Are you undecided on what type of goldfish tank to use? There are several things to consider. One of them is the material of the fish tank. Majority of goldfish tanks are composed of either acrylic or glass. Although at first glance, both may look the same but they have various differences from costs to durability. Read on to learn the pros and cons of acrylic fish tanks and glass fish tanks for you to decide what works best for you.
A glass goldfish tank is considerably cheaper compared to acrylic ones. This is because glass goldfish tanks are more popular which increases its production and lessens its overall cost. Moreover, glass requires minimum care when shipping and less specialised tools to work on it thus making it less expensive.
Acrylic goldfish tanks tend to be more expensive due to shipping charges. It usually cost less to create acrylic tanks but since they are prone to scratching, most of them get severely damaged during shipping making them unsellable.
Its clarity lasts for a long period of time. In fact, if you need to replace or change the old glass pane of the tank with a new one, you will not see much of a difference except for maybe a few scratches.Moreover, a glass goldfish tank is not prone to discoloration since it is designed to let the light in. Therefore, the clarity of the glass will remain even after prolonged exposure to light.
The clear colour of an acrylic fish tank may change to a yellowish hue after getting exposed to light over time. It is caused by a chemical reaction of the materials which make up the acrylic.Most of them discolour swiftly when placed under a complete spectrum of light or are exposed to UV light. On the other hand, there are ““UV-resistant” acrylic goldfish tanks” available in market which makes its clarity last longer compared to regular acrylic fish tanks.
Goldfish tanks made up of glass do not get scratched easily. Abrasions will only be sustained on the glass if a sharp object is scraped on its surface. However, it would take a relative amount of pressure applied on the object to really cause damage on the tank.
Acrylic is not a scratch-resistant material. It may sustain scratches during transportation despite the best efforts of shippers and manufacturers. Oftentimes, the damage is caused by the material used to wrap the goldfish tank.Scrapes on acrylic can also happen just because a person accidentally brushed it with their bag, clothes, or jewellery. And even the inhabitants and ornaments inside the aquarium can also cause damage.Although scratching is unavoidable in acrylic goldfish tanks, there are methods where it can be minimised. There are acrylic polishing kits available which can help “buff out” the scratches, leaving only small traces of haze on the glass where the scrapes used to be.
4. Breaking and Cracking
A glass goldfish tank will get chips and cracks if a sharp impact is forced on it. Once this happens, the small chinks will evolve to large cracks over time. On severe cases, the glass may break which leaves a dangerous mess on the floor with all that sharp broken shards.But keep in mind that breaks and cracks are more likely to happen due to neglect rather than manufacture defects. Therefore, the location where this type of goldfish tank is placed also plays a major role in preventing it from getting damaged.
An acrylic tank undergoes molecular bonding to create seamless joints and form a single piece. A stronger impact and force is needed in order to crack or shatter it. Therefore, it is more resistant to breaking and chipping compared to glass.
Needless to say, glass is heavier than acrylic since it is denser. An acrylic 55 gallon goldfish tank weighs in at a light 42lbs. On the other hand, the glass equivalent is almost double that at 78lbs.Sometimes it can even weigh up to 10 times heavier compared to an acrylic goldfish tank when filled with water. Moving a glass goldfish tank, especially larger ones, after draining water out of it is a two-man-job or more to prevent any accidents.
Since acrylic is light, it is much easier to use especially if you are prone to moving or changing your goldfish tank set-up. Additionally, there will be lesser strain on the support because its lightness will reduce the overall heaviness of tank.
6. Support and Rigidity
This type of goldfish tank have the ability to support considerably more than its own weight. Thus, it can be placed on stands with an incomplete or open top without much risk. On the other hand, the support must be balanced and strong enough to hold up the entire weight of the glass goldfish tank.Since glass is rigid, there must be less structural support at the top to prevent the tank from yielding under the weight of the water. The bowing of a tank is normal; however, too much of it may cause fractured glass or split seams.
Support is needed for the whole bottom of an acrylic goldfish tank. The bottom might give away from the seams under the weight of the water if there is no support equipped beneath it.Just like glass, acrylic is also prone to bowing which can lead to the spilling of water or splitting at the seams. Therefore, it needs additional support at the top to prevent it from breaking.
Shape Your Choice
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