Originally Posted by Gregcoyote
Have had many of both. Current acrylic tank is over 20 years old. It has some scratches, but not bad. I like low lead glass, but it's heavy and expensive. I also like the fact that acrylic bonds. Glass aquariums are held together with silicone that doesn't penetrate the glass. They are glued together.
acrylic bonds but its just a surface weld, and i doubt the weld is as strong as the actual cellcast piece is.
the silicone on glass bond may not penetrate but it is still a strong "gluing". silicone os extremely hard to get off of glass, you really can't pull it off it has to be cut and even then there is still some that is always stuck to it, even when you soften it with acetone. in some way i trust a silicone bond more then i trust the acrylic weld. you don't need to smooth out the surface of glass when siliconing like you have to do with acrylic to make a proper joint.
another thing i worry about with acrylic is that if its not sized properly it bows and you get stress cracks, acrylic requires thicker panelling then glass as it does tend to flex more then glass does, even though it has can deflect more and take a higher impact, i still maintain that under normal steady pressure glass can take more force. i have seen alot of videos where the bracing on acrylic tans begins to crack and where the welds of it begin to pull away from the front and back panelling where structural resins need to be used in order to bond the pieces together again. also there was an episode of Tanked where a bulkhead was tighted to much and over time the pressure caused the acrylic around it to crack and caused a leak. again they had to resin it in order to repair it.
glass is in theroy a stone after all
all this said, i'm goign to be completly honest, i like the over all structural integrity of a plywood tank much better and like the fact that they are cheaply built and you can still get a front and side view and leave the back undone