New Aquarium Time

July 8, 2007 – 3:50 pm

New Aquarium TimeI use to have a fish tank/aquarium.  It was approximately 135 gallons and housed a relatively small amount of fish and sea life.  Of course it was a salt water tank, or a reef tank.  The tank was made out of glass, and that’s where I start my search for a new fish tank.

Glass or plastic?  It’s not just a grocery store question.  Actually, I guess that’s paper or plastic.  Anyway, the question I’m first going to have to decide on is if I’m going to have a glass or acrylic aquarium.  There isn’t a right choice, but there is a better choice for any situation.  Some quick notes on each type:

  Glass Acrylic
Scratches harder to scratch highly scratchable
Weight 4-10 times heavier than acrylic lighter than a glass tank, but overall weight comes from contents.
Breakable a well placed object with speed will break the glass harder than glass to break, but scratches will occur
Shape stick with flat pieces, any curves will usually distort items “bendable, foldeable, easily moldable” – Shel Silverstein
Support because of overall strength of glass a stand does not require to support entire tank. requires a stand the full size of the tank.
Strength tempered/non-tempered; both will be thicker and heavier and not as strong as acrylic; drilling for overflow is not as easy acrylic does not need to be as thick to support the same volume of water as glass; drilling for overflow is possible
Refraction glass has a different light refraction than air and water, so looking through a glass tank at a fish is actually having light bent four times acrylic has nearly the same light refraction as water, so looking at fish through the tank is only bending light twice
Clarity usually does not change in clarity with time and light being directed upon, yellowing or coloring will occur
Cost easier to ship, usually costs less more difficult to ship, will likely cost more

Looks like glass will be my way to go (I’m having to consider scratches and cost).

Next consideration is size.  I’m going to be placing this tank on a second floor of a house, so I’m not looking to get something too big.  My last tank was 135 gallons and with rocks and sand and water weighed approximately 1,600 pounds.  Yep, you read that right.  A 135 pound tank would weigh roughly 1,600 pounds when filled with water and some rocks.  Pretty amazing.  Anyway, that’s too much for my current place.  Maybe a 50 gallon (600 pounds) or 60 gallon (710 pounds) tank will be enough this time.

If you have any recommendations, please let me know.

My search will start tomorrow, I’ll be looking online for deals along with in local stores and on eBay.  I’m pretty sure that a used tank will work for me, as long as it’s clean.

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