Acrylic Vs Glass Fish Tank – Which One Is Better?

Acrylic Vs Glass tank
Care & Maintenance

The discussion whether it’s better to go with an acrylic or glass aquarium is definitely not new. However, it’s probably a discussion that will never get settled. Why? Because both types of tanks offer different advantages and disadvantages. So, if you want to make an objective decision based on the facts, here they are:

Pros and Cons of Acrylic Vs Glass Fish Tank :

The Good Things About Acrylic

  • They Are More Practical

When it comes to practicality, an acrylic tank is the better choice. Given that they are much lighter than their glass counterparts, and they are more convenient to move around.

  • They Are Stronger

In addition to weighing less than glass tanks, they are much tougher as well. Of course, there is no avoiding the scratches that are bound to happen, but as for physically breaking the tank, you’ll need to drop it quite a distance.

  • They Provide Better Perspective

Unlike glass, acrylic tanks won’t change the view on the other side so significantly. In other words, your view experience will be more in perspective and won’t give you a possible headache.

  • Acrylic Material Is Stronger

When you compare the necessity of the tank-wall thickness, an acrylic fish tank doesn’t have to be as thick as glass to hold the same water pressure.

  • They Can Be Customized

If you feel you need to add additional systems such as water tank filters, fish tank heaters or LED aquarium lighting to the tank, holes can easily be drilled and adjustments can be made.

  • They Are Easy To Restore

While acrylic tanks are prone to catch scratches quicker than glass, they are easier to clean and restore. For instance, cracks are easily repaired and you can buff the surface to look like new.

The Bad Things Of An Acrylic Tank

This is the part of the acrylic vs glass fish tank where the cons come out. For acrylic tanks, they include:

  • They Pick Up Scratches Easily

As mentioned earlier, scratches can come from pretty much anything, which can be a deal-breaker for some.

  • The Bottom Requires Full Support

Even though acrylic tanks are tough, the bottom is the weak link. It requires full platform support in order to avoid leaks.

  • Possible Discoloration

Over time, under strong lights, and with certain chemicals, the acrylic tank can start to turn into a yellowish color.

  • More Expensive

Due to shipping costs, acrylic tanks tend to be more expensive than glass.

  • Tough Cleaning Process

Expect your acrylic tank to be much tougher in terms of cleaning. You’ll also need special cleaning chemicals that won’t harm the material.

  • Incompatible Sizes

Lastly, there is such a variety of acrylic tank sizes that many of them can’t accompany basic extras, like hoods, lids, and even lighting systems.

The Good Things About Glass Tank

It’s time to go to the other side of this acrylic tank vs glass tank discussion. And here is what makes glass tanks so popular.

  • It Doesn’t Scratch Easily

If you are intent on having scratches on your glass aquarium, you are going to need a lot of pressure and something very sharp. This is because glass doesn’t scratch easily.

  • They Are Also Relatively Stronger

Even though acrylic tanks are stronger, the glass tanks shouldn’t be underestimated. It’s still going to take a lot of pressure to make it shatter.

  • Great Water Weight Support

Thanks to the strength of the glass panes, their ability to hold water weight is better than the ability of an acrylic tank.

  • The Bottom Of The Tank Is Stronger

Seeing as glass tanks don’t flex like acrylic ones do, the bottom of the glass tank doesn’t require full surface support.

  • Glass Stays Clear

When cleaned regularly, you don’t have to worry about the glass discoloring. Also, you don’t have to worry about the effects of chemicals or strong lights doing anything to your clear viewing experience.

  • They Are Cheaper

Compared to acrylic tanks, glass is the budget choice.

  • The Standard Size Is Very Compatible

When you order a standard-sized glass tank, chances are it will fit with common extras that won’t fit an acrylic tank.

The Bad Things About A Glass Tank

To end the acrylic or glass aquarium battle, here is a look at what’s wrong with glass tanks.

  • They Break Quicker

While glass is tough, they are not stronger than acrylic tanks.

  • They Are Much Heavier

It’s one thing to say glass tanks are heavy, but in some cases, they can be 10 times as heavy. This changes things dramatically.

  • Glass Require Additional Heating

Given that glass tanks dissipate heat faster than an acrylic tank will, more heating precautions are necessary.

  • The Shapes Are Straightforward

A glass tank isn’t nearly as malleable as an acrylic tank, meaning the shapes you get them in are very limited.

  • A Weird Perspective

Light has a way to reflect through the glass and distort what you are seeing, which can be off-putting for some.

  • Cannot Be Customized

Sadly, drilling into a glass tank to customize it for additional equipment isn’t going to work.


Now that you have an objective lowdown regarding an acrylic tank vs glass tank, you can make the best decision according to your needs.

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