“ Manufacturer: Clear Seal / Type: Aquarium Equipment - Condensation Tray „
This simple plastic splash guard or condensation tray can be one of the best investments you make for your aquarium. With prices ranging from £1 -£4 this stops condensation from damaging your light fixtures, warping wood cabinet lids, and can prevent fish injury.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I NEED ONE?
If the lid to your tank has a separate glass or clear plastic cover shielding the light fixture and any exposed wood, then you do not need this item. My son's aquaone for instance has built in splash and condensation protection so this would be completely unnecessary and horrible looking to boot. However if you have a wooden cabinet with lid this is a must have item. If you have a plastic cabinet which leaves the light exposed this is so worth buying as some fish do leap out of the water. Also if you have one of those modern tanks with no lid and a lightbulb suspended a couple of inches over the tank and would prefer not to find your fish on the living room floor, this is worth buying.
WHAT'S THE WORST THAT CAN HAPPEN
I once had a pangasius shark so badly burned from contact with a lightbulb that I honestly should have put him out of his misery, but I did not have the heart - or guts to do it, not knowing a really kind way to end it for a fish. He had been frightened and leaped up, touching his skin to the bulb, where part of it stuck. Had this been on at the time, the fish would have been fine. I had a pair of these, and the other stopped eating after his mates death and also died. I had owned them for years and was very upset. I will never again have a tank with an uncovered bulb.
As mentioned in an earlier review, going awhile without this item also warped the wood of an expensive cabinet's lid. You can not buy the lid without the cabinet - so that is basically the whole thing shot.
Another problem to not using a splash guard or condensation tray is that when your tank constantly looses a lot of water to condensation, the minerals and chemicals stay in, effecting overall water quality. This is of course more of an issue in brackish or saltwater tanks where maintaining accurate saline levels is necessary, but as a general rule, the salt stays put.
DISADVANTAGES TO USING
This main sound very simple but you need to be sure to lift this up when feeding fish. My husband occasionally forgot leaving a bunch of sticky fish food stuck on the cover.
The splash guard can grow algae, in which case a thorough scrubbing is needed to get rid of it.
Over enough years these will yellow and crack, i would say 5 years is maximum lifespan for one of these, but at the price that is fair enough.
Although I have no personal experience of this, I have been told that some African glass fish ( natural escape artists) have been able to squeeze past these and end up on the floor anyway. They can actually live as much as a couple of hours, but after that, well a fish out of water's time is short. I would not rely on this alone to keep this type of fish contained.