A high-quality fish tank can set you back a small fortune. Therefore, you want to ensure you have purchased a tank that can stand the test of time. The longevity of your fish tank depends on a few factors, although the main contributor is undoubtedly material.
Standard plastic tanks may only last a few years before needing to replaced, while high-grade acrylic aquariums can unusually endure for a decade or more. If you’ve purchased a tempered glass fish tank, you can expect your aquarium to last far longer. If properly maintained, a tempered glass tank can last anywhere up to 20 years.
Acrylic Fish Tank Lifespan
If you’re on a budget, you’re probably considering purchasing an acrylic fish tank. Although affordable and practical, there are some things to bear in mind when choosing an acrylic fish tank. Acrylic tanks tend to be fairly resilient to everyday wear and tear, with the high-quality material able to withstand considerable stress. In fact, the largest fish tanks tend to be made from thick sheets of acrylic, with the material able to withstand the significant stresses placed upon it by huge water volumes.
However, acrylic is by no means invincible. Over time, acrylic will begin to lose its integrity. The plastic becomes more porous, meaning it will begin to soak up chemicals from the water. Regular exposure to sunlight can also wreak havoc on an acrylic fish tank. Placing an aquarium in a room exposed to high levels of sunlight is never a good idea, but this is especially true of acrylic fish tanks.
Excessive heat can soften the integrity of acrylic, compromising its structural integrity. If you have a larger tank with a high water volume, this is something you’ll want to avoid. Sunlight will also damage acrylic panes. Eventually you’ll notice discolouration of the acrylic sides, which can significantly impair the view of your fish and other aquarium contents.
Glass Fish Tank Lifespan
Although glass fish tanks and high-quality acrylic tanks have comparable lifespans, glass aquariums don’t suffer as much when exposed to sunlight and heat. However, you have other risks to consider when choosing a glass fish tank. A glass aquarium will be far heavier than an acrylic fish tank, particularly if you’ve chosen a tempered glass model.
Therefore, you’ll want an incredibly sturdy fish tank stand or cabinet installed to ensure your tank remains firmly in place. You will also need to ensure a glass tank is placed out of the way of foot traffic within your home. Even the best quality glass can be scuffed and scratched if made contact with regularly enough.
Over time, you may notice minor leaking with a glass tank. Provided the leak isn’t anything major, this is not necessarily cause for alarm. Glass tanks are sealed slightly different than acrylic ones and, over time, these seals may require upkeep. To extend the life of your glass aquarium, carry out regular inspection of the seams to identify any potential leaks. If you do notice your tank is leaking, you can easily reseal the join to keep on top of the problem.