Is acrylic or glass aquarium better?


Glass is really rigid and heavy making it difficult to move. So it’s ideal for smaller tanks instead of larger ones. It’s very scratch resistant, so it’s easy to clean and makes great tanks for beginners. Although it’s hard to scratch glass, it’s important to remember there’s no way to buff out them out. There are a few different types of glass you can use for aquariums. To learn about other kinds of glass, check out the informative glass comparison video below.

The most common aquarium glass is made with iron which creates the bluish-green tint visible at seams. New Starfire glass is manufactured with limited iron making the color much clearer. All glass has some level of iron in it because it holds the materials of the glass together. We think glass provides the clearest view of your inhabitants, but it does have some serious distortion. Glass is brittle, so it’s hard to build aquariums in different shapes other than rectangular and square. However, glass aquariums are very affordable in comparison to acrylic tanks.


Acrylic is a durable, lightweight plastic ideal for larger aquariums. They are easier to move because they are so lightweight, but acrylic is very easily scratched making it very difficult to clean. Getting a piece of debris or gravel stuck in your sponge while your cleaning and scraping the sides of the tank is a common cleaning disaster for acrylic aquariums. Fortunately, you can buff out the scratches with some careful planning and buffing. Edges are held together by a bonding process that makes the seams stronger than seams in glass aquariums.  It’s easier to mold acrylic into nontraditional shapes if you’re looking for something a little less square. Acrylic also gets some brownie points for being easier to drill for bulk-head fittings. One of the major cons is acrylic is extremely expensive in comparison to glass aquariums.