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Acrylic tanks

Badmans Tropical Fish Message Center: General message area: Acrylic tanks
  

John

Friday, February 08, 2002 - 02:10 pm
I am thinking of getting a new tank apprx. 40 gals. I am a newcomer and currently have a 20. These tanks look nice to me. Any opinions?

  

jeff s

Friday, February 08, 2002 - 05:40 pm
wow haven't heard acrylic brought up for a while...humm if you are into unique or aestheticaly pleasing show or custum size stuff and you don't car about $$$ then ok..go acrylic..it's stronger and lighter.. if you live in an earthquake zone...but they do scratch easier and if algea gets in the scatches good luck!...kids and acrylic are a bad combo..also acrylic tanks also tend to be heavely braced and your access to the top of your tank can be limited...IMO glass for me!....It's up to you..

  

John

Friday, February 08, 2002 - 05:50 pm
Jeff, could you elaborate on the heavily braced part? I am a newbie and wouldn't be using the combo filter- lighting from Eclipse. Maybe that's the piece that causes access problems.

  

jeff s

Friday, February 08, 2002 - 06:39 pm
ok john what I am talking about is.. a thick rimmed brace surrounds the top of many of these tanks..some have only large port holes to access the tank...again depends weither you need that sort of access..for me it's important.

  

John

Friday, February 08, 2002 - 06:53 pm
Thanks Jeff. I'm just paranoid about a tank cracking. I like the light weight part too, but don't know how much that will mean when looking at a filled tank. Thanks again.

  

jeff s

Friday, February 08, 2002 - 08:33 pm
john..I have had glass tanks all my born days with never a crack...if you have a good stand it makes a big difference..now yes acrylic certainly is stronger as I said.. if you live in california I guess it my be a concern...I am sure others out there can maybe speak of their expierences with acrylic...

  

joycedonley

Friday, February 08, 2002 - 09:21 pm
Sorry to disagree with ya on this one Jeff. I have three acrylic tanks and really like them. In fact all my large tanks(40,50,75) are acrylic! I have two 29 gallon tanks that are glass. I have a special acrylic type brush cleaner that I bought and haven't noticed any scratches. In fact if you have certain fish ie Oscars acrylic tanks are really a good idea as I have heard of an Oscar cracking a glass tank! Also if you have a 100+ gallon tank you have so much added weight that moving it becomes a real feat. I know a couple of people with very large tanks per the web over 200 gallons and they would not consider a glass with that big of a tank.I had the cutouts on my acrylic 75 gallon made to order at no extra cost! You just have to really be specific on the dimensions of your cutouts. I have two cutouts on the 75 gallon, so I could run two filters! I guess IMO if you are going with a small tank stick to glass. If you are going with a large tank consider the acrylic ones. John you can probably go either way with the 40 gallon as it's really not that large! Ps also a 100 gallon glass will add a lot more weight to your floorboards than a 100 gallon acrylic tank.

  

joycedonley

Friday, February 08, 2002 - 09:26 pm
Wow forgot to add the fact that my African Rift Lake 75 gallon is full of rock towers. I didn't have to worry about the rocks in the acrylic, but if I had a glass one I would have had to glue them all together and build styrofoam platforms. Rocks scratching on the bottom of a tank can cause serious stress fractures! I know you don't have that problem with your planted tanks Jeff!

  

jeff s

Saturday, February 09, 2002 - 12:59 pm
ok..cool joyce..this is what john needs to hear..I was just giving my humble opinion..you like acrylic great!..I was just giving him some stuff to think about..thanks for your imput..

  

joycedonley

Saturday, February 09, 2002 - 01:50 pm
Thanks for your ideas too Jeff! By the way what type of brace are you talking about anyways? My acrylic tanks are just molded on the corners so no sharp edges, but I don't have any braces on them? Maybe they make them different in the stores where you are located? The only real problem I had with acrylic is that many stores really overprice them because the molded ones come in varities of shapes(and I agree fish really do better in the traditional rectangle as not sacrificing water volume to art/design). Anyone who considers please think about the fact that you can probably get a traditional rectangular acrylic tank with cutouts to your specs for less money than that fancy Hex or Bow- front!

