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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thinking of coming back to keeping cichlids, had central Americans about 30 years ago, but after moving house and having to do the house up and have the tank in storage, things just kept me from setting it up again, so it was disposed of, that was over 20 years ago. My main question is, what are the pros and cons of glass and acrylic ? Will hopefully have a 100 gallon (UK) tank, may have to go down the made to measure route, so would it be better to have greater depth than height ?Thinking of getting South Americans this time round. Oh, I put in my registration that I am in Surrey, I guess there are a few Surrey's around the globe, I am in the UK.
 

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Glass is less expensive and more resistant to scratches.

Acrylic is lighter and more expensive and easy to scratch.
 

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My question about glass vs acrylic is the longevity. I now live on a concrete slab home so weight isn't an issue. Don't you have to re-silicone a glass aquarium every 5 years or so?
 

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I've never heard that glass tanks need to be resealed regularly so I'd say that is a myth. The key to success is to have the tank supported properly, both level and plumb on the stand.
 

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DJRansome said:
Glass is less expensive and more resistant to scratches.

Acrylic is lighter and more expensive and easy to scratch.
+1 on the above.

If you are looking to get a standard dimension tank in the 100 US Gallon range then I'd go glass as it's not that heavy anyway and it is more durable over the long run. A standard 90 gallon weights about 73KG (160 pounds) and a 125 gallon comes in at 94KG (206 pounds). Your proposed 100 gallon would fall somewhere in between. Both can be moved and set-up by two adults. If available I'd go for a low-iron glass version. I've had them and like them.

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

Regards,
Stu
 

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Deeda said:
I've never heard that glass tanks need to be resealed regularly so I'd say that is a myth. The key to success is to have the tank supported properly, both level and plumb on the stand.
+1

Regards,
Stu
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Stu W2 said:
DJRansome said:
Glass is less expensive and more resistant to scratches.

Acrylic is lighter and more expensive and easy to scratch.
+1 on the above.

If you are looking to get a standard dimension tank in the 100 US Gallon range then I'd go glass as it's not that heavy anyway and it is more durable over the long run. A standard 90 gallon weights about 73KG (160 pounds) and a 125 gallon comes in at 94KG (206 pounds). Your proposed 100 gallon would fall somewhere in between. Both can be moved and set-up by two adults. If available I'd go for a low-iron glass version. I've had them and like them.

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

Regards,
Stu
I take it the weights given are for the volume of water in the tank, and not just the tank ? With a larger tank on a suspended wooden floor, would you suggest reinforcing the floor by bricking up under the joists ?
 

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I have had 72" tanks with 125G of water in more than one residence on 2nd floor. Depending on your building codes and when your building was built you may need support.

Totally unnecessary, but in my former house we put support columns under the tank.

Decided to skip it in this house.
 

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That is the weight of the tank only, no water included.

I'm not sure what you mean by a suspended wooden floor since you are in UK, can you clarify?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Deeda said:
That is the weight of the tank only, no water included.

I'm not sure what you mean by a suspended wooden floor since you are in UK, can you clarify?
I can't remember my old tank weighing that much. Suspended floor, basically wooden floorboards over wooden joists with a void underneath.
 

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There are some variations in tank weights depending on glass thickness, the same with acrylic tanks.

Do you have access to measure the width and height of your wooden floor joists from underneath? It may be helpful to figure it out. Also, the span of the joists from support post to support post or if they span from outside wall to outside wall. Pictures may help.

The age of your home and the type lumber will also be a factor, especially if not using dimensional lumber. It can be difficult to give an accurate answer without knowing a fair amount of details and even then it may be prudent to contact a structural engineer for large tanks. A 100G tank filled with water may well be 1000 lbs of weight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The joists are 6" x 2" and 18" apart, they will be running parallel with the length of the tank. There are what they call sleeper walls that the joist rest on at right angles, but I'm unsure how far apart they are.
 

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I had to look up sleeper walls on a UK forum and they appear to be brick or block supports directly on the ground that support the floor joists, correct?

This is a home on a crawl space not a basement correct?

