I asked him where the nitrates go. He thought they evaporated (they don't). And they all swear they have the healthiest fish even when the fish have to live in their own filth for years.
Me in this post.

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Would plexiglass bow over time? I wouldn’t want to replace it for a good few years.
If the tank width is only 400mm, it shouldn’t bow if you get a 5 or 6mm thick plexiglass. But it's expensive compared with glass.

If you go with glass, you should be able to get it from a glass shop or look up online, but get at least a 6mm thick as a thin glass will chip and break easily. The glass lids I use came from old photo frames, so they’re not even 2mm thick and are prone to breaking - don’t do what I do.

To get a feeding opening, you can use 2 pieces of glass instead of one. You can then slide them sideway to create an opening. You can also reduce condensation on the underside of the glasses by sliding them farther apart, but larger opening allows more heat to escape, so slightly higher electricity cost.
 
If the tank width is only 400mm, it shouldn’t bow if you get a 5 or 6mm thick plexiglass. But it's expensive compared with glass.

If you go with glass, you should be able to get it from a glass shop or look up online, but get at least a 6mm thick as a thin glass will chip and break easily. The glass lids I use came from old photo frames, so they’re not even 2mm thick and are prone to breaking - don’t do what I do.

To get a feeding opening, you can use 2 pieces of glass instead of one. You can then slide them sideway to create an opening. You can also reduce condensation on the underside of the glasses by sliding them farther apart, but larger opening allows more heat to escape, so slightly higher electricity cost.
The tank is 1000x400mm, so 1000mm long which I think might make it bow a little? I think glass would work better because of cost and it definitely wouldn't bow (I hope)
Would 6mm glass be heavy? I was thinking of getting 2 pieces of 1000x200mm and then fitting them together with a plastic hinge, then having the light over the top? Is that a sensible idea? I can't quite tell.
 
The tank is 1000x400mm, so 1000mm long which I think might make it bow a little? I think glass would work better because of cost and it definitely wouldn't bow (I hope)
Would 6mm glass be heavy? I was thinking of getting 2 pieces of 1000x200mm and then fitting them together with a plastic hinge, then having the light over the top? Is that a sensible idea? I can't quite tell.

Your tank’s footprint is 1m x 0.4m, if you have 2 pieces and each one is 0.5m x 0.4m, then each piece is supported by the rim 0.4m apart, not 1m.
If you look at post 10, the 2nd photo, that’s what I have on my tank. I wouldn’t fit hinges on the glass, the glass will break.

How heavy is each piece?
The volume of each piece is 0.5m x 0.4m x 0.006m = 0.0012m³
Glass density is about 2500kg/m³, so the weight of each piece is 2500kg x 0.0012 = 3kg (the same weight as 3 litres of water).

Hope that helps.
 
Your tank’s footprint is 1m x 0.4m, if you have 2 pieces and each one is 0.5m x 0.4m, then each piece is supported by the rim 0.4m apart, not 1m.
If you look at post 10, the 2nd photo, that’s what I have on my tank. I wouldn’t fit hinges on the glass, the glass will break.

How heavy is each piece?
The volume of each piece is 0.5m x 0.4m x 0.006m = 0.0012m³
Glass density is about 2500kg/m³, so the weight of each piece is 2500kg x 0.0012 = 3kg (the same weight as 3 litres of water).

Hope that helps.
Thank you, I feel unbelievably stupid now. I forgot it could be cut the other way, thanks for dealing with my slowness 😂
 
My covers that aren't scrap glass come from window glass suppliers.
 

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