Why we prefer Acrylic for (large) Aquariums
Aquariums are a great way to bring the beauty of aquatic life into your home or office. When it comes to choosing the right material for your aquarium, you have two options: glass or acrylic. While both materials have their benefits, acrylic is often considered the superior choice for a number of reasons. In this blog post, we'll explore why acrylic is better than glass for large aquariums over 150 gallons.
Strength and Durability:
One of the main benefits of acrylic over glass is its strength and durability. Acrylic is up to 17 times stronger than glass, making it much less likely to crack or break. This is especially important for larger aquariums, as the weight of the water can put a significant amount of pressure on the walls of the tank. Acrylic can withstand this pressure much better than glass, ensuring that your aquarium will remain intact for years to come. Acrylic tanks are made using seamless bonding that molecularly attaches the two sheets of acrylic creating a leak proof seam.
In addition, acrylic is also more impact-resistant than glass. If you accidentally drop a glass aquarium or hit it with a hard object, it is likely to shatter or crack. With acrylic, however, the material will simply flex and absorb the impact, reducing the risk of damage.
Another advantage of acrylic over glass is its clarity. Acrylic is much clearer than glass, allowing you to see the fish and other aquatic life in your tank more clearly. This is especially important for larger aquariums, where the water can often appear cloudy or distorted in a glass tank. Acrylic also does not have the green tint that can be seen in some types of glass, which can further improve the clarity of your aquarium.
Lightweight & Stress free Shipping:
Acrylic is also much lighter than glass, making it easier to move and transport. This can be especially beneficial if you need to move your aquarium for any reason, such as cleaning or rearranging your space. Additionally, the lighter weight of acrylic means that shipping is cheaper and much safer since acrylic does not chip and is 17x more impact resistant than glass. Last thing you want is your custom tank you waited for 2 months to break! This is why we prefer acrylic, its much stronger and can handle rough transport unlike glass.
Acrylic is a more flexible material than glass, allowing for greater design flexibility. With acrylic, you can create curved or rounded shapes that are not normally possible with glass. This can help to create a more unique and visually appealing aquarium that is tailored to your specific preferences. In addition, acrylic can also be easily cut and drilled, allowing for the installation of additional features such as overflow boxes or bulkheads without much extra costs. Main thing is glass tanks are often limited to 36 inches in height due to 1" glass being almost impossible to find. Laminated glass is not as strong as a single layer of glass so we only use them for pools and never aquariums.
We hear it everyday; "Acrylic Scratches so Easily" and they are right. The biggest downside to acrylic that it is a lot less scratch resistance compared to glass. This is mainly to do with the actual material than production. When scratched acrylic is very easy to polish and repair. This is especially important for large tanks that since any damage makes it too risky to use if glass.
In conclusion, acrylic is a superior choice for aquariums due to its strength, durability, clarity, lightweight, and design flexibility. While glass tanks have their benefits, the advantages of acrylic make it a clear winner for those looking to create a long-lasting and visually stunning aquarium. If you are considering purchasing a large aquariums above 150 gallons, we highly recommend investing in an acrylic tank for the best possible experience.
Why we don't use glass for pools
Glass and acrylic are the two options when it comes to making a see through swimming pools. People often confuse the two as acrylic is commonly know as Plexiglass, Lucite, Lexan. These are common brand names for PMMA plastic but today we are talking about glass and why we don't normally use them for pools.
Glass is a popular building material due to its many benefits and relatively cheap production costs. It's used for most buildings along side our own pool walls. Glass is extremely rigid making it very scratch resistant and strong material for outdoor use. Our pool glass is typically 3/4 inch sheet of glass layered with a special glue to that does not come apart or allow any discoloration. We use tempered low iron glass that is closer to 91% transparent compared to normal glass with 83% light transmittance.
Acrylic is a synthetic material that is commonly used in a variety of applications, including building construction, automotive manufacturing, and household items. Acrylic is known for its transparency, durability, and versatility. Acrylic more transparent that glass and does not have any hues. The refractive index for acrylic is similar to water giving a perfect view into your pool.
