Are you thinking of building you own cheap fish tank?
One major choice when deciding to build your own cheap fish tank is – Glass or Acrylic?
Glass has been a favourite for many aquarists because it has proven itself over many years and therefore has a loyal following. Aquarists who favor glass believe acrylic is a poor choice because of many factors, the truth is that apart from it being easies to scratch the Acrylic of these days is far superior than that of 20 years ago.
Pro’s of using Acrylic to build your cheap fish tank.
First, acrylic is 10 – 17 x stronger than glass, softer and more flexible than glass, making it highly impact resistant.
Second, acrylic weighs 30 – 50% less than glass, making it much more portable.
Third, acrylic insulates 20% better than glass, which reduces temperature fluctuations and saves on heating and chiller bills.
Four, the seams of acrylic tanks are molecularly welded. The resin used to seal them chemically melts the two pieces of material into one solid piece for a clear polished seam that is virtually unable to leak. Which means that your cheap fish tank does not need to look like a cheap fish tank.
five, It is cheaper to buy at retail price than Glass, I’m not sure about wholesale.
Another advantage of acrylic is that it has a transparency rating of 90 – 93%, which is clearer than optical glass. In fact acrylic passes the most light of any known material, it can even pass UV light.
Negatives for building your cheap fish tank from Acrylic-
Acrylic is easier to scratch, but unlike glass scratches are easily buffed out of acrylic without having to remove fish or water.
The other thing is that Acrylic is flammable. You don’t want to create ambiance by setting a burning candle on top of your tank.
The best type of acrylic for an aquarium is domestic cell cast acrylic. There are several good suppliers of this in Australia.
When searching for an acrylic tank, the top which has cutouts for filters and access should be the same thickness as the walls and bottom. Also note that acrylic aquariums need aquarium stands that support the entire bottom of the tank to distribute the weight evenly.
Because of it’s many advantages Acrylic is a better option than glass if you are building your own cheap fish tank.