Can I use acrylic for an aquarium?

The acrylic fish tank is a high-end aquarium product. In addition to its extensive use, you can even put a small ornamental acrylic fish tank in your home. You can use acrylic material to make it into any shape you need. As a fish tank, even a super thick acrylic sheet can maintain high transparency.

Of course, when contacting, understanding, and using acrylic fish tanks, you may encounter some problems, such as how to make an acrylic aquarium. How to clean an acrylic aquarium?

So let’s get started!

Acrylic Aquarium Fish Tank VS Glass

When considering glass vs. acrylic aquariums, there are pros and cons to both. Acrylic is often a popular option for manufacturers and hobbyists because it is easy to fabricate and lightweight. However, it takes a relatively extreme investment in tooling, equipment, and engineering to cut and manipulate heavy sheets of glass. This is the main reason most custom aquarium manufacturers use acrylic.

There is no doubt that glass fish tanks have become traditional fish tanks. People need to pursue a safer and greener environment, so acrylic satisfies us well. Its impact resistance is more than 16 times that of ordinary glass products, and there is almost no risk of breaking. , Whether it is a public place or a home, even if it is really broken, it will not hurt people.

Advantages of acrylic fish tank

  • The acrylic fish tank has good weather resistance, acid, and alkali resistance.
  • Acrylic fish tank has excellent insulation properties.
  • The acrylic fish tank has a good light transmission.
  • Acrylic fish tanks have a long life span, which is more than three years longer than fish tanks made of other materials.
  • Acrylic is lightweight, half lighter than ordinary glass.
  • Acrylic fish tank colorful, high brightness.
  • Acrylic fish tank plasticity, large changes in shape, easy molding process.
  • Acrylic fish tanks are easy to maintain and easy to clean.

How To Build An Acrylic Aquarium

Not only is acrylic lighter than glass and less likely to shatter, but it’s also easily molded, making it an ideal choice for a do-it-yourself aquarium project. So, if you’re planning to build your own aquarium, you need to practice the following steps.

Part 1/Choosing Acrylic Sheets

Calculate the right size of your acrylic aquarium to house your fish. The size of the fish tank is determined by many important factors, such as the shape required, the area available for placement, and even the fish to be placed in the tank.

The rule of thumb for determining proper aquarium size is to allocate 1 gallon (3.8 L) of water per 1 inch (2.5 cm) of maximum length for each fish.

Make sure you’re also able to allocate enough space for accessories for the aquarium, such as filters, tubing, and cords.

You need to buy enough acrylic plates to fit your fish tank’s size. It would be great if the shop you bought could cut the shape for you or make the shape you need according to your requirements.

Choose acrylic that’s thick enough based on the aquarium’s height. The thickness of the acrylic you’ll need to use will be directly dependent on the dimensions of the aquarium you’re building. For aquariums 1 foot (0.30 m) or less in height, use acrylic that is .25 inches (0.64 cm) thick. For every additional 6 inches (15 cm) in height, make the acrylic an additional .125 inches (0.32 cm) thicker.

Part2/Cutting and Sanding the Acrylic

It is difficult to ensure the perfect application of direct splicing for each piece of acrylic panels, so inevitably, cutting or grinding is needed. We have described how to cut acrylic sheets in detail in another post.

Part3/Assembling Your Aquarium

The final step is to assemble these acrylic panels. In addition to pasting them into a box-shaped outside the traditional sense, we may also encounter them embedded in the wall or filled in the floor waiting for a variety of other situations.

Cut acrylic sheet
assemble acrylic Aquarium
Glue acrylic Aquarium

How To Remove Scratches From Acrylic Aquarium

When using acrylic fish tanks, especially in the places where people come and go in the aquarium, scratches will inevitably occur, so how to clean up these scratches?

If the outer wall is also easy to handle and scratch, or if decoration inside the aquarium hurts the fish tank, then first, you need to take good care of your fish and put them in a safe place.

Repair scratches in the process, you might need:

  1. Acrylic/plastic polish
  2. 800 and 1200 grit sandpaper
  3. Water for soaking the sandpaper


  • Wet one piece of 800 grit sandpaper – run it over the scratch in a circular motion and repeat with a dry piece of 800 grit sandpaper.  Alternate between the dry and wet sandpaper, rubbing for 2 to 3 minutes.  Don’t worry if your acrylic begins to look more frosty or appears to have more little scratch marks on it – this will go away during the process;
  • Next, move on to grade 1200 and do the same. Keep rubbing until all the scratches have disappeared;
  • Finally, dry the area with a soft, dry, and clean cotton cloth. Then apply the acrylic polish and the acrylic should look like it has never been scratched!  The polish should restore your acrylic to a high level of shine;

How To Clean Acrylic Aquarium

To clean the tank, first, you still have to take care of your fish, put them in a safe place, and empty the ornaments. If you have a small fish tank, you need to gently wipe clean with a soft cloth; your efforts should be light. A large fish tank can not move and can only be cleaned in situ. After wetting the cloth, wipe along a direction, not back and forth. Maybe you want to know how to clean acrylic sheets.

By the way, when it comes to the decorations in the fish tank, that is, the algae, water, and cloth are not effective, you can try to remove them gently with a plastic thread or a plastic scraper. Be careful, be gentle, but don’t scratch your fish tank.

Where To Buy Acrylic For Aquarium

I know you are considering where to buy suitable acrylic materials. After all, if the materials are not suitable, you will waste a lot of money.

If you’re wondering what it will cost if you buy directly from a manufacturer in China, you can contact us for a quick quote. UVACRYLIC is a leading manufacturer of acrylic sheets. In the meantime, we provide custom acrylic according to your requirements.

If you are not sure about the shape, quantity, or any other questions about the material you want to use, you can contact us and we will be happy to help you.

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