Can the Sunlight UV from Window Damage Tank?

FishNCash

Goliath Tigerfish
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I'm curious if the direct sunlight UV coming in from the windows can damage the seal on an acrylic tank? Is this the same effect as tank sitting out side in the backyard?
 

Twigg

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FishNCash;4074018; said:
I'm curious if the direct sunlight UV coming in from the windows can damage the seal on an acrylic tank? Is this the same effect as tank sitting out side in the backyard?
Probably less than might seem obvious.

Glass is a very effective filter of UV.

The sunlight is not going to help with your tank lighting control though, and is usually best avoided.
 

FishNCash

Goliath Tigerfish
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^
 

Zander_The_RBP

Jack Dempsey
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Yep common window glass filters out 99 % of all UV-A and UV-B this is why you can't get a sunburn (or sun tan) through a window.


i belive acrylic also filters out a similar amount of UV but im not positive
 

Toby_H

Polypterus
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Jun 21, 2007
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The short answer to your question is no…
 
 
The science lesson is…
 
UV-C rays are extremely short waves and are thus filtered out very easily. The vast majority of the UV-C rays emitted by the sun are filtered out by our atmosphere and never touch the earths surface. When we talk about “a hole in the ozone” we are talking about a depletion in the atmosphere that risks allowing a tiny bit of UV-C in… and even that tiny bit is dangerous. UV-C waves are considered “radiation”…
 
UV-B rays are longer then UV-C, but still quite short. They easily pas through our atmosphere but very few make it through glass. This is very important and well researched in the reptile hobby as many reptiles gain benefit (vitamin D) from UV-B rays. It has been proven in support of that hobby that ¼” glass will block out all measurable levels of UV-B rays from even the strongest UV-B bulbs.
 
UV-A rays are the longest of the UV waves, but they are still a good bit shorter than even the shortest of the waves in the color spectrums. These will pass through thin layers of glass but glass can filter them out if/when thick enough (or enough layers).
 
 
There are properties of glass that will effect it’s ability to filter out UV rays… but for the practical application we are discussing here, glass is glass…
 
Practically speaking, acrylic, Plexiglas and other clear plastics filter UV rays at approximately the same degree as glass.
 
 
So when we consider the 2+ layers of 3/8”+ glass that is used in typical household windows… then consider the ¼” later of glass the aquarium is made of… then literally 100% of the UV-B rays will be filtered out…
 
Some UV-A will make it to the tank, but UV-A is very common and is created & emitted by standard fluorescent bulbs…
 
When people speak of “UV light” regarding the sun, they generally mean UV-B. This is the wavelength that causes sunburns and sun tans and in large doses can contribute to skin cancer. It is also the UV referred to when discussing sunglasses.
 

squint

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Decent quality acrylic usually carries a 10-yr warranty against UV-induced hazing or yellowing. That's for outdoor use. Indoors, there should be much, much less UV exposure that it should never happen.

Almost all acrylic aquariums are solvent welded, not "sealed," so the joint is basically indistinguishable from the panels in terms of chemical or physical properties, e.g., it's not more vulnerable to UV than the rest of the acrylic.

Still, I wouldn't store anything valuable outside in the sun if I had a choice. Exposure is generally not good.
 

cchhcc

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squint;4079415; said:
Decent quality acrylic usually carries a 10-yr warranty against UV-induced hazing or yellowing. That's for outdoor use. Indoors, there should be much, much less UV exposure that it should never happen.

Almost all acrylic aquariums are solvent welded, not "sealed," so the joint is basically indistinguishable from the panels in terms of chemical or physical properties, e.g., it's not more vulnerable to UV than the rest of the acrylic.

Still, I wouldn't store anything valuable outside in the sun if I had a choice. Exposure is generally not good.

Good post.

I've had an acrylic in the yard for almost three years now, and I don't see any yellowing at all. Also, I prefer acrylic because of the welded seams, not in spite of them.

.....and NCNutcase..... I always enjoy your posts!
 

squint

Peacock Bass
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Well, the welded seams are often more visually appealing than a bead of silicone or framing and a large part of the reason acrylic tanks are far less likely to leak than glass.

I would cover up your acrylic tank if it's not in use. No need to prematurely age anything if you can help it.
 
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