  

jeff s

Saturday, February 09, 2002 - 02:07 pm
geez joyce the ones I looked at at one time came with this big think brace surrounding the top of the tank and had big cut-out holes to get at your tank through the top...I didn't like that much..I do know Tenecor puts out some pretty fancy models and have improved over the years..and my god the arcylics were darn expensive too..but yes you are right so are the glass bows and hex...it all seems to kinda depend on what you like that's for sure...

  

John

Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 10:16 am
Joyce, are you familiar with SeaClear and Tenecor? Does a conventional hood fit these? I'm not interested in their combo filter-lighting tops. Would an Emperor 280 be okay on a 40?

  

joycedonley

Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 04:54 pm
I have heard of Tenecor as they are all over the web in many different locations. I honestly don't know who made mine. I have a 40H with a blue background that has a 12" cutout for filter and another large 19 inch cutout for my glass tank lid through which I change water and feed the fish. The 55Hex is a similar setup black background also with a small glass tank lid over the cutout.These were 'artsy tanks' that I paid quite a bit for and were already precut and had aquaclear HOB filters included. Now my 75 gallon has two square cutouts for changing water and has acrylic covers for these cutouts. Also I had them cut two cutuouts for filtration as I planned on running filters on either end of the tank. I think the filter cutouts are about 16" length as I used the Emperor and Magnum filters to judge my sizes so I could run biowheels if I wanted. You have to be very careful with the acrylic that you have enough room on the cutouts to run a biowheel as sometimes they don't make the cut long enough unless you request. Just be very specific on your measurements (also make sure they are wide enough)and if you are ordering a large tank most of the LPS stores will be happy to have them custom cut for you. No you cannot use a conventional hood on one! I just run strip lights on the glass lids. Yes a 280 should work okay on the 40 gallon.

  

John

Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 06:55 pm
Thank you Joyce. Could you look at PetSmart.com and their SeaClear section to see if you think these have those cutouts. Sorry to impose, but I thought they were like glass, but only a different material. Thank you for your patience, but I'm only in 1st grade here.

  

joycedonley

Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 08:45 pm
I would locate a Pet Smart store and check the tank out first. Many of the ones the show are Eclipse systems and these are commonly sold in many LPS stores and even sometimes at Walmarts. The 40 gallon tank has a built in system, but they don't give you a clue What it is! Also they say something about running an air pump with it..I would definately require more info before I even looked at one! Pet Smart is a pretty big chain, so maybe your parents could give you a ride to one. Many big cities have Pet Smarts and jopefullly you can make sure it's what you want for that kind of money! I actually think the prices are pretty high for their acrylic tanks. My 75 gallon acrylic with my specifications only cost me a around 200 dollars, you can also save a lot by shopping around and getting your own filters and extras! I buy all my heater, filters and miscellaneous items from petwarehouse.com. I only buy aquariums, aquarium stands and the fish from the pet stores. If you are going to get a new tank and spend your money make sure it's what you really want!!!

  

joycedonley

Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 08:50 pm
Another option to keep in mind is checking your newspaper for used tanks. Sometimes you can find people that are trying to get out of fishkeeping and you can get a real bargain.

  

John

Tuesday, February 12, 2002 - 09:02 pm
Thank you Joyce. You gave me a chuckle. I meant I'm in first grade in fishkeeping school. I wish my parents could give me a ride, but for over twenty years they have been sleeping with the..... Seriously, thank you for all your help.

  

joycedonley

Wednesday, February 13, 2002 - 06:59 am
I thought you were pretty educated for a first grader, but my kid is a little brainy so I figured maybe you were a prodigy.

  

Pandora

Thursday, February 14, 2002 - 07:16 pm
Hi guys! I know it's late in this whole thread, but I just wanted to bring up some stuff about acrylic tanks that I didn't really see mentioned.

I too have that old bias against acrylic, because when I think acrylic, I think the old kind which is like cheap plastic (and still used on many smaller tanks), scratches easily, gets cracks if jarred, and turns yellow over time.

