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Glass Vs. Acrylic Frag tank


andrew.james

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I saw this write up on how to build a acrylic tank. It seems pretty easy.

 

Acrylic Tank Build Write up

 

I was wanting opinions on the material to use. I don't know how hard it is to build a glass tank, but I do know the cost of glass is way more than Acrylic around here.

 

Is acrylic hard to clean? I can just scrape glass with a razor blade or Mag float.

 

What would be the pros and cons of Glass vs. Acrylic if I plan on using one of them to build my frag tank?

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under the sea

acrylic is great if you know how to care for it. you have to use either micro fiber cloth or for tougher spots a scrub pad made for acrylic. if your careful you won't get scratches and when you see how much clearer it is over glass you'll be glad you got it.

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I been down the acrylic road and hated it. You'll be chipping off coralline little by little with a credit card. when your entire arm goes numb you'll be wishing you had a glass tank and could use a razor.

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I been down the acrylic road and hated it. You'll be chipping off coralline little by little with a credit card. when your entire arm goes numb you'll be wishing you had a glass tank and could use a razor.

 

Which of the two would be easier to build though?

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I've built them all. If you dont have a good table saw, router, and a stable true platform to build an acrylic tank on dont even try. I am not sayin that it cannot be done because it can. But the seam quality will not be as clear as you may wish. There are alot of little speciality tools that are needed to build stuff out of acrylic. Scrapers, Cement bottles, polishing compounds or a torch, lots of masking tape....

 

Glass. You get it cut, you tape it up, then silicone the seams. If you dont like it you can cut it apart, clean the seams and redo it. Acrylic. Not so much.

 

Yea you guys down close to the bay port sure do get acrylic alot cheeper than we do up in KY

 

Both have pros and cons. Acrylic and glass both scratch. Glass is alot harder to do so. But then again its not a clear as acrylic. It really comes down to what you like.

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I've built them all. If you dont have a good table saw, router, and a stable true platform to build an acrylic tank on dont even try. I am not sayin that it cannot be done because it can. But the seam quality will not be as clear as you may wish. There are alot of little speciality tools that are needed to build stuff out of acrylic. Scrapers, Cement bottles, polishing compounds or a torch, lots of masking tape....

 

Glass. You get it cut, you tape it up, then silicone the seams. If you dont like it you can cut it apart, clean the seams and redo it. Acrylic. Not so much.

 

Yea you guys down close to the bay port sure do get acrylic alot cheeper than we do up in KY

 

Both have pros and cons. Acrylic and glass both scratch. Glass is alot harder to do so. But then again its not a clear as acrylic. It really comes down to what you like.

 

Well either way, glass or acrylic, would be cut for me at the place. I think I might steer toward the glass now. Idk.

 

The glass would cost $78 for 1/4" thick

$220 for 1/2" thick

 

The Acrylic would cost $165 for 1/2" thick

 

If I could get away with 1/4" with glass then I will do that. All the calculators say that I should use 1/4" glass for that tank size. Being 36x24x8-10" or 48x18x8-10"

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imcosmokramer

I have 2 acrylic display tanks, and you should do glass. You're NOT going to do the needed work to keep the acrylic clean on a frag tank. Glass is a lot easier to maintain.

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I have 2 acrylic display tank, and you should do glass. You're NOT going to do the needed work to keep the acrylic clean on a frag tank. Glass is a lot easier to maintain.

 

 

Glass FTW. So I can get away with using 1/4" for the size I am building? Rimless of course..

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levitationDrew

All the glass pieces do not have to be the same thickness. I would err on the safe side. Either euro brace it or go up to 1/2 inch on the front and back glass.

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thecowkid said it best, the height is the factor in deciding the thickness. Also the length is a factor. If I was doing what you are attempting, I would go to the 1/4" and try it. If it bows too much in the middle put a brace in it. Just be willing to put the brace in if you have to.

