Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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burlybear 03-19-2009 05:26 PM

Glass Vs. Acrylic Tank
I am going to be buying my first saltwater tank soon and was wondering if it was better to get a glass or acrylic tank. I know glass tanks are heavier but not as clear and the acrylic tanks can be scratched but have better clarity but which is better day to day?

onefish2fish 03-19-2009 09:47 PM

i dont think ill ever use an acrylic as my personal preference. i do however like the rounded edges on some acrylic tanks but over all just not a fan.
as you already know, acyrlic scratches easier but it can be buffed out which can be a pain. cleaning can be a pain as well because when you use a magnetic scraper you have to be extra careful that no sand, shells or grits are on the cleaner as you will leave nice stratches in the acrylic. glass is much harder to scratch but the down side is that once scratched theres nothing you can do about it. ive also read that one of them insulates heat more, but im not sure which.

what size tank are you planning?

easty83 03-19-2009 11:48 PM

the acrylic has the better insulating capabilities.

onefish2fish 03-19-2009 11:59 PM

i thought that but wasnt sure so i didnt say, this isnt always "better" though as temps run hot in the summer esp with the lights on.

again i really think it comes down to prefference on glass and acrylic.

easty83 03-20-2009 12:03 AM

dont worry i know what you mean, there is almost no need for a heater where i live in Australia, but a chiller becomes mandatory if you wanted to run a marine steup.

Tyyrlym 03-20-2009 06:17 AM


Something my Eclipse system has taught me is that acrylic scratches. Not easily, that might indicate you can avoid it. You can't. They will invariably scratch in places that you'll have to look at every day and where buffing it out isn't an option unless you break the tank down.

As for glass being heavier... just how often are you planning on carrying the tank around?

burlybear 03-20-2009 05:48 PM

So, from the general conscious it sounds like glass is the best option especially since I live in Florida and definitely donít need the tank holding any extra heat during the summer.
Thanks for the help,

BlueHalo 03-20-2009 07:29 PM

You could always order a tank with starfire glass, costs a bit more but it is as clear as acrylic

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