How Long Do Aquariums Last: Acrylic vs. Glass

Aquariums have become an integral part of any household, but do you know how long they last? Aquarium maintenance isn’t always easy, especially if you are just starting out, which then plays a vital role in your aquarium’s lifespan. Most live longer than one year, but there are some aquariums that only last six months or even less.

In this article, we’ll help you determine the lifespan of your aquarium so you will have an idea of when to get rid of it and buy a new one and also share some tips on how you can prolong its lifespan.

How Long do Aquariums Last?

Most aquariums can last for more than a year, but there are some that only last six months or even less. A new aquarium could only be expected to last for one year, but this is hard to judge if it hasn’t been in use yet. Therefore, there are many factors that need to be considered to properly estimate the lifespan of your aquarium.

These factors include the type of aquarium (whether it is glass or acrylic), how it is maintained, and what kind of fish you have in it will determine how long your aquarium can last. The longevity of an aquarium also depends on its construction material and the amount of water in it. You should also take into consideration the quantity of the fish you choose to put in your tank.

Once maintenance and these important factors are applied, you will then be able to decide if the aquarium you have bought can last for about more than two years or just six months.

What is the Normal Aquarium Lifespan?

It’s difficult to say what the lifespan of an aquarium would be because there is such a wide variety of factors that need to be taken into account. The “normal” lifespan for one gallon-sized aquarium can last up to two years in ideal circumstances, but there are many factors which lengthen or shorten this period. A lot of deciding factors are out of your control, such as temperature and lighting. But it is possible to determine how long an aquarium will last if you know the factors that influence its lifespan.

Much like any other living organism, it all depends on how you take care of your fish and your tank as well. If you keep your aquarium in ideal conditions in terms of its type, the quality of water, the kind of fish and decorations are in the tank, your aquarium may have the potential to last for more than three years.

Aquarium goldfish placed on the table as a hobby.

Acrylic vs. Glass Aquarium

Acrylic is tougher than glass so it usually has an edge when its comes down to a tank not breaking after moderate collisions or falls, making it a better option against physical damage.

Acrylic tanks are non-porous, which means they won’t absorb harmful household chemicals into their pores. This also helps to support the life of bacteria in your aquarium and as such can help fight off diseases that could damage your aquatic creatures over time. However, you would have to keep up with regular maintenance on an acrylic tank as well since they do not possess the same “warranty” that glass tanks provide you and if something goes wrong, it may be more difficult to get things fixed.

On the other hand, a glass aquarium can withstand a lot of different liquids and it makes maintenance very easy. Glass tanks are also easier to clean so that you won’t need as much time spent on actually cleaning up broken pieces scattered around your home when you least expect it. With glass, you can see inside your tank so that it easier to diagnose any potential problems with the fish and organisms within. Also, glass tanks are ideal for those who want a clear view of everything living in their aquarium over three feet above the surface.

How Long Do Acrylic Fish Tanks Last?

Acrylic fish tanks may last for up to three years if you treat them properly.

There are certain things that you need to do in order make sure that the tank will stay intact and healthy for this amount of time which include having a good, stable environment such as having sand or stone underneath your aquariums base(which gives it a less wobbly stance) along with putting something like rocks or heavy pieces of wood. Most importantly, acrylic fish tanks require strict, regular maintenance in order to keep them healthy.

How Long Do Glass Aquariums Last?

Glass tank life span is mostly dependent on how much you take care of your aquarium. In ideal conditions, where the fish are placed in an adequate tank with acceptable water quality and good-sized decoration, a glass fish tank could last anywhere from five to twenty years.

When maintenance becomes more challenging or aged tanks become harder to maintain– causing hints of algae display– the average lifespan drops down. The process of maintaining a glass aquarium is fairly simple. Reduce water when the quality degrades and get your substrate cleaned often if necessary, more frequent cleaning will do more good in long term than frequent sweeping.

How to Prolong Aquarium Lifespan?

Cleaning your tank regularly is the key to preventing a lot of damage and also helps to maintain the lifespan of your aquarium.

Make sure that your aquarium is always full. Also ensure that you do not use too much fish food as this can get trapped in the tank and make a mess of things. In addition, make sure that you do not use any cleaning chemicals on your glass aquarium as this can cause the glass to crack. As an alternative, you can clean your aquarium by using tap water and using a mixture of vinegar and baking soda (1 :1 ratio).

Just like any type of aquarium, storing extra items and decoration may eventually lead to an aggressive messes that could damage your tank. because these can be a breeding ground for nasty disease-spreading bacteria or fungus that tend to grow in warm water, quickly infecting the fish. Lastly, you should quickly act to fix your aquarium every time there is minimal leak so that it can last for years to come.

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