In building construction, acrylic is often used as a substitute for glass due to its strength and durability. Acrylic sheets are lighter and more impact-resistant than glass, making them ideal for use in areas where safety is a concern, such as holding in 40 tons of water.
For most of our clear pool builds we do not use glass and the biggest reason for that is the way the materials act. Glass is very rigid which does not make it a good option to choose dynamic loads like water that tend to mould the material over time. This is why we have an 7' foot length and 2' height limit for our glass builds for safety. Glass is extremely heavy as well making it harder to install and ship. Any chips, cracks or damage can happen when transporting glass making it a little riskier to ship than acrylic. Often times there is damage to the glass that would require a new panel to be placed. Chipped glass is not repairable and will only get worse over time with the dynamic load of water. Keep in mind these walls are keeping in up to 40 tons of water. Our acrylic is made with virgin Lucite® that we mould and add our own special uv-inhibiting formula that is warrantied up to 20 years for yellowing and brittling. Our acrylic is almost invisible to the naked eye at the right angle and has a clarity on average above 93% while glass regular glass is closer to 83%.
The two biggest benefits of glass is its price and scratch resistance. When it comes down to manufacturing a custom acrylic panels the costs can be very high compared to layering glass sheets thats already made. The other benefits Is actual lead time. Our glass panels take on average 2-4 weeks to manufacture and deliver while our acrylic panels can take up to 6-10 weeks to manufacture and deliver. Glass is very scratch resistant due to its rigidity while acrylic is a lot softer and can be scratched. Acrylic is easily repairable while glass is not.
Glass is an amazing material that is cheap, easy to make, and scratch resistant. There is a time and place for a glass pool but the overall choice is to stick with Acrylic for pools, but with certain clients choosing the look and scratch resistance of glass. At the end of the day we focus on safety and acrylic is the safer choice although more expensive.
Acrylic and glass swimming pools are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners who want to add a touch of luxury to their outdoor living spaces. These unique types of pools provide an unparalleled viewing experience by allowing swimmers to see through the walls of the pool. In this article, we will explore the differences between acrylic and glass pools, their applications, and the installation process.
Acrylic pools are made of a type of plastic known as polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), which is also commonly known as acrylic glass. Our Acrylic is a lightweight and durable material that is resistant to corrosion and UV radiation. Acrylic pools are preferred by many homeowners due to their ability to be easily molded into different shapes and sizes. These pools can be custom-built to fit the specific needs and desires of the homeowner.
One of the key benefits of acrylic pools is that they offer excellent clarity and transparency, providing an uninterrupted view of the water. Acrylic also has a higher impact resistance compared to glass, which makes it more resistant to damage from accidental impacts. Acrylic is more flexible than glass making it better to handle the dynamic load of the water compared to rigid glass. This key feature along with its incredible strength is what makes it a better choice for larger pool walls. Acrylic is not as scratch resistant as glass, but Is easily repairable with a simple sand!
Another advantage of acrylic pools is that they have a higher insulation value compared to glass, which helps to maintain the temperature of the water. This means that the pool can be used for a longer time during the year, and it can be heated more efficiently.
Acrylic pools can be installed using a variety of techniques, including the traditional method of pouring concrete into a form or by using prefabricated panels. The installation process typically involves excavating a u-channel, grouting, and then sealing the panel. The process can take several days to complete, depending on the complexity of the design.
Glass pools are made of tempered glass, which is a type of safety glass that is four times stronger than regular glass. The glass is typically between 3/4” thick and is supported by a stainless steel or aluminum frame. Typically we Layer the 3/4” glass to for bigger glass panels. Glass pools are known for their modern and luxurious appearance and are popular in high-end homes and luxury hotels.
Glass pools are highly customizable and can be designed to fit any shape or size. They also provide excellent visibility, allowing swimmers to enjoy the surrounding landscape while they swim. Glass pools also offer an excellent surface finish that is easy to maintain and most importantly has a higher scratch resistance than acrylic. It is not repairable like acrylic is.
Installing a glass pool requires a highly specialized team of professionals, as the glass must be precisely cut and fitted into the frame. The installation process can be more complex and time-consuming than an acrylic pool and can take up to several weeks to complete.
