The quality of an aquarium depends upon the aquarium glass. Today a few aquarium makers are using other transparent material too but they have not been able to reduce the popularity of aquariums made of glass. This is because the aquarium glass is very special. It not only makes viewing easier but also helps in maintaining the aquarium.
Initially, glass was the only material that could be used for building an aquarium, the obvious reason being that the aquarium glass was transparent. No other element shared this property. The aquarium glass also possessed a natural blue green sheen that enhances the effect of the aquarium.
That is why aquariums have traditionally been made by sealing aquarium glass slabs with silicone sealants. The sealing ensures that the aquarium remains strong and sturdy. It also allows a slight degree of expansion while filling water in the aquarium. This is very important because it helps in equal distribution of pressure and prevents the aquarium glass from cracking or breaking.
Another reason why fish tanks made of aquarium glass are more popular is because they are cheaper than other materials and are also scratch resistant. The aquarium glass can withstand considerable pressure without collapsing. Also it is much easier to clean a fish tank made of glass.
The main disadvantage is the weight of aquarium glass. Fish tanks made of aquarium glass can be very heavy and can make shipment a huge problem. Also, some of the old fish tanks made of aquarium glass were known to leak because the sealing was not good enough and became brittle over a period of time.
Another disadvantage for the design conscious is the lack of malleability. The aquarium glass cannot be molded into different designs as aquariums made of plexi-glass, which are lighter and come in attractive shapes and sizes. They are, however, more costly and require regular maintenance.