Acrylic Vs Glass – Which can be Very best For My Salt Drinking water Fish Tank?

I generally obtain the dilemma of which is best, glass or acrylic, for my saltwater fish tank? And my reply is, it is dependent. It actually does. So listed here I’m planning to lay out the various benefits and drawbacks of glass and acrylic on your aquarium.

one. Clarity And Aesthetics

Acrylic is approximately 20% greater clarity than normal glass aquariums, which happen to be built with plate glass. The sole exception is for guide-cost-free glass, also regarded via the model name Starfire glass, which has precisely the same clarity as acrylic. And of course this Specific guide-free glass is noticeably dearer than the normal plate glass. 20% Seems like a major big difference, and the reality is you can definitely only convey to the real difference in case you had a traditional glass tank sitting down ideal beside an acrylic tank. So, it is actually only is smart to pay the extra Expense for your lead-free glass (same clarity as acrylic) if exceptional clarity is often a large priority to suit your needs. Normally plenty of people would not recognize the main difference.

One other benefit of acrylic tanks about glass, is usually that acrylic tanks have practically invisible or see-through seams, even though glass tanks acrylic mirrors sheets use unsightly silicone seams.

two. Resistance To Scratching

Although glass is a lot more immune to scratching than acrylic is, there is a trade off to contemplate. Glass is more unlikely to scratch, but any scratches that happen in a glass tank are everlasting. And while acrylic scratches pretty effortlessly, it could be polished out. Despite the fact that, for those who’ve by no means polished an acrylic tank just before, even just a little scratch, It is really loads of work (not enjoyment).

One caveat is always that glass tanks are becoming preferred for reef tanks. Because of many of the algae the grows around the glass within a reef tank (In particular coraline algae), reef tanks need to have their glass to generally be cleaned extra typically and so you happen to be improved off with glass that is extra resistant to scratching. A method I understand this is the fact for many years in my aquarium installation enterprise, we applied acrylic for the majority of of our tailor made reef tank installations. And immediately after numerous several years, most of them necessary to be polished to eliminate scratches a result of cleansing glass. No matter how cautious you’re when cleansing glass, When you’ve got an acrylic reef tank or perhaps a fish only saltwater tank, you will at some point have scratches with acrylic.

3. Excess weight

Acrylic is noticeably lighter than glass. This is a crucial thought for delivery prices (freight) and load bearing means of your house or Office environment to help the load. And, not surprisingly, when it arrives the perfect time to raise the tank into place, the lighter the better. As well as the thicker the panels, the heavier the tank.

4. Durability

Glass is more brittle than acrylic. Acrylic flexes when under stress. This versatility enables an acrylic tank to deal with short-term stresses effectively. On the other hand, acrylic tanks are only as long lasting as the caliber of their seams and the thickness of your panels. After some time, acrylic seams are likely to weaken. So although glass could be much more brittle than acrylic, glass tanks are actually far more strong than acrylic about the long run.

five. Simplicity of Drilling

By far, acrylic is much simpler to drill or customise than glass. One example is, if you’d like to drill a hole to setup a bulkhead fitting or glue in an internal overflow box, then acrylic is the simplest.

It is achievable to drill glass, on the other hand the pane that’s staying drilled has to be horizontal (parallel to the floor) simply because glass drills make use of a drinking water/graphite powder slurry to chop via. And There is certainly also the risk of cracking the glass if a lot of pressure is utilized during drilling.

6. Price tag

Depending on the measurement in the tank, Expense involving acrylic and glass varies. For traditional tanks beneath 200 gallons, glass is cheapest. For tanks above two hundred gallons (normal or custom), acrylic is usually cheaper. The reason I say ‘in some cases’ is the fact acrylic is actually a petroleum-primarily based compound and therefore its Charge is dependent on the price of oil.

And, naturally, guide-totally free glass (i.e. Starfire brand) is usually for customized tanks and is often much costlier than usual plate glass.