GLASS VS. ACRYLIC

paulW

Plecostomus
Jun 12, 2008
524
77
61
ohio
Let's see acrylic = double the price........I'll sick with glass :popcorn: For the price of one I can buy two glass aquariums.
That was my thought too.. Until I bought a 240 glass, had four guys moving it, and one guy dropped a corner and broke it.. I ended up buying 1 glass and 1 acyrlic aquarium.
I said this on another thread.. Glass 240 - 4 guys struggling to lift it. Acyrlic 300 - My small wife and I were able to move it by ourselves, with no fear of breakage.
It's been about 6-7 years now.. no scratching, no yellowing of acrylic.. Great clarity.
Another point. When I bought it, the manufacturer put a cheap bulkhead in the bottom, which eventually leaked. It was an odd size (like maybe 5/8").. I didn't want to replace it with another low quality bulkhead. The closest I could find was a 3/4" bulkhead. Since it was acrylic, I was able to carefully enlarge the hole with a dremel. Got the better bulkhead in, no leaks. That would've been extremely difficult or impossible to do with glass.
 

majorhavok

Feeder Fish
Oct 7, 2012
436
2
0
Left Coast
Occupation
Bio-med R&D Lab Supervisor
That was my thought too.. Until I bought a 240 glass, had four guys moving it, and one guy dropped a corner and broke it.. I ended up buying 1 glass and 1 acyrlic aquarium.
I said this on another thread.. Glass 240 - 4 guys struggling to lift it. Acyrlic 300 - My small wife and I were able to move it by ourselves, with no fear of breakage.
It's been about 6-7 years now.. no scratching, no yellowing of acrylic.. Great clarity.
Another point. When I bought it, the manufacturer put a cheap bulkhead in the bottom, which eventually leaked. It was an odd size (like maybe 5/8").. I didn't want to replace it with another low quality bulkhead. The closest I could find was a 3/4" bulkhead. Since it was acrylic, I was able to carefully enlarge the hole with a dremel. Got the better bulkhead in, no leaks. That would've been extremely difficult or impossible to do with glass.
To me the ability to make custom holes and features is a big selling point. Not sure if anyone has thrown this out there but yes Acrylic can yellow over time, but it's usually from being exposed to direct sunlight.

Also when you go to seaworld or any of these big aquariums. (Aquarium of the pacific is my local one) they use acrylic almost exclusively and they have hordes of people rubbing up against and touching their windows daily. At least if they get a scratch, they can do something about it other than drain and replace.
 

Phixer

Black Skirt Tetra
Jan 14, 2007
254
1
16
CO & CA
Occupation
Professor
Glass vs acrylic, Ford vs Chevy, good vs evil :ROFL:

I prefer clear aluminum although...

Acrylic is more versatile and is really the future for modern aquariums. It's lighter, stronger, transmits more light, insulates better, machines easier, can be thermoformed, more forgiving if impacted and will not catastrophically fail like glass. For monster tanks I dont see any reason to use glass at all?

I can only see one possible disadvantage of acrylic. It scratches easier, but that is easily managed. For all reasons it is a superior material for hydrostatic vessels. Thats why it's used in public aquariums and submersible vessels.
 

Sir KeepsAllot

Feeder Fish
Feb 9, 2013
49
0
0
West Coast
Real Name
Kory Lee
Consider this: Drop a beer bottle and a plastic bottle, which is LIKELY to break? Same concept. And trust me, Thou shall not worry about scratches for it can be buffed out like scratches on a car ;] and once you fill up the tank with water, scratches are hardly noticeable. But if you can't afford an Acrylic/plexiglass, BUILD A MONSTER PLYWOOD BRO! Also, if you're dealing with heavy AquaScaping material (e.g rocks, etc.) Acrylic would be a wiser choice. But if you just want a bare bottom or light AScaping material (sand, small pebbles, etc) Glass aquariums are also a good choice. Fish keeping is an expensive hobby (more expensive than keeping a dog imo). Therefore, if you DON'T have a budget and just worried about Scratches? GO ACRYLIC ALL THE WAY. If you're worried about cost, Go plywood or Glass. This is my 2 cents for you. The end.
 

Phixer

Black Skirt Tetra
Jan 14, 2007
254
1
16
CO & CA
Occupation
Professor
Glass is better for eyeballs. Acrylic is better for aquariums.
 

Sundew

Feeder Fish
Nov 4, 2006
269
0
0
Daytona Beach, Florida
I have a friend that has a 600 gallon glass tank. It took ten men to move it. When away on vacation he has someone taking care of his fish. He told then NOT to clean the glass and hid all the cleaning magnets. The caretaker ignored him and got some green aluminum oxide kitchen scrubbies to take the algae off the glass. He scratched it so deeply that no amount of grinding was able to repair the damage. So in that regard acrylic might have been a better choice. However this is a planted tank and contains several dozen Bushy-nosed Ancistrus and I wonder how much damage they could do to the acrylic?

This brings up the question: what do you do to remove algae from an acrylic tank without damaging it?
 
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