Choosing between acrylic and glass pools ultimately depends on the homeowner's preferences and budget. While acrylic pools are more affordable and easier to install, glass pools offer a luxurious and modern look that is highly customizable.
In conclusion, acrylic and glass pools offer a unique and luxurious swimming experience that is highly sought after by many homeowners. Both types of pools have their advantages and disadvantages, and it's important to consider factors such as cost, maintenance, and installation when choosing the right pool for your home. Regardless of which pool you choose, make sure to work with a qualified and experienced pool contractor to ensure a high-quality installation that will last for years to come. Our overall go to is acrylic with any build, with its light weight build for easily install and perfect clarity acrylic is the winner here.
How to Install an Acrylic Glass Pool
Installing an acrylic panel has many challenges with its main being the actual panel. Acrylic is an incredibly complex material with its incredible clarity and moldability we use acrylic for all our of pool projects. Custom cast acrylic panels are expensive and keep getting more costly with the bigger the panel gets. Our acrylic panels have special uv-inhibitors that last for over 30 years and are on Warranty for 25 years. These inhibitors act without impacting the clarity of the acrylic or leaving a cloudy residue. Ensuring your acrylic is good quality makes sure you don't have any issues down the road when it's installed.
The first step is to get final dimensions including size surrounding concrete structures. Acrylic panels require 15-18 inch walls compared to the typical 10 inch pool walls. Then we create a render a plan for your concrete u-channel. For complex projects such as radius pools and hot tubs we have a team of engineer to help you get the right measurements.
Our stress free shipping makes sure your panel will not be damaged ensuring there is no delays or paying extra contractors if the panel arrives broken. The panel is first wrapped in thick weatherproof foam, then placed into a wooden case that is then wrapped in steel making sure no damage can occur to our panels.
2. Create the U-channel
Using an insert and re-bar you can create a concrete u-channel for the panel to insert into. Keep in mind your u-channel is typically 2-4 inches bigger than your panel. U-channel shown below will be re-supported on the left side.
3. Install Panel and Grout
Next step is to install your panel and grout with cement and silicone. To get more information we have a detailed instruction manual including our proprietary grouting method that is warranty matched. Contact us here for more informations and quote on your project.
Tangs are known widely from Finding Nemo; Dory a Blue Tang made them one of the most popular saltwater fish. With millions of eyes and a big variety people often mistake Blue Tangs as their own type but in fact there are over 86 variety of Tangs. From Emperor Tangs to yellow Tangs these fish are saltwater and need a lot more care than the average fish. They need plenty of rock, coral and algae to survive as that is their main diet. They are avid swimmers looping in and about the crevices in the tank. This is why it is extra important to have an over 125 gallon tank for just a single Tang. They on average grow to 8-12" but Lipstick Tangs can grow up to 20 inches!
Tangs come in a variety with beautiful patterns like the Emperor Tang to the shiny Silver Tang that shines under every light. These beautiful fish tend to be around 1lb and can live up to 30 years in the wild. They tend to be more sensitive to disease and grow very quick so they are not the easiest fish to keep. The Tangs are a perfect addition to any saltwater reef build. With their bright colors, flashy swimming style, and over all show stoppers; the Tangs are the highlight of most saltwater builds.
Don't even think about a Tang if your build is under 100 gallons. Tangs need a lot of coral and rocks to live a happy healthy life. Just like in the ocean these animals stick close the rocks, hiding from predators. When it comes to Tangs we would aim for at least 150 gallons and another 20 gallons per Tang. This will make sure your family of fish are balanced. Adding too many Tangs can be a nightmare from ich and having a quarantine tank makes even more important! When it comes to a 150 gallon build, you are looking between 1.8k for the tank and around 2.8k for a full setup. Contact us for more info on what size tank for your fish group! We are here to help from bio load to choosing filters!
For many years Koi fish have been a staple of Japanese culture with centuries of rich history with these magnificent fish. Starting from just carp, farmers began capturing and breeding the most colorful ones they could find. This led to a long history of rice farmers breeding these colorful carp to now being hundreds of thousands of dollars. The most expensive Koi sold for nearly 2 million and often breeders compete in competitions for these serious prizes.
