I’ve noticed a strange paradigm with used tanks. Consumers seem to be wary of buying glass aquariums checking every seam and seal, but when it comes to acrylic tanks they assume all is good because it is acrylic so it’s stronger than glass right?
In my eyes a used acrylic tank is far more risky than a glass tank. It’s not that acrylic tanks are weaker, but there are far more individuals attempting to build acrylic tanks on their own that have no business doing so. To further magnify the issue the average consumer is not able to identify a poorly built acrylic tank. We have a plethora of leaky tanks and sumps that come through where the customer purchased via some forum that are obviously built wrong, but we are fabricators and we work with this on a daily basis. What jumps out to us usually doesn’t to an average consumer. Study up on what to look for in used acrylic tanks before you buy one.
Another paradigm I often hear is, “acrylic tanks are easier to fix than glass”. Hardly the truth. Due to the nature in which we use the tanks, exposing them to salt, dirt, and chemicals, acrylic tanks are often hard to repair. Scratches may be easier to polish out, but major repairs like seam breaks are quite expensive if repairable at all.
So the next time you are thinking about purchasing a used acrylic tank, educate yourself about the tank first. Who was the builder, how old is it, and if possible have a trusted fabricator look at it first. Don’t get into the notion that fixes are easy and cheap. Saving a few dollars on a cheap used tank, whether glass or acrylic, never seems like a good idea standing in a flooded living room.