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Wade

Acrylic or Glass for a Big Tank?

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I think I mentioned in another post that when we build our new house I'm going to put a large built-in tank in the main wall of the downstairs den and have a huge room behind it.  I'd like to go with a 6' or 8' tank (might as well, right?) but am concerned about getting the tank in there after the house is built.  A glass tank that size would easily weigh over 500 lbs.  What's the protocol for handling a tank that large?  My only concern with going acrylic is scratching it up of course.  I've never had an acrylic tank of any sort so I'm a bit wary.  

If you were going to build in a 300, would you go with glass or acrylic and why?

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I would go with a glass tank and and a PVC bottom if possible.  The protocol for getting a tank that big and getting it moved in is to ask the forum for help lol. You are also going to have to make sure you can fit it through the door.  Most doors are 32" but on some house they can be 36" or a double door.  Those are your biggest factors in my opinion.  I'm a fan of glass because they do not scratch as easy but they still do.  Acrylic scratches real easy but can be buffed out.  Acrylic is also lighter and therefor a bit easier to move.

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The logistics are complicated because you're in TN. I'm not sure about acrylic, but you'll need 6-8 people to install the glass tank. You could install it yourself if you had a tank lift. Aside from that there aren't a lot of differences between acrylic and glass. You'll spend about twice as much for acrylic, but it's stronger than glass and you'll never have a seam leak. I hear starfire glass scratches just as easily as acrylic and you'll need to use acrylic safe products on it. I had my tank built with regular glass because I knew I wouldn't be careful enough. One large particle of sand or shell under your magnet cleaner and you'll scratch it all up.  

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5 hours ago, madsalt said:

I would go with a glass tank and and a PVC bottom if possible.  The protocol for getting a tank that big and getting it moved in is to ask the forum for help lol. You are also going to have to make sure you can fit it through the door.  Most doors are 32" but on some house they can be 36" or a double door.  Those are your biggest factors in my opinion.  I'm a fan of glass because they do not scratch as easy but they still do.  Acrylic scratches real easy but can be buffed out.  Acrylic is also lighter and therefor a bit easier to move.

^^ Agree. With an acrylic tank, it's just a matter of when - not if - you are going to scratch it. If you get a little lax on wiping the panels down, it's almost impossible to get corralline off without doing damage.

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Yeah that's one of my biggest worries with acrylic is corralline cleanup.  It's growing all over in my current tank, but my urchin keeps it mostly in check.  I guess you probably couldn't have an urchin with acrylic.  Yeah, it's definitely going to be glass i think.  Thanks for the tip on the PVC bottom!  That's a newer feature that I don't think I would have thought of right off the bat.  I would like a horizontal overflow though.  So what companies should I look at for quality built tanks that will deliver to TN?  

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I tried to hire movers to pick up the tank when it was ready, but none would accept the job. Unless you have 6-8 friends and want to rent a truck, then I would check with a LFS in your area to see if they will order and install the aquarium. It'll be pricey. There are a few guys on the club with big acrylic tanks if you want to send them a message and get some feedback. 

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I tried to hire movers to pick up the tank when it was ready, but none would accept the job. Unless you have 6-8 friends and want to rent a truck, then I would check with a LFS in your area to see if they will order and install the aquarium. It'll be pricey. There are a few guys on the club with big acrylic tanks if you want to send them a message and get some feedback. 

Or one crazy dude, a Uhaul, and his Realtor?

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16 hours ago, Wade said:

I guess you probably couldn't have an urchin with acrylic.

Yeah, no algae scraping critters w/acrylic.

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4 hours ago, FarmerTy said:


Or one crazy dude, a Uhaul, and his Realtor? emoji23.png

That was after all of the pet stores and moving companies turned me down! I think we all learned a valuable lesson that day :P

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I've got some buds that I can lie to about the weight until they get there and promise lost of beer and food:)  We've only got two LFS in the area and I'm sure I would trust either with the job.  I will do the research on that though.  Knoxville is just 90 miles away and they've got some bigger LFS there that must deal with big tanks from time to time.  Any recommendations for tank manufacturers with experience with PVC bottoms?  I've reached out to A.G.E for some design guidance and a quote, but I'm sure there are other quality manufacturers that I should look at as well.  

Edited by Wade

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Ask Dapettit about acrylic, he had a seam burst on his so it can definitely happen.  Glass is cheaper and easier in most cases, but I know that I have some scratches in my glass now that will never come out. At least with acrylic I would have the option of lowering the water level and buffing them out.

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