Koi fish are often regarded as a symbol wealth and loyalty due to their gratefulness in the water and shiny coin like scales. These fish are not an easy fish to take care of either. With their high bioload from things like hand feeding and high fiber foods can easily clog filters. This means you need more space then you think you need for a Koi and this normally means going for a pond. Koi fish are often kept in pond but with the risk of birds, weather, and other animals often times tanks are best to keep them safe. Ponds are hands down the best way to keep a koi family since you can easily fill up to 10,000 gallons without going over 15k setup. When looking at Koi fish, they need a lot of room. Often you need about 250 gallon per fish, so just for two koi you're looking at 500 gallons!
Ponds are often better due to price, but when it comes to taking care of your beloved koi a tank keeps them much safer. From wildlife to hot weather the outsides may not be the best place for your $1000 japanese Koi fish. To keep their cold blooded animals safe you're looking for at least 3 feet in depth with some tarp you can cover the pond with. During winter times the pond may freeze fully if it is not deep enough.
Often times you hear a myth that Koi fish grow to the size of their tank and do not jump but this is farther from the truth. A lot of store bought Koi do not exceed 12" so this is where the myth comes in when kept in a small tank. The fish grow based on their genetics and lineage and you should not expect a 3 footer from the pet store. Not only this but the other factor includes the health, food quality, temperature, overcrowding, & stress on the fish. Overall if you're looking for a healthy koi that you plan on keeping right then get it from a proper breeder and not a petstore. Trust us that extra hundred bucks will give you the peace of mind your fish won't pass away within a year.
Above is an 2400 Gallon Arowana tank so how big of an aquarium do you need for a Koi? Well the answer can vary on how big the fish is, but a good reference is around 500 gallons per fish. Before you run out, this is for a fully grown 24-30 inch Koi fish. A tank setup this size would run you between 8.5k and 14k for a full setup with sump, stand and everything else. A 500 gallon tank is no joke, from maintenance to running but to keep a Koi the right way this is the only way! To keep an average 12" Koi, you're looking closer to 250 gallons which is close to 4k and around 7k for a full setup.
Arowana are of the most sought after fish with rare ones selling up to $300,000! They are known to bring good luck and prosperity due to their metallic scales that resemble coins. The Asian Arowana variety are illegal to import without proper licensing due to them being endangered. This makes these fish even more enticing and expensive! To get your hands on one of these is impressive, not the start on the size tank needed to house them.
Silver Arowana are one of the most common Arowana in USA. There is a wide variety from Gold to Black. Arowana are a hard fish to keep and not for everyone due their price and maintenance level. Commonly known as monkey fish due to them being able to jump out of their tank. These fish can range from as low as $100 to $500 for an average Arowana but of course prices can range up to the six figures with these rare fish.
The proper tank size needed to keep a Silver Arowana around 36" is at-least 8 x 4 x 3 feet. This would be close to 700 gallons. This will give your Arowana plenty of room to not be hurt by sudden movements or lights. The reason these fish need this large of tank is they are large creatures that love to jump. Having a three foot fish is no joke and if you're a serious hobbyist then you will be the first to give your expensive fish extra space to stay healthy. The price can be steep and often a pond is recommended, but even those can be upwards of 8k with professional installation.
Our price on a tank like this would be dependant on a lot of options but overall a 9x4x3 feet - 700 Gallons would be roughly 14k for just the tank. Including the sump, stand, and shipping your looking close to 19k for a full setup landed in your driveway! Often times you will see recommendations of 250 gallons but this is far from the right size. 8 x 4 x 3 feet is the bare minimum for a fully grown Arowana. Aiming your tank for 3x the fishes length and 1.3x their width means a 1000 gallon tank setup would be the perfect roomy setup for a fully grown Arowana.
When it comes to the smaller 18”- 24” Asian Arowana they will be fine with an 7x3x3 feet tank. A tank this size would be around 400 gallons and would be around 7k for the tank and closer to 10k for a full setup.
When talking about taking care of a fully grown Arowana it's really not for everyone. From the high cost to getting everything setup. We are here to help answer any question regarding your build. Factory Fish Tanks has been building tanks for over a decade. We have built many Arowana tanks and are confident we are the right fit for your build!