The Fish Guru

Choosing Between Glass and Acrylic Fish Tanks – Pros and Cons

Glass vs Acrylic Fish Tanks: Which is the Best Option for You? Are you planning on starting a fish tank?

If so, one of your primary concerns is likely the type of material to use for the tank. The two most popular options are glass and acrylic tanks.

Both have their pros and cons, and it can be challenging to determine which one is best suited for you. In this article, we will discuss the factors to consider when selecting a fish tank, and in particular, the differences between glass and acrylic tanks.

Factors to Consider

When choosing the type of material for your fish tank, several factors come into play. These factors include cost, durability, longevity, shape, weight, and clarity.

Here is a closer look at each of these factors:


The cost of a fish tank is an essential consideration for most people. Glass tanks are more expensive to produce and handle compared to acrylic tanks.

One reason for this is that glass tanks require a lot of precision during manufacturing. Moreover, glass production uses a lot of energy, which adds to the cost of these tanks.

In contrast, acrylic tanks are less expensive to produce, and this makes them more affordable than glass tanks. One issue with glass tanks, however, is the need to temper them, which is an additional cost.

Tempered glass is much stronger than regular glass and can withstand more pressure. Though this process adds to the cost of glass tanks, it makes them much safer to use.


The lifespan of your fish tank is also an important factor to consider. Glass tanks last longer than acrylic tanks under most circumstances.

Glass has a superior resistance to scratching and discoloration, and it is also less porous than acrylic. However, one downside of glass is that it can shatter, which can be dangerous for your fish, and you.

Acrylic tanks, on the other hand, are more prone to scratches and will discolor and yellow over time. However, they do not shatter, making them safer for both you and your fish.


The clarity of your fish tank determines how well you can see your fish. Glass tanks have superior clarity compared to acrylic tanks.

Glass has a high UV resistance and is not affected by sunlight or dirt, which means that you can see your fish clearly for an extended period. Glass tanks are also less porous than acrylic tanks, which means dirt and algae are less likely to stick to the tank’s surface and reduce clarity.

Acrylic tanks, however, are more porous; this means that dirt and algae are more likely to stick to the tank’s surface, reducing the clarity of your fish tank. Additionally, acrylic is more UV sensitive, and exposure to sunlight can cause the tank to yellow over time, which further reduces its clarity.

Benefits of

Acrylic Tanks

Acrylic tanks provide several benefits that you may want to consider before deciding on the type of tank to use. These benefits include:

Custom Designs

Acrylic tanks are easy to bend and shape, which means they can be molded into interesting designs. With acrylic, you can create unique tanks with curves or other shapes that would be impossible to produce with glass.

Acrylic is versatile, and you can use it to create tanks that suit your unique style.

Weight Capacity

Acrylic tanks have a higher weight capacity compared to glass tanks. If you want a large tank with a high water volume, then acrylic is the best option for you.

Acrylic tanks can hold much more weight than a glass tank with similar dimensions. This means you can create larger and more complex setups without worrying about the tank’s weight bearing capacity.


Acrylic tanks are sturdy and leak-resistant, and they are less likely to break, crack, or shatter than glass tanks. Acrylic has a higher impact resistance than glass and is less likely to break if accidentally dropped or hit.

Though acrylic tanks are prone to scratches, the scratches are usually not significant enough to impact the tank’s functionality or lifespan.

Retains Heat

Acrylic tanks are warmer than glass tanks and can easily retain heat. This means that you can use a smaller heater to keep the water in your tank warm.

Since acrylic is a poor conductor of heat, it holds the heat better than glass, which dissipates heat rapidly. Acrylic tanks are also less likely to crack due to temperature fluctuations, making them a safer option.


In conclusion, whether to choose a glass or acrylic tank depends on several factors, including cost, durability, longevity, shape, weight, and clarity. Glass tanks are a more expensive but durable option with superior clarity.

Acrylic tanks are an affordable option that provides many benefits, including custom designs, high weight capacity, durability, and heat retention. Now that you are informed about the differences between the two, you can confidently choose the best tank for your needs and budget.

Glass Tanks vs.

Acrylic Tanks: Which is Right for You and How to Properly Maintain Your Tank

Choosing the right fish tank can be a difficult decision.

Two of the most popular options are glass tanks and acrylic tanks. Each type of tank has its unique advantages and disadvantages.

It’s important to consider your budget, lifestyle, and needs when deciding which type of tank to purchase. Additionally, it’s crucial to know how to properly maintain your tank to ensure that your fish thrive.

In this article, well examine the differences between glass and acrylic tanks and explore the best maintenance practices for your aquarium.

Depend on Needs

When choosing a fish tank, it is important to consider your budget, lifestyle, and needs. Glass tanks tend to last longer and stay clear over time.

This can be beneficial for people looking for a more traditional and durable option. Examples of a lifestyle with these types of needs may include those who want a tank that will remain in good condition over an extended time, as well as those who want to keep exotic breeds of fish that require a bit of extra longevity.

On the other hand, acrylic tanks are flexible and can be easily molded into different shapes, making them an ideal option for people who want a uniquely designed tank. Acrylic tanks are a good choice for those who want round corners and curved designs that would not be possible with a glass tank.

People with needs for these attributes in their life include those who are short on space or want to create a talking piece for their home.

Glass Tanks

Glass tanks are a common and durable option for fish keepers. Glass is less porous than acrylic, which means dirt and algae are less likely to stick to the tank.

This results in a clearer tank for longer periods of time. However, glass tanks are brittle and prone to cracking or shattering, making them a less forgiving option than acrylic.

In addition, glass tanks require a higher level of care when cleaning to ensure that they remain in the best condition.

