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Old 10-05-2004, 12:29 AM   #1
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Acrylic vs Glass

I know this topic has probably been debated before but I didn't get to see it. I currently have a 90 gal sw set up and feel its time to expand. I would like to roughly double the size of my aquarium but am having troubles which way to go. I like the height of my tank but would like a little more length and width. I also don't really know witch would be better acrylic or glass. Weight is not really an issue because it is on a poured slab other than that I can't think of another benefits to either. I anyone could enlighten me that would be great.


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Old 10-05-2004, 12:38 AM   #2
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if it were me, i would go with acrylic... for one, its easier to drill (if you want to do it yourself) and if you are getting a custom tank (you mentioned something about length and width) you probably have a better chance of getting it shipped and to you in one piece with acrylic!

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Old 10-05-2004, 07:25 AM   #3
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I was having the same dilema. The acrylic has +'s and -'s as does glass. Here is what I found.

Acrylic scratches easy and can be repaired if scratched, but it's kind of a pain. The top is also mostly covered with acrylic, so there is less room to fit in LR (large pieces may not fit) and cleaning may be tougher. I was told it helps keep a constant temp better and slightly better to view through acrylic.

Also, the acrylic stand must be solid, the ones I looked at only had enough room for a smaller wet/dry filter underneath. I was hoping for a larger filter than would have fit under the acrylic stand, so that was a big part of my decision.

Glass, you probably know about. It is much less expensive than acrylic. I'm sure someone else will chyme in with more info.

FWIW, I went with a 125 Rect All Glass instead of a 110 Flat back hex.

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Old 10-05-2004, 04:16 PM   #4
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Acrylic is colorless where glass has a green tint(unless you get low iron glass(starphire)).
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Old 10-05-2004, 04:25 PM   #5
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IMO, consider the most frequent pros and cons.

Weight as you said, isn't a concern for you so we'll ignore that.

Strength: They will both "hold" the water but what about shipping. Glass will be more likely to break during shipping if your order one or have one built. But, this is a one time thing (maybe twice if you ever move). So, IMO, frailty and strength aren't important factors.

Color: Newer glass tanks (as long as you don't get a very cheap tank) really aren't that bad any more. They used to have a very bad tint to them, but not soo much any more. But there is still a slight hue chagne. Go to a LFS and take a white piece of paper with you. Hold it inside a couple of empty tanks and see if the color change is that drastic to you. So the importance of color, will depend on your personal taste. This is an ongoing factor, every time you look at the tank it comes into play.

Scratches: When do scratches occur? cleaning, moving rocks, maintenance, KIDS! these are frequent factors. IMO this is the single biggest con to an acrylic tank. If you have an active household, I can imagine frequent scratches, and even though they can be "Repaired" (when they're shallow scratches) I would imagine you'd get quite tired of fixing them after a short while. Any deep scratches could be there to stay, and you'd have to look at that every time you look at the tank.

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Old 10-05-2004, 07:07 PM   #6
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The scratching was my biggest worry as well. I don't have kids to worry about. The micro scratches that get in the acrylic even from cleaning it with a damp cloth were what i was worried about. Maybe I'll go glass.
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Old 10-05-2004, 07:40 PM   #7
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if i were to do it again, i would go with glass.

i picked acrylic over glass for style and look. didn't think it would scratch 'that easily.' unfortunately it does.

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acrylic, glass

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