Glass Aquariums or Acrylic Aquariums – which is better?

Are glass aquariums or acrylic aquariums better for your needs? Most people who are starting a tank for the first time are faced with this question.

Sometimes the answer is really just a matter of preference or availability. They both work well to hold water and house fish, so what are the major differences?

Glass aquariums are sheets of glass secured together with silicone rubber cement. They come in square, hexagon and rectangular shapes. They usually have a frame around them that provide stability and make it easy to hang accessories.

Acrylic aquariums are molded which makes for no corners and better viewing, although there will be some distortion around the curves. Acrylic aquariums can be custom made to any size or shape desired and also come standard in many unique shapes that are not available in glass.

If you are concerned about cost, acrylic aquariums are more expensive than glass aquariums of the same size and they scratch easily where glass does not scratch at all. Care must be taken when hanging accessories, cleaning algae and also cleaning the outside of the acrylic tank. Special scratch removers can be purchased but this can add to the overall cost (and they don’t work that great either!).

On the other hand, glass aquariums are more like to leak and weigh much more than acrylic aquariums. The acrylic will be much more less likely to shatter as well.

I have had both types of aquariums and prefer the acrylic aquariums over glass aquariums because of their sleek design. The fish seem to be happy in both types and I don’t think they really care either way so choosing one over the other is really just a matter of personal preference, and which of the things above is important to you.