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Choosing an Aquarium

Marine or Freshwater

Custom Aquariums

How Aquariums Work

fish tanks

Lighting Systems

Life Support Systems

Commercial Systems


Coral Inserts

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Aquarium Filtration

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Wall Fountains

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Glass or Acrylic

Beginner Aquarists

Aquarium Maintanance

Aquarium Books

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Nano Reef Tanks
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acrylic or glass chart-custom acrylic aquariums

Glass or acrylic aquariums? Seriously, we're asked this question daily, but considering we specialize in acrylic aquariums, our answer is often considered suspect. Please remember, we do not build small aquariums, the aquariums we build are typically tall, long, or a unique shape or design. Our custom aquariums could not safely be built out of glass, period.




Adult fish bowl

Glass or Acrylic

Glass bowls are cheap and easy to find, but if you can find an inexpensive, acrylic or plastic bowl, buy it.

Aquariums-reef: 10-70 gallons


This is a common size aquarium with limited space for exotic specimens unless used as a reef. This size aquarium would be better in glass to save money. Can be modified but limited to skill level.

Freshwater aquariums 75-125 gallons


A freshwater aquarium doesn't require the same type filtration as saltwater, you can get away with hanging filtration over the back of the aquarium. Great size for beginners, but heavy and limited on filtration configurations.

Saltwater aquariums 75-125 gallons


Acrylic is more versatile for advanced life support systems. Light weight and easy to customize, but more costly than glass.

Saltwater-freshwater 125-500+ gallons


This size aquarium is large no matter the gallons. Glass requires several people to move. Acrylic is easier to maneuver, customize and is almost equal in price. These aquariums tend to be taller and require thicker panels, therefore, acrylic has better optics when viewing thick material.

Children's aquariums


No brainer-safty

Commercial use-Bars, restaurants, hotels, lobbies, public use.


Acrylic is the safest material you can use and might be required by your insurance company. You can see samples of our larger public aquariums by visiting any hotel or casino in Las Vegas.

If you do a Google search on the differences between glass or acrylic aquariums you will find almost identical pro's and con's for each. We have seen some websites that mislead the public altogether. Acrylic does scratch, quite easily in fact, and if you buy an acrylic aquarium it will get scratched, guaranteed.

One such site claims that removing scratches from acrylic is a myth, because they have never seen this done before. Acrylic is scratched every day, and every day acrylic is polished back to its original luster. To prove our point we invite anyone to our plant for a demonstration. We will take any grade sand paper and scratch the acrylic until its opaque, and then bring it back to full transparency. During the construction process where we use forklifts, cranes and various other machines to construct our aquariums, scratching is unavoidable. Another falsity is that acrylic aquariums can not have an open top. Here again, credibility run amuck, this is not true; however, longer aquariums, glass or acrylic, do need middle support beams to keep the front and back from bowing.

No one will argue with the fact that glass is harder to scratch, but that seems to be it's only positive, as acrylic is much easier to handle and manipulate. As for life support, acrylic wins hands down, with the advancement of saltwater filtration systems the need and ease of drilling acrylic lends itself to extremely elaborate aquarium filtration systems. No hobbyist would attempt to drill filtration-fitting holes in a large, expensive glass tank – special tools and glass working experience is required for that job (Professionals usually, and hard to find due to insurance reasons ). On the flip side, a hobbyist and friend can easily maneuver an acrylic aquarium, and drilling is easy within the skill range of any handy person.

Glass or acrylic aquarium? Glass aquariums use a silicone to bond the glass panels, and while silicone does flex, why would you want it to? Acrylic is not bonded with silicone, acrylic panels are fused by a molecular bond. And for those who are not familiar with acrylic, acrylic flexes, wherein glass is rigid, not forgiving and dangerous.

Granted, we might be biased, but common since tells you that acrylic is the choice when it comes to quality and size. If you are looking for a center piece or the best aquarium money can buy, acrylic is the choice of most.



Acrylic Vs Glass aquariums, The acrylic advantage over glass aquariums