Featured Image 20 Gallon Aquarium Hood

Top 5 Best 20 Gallon Aquarium Hood in 2020 (Buyer’s Guide)

While an aquarium hood is not the most exciting aspect of a 20 gallon tank, it’s still an important piece of equipment to consider. Hoods act as cover for your tank and are helpful for preventing anything like foreign bodies, other pets, or debris getting into your aquarium. They also stop your fish from jumping out of or escaping your tank.

Finding a suitable hood for your tank can be a little confusing, especially if you’re not sure what size you require. To make your quest a little simpler, I’ve reviewed a range of 20 gallon hoods to help you find the best one for your aquarium.

After considering all the options our top picks were…

Review Summary

Best All-Rounder

MarineLand LED Light Hood For Aquariums

An excellent option for most 20 gallon tanks. Its white LED bulbs are bright and illuminate your tank beautifully.

MarineLand LED Light Hood For Aquariums

Out of all the covers I’ve looked at, this is my top pick for most 20 gallon tanks.

MarineLand’s LED hood is my overall recommendation for a 20 gallon tank due to its quality and affordability. The unit comes with two sets of hinges to make it easy to feed your fish or access your tank equipment. It also includes an LED light that has a lovely night-time mode that’s perfect for evenings. 

Best on a Budget

Tetra LED Tank Hood

The Tetra LED is sleek and attractive. It has a feeding hole to make feeding your tank’s inhabitants quick and easy. The hood also comes with white LED lights that are compact and energy-efficient.

Tetra LED Tank Hood

For aquarists who want a decent hood that’s also affordable, this is a solid choice.

This hood from Tetra is relatively inexpensive, making it a great option for aquarists on a budget. It comes in a wide range of sizes, including two that are suitable for either a long or high tank that’s 20 gallons in size. The hood includes a feeding opening, LED lights, and a variety of cutouts to suit tanks with different filters or accessories.

Editor’s Choice

MarineLand Recessed Full Hood

Comes with a lot of features, which includes a glass shield insert to protect electrical parts from corrosion and moisture as well as a large front door. The unit is durable, sturdy, and has a textured surface.

MarineLand Recessed Full Hood

My personal favorite 20 gallon aquarium hood. It’s a little more expensive than some of the other products I’ve reviewed, but it includes a lot of features.

If you can afford to spend a bit more money on a hood, the MarineLand Recessed hood is a good pick. It has a lot of impressive features, including a large access panel, glass shield insert, and a textured surface that doesn’t show fingerprints. Its fluorescent lamp also provides a decent amount of light.

What is a Tank Hood and How Does it Work?

An aquarium hood is a cover that sits on the top of your fish tank. Some types of covers fit snugly over or inside the rim of your tank, while others are held into place with clips.

protects your fish from harmful pollutants…

A hood holds the lighting fixture for your tank, protects your fish from harmful pollutants (like air freshener, debris, etc) or other pets, and prevents your inhabitants from jumping out of your tank.

Most units come with a hinged door that allows you easy access for feeding your tank’s inhabitants without needing to take off the hood. While this isn’t a necessary feature, it’s definitely convenient. 

Cat Playing with a Fish Bowl
Cat Playing with a Fish Bowl

Who Should Buy a Tank Hood?

If you own other pets like cats or dogs, a hood is recommended to make sure your tank’s inhabitants don’t get into harm’s way. In addition to this, if you have shrimp or species of fish (like killifish and bettas) known for being jumpers, then a hood is a good safety measure.

a hood is recommended to make sure your tank’s inhabitants don’t get into harm’s way…

Even if you don’t have other pets or well-known escape artists living in your tank, I’d still recommend using a cover to be on the side of caution. Any fish is at risk of jumping out of their tank if they become stressed or spooked, such as from poor water quality or a loud noise.

Furthermore, a hood will stop any foriegn objects getting into your tank and potentially harming your fish.

What Makes a Good 20 Gallon Aquarium Hood?

There are an array of tank covers available, but not all of them are the right pick for your 20 gallon tank. The size of the hood, as well as the quality of its material and hinges are all crucial factors you need to think about. 

