Choosing a Glass or an Acrylic Fish Tank

What are the benefits of acrylic fish tanks?

Using acrylic to make fish tanks changed the aquarium keeping hobby for everybody. In the 1800's, fish tanks were mainly metal boxes with one side made out of glass. Aquarists could only keep fish from their own region because they were the only ones available, and they had to be fresh water fish because salt water corroded the metal frame that held the panes together.

When silicone adhesive appeared into the picture in the 1960's, metal frames ceased to exist and gave way to glass and people were able to keep salt water fish in their aquariums.

Then came acrylic. Acrylic is greatly flexible and made aquariums break-proof, unlike their glass counterparts. With glass fish tanks there is always the danger of shattering the glass if stroke with a heavy object, creating a big mess of water and fish all over the place. Acrylic tanks don't run this danger
The possibilities of design with acrylic are endless. You can turn anything from an old television set to a gum ball machine into a fish tank.

Acrylic fish tanks are very lightweight. Especially if you compare them to glass tanks, acrylic tanks are very light. Of course, when you put the water in it, the tank is going to be very heavy, but the transportation of the tank will be much easier.

Acrylic tanks are also very clear. The visibility of the fish will be much better than with glass.

cilinder_tankAnother advantage of acrylic tanks is the variety of shapes you can find! Bow front aquariums are my favorite. They look so much nicer then regular rectangular tanks. You can get the tiniest tank for your favorite Betta fish or a gigantic aquarium for your wall. I personally like to buy everything separate, but you can purchase a starter kit that has everything from gravel, plastic plants, lights and filters.

Obviously, acrylic aquariums also have their problems.

Acrylic can scratch easier than glass. You have to be very careful when cleaning your tank and use only supplies made especially for acrylic. Scrubbers have to be made of rubber or plastic and never metal. Be very careful not to pick up a piece of gravel with your sponge and scratch the surface of the tank with it.
However, if you accidentally scratch your acrylic tank, there is no need to despair. Acrylic tanks can be repaired. There are acrylic repair kits available.

When you get the occupants for your new tank

Only make sure to buy your fish from reputable specialty fish stores. Fish bought at regular pet shops normally carry diseases and won't last you long. And, it's always good to be able to ask questions about their care from someone knowledgeable. Look at the tanks. There shouldn't be any dead fish floating around. Choose the most energetic fish you see and have the employee give you the one you choose.

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