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Acrylic....vs.....glass & Overfows

Discussion in 'Lighting and Equipment' started by Gabe&Brandi, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. Gabe&Brandi

    Gabe&Brandi Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member


    Is there really a big difference between an Acrylic tank vs Glass as far as performance goes? I've ready a ton of forums and websites and get the two big differences:

    1. Acrylic is Lighter
    2. Acrylic is more prone to scratches

    As I search for a 150+ Gallon tank, I've found a few Acrylics that i've passed on because I'm worried that my girlfriends cats claws would scratch up the tank. She keeps them pretty trimmed, but in the event they weren't, would they leave marks or is the Acrylic harder?

    On the other hand, I've found un-drilled 150+ gallon tanks that would also work but I really don't want to drill a tank and end up shattering it.

    Is there a benefit to the internal overflow vs the external other than exposed pipes? Or is anyone interested in drilling a tank?

    Thank you for your help. I know I have been asking a ton of questions, I'm sorry!
  2. whyamisofly

    whyamisofly Cuttle Fish M.A.S.C Club Member

    After having an acrylic tank, I would never own another. You look at it wrong and a scratch appears!

    As long as the back of the tank isn't tempered, you are free to drill it. There are youtube videos showing how to test for tempered glass.

    The external overflow will give you more real estate in the tank, but you have exposed pipes. I'm not sure where you are located, but tank drilling is actually quite easy (I've drilled 10+ tanks, including my current) and inexpensive other than the overflow.

    Ask as many questions as you need - if you don't ask it, how do you know you are doing the right thing?
  3. halmus

    halmus Cuttle Fish Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C Secretary

    I won’t say acrylic is worse than glass. Everyone has an opinion and generally everyone’s opinion is correct in their own heads.

    That being said, I personally wouldn’t buy an acrylic display. Acrylic does scratch easier. The weight difference is true but what difference does it make when you’re talking 1500 lbs full vs 1200lbs full? If you can pysically get it in place, I wouldn’t worry about a few hundred pounds savings. If you’re cutting it that close on the structural capabilities of the floor it’s standing on, you’re cutting it too close.

    With the right care and technique, maybe the scratches are not an issue for some? Hence the opposing positions.

    I have a ton of acrylic on the back end of my tank because it’s easy to work with. I love acrylic. Just not for my display.
  4. Gabe&Brandi

    Gabe&Brandi Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    Thanks for the feedback! I am located in Northglenn, so just about 20/25 minutes away from Frederick! I think drilling the tank may make the most sense. Between the exposed pipes, and potential for scratches, I may just pass on Acrylic for now.

    Any chance you'd be interested in helping drill some holes If I can find a tank? :)
  5. whyamisofly

    whyamisofly Cuttle Fish M.A.S.C Club Member

    Absolutely! I might have a diamond bit depending on the size of the hole
  6. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    You can hear all kinds of useless BS about the differences... including that Acrylic can stop a bullet (like that matters).

    You will not be able to get past the scratches. This is the only real difference that matters. Non-tempered glass is as easy to drill as acrylic - large tanks are safe and easy to drill... smaller tanks are much harder.

    The slightly smaller concern is if you need a size or shape that is not available in glass. This is usually stuff over 14 feet long or 4 feet tall. In these cases, then you nearly always have to go acrylic or some other sort of resin with viewing panels.
  7. Dr.DiSilicate

    Dr.DiSilicate Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    I have a big set of bits if you’d like to borrow them... I did get them from amazon for less than gas money... $10 bucks! Just look up diamond bit hole saw on amazon. You are welcome to borrow though! Drilling is super easy once you have done it! The bigger the tank the easier it is.
    whyamisofly likes this.

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