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I prefer glass for several reasons:
1. it doesn't discolor over time
2. It doesn't scratch very easily
3. and the lack of need for extra bracing to prevent bowing

I have a 40 gallon acrylic and the rest of my tanks are glass. the acrylic has this euro-bracing that drives me crazy.

Some people say that a big pro and con is the difference in weight. In all honesty, how often do you pick up and move your tank. And when its full, the difference in weight could be the difference of a large rock.
 

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You can find a million articles or websites that document the difference but I think most of them are silly. The weight, I agree is a pretty dumb difference. Or some of them will say that acrylic is clearer than glass, but I've never really been able to notice any difference (except a little bit when there is low light).

I think there are some practical difference:

1. Acrylic tanks have nicer corners. They do not have the ugly siliconed joints. This seems silly, but I like it.

2. Acrylic tanks have really annoying tops that are not completely open. I didn't understand how annoying until I bought my 125G. Basically when they make the tank they use a solid piece for the top and then cutout some holes. Mine is probably 50% covered on the top. But I am not sure what size this starts happening because I have a small 10 gallon and it has a fully open top. You should go take a look at the size and brand you want to see what the top of the tank looks like. The funky openings make it a little harder to set up most types of filtration (especially if you have a canopy).

3. Scratches. Yes, acrylic does scratch, but, I think this is extremely over asserted. It is very easy to get rid of the scratches (unless they are really deep). And most of the scratches are very light and unless you have your face right up against the tank at the right light level and proper angle you wont see them. You would really need to have a rock rub on the tank decently hard to make a deep scratch. The bad thing is this does happen, and while it is easy to get rid of scratches on an acrylic tank, most of the bad ones occur on the inside while cleaning or moving stuff around. The inside scratches are is impossible to fix with water covering the scratch, so to fix it you would have to drain the water enough to get at the scratch.

I had a longer list but I spent too much time fixing my typos so I forgot the other ones.
 

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boredatwork said:
2. Acrylic tanks have really annoying tops that are not completely open. I didn't understand how annoying until I bought my 125G. Basically when they make the tank they use a solid piece for the top and then cutout some holes. Mine is probably 50% covered on the top. But I am not sure what size this starts happening because I have a small 10 gallon and it has a fully open top. You should go take a look at the size and brand you want to see what the top of the tank looks like. The funky openings make it a little harder to set up most types of filtration (especially if you have a canopy).
I believe it is called Euro-bracing. Correct me if im wrong. My 40 gallon has it as well and that is one of the main reasons i would not get another acrylic tank, i can't stand the restrictions it puts on your movement.
 

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Glass for me because it is cheaper, durable, easy to repair, and easier to get a hold of, especially in the used market. The extra bracing needed on acrylic tanks is also a negative.
 

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I have several tanks both glass and plexi. If its a smaller tank or if I want plants(in a small tank) in the tank I go glass up to about 100-120 gallons. Then glass tanks get too heavy to move easily and even 125's get a little dangerous. I sold My 125 to a neighbor and about 6 months later it came apart. Luckily no one was hurt and the glass didn't even brake. we took the rest of the tank apart and resiliconed to tank back together. Most glass tanks larger than 50 gallons have a center brace anyway some have more. The current All Glass Aquarium 125 has 2 braces across it.
My Plexi tanks have been large tanks. My old 200 gallon 96Lx24Wx20H has one center brace and 2 big openings. It's a Tru Vu tank with a custom top the standard Tru Vu 200 or 240 has 4 openings and is a real pain in the rear, another custom thank I have 42Lx30Wx22H (120gallon) has one big opening, its easy to catch fish. When I get a plexi tanks I have always gotten a custom top. Here is a picture of my 120s top its easy to service, catch fish and I cut a slot just for an Aquaclear filter. I also have drilled the back of the tank for a canister filter. Its works nice and I dont have a bunch of hoses hanging over the tank.

I have also just purchased another large tank plexi tank there is no way I would have purchased a glass tank this size. It has 3 openings and the tank is drilled for all the filter connection, a glass tank would have weighed probably 700lbs or more as it is the tank weighs about 365 lbs. I just picked it up yesterday it still has the paper on the plexi. Yes it is resting on the front of the tank but there is a pad between it and the floor.


I am lucky that there is a custom tank builder in my area he builds them just the way I want and his tanks are less money that a standard Tru Vu tank. On my new tank the sides of the tank are 3/4 inch and the top and bottom are 1/2 inch. Its wont bow like some cheaper/smaller plexi tanks.[/img]
 

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I prefer Glass... and I agree with what Renegrade545 stated....No-acrylic for me...just glass. 8)
 

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Acrylic > glass. There are no silicone seals to fail on acrylic. While it is true that an acrylic tank can fail still, look thru the posts about disasters with a tank and they are almost all glass tanks. If you do get acrylic, make sure it is cell-cast acrylic (truvu tanks are).
 

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Both have pros and cons...

I had a 55 gal glass "disaster" and because of it I am very weary of buying glass now.

I have a 29 gal glass tank and a 60 gal acrylic. I have only had the acylic for about 6 months and have already scratched it a couple of times from unsteady rocks falling while I am cleaning... but not enough to really bother me... the top bracing is pretty annoying... but not a deal breaker for me.

A lot of people comment on the acrylic tank saying "wow... the curved corners look really cool"

I think as a precaution I am going to replace any glass tank at 10 years maximum... and of course I keep an eye on them for any weakened joints. Any tank that I get at 100 gal or more will definitely be acrylic.
 

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I prefer glass for aesthetic reasons ... I hate the curved corners on acrylic, though some newer ones have straight corners. Yes I rather see the silconed corners than that weird curved distortion of the acrylic corners (don't like bow front tanks either). I also dislike the restrictive tops, though again some newer ones can be ordered with much enlarged openings.

The main pro to acrylic for me are the overflows, not the in tank ones, but the outside box ones with the teeth drilled right into the walls.
 

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Never had acrylic but here's some benefits.

Stronger - mainly because glass is so rigid; seams are stronger and less likely to fail
Insulation - will lose far less heat than glass
Weight - It's a serious issue if your doing a tanks over 180 gallons
 

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Acrylic is my choice because its easy to move tanks around. Also I don't have to worry much about cracks by rocks or leaky tanks.
Good acrylic company tanks have very little bowing due to the thicker acrylic.
But cost more and the price seems to go up lot every year. Used tanks can still be found sometimes at a good deal.
 

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Glass - Does not scratch so easily
Seems to have more space up top, and around the braces top work in the tank
Doesn't yellow, over a LONG time
Does not require full support underneath, on a stand (I know, silly, but...)

Ugly silicone seams
Seams, can fail
No rounded corners, or smoother edges, likewise on most acrylic tanks

Not really, a pro or con, but glass tanks have a trim around top and bottom, and I think it makes the tank look a little better. :lol:

Acrylic - About the same clearness as glass
No seams to cause a leak, or bust
Rounded corners/Smoother edges on most
(Scratches can be buffed out.)

Can yellow over a long time
Scratches pretty easily in my opinion
Limited top space for filters, accessories, and moving around/working in the tank
Requires full support underneath by the stand
It bows more than glass (so I see)
 
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