Acrylic Aquariums

Acrylic aquariums are becoming more popular with home aquarists. Acrylic tanks are much more lighter than glass aquariums. Many tropical fish keepers prefer acrylic tanks when they set up what we call monster fish tanks. Large aquariums especially anything over 180 gallons, will have an option to be purchased in an acrylic form. This is especially important when you may have to move this aquarium with very little help, or want to place this aquarium upstairs or in basement. Consider how you will carry a 240-gallon (8 foot) fish tank up the stairs. The glass 240-gallon fish tank I have in my home is 450 lbs empty. Yes that’s right, dry… no water.

Tanks constructed of acrylic offer a more diverse selection of shapes in which to house your tropical fish. Tanks made of acrylic can come in the form of bow front, hexagon, corner, column, cube, and just about anything you can dream up and more importantly afford. Remember, by selecting a shaped aquarium this will impact your viewing of the fish inside. So please keep in mind that Curved acrylic will alter the view inside the tank.

Acrylic fish tanks are more expensive compared to glass aquariums. The 240-gallon glass aquarium that I purchased was $600.00 cheaper than the acrylic 240-gallon tank with the exact same dimensions. This is due to the cost of materials and labor involved in designing your acrylic tank.

Even though they are more expensive, they are much stronger. Acrylic as far as breaking is far stronger than glass. As far as scratches, acrylic’s main weakness is that is scratches very easily. One must be very careful in cleaning the tank and moving rocks, sand, and decorations around. There are special maintenance tools that are made just for acrylic tanks. So if you choose an acrylic tank, be sure to get tank-cleaning tools made especially for acrylic.

Advantages of Acrylic Aquariums

-Broader selection of shapes



No tint to acrylic as compared to glass

-Retains heat in the water better than glass 

Disadvantages of Acrylic Aquariums

-Scratches very easily

-More expensive

-Views can be altered due to shape of acrylic tank


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