I ordered a "Clear for Life" 135-gallon acrylic aquarium from
reefgeek.com. When I went to get the tank, everything looked OK and I
brought it home. Where the tank sits gets direct sun for about an hour
or so every day, and when that time came I noticed that the entire
aquarium was covered in fine scratches (photos:
I was in wholesale building products sales for 18 years and specialized in
windows and doors. Common knowledge in that industry is even the best grades of
scratches and yellows over time. Hence almost everything was made of glass.
We used acrylic occasionally for building code situations that required
safety glass and the contractor or end user would not pay the extra price for
tempered or safety laminated glass. I always tried to talk them in to the extra
money since over time they would not be happy. My personal experience is
acrylic also has a tendency to get spider cracks near the edge, coming out of
whatever is used as a glazing bead.
I also have had one acrylic aquarium. It seemed like water circulation alone
scratched the inside. (A slight exaggeration.) After about three years,
cracks started to appear; those could have been started by impacts from other
sources since it was in a public place.
I've been away from it for a while but there used to be a three step process
just to clean acrylic. Seems like the last time I saw any on a retail level
is in hardware stores where they sell sheets of acrylic to the
I see there are all sorts of aquarium shapes available now using acrylic that
would be cost prohibitive if made with glass. I'm sure improvements are
being made every year in acrylics. Based on my personal experience, I would not
buy one at this time.
Indianapolis, Indiana USA
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