 

They do also have 3/8" glass as a happy medium to the 1/2". I used to work at a glass shop and have made my own tanks. The thought of using different size glass is a valid thought. Use 3/8" on the front and back and the 1/4" on all the rest. Make sure you get them to polish the edges. Glass is a lot tougher than most people think. Also make sure that the glass shop will make it to your finished size AFTER it is polished. Check to see to what tolerances they will make it. IE: if you ask for a piece to be 12" wide and they make it 11&7/8" will this really affect you? The thicker you go the harder it will be to make it exact. Good luck.

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How big are you planning on building this tank. The height is what will be the major factor in the glass thickness.

 

gentlemen, i posted the size like 3 times... lol

 

48x18x8-10 or 36x24x8-10 so only 8-10 inches high. havent decided on that yet.

 

i will have 2 fish in the tank.

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gentlemen, i posted the size like 3 times... lol

 

48x18x8-10 or 36x24x8-10 so only 8-10 inches high. havent decided on that yet.

 

i will have 2 fish in the tank.

 

Sorry I didnt see it. I'm an old monkey :P

 

I would NOT go with 1/4" glass with the 48" tank I would use 3/8". Like deep said I would be willing and ready to put a brace on the top rim of the tank.

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Sorry I didnt see it. I'm an old monkey :P

 

I would NOT go with 1/4" glass with the 48" tank I would use 3/8". Like deep said I would be willing and ready to put a brace on the top rim of the tank.

 

why do places like glass cages get away with rimless and 1/4 to 3/8 for this size tanks?

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Not sound brash but they really do not. Their manufacturing and business ethics are way subpar. They have had alot of tanks just explode. I have seen tanks they have built and the long rinning glass always is bowed alot. Way more than I would want in a tank, esp any tank I am gonna be having my hands in alot just like your frag tank.

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under the sea

i have heard nothing but bad things about glass cages and i just can't understand how a company like that can stay in business? a sucker born every minute? i heard there is a woman there who is a real pleasure to talk to.

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i have heard nothing but bad things about glass cages and i just can't understand how a company like that can stay in business? a sucker born every minute? i heard there is a woman there who is a real pleasure to talk to.

 

That woman is the owner. Her husband is the dude that takes orders on rare ocasions. But she is a case. I cannot remember how they do it, but they keep switching ownership to stay under the BBB radar.

 

http://www.bbb.org/nashville/business-revi...son-tn-37020871

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Well it has been done. I decided to go with acrylic. It is 48x18x8" high.

 

I found a Nova Extreme 48" 4 bulb with lunar lights for $100. I guess for that much, if the bulbs are crap I could buy new ones. Is there anything else that could be bad on the light? and that I should look out for? I mean, I will be turning it on before I buy it. I hate buying used but I am on a budget for this build.

 

That woman is the owner. Her husband is the dude that takes orders on rare ocasions. But she is a case. I cannot remember how they do it, but they keep switching ownership to stay under the BBB radar.

 

http://www.bbb.org/nashville/business-revi...son-tn-37020871

 

Great... I am soooo glad they refunded my money back. I have seen a few of their tanks locally, but I have also heard scary stories..

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levitationDrew

I have the 24" Nova Extreme SLR four bulb. I like it for the price but it is loud, there is no suspension mount and the bulbs are low on par. It is another hundred bucks to replace with better bulbs. The built in fan runs about 50 decibles. I can make do with the noise since it is not in the bedroom. I wish I would have upgraded to the Tek fixture now.

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I have the 24" Nova Extreme SLR four bulb. I like it for the price but it is loud, there is no suspension mount and the bulbs are low on par. It is another hundred bucks to replace with better bulbs. The built in fan runs about 50 decibles. I can make do with the noise since it is not in the bedroom. I wish I would have upgraded to the Tek fixture now.

 

Interesting. So you think if i get it for $80, dont waste the money? Has anyone else had a bad review for the Nova Extreme 4 bulb setup?

 

The reviews on Marine Depot are pretty much all good.

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levitationDrew

Can you deal with the noise? For 80$ is it the Single Light Reflectors. The bulbs that come standard are not very good at producing light for a lot of sps. Although at an 8 inch tank you might get away with it. I would still upgrade the bulbs for anything you want to have nice color. I would buy it just to use as a stealth case for a future LED build.

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