Low iron glass (starphire) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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Low iron glass (starphire)

Im about to buy a rimless 48x24x16h from Deep Blue. They have a edge model thats reef ready and has low iron glass. And they have a plant model that is not reef ready and does not have low iron glass. The difference between the 2 is $100.

I am not building a planted tank. Nor am i building a reef. Just want a clean minimalist aquascape of driftwood and sand and a few small geophagus tapajos. Will use a fluval 406, not a sump or wetdry. So if i choose the reef ready version to get the low iron glass i would have to go about caping the holes that were drilled and either removing the overflow or using it to hide heaters etc.

Question is it worth all the hassle $100 and extra work on tank to get low iron tank. I wont have any plants and wont be taking any pictures.

I dont mind spending the extra $100 its the removal of overflow and capping of drilled holes that has me worried. I also thought of capping holes and using a maxijet or 2 inside the overflow to pump water our allowing my to skim water from top and hide heaters in there.

But again not sure. Will the Low iron glass make any diff?
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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 08:17 PM
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If you where taking lots of pictures I would say go for the starphire in a heart beat... i really wish my tank had it at least for the front piece.

But, honestly getting the RR tank sounds like it will be more hassle than its worth and you save $100. If I was you I would just get the plant model.

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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Why do you say you wish you had it on your tank? Is it really that clearer? If it is a big difference i wouldnt think it twice to pay $100 and cap the holes.
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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 08:34 PM
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Does low iron glass even make a difference or is it just a marketing ploy?

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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thats kinda what im trying to figure out.
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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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Like when i clean the algae off the glass sometimes after being lazy for a week or two im like.... "wow! Soooo clear!" And thats with regular glass. I cant imagine how much more cleared can it get with low iron glass.
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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 08:46 PM
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Hahai did that the other day. I was like "dang my water looks bad" then I cleaned the glass and was like "oooohh way better!"

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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 08:48 PM
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No low iron glass is not a sale tactic. the glass we are used to actually has a yellow appearance where as low iron is actually blueish. I will be putting an order in for my 90G salt reef tank and will be going with 3 side of the starphire and one of the regular. It may not be a big deal with planted tanks since most colors will be green red or a combination of. However, in reefs where the color palate is endless it makes a big difference. From tanks that I've seen with it, it looks like fish are just floating is air and that you could reach though it and touch them.


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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 08:48 PM
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Starphire glass makes a huge difference when used with thicker tanks. but on tanks with thickness of 1/4" it is not going to be a massive difference.

The only difference between regular and starphire glass is that the starphire does not have a green tinge to it. But yes it is a difference, wether you can notice it or not on smaller tanks is a totally different thing. I dont own one.. so I cant comment on it.
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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 08:52 PM
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It definitely makes a difference. You might not be able to tell if you look at the 2 individually but if you have both next to each other the clarity is very noticeable.
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post #11 of 45 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 08:54 PM
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You will not sit in front of your filled tank and say "wow, this is starphire clear" or "wow, I should have gotten starphire". From that point of view, there isn't much difference.

With very thick panes (1/2"+) regular float glass introduces a slightly greenish hue. Even that would be difficult to detect on a filled fish tank.

Also, apparently low iron glass is softer and more prone to scratches.

So... depends but perhaps going the regular glass would make things easier and cheaper for you.


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post #12 of 45 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 08:55 PM
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What about acrylic? Isn't it so many more times clearer than glass? At least that's what I heard on that Tanked show one time.

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post #13 of 45 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 08:58 PM
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Acrylic scratches a lot easier. But it's lighter and insulates heat better.

Personally I find them to be about the same in clearness


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post #14 of 45 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 08:58 PM
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When doing photography the quality of the photo is only as good as the glass you are shooting through. Not only is this true for the lens but the aquariums glass as well.

I can't tell you how frustrated I get trying to get a good macro shot in focus because the crappy tanks glass is warping it. Mine is a 75gal Marineland and the glass is definatly green tinted. Its even worse when i try to take pics of my friends 180 reef. Can't get a macro shot unless its right up against the glass. I am sure the water has something to do with this as well but I know on my old 28 gal glass was crystal clear.

But like said, unless your going for photography you will probably never miss the starphire. I would be more worried about the capped drains leaking from the RR set up.

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post #15 of 45 (permalink) Old 04-30-2012, 09:04 PM
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I do like that edge tank, if you do go the RR route I suggest running a canister filter instead that way you can utilize the bulkhead drains and overflow.

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