Nowadays, aquariums are either made of glass or acrylic sheet. Yet, most of us do not understand the basic differences between the two except for that in price. Both glass and acrylic tanks have benefits and drawbacks. Make an educated purchase when choosing cool fish tanks which is right for you.
Glass is hard to scratch, usually requiring a hard material and large amount of pressure to cause any scratching.
On the other hand, acrylic scratches very easily by everyday items such as buttons on clothing or jewellery. If inhabitants of your tank have claws or teeth, they may scratch the tank from inside themselves. However, scratches are easily repaired with simple acrylic polishing kits. These are only recommended for usage on the outside of the tank, however.
Glass is dense, therefore heavy, and is much heavier than acrylic. Glass tanks can weigh up to ten times as much as an acrylic tank of the same size.
Acrylic tanks are lighter than glass, making moving them either into your home or out of your home easier. This also means that there will be less strain on the surface the tank is placed upon.
Breaking and Cracking
Glass tanks can be cracked or even shattered by a sharp impact, leaving you with possible water damage to some of your property, no home for your inhabitants of the tank and a large mess!
A very sharp impact will crack or shatter acrylic, but the amount of force required to do this is far greater than that required to break glass.
Glass is fairly rigid and brittle, meaning that it is challenging to make a tank that has any other shape than rectangular.
However, acrylic s easily moulded and can be formed into any shape desired.
Glass maintains clarity over time. Glass in a new tank will be just as clear as glass in an older tank.
Yet, many types of acrylic will age and turn yellow in colour over time especially if exposed to direct sunlight or kept under bright lights.
Glass is easier to ship and required fewer specialised tools to work with, so glass tanks are often less expensive.
Acrylic tanks are often more expensive, due to shipping costs and the costs associated with making the tank in the first place.