I'm going to have to let someone with more experience comment on this, hopefully someone from the UK with more knowledge.

One possible concern is your plan to run the aquarium parallel with the floor joists, usually it's suggested to run it perpendicular to the joists for more support.
 

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We had an engineer take a look FWIW.
 

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TrickyD said:
Stu W2 said:
DJRansome said:
Glass is less expensive and more resistant to scratches.

Acrylic is lighter and more expensive and easy to scratch.
+1 on the above.

If you are looking to get a standard dimension tank in the 100 US Gallon range then I'd go glass as it's not that heavy anyway and it is more durable over the long run. A standard 90 gallon weights about 73KG (160 pounds) and a 125 gallon comes in at 94KG (206 pounds). Your proposed 100 gallon would fall somewhere in between. Both can be moved and set-up by two adults. If available I'd go for a low-iron glass version. I've had them and like them.

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

Regards,
Stu
I take it the weights given are for the volume of water in the tank, and not just the tank ? With a larger tank on a suspended wooden floor, would you suggest reinforcing the floor by bricking up under the joists ?
Those weights are for the tank made from industry standard thickness glass. Water is extra.

Regards,
Stu
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Deeda said:
I had to look up sleeper walls on a UK forum and they appear to be brick or block supports directly on the ground that support the floor joists, correct?

This is a home on a crawl space not a basement correct?

I'm going to have to let someone with more experience comment on this, hopefully someone from the UK with more knowledge.

One possible concern is your plan to run the aquarium parallel with the floor joists, usually it's suggested to run it perpendicular to the joists for more support.
The house does have a "crawl space", though you'd have to have a child like physique to access it. I am just thinking of the tank I had before, it had no support, but was probably a 75 gallon (US) and was sited at right angles to where the new one would be, and as it was in an alcove, there would be no space there for a bigger tank, hence wanting to have one in a different position. I have to have a good think about it, still trying to decide on CA or SA, tap water being the deciding factor.
 

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Depends entirely on how the joists are "hung" and how far they span.
I personally would consider 2x6" to be very small for a floor joist and would probably prop them up if possible.
You could also fill in between the joist with 2x6" solid blocking that is cut down to 10 1/2" (or whatever the actual inside measurement is).
 

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I had a house with a crawl space like that before so I can definitely understand the problems accessing it.

It's also good that the joist span is 12" rather than 18". Based on the info you have provided so far, I would consider running your proposed 100G (UK) tank parallel with the floor joists IF the tank would span at least 2 joists AND the sleeper wall is located underneath those joists where the tank is located.

Again, if you have any concerns or doubts about going forward with your plans, contact someone locally with construction or engineering experience that can verify that the weight load won't negatively impact your home.
 

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I agree with the opinions above. For anyone still thinking about glass vs. acrylic, I would say acrylic is not going to suddenly come apart and do thousands of dollars of damage to your floors and walls. It is also way way lighter to carry and move.
However it does scratch and I was pressed for funds when we bought our tank maybe 15 years ago. Our 130 gallon 6 feet by 2 feet high by 1.5 feet deep is glass and cleans up sparkling with little maintenance.
To keep the glass bottom on an even platform to keep the tank from catastrophic failure (dump all that water suddenly), we used one large sheet of the type of very dense Styrofoam sold in sheets at any building supply store, it is designed as wall insulation. Very dense insulation used in most houses being built these days. It is laid on the solid stand top table, and stays between the stand top and tank bottom.
It was 8 foot by 4 feet and 1 inch thick, and we cut it down with a strong heavy hobby knife to just barely larger than the tank bottom. This idea will keep the glass supported under a slightly uneven glass tank bottom, or an almost but not quite level tank. The idea for this came from a a very old book that we saw in the pet store; "If Only I Had Known" (aquarium hint book). It advised this type of very strong styrofoam under any glass tank on a stand with solid (not open on top) stand.

To make the edge of foam between the tank and stand that shows not look so white, we used a Sharpie pen that is designed to match wood tones and cover scratches on a wooden desktop. Just colored the 1 inch wide edges of the foam to turn it from white to brownish.
 
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