Glass Vs Acrylic Aquarium – Which One You Prefer?

Having an aquarium inside your home is no less than a luxury and a therapy. Not only does it add a touch of extravagance to your home’s interior, but looking at it frequently can help you calm your nerves and think more creatively.

The importance of this accessory is such that places like a hospital and famous workplaces, too, have one of these around to create a peaceful atmosphere. Moreover, you’ll see them in many designs, shapes, sizes, and even materials. The two commonly bought aquariums are of either glass or acrylic material.

PONDON Glass Fish Tank
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Available in: Australia, Canada, UK and US

What’s a Glass Aquarium?

A glass aquarium is simply one made up of special glass. This is known as tempered glass which is sturdy and that ensures safety, as well as strength. An aquarium glass is judged on the basis of its thickness and cleanliness. A glass aquarium is generally made up of sand, soda and lime. If you’re looking for an aquarium that has scratch resistant features, then this should be the one for you!

What’s an Acrylic Aquarium?

Aqueon 100544520
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Available in: Australia, Canada, UK and US

An acrylic aquarium is the one that’s made up of acrylic acid polymers or acrylate polymers (essentially plastic). Acrylic aquarium are more lightweight, as compared to the glass aquarium, but look much like glass aquariums. They’re generally more expensive than glass aquariums.



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Glass Vs Acrylic Aquarium – A Comparison

  • Scratch Resistance
    Though acrylic is strong and stuff, it is much likely to scratch easily than glass. All it takes is a little bit of scrubbing or tiniest grain of sand to brush against the tank to leave a scratch. Even if you take a lot of care of it, it won’t ever match up to the quality of glass. Glass aquariums are not scratch free entirely either, but are less prone to scratches than acrylic aquariums.Scratch Resistance
  • Leak Resistance
    Even though they are prone to scratches, acrylic aquariums are less likely to leak, when you compare them with glass aquariums. Many acrylics aquariums come with a label of scratch resistant too. Even if it leaks, the repairing can be done seamlessly via aquarium safe glue, which is not possible in glass aquarium.Leak Resistance
  • Clarity
    Imagine the window in your home bring made up of acrylic – you’ll probably experience things differently than a glass window that allows plenty of sunlight to shine through. Acrylic starts to break down when it is exposed to sun’s harsh days. Consequently, it is not sensible to grow aquarium plants in acrylic aquariums. Even for a clearer view, glass aquariums go a long way.Clarity
  • Weight
    Owing to the density of the glass, glass aquariums typically weigh more than acrylic aquariums which are deemed as lightweight. You can easily lift up an acrylic aquarium and move it around without help. But for a glass aquarium, since it is very heavy, you may need assistance for moving it around.Weight
  • Customizability
    If you like personalizing things a lot, then acrylic aquariums should be your go-to. This is because you can easily drill a hole or two into the aquarium to hang additional decor items or props. However, if you drill in a glass aquarium, you may end up damaging the whole tank. Hence, there’s more room for personalization in an acrylic aquarium.Customizability
  • Affordability
    Glass aquariums are cheaper than acrylic aquariums, as they are more in demand. Since glass aquariums have high demand, they are produced at a relatively lower cost than acrylic aquariums. Hence it makes glass aquariums a more affordable option.Plus, you get to save more for the additional decor, props, fishes and a lot more, if you buy a glass aquarium at an economical price. On the other hand, acrylic aquarium can be too heavy on your pocket, making you compromise on other aquarium accessories.Affordability
  • Impact Resistance
    Acrylic aquariums are less likely to chip or break, as compared to glass aquarium that is just one ball away from breaking entirely. If you have lots of kids in the house or rambunctious animals, then it’s best to stick to an impact-resistant acrylic aquarium, than a high maintenance glass one. Additionally, you may also want to keep it at a safe place to make it last longer.Impact Resistance


Both types of aquariums can be a keeper. However, for beginners, we will recommend glass aquariums which are easier to clean, scratch resistant, and more affordable than acrylic aquariums. Though acrylic aquariums are prone to getting scratched, they still are sturdy and long-lasting.

You can consider keeping a glass aquarium for your aquarium plants and an acrylic one for artificial decor only. Whichever material you prefer, it can be said that both can surely impress you and modify the look of your space.

An aquarium can give you great value for money as well, hence keeping one around can be a great investment too.

Scott Evans

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