I should point out that the newer acrylics are supposed to be very resistent to those problems, and stronger than glass and definitely less shatter-proof. Acrylic also has the advantage over glass in that it allows for better light penetration. This is why many reef tanks are now made of acrylic, besides the fact that they are just much, much lighter. Doesn't change the fact that I must still hold on to this old bias despite everything I'm saying, because all of my tanks are still glass, LOL!

  

John

Friday, February 15, 2002 - 09:42 am
I'm setting up the 40 acrylic on Sunday. I might want to give fishless cycling a try on this one. It's homework time again.

  

Mandi

Friday, February 15, 2002 - 02:07 pm
I am constantly reminded just how ignorant I am.

(...and I am constantly reminding all of you...)

  

John

Saturday, February 16, 2002 - 11:06 am
Do the stick on thermometers work on acrylic? I've read they insulate better and wondered about the efficiency of those thermometers.

  

joycedonley

Saturday, February 16, 2002 - 01:54 pm
I'm still using them on all my tanks, glass and acylic. I hope they are working, but haven't had any fishy complaints!

  

John

Saturday, February 16, 2002 - 06:59 pm
Thank you Joyce. I still have some time, but what would you recommend for fish. I know some people who have cichlids. I don't want to get in over my head, however. Are any dwarf cichlids possible in a 40? And if so, can I mix a couple with any other species? I've been doing fine with my 20. I do read books and the Badman site.

  

joycedonley

Sunday, February 17, 2002 - 08:34 am
Yes you can do the dwarf cichlids in a 40 gallon. The best way to go is with a pair. If you add fish to the mix go with tetra or zebra danio that can stay out of their way if they decide to breed.You don't want to add any slow moving fish with fancy finnage. I always thought about trying krib.Another option may be the ram, Bolivian rams are easier to keep than the blue rams.If you try to mix cichlids in a small tank you will end up with a lot of territory issues and fighting. Also although not considered dwarf cichlids you can keep a pair of angelfish in a 40 gallon tank. These guys are pretty easy, but wait until the tank is about six months old.

  

John

Sunday, February 17, 2002 - 08:57 am
Thanks Joyce. What would be good tankmates for Angels? I know Barbs are nippers.

  

joycedonley

Monday, February 18, 2002 - 06:45 am
Cherry barbs are not nippers and I have 3 female and 1 male cherry with angels in my 40 gallon. I have head & tail-light and african redeye tetra in my 29 gallon with angels. Medium sized tetra are a good choice for angels. I had some serpae a few years back with them and even though they can be a little nippy, they didn't seem to bother the angels.

  

Pandora

Tuesday, February 19, 2002 - 10:27 pm
Yup, cherry barbs are great little fish, I have not known them to be nippy at all either. In addition, I've only really had problems with tiger barbs being nippy with angels... rosy, checkerboard, banded and other species of barb usually do not actively nip at angel fins, although it could be debateable that some species are overly active and disturb more placid angels.

I did not like my experience with serpaes and angels personally and also found them to be nippy, but having talked to other hobbyists about this, I've found many factors can influence their behavior (among them being the size of the tank, the age of the animals, how they are fed, how many are kept in the group, and in general, just luck at what kind of batch you get). There are many tetras and loaches which go great with angelfish; in addition, other more unusual species such as glass catfish, which make great additions to the angelfish tank.

  

John

Friday, February 22, 2002 - 02:01 pm
Thank you all for your help. I have the 40 gal acrylic running for a couple of days now. I now know what the cutouts are. It reminds me of where the Cowboys play. It is almost a dome. You must remove the light fixture to get at the two holes. My Emperor 280 just made it in the back cutout. But it's nice. I would like to try the fishless cycle. That last one on my 20 stressed the fish and me both. I tried a local drug store, but they had ones with additives. I'm going to a hardware store now. I would like to have Angels when I'm ready, and greatly appreciate the wisdom I've gotten here.

  

joycedonley

Friday, February 22, 2002 - 02:16 pm
Go John. I just love my acrylics and have really been pleased with them. Just be a little careful about scaping algae and use the special brushes available for acrylic tanks. They will scratch if you get to carried away with a glass scraper.

 

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