Since the 1970s, the way aquariums work has changed. Traditional glass tanks began to be slowly displaced by new material – acrylic. Nowadays, when people decide to install an aquarium in their house or office, they now face the dilemma – glass or acrylic?
Deciding on one or the other depends on many factors. To help you make that decision, read about the deficiencies and strengths of each material because, beyond personal preferences, what's more, important is the safety of your new pets that will live in the aquarium.
After reading this article, doubts people often feel about acrylic aquariums not being a good idea will disappear. Take note of the things to consider for your new aquarium.
As said before, the crucial thing is the safety of our pets inside the aquarium, but what exactly do people mean?
Well, to answer that question, here's the testimony of an aquarist (this is the job title of the people who are responsible for maintaining aquariums as a profession) who shared his personal experience in a forum dedicated to marine life at home:
“As I went on a trip, I left my disco fish in a friend's shop. I had always suggested that he migrate to the new material, thus increasing transparency and insurance sales. He kept my fish in quarantine. When I arrived, after the last earthquake, I was surprised by the news that my records were resting in peace, as well as 80% of the fish that I kept in his shop.”
Thus, the greatest risk that our pets run inside the aquarium is that the crystals break. If you live in an area prone to seismic activity, then you'll know what we're talking about.
Many people don't opt for the acrylic because over time, it becomes opaque as it gets dark, it scratches very easily, and those scratches are almost impossible to remove.
However, the reality is that those are the disadvantages of simple plastic, which unscrupulous stores sell by imitating acrylic.
Advantages of Acrylic Compared to Glass
Stronger Than Glass
Acrylic is up to 10 times stronger than glass. Glass is indeed capable of containing much more water weight compared to acrylic, although for this, it needs a thicker base than the rest of the walls and, of course, to be perfectly level. However, when experts say that acrylic is ten times and up to 15 times stronger than glass, they take into account other aspects, not just the weight of water.
Acrylic absorbs the stress of seismic movements and tremors much better. It resists high pressures, and of course, it can suffer bending without risk of fissures.
A strong blow, of course, could scratch the acrylic. However, that same blow in a glass aquarium would mean you'd have to pick up your fish from the ground.
Not Likely to Leak
The way the crystals are glued is with silicone, of course. German tensioners could also be used for huge aquariums, but the cost would be extremely high.
Acrylic, on the other hand, by how the plates are joined, is practically welded. That is, as if it were in one piece, so the probability of leaks is 0%.
Acrylic is much lighter and more malleable than glass. It's true that, in theory, glass and acrylic can be the way people want. However, in practice, things aren't so simple.
That's why when experts compare the prices of a cylindrical glass aquarium with one in the same way as in acrylic, the differences are almost exponential, being the glass much more expensive. The same goes for the transfer.
Acrylic is 50% lighter than glass.
Acrylic is Less Expensive
Transporting a glass aquarium will always be more expensive than if it were acrylic. The risk of the glass aquarium breaking is very high, especially if it's very heavy.
It should also be noted that, when it comes to making modifications such as a perforation in the aquarium, acrylic only requires caution and a drill. Making a circular hole in the glass demands a specialist.
Acrylic is much more transparent for various reasons. Clarity is undoubtedly one of the qualities that differentiate a healthy aquarium from a poorly maintained one.
Acrylic is much more transparent than glass, allowing almost 100% of the light to pass through it.
Easier to Maintain
Removing scratches is easier in acrylic than in glass, since only cloth with polishing paste is required to remove them and without the need to remove the fish.
The white spots left by the residues after the evaporation of the water in the glass are tough to remove. That's not the case for acrylic.
Finally, the growth of algae. These take clarity away from the aquarium. However, the acrylic, being such a smooth surface, doesn't allow them to adhere easily, so they don't have that tendency to grow against the glass.
Keeps The Temperature More Consistent
The temperature conservation in acrylic aquariums is much better than in glass aquariums. As a rule, a thermostat inside an aquarium stops when it reaches 27º C. If you have a glass aquarium, despite this measure for safety, the temperature will continue to rise, hurting the fish.
The same goes for temperature drops. This can easily be compared using an aquarium thermometer. People will notice how acrylic keeps the ideal temperature for much longer.
The truth is that an acrylic aquarium can be purchased at a reasonable price in many forms. However, always look for a Professional Custom Acrylic Aquarium Manufacturer.
A one-piece aquarium can be quite large, or it can be a much smaller tank that's ideal for a coffee table and built with scratch-resistant sheets.
Remember, “cheap is expensive,” so buyers should always aim for the best possible quality and price.
The same care must also be taken when selecting pets. The diseases among fish are transmitted very easily. Therefore, if the person in the store doesn't let you choose the fish you want, but instead, insists and tries to dissuade you to take another, be cautious of that seller. They may be trying to sell you a sick fish.