Important Features to Consider

Size

When choosing a hood, you need to know the specific dimensions of your tank and whether it is a 20 gallon long tank or high tank. Obviously, you don’t want to end up with a hood that is designed for a long tank when you own a high tank!

Material

The material of the hood is another key factor you need to keep in mind. The majority of hoods are made from plastic, but you can also get glass or wooden lids. No matter the material of your cover, it needs to be durable and robust. 

No matter the material of your cover, it needs to be durable and robust…

Flimsy or thin plastic covers can easily break or be manipulated, making it easy for pets like cats to harass your tank’s inhabitants. In addition to this, weak plastic might be unable to support the weight of your lighting system. If your light falls into your tank water, it can have disastrous consequences. 

Hinges

Most covers have a feeding hole or opening to make basic maintenance and feeding your tank’s inhabitants easy. The hinges on the opening should move easily without any stiffness. As the opening is designed to make tank maintenance more convenient, you don’t want the hinges to constantly get stuck or caught. 

Blue LED Light Panel
Blue LED Light Panel

Does a Hood Provide Enough Light for My Fish Tank?

If you don’t have any plants in your tank, then the light that is included with your 20 gallon aquarium hood should be adequate. However, if you own a planted tank, then it might be necessary to purchase a separate lighting system to ensure your plants receive enough light. It’s a good idea to look up the specific needs of your aquatic plants to see if they require specific types of lighting to thrive.

NOTE

It’s also important to note that not all units come with a light. If this is the case, then you will need to buy a separate light for your tank regardless of whether you own aquatic plants or not. 

What Size Hood Do I Need for a 20 Gallon Tank?

You can get tanks in two varieties: long and high. A 20 gallon long tank is longer than it is tall, while a 20 gallon high tank is taller than it is long. Obviously, you’ll need to take this factor into consideration when choosing a hood for your tank.

Most standard 20 gallon long aquariums measure 30″ x 12″ x 12″ and most 20 gallon high tanks measure 24” x 12” x 16”. You’ll need a hood in either one of these sizes depending on which tank type you own.

These dimensions are for rectangular tanks, so the sizes will differ for hexagon tanks or cube-shaped aquariums. 

How Do I Know if a Hood Will Work with My Tank?

To make sure a hood will work with your tank, you need to consider the size and shape of your tank, as well as any types of accessories you own. 

Most tanks are rectangular and are much easier to find covers for. Hexagonal, bowed, or cube-shaped aquariums can be a little more difficult to find covers for. If your tank isn’t rectangular in shape, then you’ll need to make sure the shape and size of your hood is suitable for your enclosure.

TIP

You also need to make sure the equipment or accessories you use in your tank will work with a hood. For example, if you use a HOB (hang on back) filter, then you might need to cut a hole in your hood.

20 Gallon Hoods Reviews

Best All-Rounder

Marineland LED Light Hood for Aquariums

An excellent option for most 20 gallon tanks. Its white LED bulbs are bright and illuminate your tank beautifully.

Marineland LED Light Hood for Aquariums

Featuring a domed modern design, the MarineLand LED light hood is an excellent option for most 20 gallon tanks. It’s suitable for either a long or high 20 gallon tank as it comes in 24” x 12” or 30” x 12” sizes. 

an excellent option for most 20 gallon tanks…

The hood includes two sets of hinges, allowing for easy access to your tank during maintenance. Multiple cutouts are located on the back of the hood to fit a range of filters and tank accessories.

One of the best features of this hood is its lighting system…

One of the best features of this hood is its lighting system. The white LED bulbs are bright and illuminate your tank beautifully. You can also switch to a night-time mode, which creates a soft blue effect for your tank. The LED bulbs are also energy-efficient, which is a bonus!

Unfortunately, MarineLand’s LED hood does have a couple of drawbacks. The hinges on the hood are a little flimsy and can be difficult to attach to your tank. Additionally, the bulbs can have a fairly short lifespan.