Acrylic Tanks

Acrylic tanks offer a more flexible and durable option for fish tank enthusiasts. They are less likely to crack or shatter than glass because they can absorb shock better.

Moreover, acrylic tanks are more flexible than glass, which makes them more resistant to cracking and breaking under pressure. Acrylic tanks are also lighter than glass tanks and offer a wider range of sizes, making them more customizable.

However, they do require more cleaning due to their porous nature, as dirt and scratches can become evident over time.


Proper maintenance is essential for a healthy and thriving fish tank. By maintaining your tank well, you can prevent diseases, create a stable environment, and maximize the lifespan of your tank.



Keep your tank well-maintained by doing the following:

1. Water changes: The more water changes you perform, the better for your fish.

Regular water changes will prevent the build-up of toxins and bacteria, which can be harmful to your fish. 2.

Fish population: Over-population can lead to an increase in waste, which can damage the water quality in your tank. Keep the number of fish in your tank at an appropriate level based on the size of your tank.

3. Feed your fish carefully: Overfeeding your fish can result in food that is not consumed, rotting and decomposing in your tank.

This can increase the build-up of harmful bacteria that pose a risk to your fish and the overall health of your tank. 4.

Filter maintenance: Clean your filter regularly to ensure that it is working correctly. A clogged filter can result in a build-up of ammonia and nitrate, leading to poor water quality.

Cleaning Tips

Use the following cleaning tips to keep your tank clean and safe for your fish:

1. Use a microfiber cloth: Microfiber cloths are gentle and can remove dirt and grime effectively without scratching the surface of your tank.

2. Use an animal-safe cleaner: Avoid using harsh cleaning solutions that may be harmful to your fish.

Instead, use aquarium-specific cleaners that are safe for your tank and your fish. 3.

Clean decorations: Regularly clean your tank decorations by removing them and washing them in a bucket of hot, soapy water. Rinse them thoroughly before putting them back into the tank.

In conclusion, choosing the right fish tank is a matter of considering factors such as your budget, lifestyle, and needs. Glass tanks are a durable option that offers crystal-clear clarity over time.

Acrylic tanks are a more flexible and unique option that allows for curved shapes and designs. Once you have a fish tank, ensure that you keep it well-maintained by performing regular water changes, carefully feeding your fish, taking care of the filter, and cleaning the tank surface, and all items your fish come in contact with using a microfiber cloth and an animal-safe cleaner.

Potential Issues with

Acrylic Tanks:


Scratching, and

Heater Concerns

Acrylic tanks are a popular choice for aquariums due to their flexibility, lightweight, and shatter-resistant properties. However, there are potential issues with acrylic tanks that owners should be aware of.

This article will cover three potential issues that may occur with acrylic tanks: yellowing, scratching, and heater concerns.


One of the significant drawbacks of acrylic tanks is their tendency to turn yellow over time due to exposure to UV rays. Sunlight, especially direct sunlight, may cause this issue.

The yellowing process occurs as the internal material breaks down, leading to a warped and brittle material. The yellowing process is not just a cosmetic problem; it can weaken the structural integrity of the tank.

To prevent yellowing, it is essential to keep the tank out of direct sunlight and in a shaded area. Avoid placing the tank near windows or other sources of direct sunlight.

You can also try using a UV-resistant film on the tank to protect it from UV rays. However, if your tank has already begun to yellow, there is no easy fix, and you may need to consider replacing the tank.


Acrylic tanks are more prone to scratching than glass tanks. Even the grit of aquarium gravel can scratch the surface of an acrylic tank.

Also, using rough sponges in the cleaning process can further damage the surface of the tank. Scratches on the surface of the tank can not only be unsightly, but they can also contribute to algae growth, bacteria buildup, and other health issues in your aquarium.

Prevent scratching by handling the tank with care and using soft cleaning supplies to prevent further damage. When cleaning the tank, use an acrylic-specific cleaner and a soft cloth.

A microfiber cloth is an excellent option to prevent scratching. If you need to scrape off stubborn buildup, use a plastic blade designed for the purpose.

Avoid using any sharp metal tools or objects, as these can easily scratch the surface of the tank.

Heater Concerns

Acrylic tanks are more susceptible to heat than glass tanks since they are less resistant to temperature changes. If you use a heater in your acrylic tank, be cautious about the type of heater you choose, as some types can melt the walls of the tank.

Specifically, avoid using in-tank heaters, which sit inside the water and can be dangerous for the fish, as they may malfunction.

The best option is to use an external heater that connects to the side of the tank.

Another option is a heater with an adjustable temperature meter and a low-wattage design to prevent overheating. Always ensure that the heater is installed correctly and that the temperature is set appropriately.

If you notice any warping or melting of the acrylic, turn off the heater immediately and take steps to repair the tank. In


Acrylic tanks have several benefits over glass tanks.

However, they are prone to potential issues such as yellowing, scratching, and heater concerns. By taking proper steps to care for your acrylic tank, such as keeping it out of direct sunlight, handling it with care, and using appropriate cleaning supplies, you can extend the lifespan of your tank.

Finally, make a habit of checking the temperature of your tank regularly, and only use heaters designed to be safe for acrylic tanks. By following these tips and recommendations, you can maintain a healthy and happy environment for your aquatic pets.

In conclusion, owning a fish tank can be a rewarding experience, but it is essential to choose the right type of tank and to maintain it correctly. Glass tanks are long-lasting and stay clear over time, while acrylic tanks offer flexibility and different shapes.

However, acrylic tanks may be vulnerable to yellowing, scratching, and heater concerns. To prevent such issues, avoid direct sunlight, use soft cleaning materials, and choose external heaters.

By taking proactive steps to maintain your tank, you can provide a healthy and happy environment for your aquatic pets.

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