At what point is acrylic 'better' than glass?

ca1ore

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My main display tank, a glass one, has been up for 20 years. For all the cleanings it needed over the years I can only imagine what it would look like if it was acrylic. Right now I would have a tough time finding a single scratch in the glass if you asked me and monthly I have to use a razor blade at times to get it clean enough. Just look at the used acrylic for sale, they talk about the scratches, or they are hiding them from you.....
My big issue with glass tanks was always the corner seams. Either I ended up with a band of coraline next to the silicone seal or a bunch of razor blade nibbles into the seal.
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

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Good discussion. I ALWAYS prefer glass if given the choice. I guess at some point acrylic is probably better, but that would be into 1000+ gallons IMHO
 

Bernie21

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Dunno.. but bowed acrylic = more chance for scratches.

Plus, unless you live in miami... bowed tanks are soo 1980
Well, I'm from Miami, so I think I'm except. Lol. Honestly, I've always loved the corner tank and use to have a 92. I'm planning another larger tank and due to the larger size I was leaning acrylic.
 

ycnibrc

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Scratch vs leak which one would u prefer? Glass silicon only safe for 300g or below. Bigger than 300g the chance of seam failure goes higher. Now add the new style rimless and wave pump inside the tank add much more pressure to the seam which equal to leak. Acrylic tank do scratch but if u are careful and using the right cleaner aka tunze algae cleaner u can minimize the scratch to hair line. Now just a little patch of 2000 grit sand paper u can buff it out with water inside the tank.
clarity acrylic is more clear than any starphire glass. The only glass that is comparable is Elos saphire glass. i have a 360g acrylic and 4 of us easily move it around. For the same size in glass probably 8.
At the end of the day i want the safest tank for peace of mind. A tank leak is a nightmare. The damage to your house and the lost of your corals and fish could cost u a fortune.
 

southerntnreefer

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I watched a 265 gallon 7 foot beauty get dropped an inch, and crack in my driveway upon arriving from the seller ( was going to buy it used) That was heartbreaking. If and when its time to upgrade my now 220 ill likely drop the bank, and go acrylic. i have a walkout basement, and a tank manufacturer an hour from my house. Entry is easy, and i can set it up across from the other one, and take my time. If i do it, ill do like 10 foot, and wide, and 600 plus, but i can see the plusses for Acrylic, and thats a fish only tank.
 

chiefifd

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Cast Acrylic is the type of Acrylic used in high-end tanks. It's superior to Extruded Acrylic in most circumstances for aquariums. If you're buying an acrylic tank for the first time, know what your buying.

I've tried the Tunze algae cleaner. I didn't have much success using it, probably user error.

I'll stick with melamine pads for cleaning my acrylic tank, or glass tanks for that matter.
 

Salty Lemon

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I've noticed a strong preference for glass aquariums around here, and I totally get why. I'm thinkging about upgrading to a much larger setup (73 gal display is a little limiting, no tangs/etc) in a house I'm purchasing and am considering using acrylic for weight reasons. Are the benefits of using acrylic going to be noticeable at the typical size for home aquariums, even 'monster' 1000g systems?
I'm a few weeks off this initial question so I apologize if this has already been covered, but I chose glass because it is harder to scratch. It does, however, crack easier -- but I'm not planning on hitting it with a baseball bat anytime soon. It comes down to what you are interested in. Here are a couple links with information. I hope it helps with what you are looking for.
 

chiefifd

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I read both articles, neither article pointed out the types of Acrylic. Cast and Extruded Acrylic have different properties.

I think everyone agrees Acrylic tanks do scratch easier, more care must be used when cleaning or moving rock.

If you're looking at an Acrylic tank, ask what type of Acrylic is used. If you don't get a clear answer, or just that it's made of Acrylic, I'd find another source to buy my Acrylic tank.

After 6 years with a 90 gallon Cast Acrylic tank, I'll still keep mine. One very small scratch & all.
 

chiefifd

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Not everyone knows the difference between Cast and Extruded, at least people's first time getting into Acrylic. Even for a small tank like mine at 90 gallons.

I'd venture to guess there are a few tank builders out there that are only looking to make a quick buck off the unsuspecting.
 

pdxmonkeyboy

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MY point was that the extruded tank would explode... so kind of hard to sell. And there is that whole "no way to really tell unless you attack it with solvents or machine it". At least I don't know a way once the film is off.

Plastic film.. usually extruded. Paper film.. typically cast.
 

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