Why Is An Aquarium Tank Made Of Glass? [Improve Its Longevity]

Image of an aquarium made of glass

An aquarium is an enclosed space designed to simulate the aquatic environment. So, why can’t you use any material to build an aquarium? Why is an aquarium tank made of glass?

An aquarium tank is made of glass because it is cheap, relatively sturdy, durable, hard to scratch, easy to maintain, and doesn’t discolor easily. In addition, glass is extremely clear and transparent, which allows us to enjoy the beautiful aquatic pets and attractive decorations in the aquarium.

Besides glass, aquariums are also made of acrylic. So, let’s see how glass stacks up against acrylic to find out which aquarium is better.

Glass Vs. Acrylic – Which Aquarium Is Better?

An aquarium houses your aquatic pets and keeps them safe.

However, certain essential factors like the species of fish you want to keep, the care you need to provide, the location of the aquarium, etc., need to be considered before deciding on the type of aquarium.

There are two main types of aquarium tanks:

  1. Glass, and
  2. Acrylic.

Both of these have their advantages and disadvantages.

So it’s tough to say which one is superior as both offer great value and protect the aquatic pets. But you need to select one. So…

Given below are the various parameters you should consider to choose between Glass and Acrylic aquariums.

1. Aesthetics

Glass aquariums look beautiful and can create a stunning display with appropriate decorations.

However, when you consider their design, they have looked the same for ages now.

On the contrary, acrylic aquariums have a futuristic look.

They are made of acrylic sheets and can have unique designs to improve an aquarium’s looks.

2. Clarity

The clarity of glass remains good even after years of use.

Moreover, if one side of the aquarium becomes unclear, there is no need to replace the entire tank.

Instead, you can replace the less clear side to fix the issue.

On the other hand, the clarity of acrylic deteriorates with age.

As acrylic reacts to direct light and chemicals present in the tank water, you will notice it becoming yellow and brittle.

If any part of an acrylic aquarium becomes cloudy or opaque, you will have to replace the entire tank.

3. Cost

Glass aquariums are usually cheaper because they are in high demand.

So they are manufactured in higher numbers. This helps reduce the per-unit cost of the aquarium.

Acrylic in the form of material is cheaper than glass.

However, as more features are added, acrylic aquariums turn out to be an expensive option.

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4. Impact Resistance

Glass is less resistant and can break or crack due to impact.

So you must choose the right location to keep the glass aquarium where the chances of something colliding with it are less.

On the other hand, acrylic is more resistant to impact than glass.

So you don’t have to worry too much if you have an acrylic aquarium at home.

5. Weight

Glass aquariums can be as much as ten times heavier than acrylic.

The weight of the glass aquarium can become an impediment to move it from one place to another within the house.

Moreover, the surface on which the glass aquarium is kept should be strong enough to bear its weight.

However, acrylic aquariums are lighter than glass aquariums.

So you can easily move them from one place to another within the house, even with water inside the tank.

Acrylic is a better option to reduce the overall weight of the tank.

6. Scratch Resistance

Glass has high scratch-resistant properties than acrylic. Therefore, it doesn’t scratch easily.

It takes a high impact to damage aquarium glass and create cracks.

On the contrary, acrylic doesn’t resist scratching.

So, when placed on hard surfaces such as stone, concrete, wood, etc., acrylic will get marks that will be visible and impossible to remove.

7. Aquarium Shape

Glass is hard and difficult to shape according to your requirements.

Therefore, it’s common to find glass aquariums in square and rectangle shapes.

On the other hand, acrylic comes in various shapes and sizes.

It can be easily molded and transformed into different shapes to make aquarium tanks.

8. Sturdiness

Glass aquariums are made of thick pieces of glass. These pieces are connected by cementing.

So these tanks are incredibly sturdy and durable.

However, acrylic aquariums lack these features as they are manufactured using thin sheets of acrylic.

Hence, they tend to bend and deform easily.

Both glass and acrylic have their pros and cons. Therefore, you need to understand your needs to select the best option for you.

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What Kind Of Glass Is Used In Aquariums?

There are primarily two types of glasses used for making aquariums.

They both offer excellent value to the owners and provide safety to the aquatic pets.

The two kinds of glasses used in aquariums are:

  • Normal float glass: This glass is commonly found in aquariums. It offers excellent value for money as it is comparatively cheaper, but it offers low clarity. Moreover, normal float glass has a greenish tint due to the presence of iron oxide.
  • High-quality crystal glass: This glass is stronger than regular glass. It offers better clarity and transparency to an aquarium. Therefore, it is expensive than normal float glass, and it offers high clarity.

Now that you know about the two prominent glass types used for making aquariums, let’s talk about the ways to increase the longevity of glass aquariums.

How To Increase Longevity Of Glass Aquariums?

The average lifespan of a glass aquarium is around ten years. However, they can hold much longer with proper care and attention.

Given below are some ways to improve the longevity of a glass aquarium:

1. Simple Design

The design of a fish tank determines its longevity.

Some designs are fancy and appealing but can be challenging to maintain and impact the tank’s longevity.

So, a relatively simple design in a square or rectangular shape lasts longer than complex ones.

2. Size

Small aquariums may take less time to clean but require more attention than larger ones.

The average time to clean large aquariums might be more, but they don’t need frequent cleaning like small aquariums.

The water parameters in small aquariums change drastically and can be fatal to the inhabitants.

Therefore, small aquariums need frequent water changes and regular cleaning.

Moreover, frequent handling affects the longevity of aquariums.

3. Strong & Steady Surface

The furniture on which an aquarium is placed should be firm enough to bear the aquarium’s weight.

An unsteady surface can lead to a disaster.

On the other hand, a steady surface will provide adequate support and longevity to an aquarium.

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4. Regular Maintenance

You can easily address the wear and tear of an aquarium with regular maintenance and proper care.

Minor problems addressed in the initial stages can help avert significant problems later on.

5. Location

Changing the location of an aquarium frequently is not a great idea.

It’s critical to determine the location before buying the aquarium.

Moving the aquarium is dangerous and can damage the structure.

A correctly set up and a well-cared aquarium will last longer.

In addition, it will also ensure you have better success in managing the aquatic inhabitants inside the aquarium.

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