Glass Versus Acrylic Aquariums: Best Material for Your New 50 Gallon Tank

The situation is simple when it comes to the materials for your new aquarium. Wrong! Actually, it is a very common mistake and something most people simply ignore when choosing their new aquarium, due to some reasons. Yes, you have to choose between two materials, are glass and acrylic, and they look the same at the first sight, but all experts will tell you that the number of differences is high. It is definitely a better choice to get an aquarium made from a material that suits your needs, so letís reveal their characteristics and differences.

The color of acrylic and glass aquariums

Most of you will want a 50 gallon aquarium simply because it offers a great price/possibilities ration. Keep in mind that colors have a huge role in the mentioned possibilities. First and foremost, acrylic aquariums are clear and fully transparent, without any colors. They are basically made from plastics, so they are more durable as well. However, over a short period of time, they may become blurry and need cleaning. Glass tanks are more resistant and they can withstand rough applications. They have colors though, so the view wonít be 100% transparent. On the other side, they will stay like new indefinitely. A view can also be affected by distortion, At least for glass units. Acrylic models will always show the real interior, 100% accurate. What about the weight?

Glass aquariums are two times heavier than acrylic ones. For instance, an acrylic tank of 50 gallons will have a total weight of 40 pounds, while a glass version will have 80 pounds. Remember that this is a general rule, so a glass aquarium will always be two times heavier, regardless the construction, shape, designs and etc. For you to move and adjust the glass tank, you will need a help of your friend. It is almost impossible to move a glass unit all by yourself.


Bonding is a term that is used to explain how the sheets of material are linked together. Both types of tanks are made from 5 sheets if we talk about cube models. However, glass models are linked with the special methods, which usually involve silicone. Yes, it is durable and strong, but it affects the view. Also, the quality of the seal depends on the quality of silicone itself. Acrylic versions are linked in a much better way, so there are no visible traces of the bonding methods. They also donít affect the view.

Filter installation

Installing a pump and a filter is simpler with acrylic aquariums due to the fact the holes can be drilled much easily. On the other hand, we have premium models (glass and acrylic) which come pre-assembled with filter and pump, so none of the installation is required. In a case you will drill a glass aquarium, using diamond-tip drilling bits is mandatory. Still, glass aquariums look better when the entire system is completed. They are also more elegant and more affordable, but more prone to cracks.