Acrylic or glass?

Mar 14, 2013
Due to the fact that I would like to keep a naso and hippo tang, I am now considering an 8 foot (2 ft wide) fowlr tank instead of my original plan of a 6 footer. My question is however, will a glass tank hold about 150-180 pounds of live rock? I have been looking around and the cost of a glass aquarium at this size is about $1000 cheaper than an acrylic. Any experience?


Superstar Fish
Apr 30, 2006
i would belive so. one thing u can do is with the stand put a piece of half inch marine grade plywood where the tank will sit and brace it from underneath with 2X4s. the bottom glass will bow. it's just a fact with glass but this braced plywood will limit how far it can bow and help support the rock rather then just the glass supporting the rock and weight of the water. it's an idea. i did that with my tanks cause i had a 10 gallon have it's bottom break on me years ago.


Elite Fish
Jul 19, 2004
Cape Cod
Glass bottom should hold that fine. They are designed to hold hundreds of pounds of water in addition to "normal" decor. 180lbs isn't that much in an 8' tank really, when all is said and done. But if you were concerned about the rocks having pressure points that were too great for a specific area of glass, you can put a layer of egg crate along the bottom of the tank before you put the rock, then the sand (this assumes you will have a sand bed).

Honestly I have about (guessing) 50lb of rock and maybe 40 of sand in a 20g long and it holds it fine. It is packed to the gills while I get a bigger tank set up.

I would get a glass tank if it were me, because of the stability of it as well as the cost, but especially because there is a high likelihood of scratching the acrylic, and inevitably it will be a scratch right on the front. The main difference aside from that is the weight of the tank. Unless you're planning to move the sucker around a lot, it is really only an issue once - less so if you get it delivered :). Or if you have a bunch of friends with the cool suction cup mover dealies.


Ultimate Fish
Aug 26, 2003
Southern California
We have a 125 gallon acrylic with saltwater. It has worked well for us. It has a few scratches, but nothing too bad. They can be buffed out. We haven't had any problems with fine cracks on it.

One nice thing about an acrylic is it's easier to move, if you ever need to, and they're not as heavy. Two of us moved the 125 g, but we'd have probably needed several helpers for a glass tank.

Scraping coraline off acrylic is a pain, because you do need to be careful not to scratch and you can't use anything metal.

We bought ours second hand, and it was relatively inexpensive.

Where we live it's both really hot and earthquake-prone. Because acrylic is less likely to crack in an earthquake, and because it insulates better, it has worked out well.

Glass and acrylic both have their advantages and disadvantages, but it often comes down to price.