Specs

  • Size: 24” x 12” or 30” x 12”
  • Weight: 3 lbs
  • Material: Plastic
  • Includes Light: Yes

Pros

  • Available for most tank sizes
  • Accommodates a variety of filters or accessories
  • Lighting system comes with a night-time mode

Cons

  • Hinges can be a little flimsy
  • LED lights can have a short lifespan

Best on a Budget

Tetra LED Tank Hood

The Tetra LED is sleek and attractive. It has a feeding hole to make feeding your tank’s inhabitants quick and easy. The hood also comes with white LED lights that are compact and energy-efficient.

Tetra LED Tank Hood

Tetra’s LED hood comes in a range of sizes, including both 24” x 12” and 30” x 12” sizes. The former is adequate for high 20 gallon tanks, while the latter is suitable for long 20 gallon aquariums.

In terms of appearance, the Tetra LED is sleek and attractive…

In terms of appearance, the Tetra LED is sleek and attractive. It has a feeding hole to make feeding your tank’s inhabitants quick and easy. The hood also comes with white LED lights that are compact and energy-efficient. 

Convenient Cutouts

To make sure the hood fits a variety of different filters or accessories, there are cutouts in the back of the unit. This is really useful as you won’t need to cut holes in the hood yourself to accommodate your filter or other accessories.

Feeding Door Size

However, there are a few minor issues with this hood from Tetra. Firstly, the hood doesn’t have a large opening, only a small feeding door. This means you’ll need to remove the hood entirely to access your tank equipment or to perform basic maintenance.

LED Bulbs

Secondly, the LED bulbs in the aquarium lighting system are prone to flickering or breaking prematurely. And lastly, both the material of the hood and the clips to secure it in place can be a bit flimsy. 

Specs

  • Size: 24” x 12” or 30” x 12”
  • Weight: 1 lb
  • Material: Plastic
  • Includes Light: Yes

Pros

  • Available in sizes for long and high 20 gallon tanks
  • Sleek design
  • Energy-efficient bulbs
  • Has a range of cut-outs to accommodate different filters or accessories

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a large opening
  • Lighting system is prone to breaking quickly
  • Material can be a bit flimsy

Editor’s Choice

Fluorescent Recessed Full Hood

Comes with a lot of features, which includes a glass shield insert to protect electrical parts from corrosion and moisture as well as a large front door. The unit is durable, sturdy, and has a textured surface.

Fluorescent Recessed Full Hood

The MarineLand Recessed hood is another fantastic option for a 20 gallon tank. It measures 30” x 12”, making it perfect for a long tank that can store 20 gallons. While the hood is designed to fit Tetra and MarineLand tanks, it should also be suitable for aquariums made by other brands.

comes with a lot of features, which include a glass shield insert to protect electrical parts from corrosion and moisture…

The hood comes with a lot of features, which include a glass shield insert to protect electrical parts from corrosion and moisture as well as a large front door. The unit is durable, sturdy, and has a textured surface that doesn’t show fingerprints, which I really like. 

also has a white reflector to add even more light to your tank…

My favorite aspect of the MarineLand Recessed hood is its lighting system. Not only does the unit provide a good amount of light for aquatic plants, but it also has a white reflector to add even more light to your tank.

Features

The front door runs the entire length of the hood, making it extremely convenient for maintenance and feeding your tank’s inhabitants. This opening even has a no-drip feature, which is a nice detail. On the back of the hood are cutouts that can accommodate an array of filters and equipment.

Unfortunately, this hood is not without some faults. The cutouts on the back of the hood can be difficult to remove, occasionally resulting in some damage to the unit. Additionally, the lighting system can break or stop working after a few months. 

