Are Low Iron aquariums worth the price? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-25-2016, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
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Are Low Iron aquariums worth the price?

I'm thinking of buying a Mr Aqua 22 gallon long tank. My LFS told me that the low iron version is $20-30 more.

Is it worth it? I haven't seen it in person and the LFS will be ordering it for me so I won't have a chance to compare.

Is it really that much clearer?

60 gallon (12.75"L x 48.5"W x 25" H) tank. 48" Planted Plus on between 7 am-12 pm and 4-9 pm. Aquaclear 110. Very hard water. High Alkaline. No current throughout tank .
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-25-2016, 01:55 AM
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More so for larger tanks with thicker glass; especially if you use bright lights and have very clean glass/clear water. Larger impact in real life than in pics. If you're the type of guy that buys glass lily pipes, and use surface skimmers because you want perfectly clear water surface, and use purigen in your filter, then buy the low-iron version for sure.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-25-2016, 04:50 AM
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And for photos it looks a lot better, if you plan on taking nice photos.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-25-2016, 02:35 PM
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I think it's just a better overall look than a rimmed tank with greener glass. The tank itself becomes less noticeable and what's in it becomes more so. If you plan on staying in the hobby I think you'll find it worth the extra money.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-25-2016, 03:29 PM
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When weighing out your decision you may want to factor in that low iron glass is not as hard and will scratch a little easier.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-25-2016, 09:16 PM
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For $20-30 more, I saw why not. It's definitely a clearer tank, there's absolutely a real life difference. I was considering for a much larger tank, but then it becomes hundreds of dollars difference. I say go for it for the 22.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-25-2016, 09:23 PM
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It is worth the money, scratches easily and you will definitely notice the difference in person.

Look at this.

It scratches so easily I already have a scratch on my new 90-P and I have no idea how. I handled it immaculately.

Last edited by Clinton Parsons; 06-25-2016 at 09:44 PM. Reason: e
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-26-2016, 01:14 PM
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IMO if you are going to invest the extra cash just go for acrylic....it is clearer than low iron glass and totally seamless. It also scratches more easily BUT you can fix them.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-28-2016, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xiaozhuang View Post
More so for larger tanks with thicker glass; especially if you use bright lights and have very clean glass/clear water. Larger impact in real life than in pics. If you're the type of guy that buys glass lily pipes, and use surface skimmers because you want perfectly clear water surface, and use purigen in your filter, then buy the low-iron version for sure.
Ha ha. Those are some good guidelines. I do love purigen but don't have surface skimmers or glass lily pipes. That's good to know!

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And for photos it looks a lot better, if you plan on taking nice photos.
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Originally Posted by Jeff5614 View Post
I think it's just a better overall look than a rimmed tank with greener glass. The tank itself becomes less noticeable and what's in it becomes more so. If you plan on staying in the hobby I think you'll find it worth the extra money.
Just to be clear, both the low iron and regular versions of the Mr Aqua tank are rimless. Thank you for the advice.

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When weighing out your decision you may want to factor in that low iron glass is not as hard and will scratch a little easier.
Whoa I did NOT know that. That's great to know thanks! Will it get scratched by just regular scrubbing using sponge pads to get off algae? Or are we only talking about scratches due to moving it around.

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Originally Posted by number1sixerfan View Post
For $20-30 more, I saw why not. It's definitely a clearer tank, there's absolutely a real life difference. I was considering for a much larger tank, but then it becomes hundreds of dollars difference. I say go for it for the 22.
Thanks! It is good to know that there's a real noticeable difference.

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It is worth the money, scratches easily and you will definitely notice the difference in person.
Great picture that's very helpful thank you!

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IMO if you are going to invest the extra cash just go for acrylic....it is clearer than low iron glass and totally seamless. It also scratches more easily BUT you can fix them.
But aren't acrylic *very* expensive? I'll look into though. Thanks!

60 gallon (12.75"L x 48.5"W x 25" H) tank. 48" Planted Plus on between 7 am-12 pm and 4-9 pm. Aquaclear 110. Very hard water. High Alkaline. No current throughout tank .
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-28-2016, 02:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubla View Post
When weighing out your decision you may want to factor in that low iron glass is not as hard and will scratch a little easier.
Where did you read that? Its just glass? I have used acrylic and the first time you clean the tank you will get scratches and its really disheartening.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-28-2016, 04:09 AM
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IMO if you are going to invest the extra cash just go for acrylic....it is clearer than low iron glass and totally seamless. It also scratches more easily BUT you can fix them.
I like watching Tanked, those acrylic tanks look heavy as all heck.

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-28-2016, 09:43 AM
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Acrylic is considerably lighter than glass, I can easily carry my 50G acrylic on my own. Weight is about half what glass is.

I paid $200 for a Seaclear 50G with black back shipped to my door a comparable sized ADA tank would have been much more expensive.

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-28-2016, 11:03 AM
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My wife would divorce me if I spend $200 on a tank.... so I just buy lots of small tanks.
I did get two 2nd hand 60 gal tanks for about $13 each though. I only have hardware for one so far.

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-28-2016, 01:34 PM
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I would probably not go the acrylic route again on a tank less than 100G. Expense and the fact the need scratches fixed is my reasoning, my 50G has exterior scratches which is an easy fix with a Novus kit. Interior scratches require the tank to be drained; which I haven't invested the efforts into yet.

Now a large tank I would go acrylic due to the weight reduction and fact cell cast acrylic is probably the most durable tank out there.

Personally standard glass tanks are fine to me, perfectly adequate and if the scape/fish are nice enough only some seriously OCD person would focus on the glass not low iron. lol

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-28-2016, 02:23 PM
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Where did you read that? Its just glass? I have used acrylic and the first time you clean the tank you will get scratches and its really disheartening.

But, it's not just glass, it's low iron glass. Glass can be formulated to make it harder, softer, break resistant, more flexible etc. It's a generalization since different glass companies have their own formulation and there is really no benchmark for "standard glass", but for comparison purposes, low iron, or starphire glass is typically softer than "standard" aquarium glass. Not to the point of being like acrylic, but softer.
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