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Old 02-02-2007, 03:45 AM   #1
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Acrylic Tanks vs. Glass

I found someone wanting to give away a 90 gal hexagonal Acrylic tank for free. I thought this sounded awesome, so wanted to get some opinions on them since I've only had glass. I'm so excited and hope I can get my hands on it because then I don't have to get rid of my totally awesome Hi Fin Pleco, and I may be able to get a BGK!
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Old 02-02-2007, 07:44 AM   #2
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Acrylic are superior to glass on larger tanks (why the material is used). You rarely see it on small tanks due to cost difference between glass. It's biggest benefit is weight, a 90 gallon acrylic vs. glass is dramatic. Cleaning is slightly more difficult because you cannot use a razor blade like you can on glass. I am unsure of any other specific differences. It might be a good idea to google search for specifics to look out for (ie with glass look for chips and seal problems, probably the same with acrylic but who knows).

That would be the steal of the century if you get it for free! It must be 4 feet tall!
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Old 02-02-2007, 07:48 AM   #3
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I'm not a fan of acrylic because it scratches easier than glass. In fact, our 150 Tall is glass and heavy as can be, but at least it's not acrylic. If it's free, go for it.
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Old 02-02-2007, 08:12 AM   #4
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But its FREE!
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Old 02-02-2007, 08:13 AM   #5
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Agreed. The single benefit of acrylic is the weight difference. Outside of that, it becomes personal preference. A 90 gal for free...what are you waiting for? Go and get it!
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Old 02-02-2007, 08:20 AM   #6
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Oh I agree. If it's free, go for it!
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Old 02-02-2007, 08:52 AM   #7
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I have heard that some pleco's will rasp acrylic. Mine do not in my acrylic tank. I do provide driftwood for mine to rasp, of course.
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Old 02-02-2007, 09:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkP
I have heard that some pleco's will rasp acrylic. Mine do not in my acrylic tank. I do provide driftwood for mine to rasp, of course.
That is a VERY interesting point. My BN pleco eliminates all of the GSA on my glass (I can see where he misses some) and wouldn't be surprised if over time an overly aggressive pleco might be able to make some scratches. I'd still take it, but Mark's point would make it important to have some driftwood in there and keep it adequately fed IMO.
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Old 02-02-2007, 04:40 PM   #9
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It free and it holds water, it doesn't matter if it's glass or acrylic. But don't use sponges used for glass to clean acrylic because it may scratch it. You will need to use cleaners designed for acrylic.

If you were to buy a tank and had to choose between glass and acrylic, glass weight alot more so for larger tanks acylic will be slightly easier to transport. Also with tank stands, from I understand glass tanks really only need the outside rim portion support, where as acrylic you need a solid bottom surface for the acrylic to be support on. As mentioned acrylic also scratches easier than glass. Also depending on the size tank, acrylic more often cost more than a similar sized tank.
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Old 02-02-2007, 08:04 PM   #10
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Acrylic is awful, you don't want it. Oh...and...you wouldn't happen to have the name and phone number of the previous owner for this tank, would you?

Uhh, I just want to...umm...get in contact with them.

Seriously though I'd probably go glass before acrylic (unless the acrylic was quite a bit cheaper), but the weight isn't too much of an issue for me. But that only applies to buying, if someone offered me a free tank it would be no questions asked. Ever.
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Old 02-02-2007, 11:06 PM   #11
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Some other advantages of acrylic over glass are the shapes of tanks that can be made such as arches, cylinders, anything round...etc, etc. Acrylic is stronger than glass and if it DOES scratch, there are repair kits for just that occasion. I am not sure how well they work but they are available. Some acrylic tanks supposedly let more light through than glass so the "viewing experience" is better.
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Old 02-02-2007, 11:23 PM   #12
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Can anyone quantify the weight difference? I don't know because I've only had glass tanks, but I always hear about how much lighter acrylic is. I would think that would only be useful for moving an empty tank. When I think about how much a full 90 gallon tank weighs I would think the weight of the tank material itself would be negligible. Just something I always wondered about.

Anyway, I would definitely jump at the chance for a free acrylic 90.
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Old 02-03-2007, 12:50 AM   #13
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Yeah, I hopped on it, so now I'm just waiting for a reply. keeping my fingers crossed! Thanks for the advice!
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Old 02-03-2007, 09:01 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdizzle3id
Can anyone quantify the weight difference? I don't know because I've only had glass tanks, but I always hear about how much lighter acrylic is. I would think that would only be useful for moving an empty tank. When I think about how much a full 90 gallon tank weighs I would think the weight of the tank material itself would be negligible. Just something I always wondered about.

Anyway, I would definitely jump at the chance for a free acrylic 90.
At the bottom of this link they have dry weights of glass tanks. I'm trying to find a similar site with acrylic. What I've seen so far says they weigh less than 1/2 of a similar glass tank, but IMO it HAS to scale, where the larger the tank, the bigger the benefit.

http://stason.org/TULARC/animals/aqu...culations.html
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Old 02-03-2007, 09:51 AM   #15
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Exactly. The weight different is only an issue when it's moving time. We don't mind that it takes 3 people to move our 150 Glass because it's not like we move a lot.
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Old 02-03-2007, 10:19 AM   #16
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Acrylic is something like 9x stronger than glass, so if you're clumsy or have people moving past the tank regularly and knocks or bumps might occur more readily then acrylic is the way to go.

The older acrylic tanks are tough to clean because of scratches, but the newer tanks on the market don't have this problem at all IME.

The larger the tank, the better it is to use acrylic.

But, like people say, I guess it's sort of redundant because the point is: FREEEEEEE TANK!
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Old 02-03-2007, 10:48 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7Enigma
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkP
I have heard that some pleco's will rasp acrylic. Mine do not in my acrylic tank. I do provide driftwood for mine to rasp, of course.
That is a VERY interesting point. My BN pleco eliminates all of the GSA on my glass (I can see where he misses some) and wouldn't be surprised if over time an overly aggressive pleco might be able to make some scratches. I'd still take it, but Mark's point would make it important to have some driftwood in there and keep it adequately fed IMO.
The problem is with Panaque's not most Pleco's.. They have a more coarse rasp and if there is no wood (and sometimes when there is wood) they will scrape up the acrylic pretty bad.
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Old 02-03-2007, 11:55 AM   #18
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another difference is from what I understand acrylic does not explode when the integrity of the tank is compromised, like in glass. Instead acrylic just separates and water just comes out, my assumption is in a consistent stream fashion, while glass will "open up" and you have a huge relocation of water from the tank to the floor in a very short amount if time. Also from what I understand on very large tanks, my guess +400gals, its easier to do the physical construction of the tank because physhically moving a single large piece of glass as well as being extra carefull with it is very difficult.
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Old 02-03-2007, 12:46 PM   #19
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I saw that ad and was very tempted to go after it. Good luck and I hope you get it. Washinton state is a great place!!!! Lol.

Free is free...
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Old 02-03-2007, 02:22 PM   #20
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If there are two same 90 gal tanks, except one is acrylic and another is glass, and I can only pick one for free, I will pick the acrylic one.
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