Saltwater Fish Tanks - Glass or Acrylic?

This article looks at both types of saltwater aquarium tank asks the question, which is better, glass or acrylic? Hopefully after reading this you will be able to make up your mind once and for all. Overall there is no right answer, but choosing the right tank for your level of expertise will make all the difference to your fish keeping experience.

Glass Fish Tanks

Glass fish tanks are classic and the old reliable method of keeping saltwater aquarium fish, often square or rectangular they are a good solid, no hassle way of enjoying your fish. Newer tanks can have a 'bow front' and can make a very attractive centre piece to any living room.

On the plus side, glass is hard to scratch and has been used by aquarium owners for years and years. However glass aquariums are heavy and can smash (that said however, plate glass wont shatter like tempered will.)

Overall, glass tanks are the most popular, but year on year acrylic tanks are catching up. Why is that?

Acrylic Fish Tanks

Acrylic tanks have very few seams, so there is less chance of leakage. Furthermore, acrylic is stronger then glass so is less likely to end up in pieces on your best rug!

These types of tank also come in more shapes and sizes which will no doubt be a big draw to younger fish fans. Whilst more wild and wonderful tank shapes give you different ways of observing your fish, bear in mind that there is more likely to be a distortion in the viewing with the more curves in the tank.

On the other hand however, acrylic tanks are more likely to become scratched and this is often the case when using algae scrapers. Special scratch remover kits can be bought and some people are happy doing this as they prefer acrylic tanks.

Final Thought

There are plusses and minuses to both materials but if you are a beginner we would recommend a glass tank to get you started. If you want to build your own tank, then please only do so if have some technical expertise and be sure to use a nontoxic silicone cement to seal the seams.