ALL GLASS AQUARIUMS
History of Fish Tank Materials
People have kept fish for food or fun for at least the last 4,000 years. Keeping fish in aquariums is a much more recent development. Keeping fish in glass bowls developed in the mid 1700s. In 1805, Robert Warrington developed the first sustainable glass aquarium. He did this by understanding the need to cycle the nutrients in the water for the fish.
Common Glass Tank Sizes
Glass tanks come in all different sizes. Small tanks usually start at 10-gallon. Experts recommend that you go no smaller than 20 gallons for a freshwater tank and 30-40 gallons for a marine tank. Usually, you'll find glass tanks in the following sizes: 10, 20, 25, 29, 55, 75, and 90 gallons. When you pick tanks, consider that wider and longer are usually better than taller given the same volume. That's because a tank that is wider and longer will provide a larger water surface area. A larger water surface area helps promote oxygen exchange which is good for the fish in your tank.
Pros of Glass Tanks
Even with the advent of the acrylic aquarium, there are still many reasons that people stick with a glass tank. Advantages that glass tanks have over acrylic tanks include:
- Glass tanks are cheaper than acrylic tanks
- Glass tanks are more scratch resistant
- Glass tanks won't yellow over time the way acrylic tanks will
- Glass tanks don't need as much brace support the way an acrylic tank needs.
Even though you might be able to buy a smaller loss-leader acrylic aquarium for cheaper than you would spend on a glass aquarium, overall, you'll find that glass aquariums are cheaper than acrylic tanks. For example, a 20-gallon glass tank will set you back roughly $50 whereas an acrylic tank of the same size will cost anywhere from $130 to $140. That's almost three times the cost! When you start getting into really large tanks, the price differential disappears.
- Glass tanks are almost two times as heavy as acrylic tanks
- Glass tanks are not as crack resistant as acrylic
- Glass tanks provide less insulation than acrylic
- Glass tanks don't come in as many interesting shapes as acrylic does
- Glass tanks hard to find online since many shops won't ship them (due to weight considerations and potential for cracking)
Even after manufacturers perfected the waterproof glass tank by applying silicone cement to the seams, there were still a few main problems where acrylic tanks have an advantage over glass tanks.
- All-Glass Aquarium has been providing glass aquariums since 1967. Their products are quality made and come in different shapes, styles, and sizes. They make glass aquariums up to a 210 gallon model which measures 72L x 24W x 30H. This tank weighs 2,450 pounds when filled! Make sure your mind is made up before you set it up. You cannot buy their aquariums from them online but they do provide a "local retailer finder" tool on their site.
- Oceanic Systems also has a good reputation for building quality glass aquariums. They also make tanks that go up to 215 gallons. They offer many different shapes, styles, and sizes. They also offer a "local retailer finder" tool on their site.
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