Specs

  • Size: 30” x 12”
  • Weight: 4 lbs
  • Material: Plastic
  • Includes Light: Yes

Pros

  • Huge front opening for easy maintenance
  • Textured surface that doesn’t show fingerprints
  • Glass shield insert to protect electrical parts
  • Provides a lot of light

Cons

  • Cutouts on back of hood can be difficult to remove
  • Light can break quickly

Aqueon LED Background Hood

Fits snugly inside the rim of your aquarium to reduce evaporation and comes with a full-length feeding door. This opening makes it very easy to access your fish or tank equipment

Aqueon LED Background Hood

The Aqueon LED Background Hood is able to fit most tank sizes, but might be a little small for some 20 gallon aquariums. In addition to other sizes, the unit is available in both 24” x 9.6” and 30” x 9.6” versions. 

fits snugly inside the rim of your aquarium to reduce evaporation and comes with a full-length feeding door…

The unit fits snugly inside the rim of your aquarium to reduce evaporation and comes with a full-length feeding door. This opening makes it very easy to access your fish or tank equipment. The back of the hood also has cutouts that can fit different types of filters and accessories.

comes with bright white LED bulbs and two blue LEDs…

The lighting system for this hood works fairly well and comes with bright white LED bulbs and two blue LEDs. The latter is intended for a moonlight effect, which is ideal for night-time. This light area also has a glass panel to help protect the bulbs from water splashes.

Unfortunately, Aqueon’s LED hood does have some drawbacks. The glass panel on the light area is a bit flimsy, as are the hinges located on the hood’s opening. The LED bulbs can also be a little dim and break prematurely.

Specs

  • Size: 24” x 9.6” or 30” x 9.6”
  • Weight: 1lb
  • Material: Plastic
  • Includes Light: Yes

Pros

  • Design helps reduce evaporation
  • Large front opening for easy access
  • LED lights have a moonlight mode

Cons

  • Hinges and glass panel are a little flimsy
  • LED light can break quickly

Aqueon Aquarium Versa Top 30 Inch

Made from durable and heavy-duty glass that helps reduce evaporation. While not exactly a hood, this aquarium cover is a good option if you own a 20-gallon tank.

Aqueon Aquarium Versa Top 30 Inch

While not exactly a hood, this aquarium cover from Aqueon is a good option if you own a 20-gallon tank. It’s made from durable and heavy-duty glass that helps reduce evaporation.

features a clear vinyl back strip that can be cut to accommodate your tank accessories…

The lid comes with plastic hinges to make it easy to attach to your tank. It features a clear vinyl back strip that can be cut to accommodate your tank accessories, alongside notched corners.

Lid Design

I think the design of this glass lid is its best feature as it looks stunning. If you’re not a fan of plastic covers, then this glass top is a great alternative. 

Unfortunately, the plastic strip on the cover blocks out a fair amount of light. While this isn’t a huge issue in most basic setups, it can be problematic if you have live aquatic plants. 

Specs

  • Size: 31” x 5.5” x 1.5”
  • Weight: 2 lbs
  • Material: Glass
  • Includes Light: No

Pros

  • Made from durable glass
  • Easy to attach to your tank
  • Stunning design

Cons

  • Plastic strip blocks out light

Conclusion

After considering all the options our top picks were…

Best All-Rounder

Out of all the tank covers I’ve reviewed, I think the MarineLand LED Hood is the best 20 gallon aquarium hood. It has a sleek design and is suitable for either a long or high tank.

It includes two sets of hinges to give you easy access to your tank’s inhabitants, as well as multiple cutouts on the back of the unit to accommodate a variety of tank equipment. I really like the lighting system on this hood as the bulbs are bright, energy-efficient, and can be switched to a night-time mode.

However, the hinges on the hood can be a little flimsy. The bulbs are also prone to breaking quickly.

Other Great Options

If the MarineLand LED hood doesn’t look like the right match for you, then two other good options are the Tetra LED Tank Hood and MarineLand Recessed Full Hood. The former is ideal for aquarists on a budget due to its affordability. 

Best on a Budget

It has a feeding door, an energy-efficient light, and can be customized to fit a range of tanks. Unfortunately, the opening on the hood is a little small and the material of the unit itself is a bit flimsy.

Editor’s Choice

MarineLand’s Recessed Hood is the more expensive option out of the two, but comes with many features. These include a glass shield insert, a large front door, and a textured surface. The only issues with the unit are its lighting system and flimsy cutouts.

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