Aquarium With Fish and PlantsCredit: Laura Nubuck, via

When to consider buying plexiglass aquarium? Discover benefits and disadvantages of owning an acrylic fish tank instead of the glass one.

Frequently, a plexiglass aquarium is the superior choice, if you know how to pick the best one and manage to avoid common pitfalls. Let's start with an overview of the benefits of an acrylic container.

Benefits of plexiglass aquarium

Acrylic tanks are tough, much more difficult to break than glass ones. Plexiglass is the only material strong enough to hold large amounts of water in the huge aquariums.

People who like modern design frequently choose to buy acrylic fish tanks because many unusual shapes are available for sale. As plexiglass tanks are constructed from a single sheet of plastic, they never leak on the seams.

Acrylic aquariums keep the heat better, than glass ones and therefore help to maintain the correct temperature inside the fish tank, regardless of fluctuations outside. This way, you can reduce the cost of energy, which is required for heating an aquarium.

Acrylic tanks are easier to customize than glass aquariums. This is essential for an aquarist who likes to improve and rebuild his fish tanks using DIY plans. Plexiglass containers weigh less, than glass ones of similar size, so there's less pressure on the floor, or on an aquarium stand.

Disadvantages of plexiglass aquarium

While acrylic tanks have clear walls that provide great visibility, they are easy to scratch. In fact, with time the sides of plexiglass aquarium becomes cloudy from micro abrasions and scratches. When that happens, you have to use special cleaning equipment to return the walls to their former glory. A cleaning procedure involves scraping and polishing tank walls.

To avoid deep scratches, which are difficult to remove, never wield sharp tools to clean an acrylic tank. Be careful, when you remove algae layer from the walls and use only appropriate devices like magnetic cleaners.

Acrylic tank costs more than glass aquarium of similar size - it doesn't come cheap.

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When to buy plexiglass aquarium?

Acrylic tank is a good choice, when you plan to arrange saltwater reef tank with refugium, because it's easy to modify. Choose plexiglass container, if you consider adding a compartment walls inside - a popular solution for the male betta fish breeding container. When you build a custom water change system or a sump filter, flexibility of plexiglass makes the construction process easier.

The ability to drill holes in the acrylic sheets without cracking the tank helps immensely with this type of DIY projects. Just remember to wet the spot before drilling, so as to prevent plastic sheets from heating up and melting due to the friction.

Plexiglass is the only material appropriate for the large containers, although the medium sized ones (over 50 gal.) benefit from an additional strength as well.

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Tips for buying acrylic fish tank

When you search for a plexiglass aquarium for sale, choose one made by a reliable manufacturer. If you order custom made fish tank, ask the glass worker to check the thickness of an acrylic sheet he's going to use for your tank, to make sure that it's strong enough to withstand the pressure.

If you decide to construct plexiglass aquarium yourself to cut the cost, remember to triple check the size of sheets you need before ordering them. Ask the worker to cut plastic sheets with a particular precision. That's a complicated DIY project, so make sure your skills are sufficient or you'll risk a broken aquarium. When you buy used tank, fill it to check for any leaks before you fork out the cash.

Fish tank is an item that will serve you for years. If you want to obtain strong, clear and flexible one, buy the plexiglass aquarium.

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