View Full Version : Acrylic vs glass

05/21/2006, 10:35 PM
Ok guys . Getting ready to gear up to build a new addition to the house. Of course this will give me an extremely good excuse to build a room divider with an aqaurium . I need some pro's and cons on each tank. ie scratching , mod, vesatility blah blah blah . Will be needing alot of input on the project itself as well . Still in the planning stages though . Any thoughts welcomed . Thanks .

Ohhh was thinking something along the lines of a 150 h upwards to a 240 maybe depending on what wall space is available

Benny Z
05/21/2006, 10:46 PM
acrylic scratchs, glass is green unless you go starfire. that's basically it. you can drill glass and acrylic both yourself. i think going bare bottom would help with the scratching issue of acrylic.

high tanks require high lighting. a 180g would be a nice size...you can stick with 250w halides.

05/21/2006, 10:52 PM
Short term Acrylic is great, but long term you will have loads of scratches and cleaning the tank is always going to be a very carefull slow going process with Acrylic. My opinion is why take a chance that 2 years from now you will have a fantastic tank but be looking at it through annoying scratches.

05/22/2006, 05:42 AM
so basically great tanks ....just have to tip toe with the acrylic ones . I was tryign to cut down on the weight factor being as this will be on the second floor . Is there an engineer ing Da house??

05/22/2006, 05:43 AM
ahhhh yes i am the King of typos ...bow peasants ~L~

05/22/2006, 07:52 AM
Go with starfire, it's just as clear as acrylic and doesn't scratch. Also the prices are probably about the same.

05/22/2006, 01:16 PM
The weight of the tank is nothing compared to the water!
A 150 gallon glass tank may weight 250 lbs, the water in the tank will weight approx 1350 lbs so the total is near 1600 lbs, now do the same tank in acrylic at say 150 lbs and the total is 1500 lbs.
Not much of an overall savings.

05/22/2006, 03:06 PM
If you're building on, talk to your contractors or architects or
whatever about your plans. Now is the time to address the
building structure to accomodate a large tank.


05/22/2006, 03:30 PM
acrylic makes great sumps, but not aquariums. glass makes great aquariums, but not sumps. my personal rule of thumb :)


Benny Z
05/22/2006, 03:32 PM
why don't glass tanks make good sumps?

not arguing, just curious why.

05/22/2006, 04:18 PM
a little more flexible for drilling, glueing, cutting baffles, etc. if you kick the intake bulkhead glass cracks and you trash it. the plastic cracks and it can be sealed while still full of water using a butane lighter. little things like that make it user friendly for sumps.

Benny Z
05/22/2006, 04:20 PM

i think we should give all future meeting hosts' sumps the "kick test". ;)

Michelle L
05/22/2006, 05:19 PM
Well then I officially withdraw my future offer to host a meeting after my tank is up and established if you guys will be kickin' my sump!! :eek:

05/22/2006, 05:34 PM
You kick my sump...I kick your rump. Seriously, I would much rather use acrylic for the sump, I have done a few of each now. As far as tank goes, no matter how careful I am with my glass tank, my wife still manages to scratch the hell out of it at the sand line, I can't get it through her head that sand will do that when caught in the magnet. I couldn't imagine having an acrylic tank and dealing with the scratches.

05/22/2006, 08:40 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=7417370#post7417370 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by smorrow5773
my wife still manages to scratch the hell out of it at the sand line, I can't get it through her head that sand will do that when caught in the magnet. I couldn't imagine having an acrylic tank and dealing with the scratches.

Sounds like a bare bottom testimonial........ :lol:

05/23/2006, 09:51 PM
Well i am the contracter . architech and plumber ~L~ and generally how much more does a starfire run than a regular tank? Im also the kinda guy who is hands on . So more or less i like to see things before buying. I hate ordering things i cant look at you know? Im almost glad they dont keep the good products in stock in the stores like MH and calc reators ,,, i'd be sooooooo broke all the time . And Henry i agree acrylic is best for sumps . But Dang ... that stuff is like gold ...expensive stuff(as like everything else in SW tanks) . Thats if you can get ahold of the cast stuff .

In any case i'll be asking and giving updates on everything . Stayed tuned for Brads new stand the end of this week .

Benny Z
05/23/2006, 10:06 PM
fwiw, i called a local glass shop to get a quote on a single piece of starfire sized 80x24 a while back and was quoted just shy of $800.

05/24/2006, 04:21 PM
ya ...welll i guess AGA for me then

06/02/2006, 09:10 AM
I solved the possiblity of kicking the bulkhead on my glass sump (75g) as it is elevated a good 4 ft up in the air on the concrete ledge of my basement ;)
drilling is REALLY not ALL that hard to do in a glass tank just takes time and paitence.
Oh and I'd personally go glass for both as I have no experience working with acrylic.

06/02/2006, 10:48 AM
I've had a 200 acrylic for over 8 years. They are very easy to move. My wife and I could easily move the tank (empty of course) just the two of us. I will never own another Acrylic display tank, they are very unforgiving when it comes to scratching and the repair process for removing even moderate scratches is tedious, exhausting for the owner and very disruptive to the livestock. all it takes is one grain of sand or a baby snail under the cleaning tool and pretty soon your looking at 3 - 5 hours min.

My next tank will be starfire, if the new Sapphire glass(transparent aluminum ceramic) glass comes into affordable production soon (best of both worlds) I'll be going that route.link1 (http://fins.actwin.com/aquatic-plants/month.200510/msg00282.html)

06/02/2006, 11:06 AM
I'm not going to hold my breath on the Sapphire glass being affordable any time soon - coming down in price from a military point of view would be down to $5/in², compared to the $0.46/in² for Starfire from Benny Z's post. Still, it looks like a good product - maybe we'll all be using it in 10 years.

In planning stages for a 180-220 gallon tank when we rebuild post-Katrina

06/02/2006, 11:19 AM

interesting.... you have been registered for over 4 years, are from MS, and make your first post in the local illinois forum. haha! nice to have you join us! :)

06/02/2006, 11:28 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=7484066#post7484066 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by hcs3
<img src="/images/welcome.gif" width="500" height="62"><br><b><i><big><big>To Reef Central</b></i></big></big>

interesting.... you have been registered for over 4 years, are from MS, and make your first post in the local illinois forum. haha! nice to have you join us! :)

And he is clearly an engineer.

'sup engineering buddy!

Benny Z
06/02/2006, 11:36 AM
"erica" is a "he"?


06/02/2006, 01:42 PM
Doh! Followed kennethl's link and thought that the link was in Erica's post.

06/02/2006, 02:42 PM
Not only an engineer, but a government contractor with Navy ships. I have lots of experience about what "affordable" is! (and I am a "she")

I didn't realize that I posted on the IL forum - I did a search for starfire and found this thread. I guess I've been a lurker for a while on Reef Central.

I had a 55 gallon up until last August (FO) - back then I lived in a house, too. I'm getting the itch to get started again, but it'll probably be another year or two with how slow rebuilding is going. That'll give me lots of time to research and plan - well, not that much time as I have a 2 month old and a 3 year.