Originally Posted by Kathyy
I am on my fourth acrylic tank. I prefer them as there is no rim to close off the rectangle so the tank looks more integrated with the room. Acrylic is clearer than glass and looks much better when lights are off than glass too. I flinch when the step stool bumps the acrylic tank but much less than when it hit the glass tank. Acrylic is much lighter as well. The 100 gallon glass tank weighed a lot more than the 180 gallon long acrylic tank.
The only one that was new left here with no scratches but the used tanks were a mess. I polished the inside of the one I have now and was quite surprised that it wasn't that bad to polish. Maybe an hour per grit for a 180 gallon tank then a couple hours for polishing twice?
Acrylic seams will burst. There are plenty of horror stories on the reef forums about poorly made tanks. They can be repaired a bit easier than glass though.
I did scratch my glass tank however. Front and center. Twice. Glass scratches are a bit scary as that is how glass is cut, scratch and break - right?
For some weight is a huge consideration. When either is full the difference isn't worth fretting over. But try lugging around an empty glass 125G. The difference is astounding and depending on the size of the tank if you can't muster enough help, you're stuck. The 55G's I just picked up possibly weighed in 20-30 lb range each.
A "broken" tank is just a disaster. Repairing and acrylic may very well be easy, but Weldon isn't easy for some to come by, nor learn to use properly. A crack or leak in a glass tank is repairable also, but equally beyond the abilities of most. I've done both and I can only think of foul words to describe either. In a nutshell neither is leak or break-proof.
A "deep" scratch in glass bears a remarkable resemblance to a crack when viewed closely.
For me the single biggest factor that's kept me from ever owning a new acrylic is cost. Compared to glass, the difference can be staggering for some. I fully understand the factors and complexities involved, but I've just never been able to take that big of a leap for a new tank. My wife would've had me in the loony bin years ago instead of still planning for the day.
Hopefully this thread will continue just a bit more, for and against, to help folks decide for themselves.