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Old 07-18-2011, 12:19 PM   #1
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Acrylic vs Glass Tanks for larger aquariums

I'm trying decide between a glass vs acrylic aquarium for my future 150 or 220 gallon. I know the typical pros/cons of glass vs acrylic aquariums. There are two factors that I'm particularly concerned about and wanted to focus on though.

1. Glass aquariums break/leaking
2. Acrylic aquariums holding heat better.

To the first, and more important point. At what size, is it better to start looking at acrylic? If I decide to go with a 220 Gallon, is the risk of glass breaking/leaking significantly higher than if I go with 150? The last thing I want in my finished basement is a pool.

It also gets quite cold in my basement during the winter months, so it would be nice to have a better insulator like acrylic to give my aquarium heaters a break. Although the cost of acrylic is so much higher than glass, that this might not make financial sense unless I have the tank for a lifetime. How much better is acrylic at holding in heat? Substantially better or just "better"?

So, what do you think? Do I spend double the money on acyrlic, or am I worrying too much about leaks and glass is fine for 150 - 220G aquariums?

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Old 07-18-2011, 12:23 PM   #2
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I would go with glass instead of acrylic, usually because glass for aquariums has layers of glass to prevent leaking-especially in that big of a tank. While acrylics are nice and good at insulating heat better than glass, acrylic also scratches very easily, so that could be a problem. It is also much thinner than glass so I don't know if it could hold in all that water.

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Old 07-18-2011, 12:46 PM   #3
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The glass in the larger tanks is quite thick and certainly scratches less, the only downside is the weight(all my large tanks are downstairs and if I sell the house they are staying there...they're heavy). I've never had a tank leak, even now I'm using a 20 year old twenty long and prefer glass for durablitiy and cost.
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Old 07-18-2011, 03:32 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input guys. I was really hoping to get glass and I feel a little bit better about it now. Just looking for some support.

My father's 75 Gallon tank started leaking around one of the seams this past week and that got me thinking about this again.
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Old 07-18-2011, 04:34 PM   #5
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"natural" tank leaks are fairly rare.. usually the only time a tank would randomly leak like that is if there was some sort of damage or abuse..
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Old 08-19-2011, 10:30 AM   #6
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I have never known any one to keep an acrylic tank for any length of time without scratching it some how.
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Old 08-19-2011, 12:37 PM   #7
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If its going to be a tank where there is no foot traffic or kids or pets or just people always going to look at it,then maybe an acrylic ...but i have always owned glass tanks and probably always will....could you imagine what one little spec of sand or dirt between the mag float will do to an acrylic tank as you start to drag it across the front to clean
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Old 08-19-2011, 12:50 PM   #8
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glass aquariums are much safer and better constructed these days - especially from leading aquarium chains, suppliers and manufacturers.

For larger aquariums, the glass is much thicker, there is extra silicone/sealant on the sides and there is additional beam/bars/brace for support.

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acrylic, glass, glass tank, tan

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