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Glass vs. Acrylic Aquariums

Custom Fish Tanks for Your Home or Office

BGS Glass has been designing, creating, and installing custom aquariums for offices and homes throughout southeastern Wisconsin since the 1960s. Acrylic and glass are common materials for fish tanks. Both materials offer high visibility and the strength to hold large amounts of water.

Custom Glass Aquariums

Benefits of Adding an Aquarium to your Home or Office


Refraction of light- glass has a different index than water meaning the light is bent four times, each time distorting what you see more and more. Acrylic has nearly the same index of refraction of water, allowing you to see the true color and size of the fish.


If you’re looking for a more unique design, far from the standard rectangular fish tank, acrylic is the way to go. Acrylic is easily molded and formed into any shape and has less of a tendency to distort things behind curved areas.


A glass aquarium can be up to 10 times as heavy as an acrylic one. Regular glass is good for tanks less than 150 gallons (568 liters), but a tank bigger than 500 gallons would benefit from the strength of acrylic. Acrylic does not need to be as thick as glass in order to support the same amount of water.

Impact + Scratch Resistance

While acrylic is much more durable than glass, acrylic tanks are more easily scratched than glass.

Best Placement for Aquariums

Our experts can help you decide on the placement of your new fish tank based on the following factors:

For healthy, happy fish your aquarium needs to be located near a water and power supply for the filters and heaters to work without wires causing tripping hazards. It is also important that the temperature of the room does not fluctuate too much. Rapid temperature changes can be fatal for most fish. Acrylic is a better insulator than glass helping you regulate the temperature of your tank better.

Quick-Take: Acrylic vs Glass Aquariums

Quality Glass Acrylic
Cost Cheap Expensive
Scratching Resistant Scratches Easily
Weight Heavy Light
Shapes Limited Varied
Impact Resistance Poor Good
Clarity Constant Can Yellow with Age

For commercial or residential aquarium design and installation contact BGS Glass Service today.