SeaClear 40 & 50 gallon Acrylics - Comments Needed

Terry

Member
Hi. I was thinking about getting a 40 or 50 gallon SeaClear acrylic tank, but I have questions on the top cover of the Regular and System II types.

It sounds like the clear acrylic top of these tanks is bonded to the sides? I've seen a couple reviews at Petsmart and/or Petco that this bonded top provides openings for the light fixture & I assume filters & heater?

It sounds like these top openings give limited access to the tank itself which leads me to believe it may be difficult to clean the tank sides or get large rocks, etc. into the tank?

The SeaClear System II models have a built in wet/dry filtration system - is it any good? Is it removable?

If anyone has either of these 2 types of SeaClear tanks (regular & System II) and can post some pictures of the tops that sure would sure be helpful. I've yet to find a site that gives a good view of what the top of the tanks looks like.

Any comments pro & con would also be appreciated.

Thanks!
 

kalika

Member
I wish I could tell you more about that type set up Terry but I have never seen one. However, I do know that Acrylic tanks yellow and can cloud over time so that it is harder to see your fish and the general viewing pleasure one gets from an aquarium is significantly decreased. The discoloration can also make your tank look dirty even if it isn't. I guess if I was spending the money, I would want to make sure I could get glass instead and not deal with that but of course you need to do what you want to and maybe the set up is a really good deal or maybe you aren't using that tank for show at all. As for the filtration on a tank that has a built in one, I would see if you can get your hands on it in the store and see if you can easily access the filter media etc for cleaning purposes etc. If you can't without breaking the tank down, I wouldn't want to deal with it. I actually sold a beautiful 40 gallon very wide hex tank on a cherry wood stand because it turned out it was so high up I couldn't get into the tank to even vacuum the gravel without getting up on a chair or stool to do it and then I couldn't see what I was doing. Anyway, hope this helps and if not, please feel free to completely disregard what I say here. Let us know what you plan on doing.
 
  • Thread Starter

Terry

Member
HI and thanks for the comments. The newer acrylics no longer yellow with age like the old ones. I have several small acrylics, from 3 up to 11 gallons, and they're a couple years old now and still as clear as glass. They are 17 times stronger than glass, and are even 4% clearer & more transparent with less distortion than glass, but I can't really see the difference myself. Acrylic is also less than 1/2 the weight of glass, and a 20% better insulator than glass which helps on cold nights & put less demand on the heaters & electricity. I like the rounded corners you get with acrylic also - it just looks better than the edges of my glass tanks. The only remaining problem with acrylics is that they still scratch easily & you have to use the right algae scrapers & be careful not to get any sand or gravel on them. They have easy kits now to remove scratches on the outside. To be honest I won't buy another glass tank for all those reasons. I have an empty glass 55 gallon here that was only ever used for lizards by my son, and I'm tempted to use it, but the location I want the tank in is upstairs, and with 2 cats jumping on everything the last thing I need is 55 gallons of water on the floor and a destroyed ceiling downstairs in the living room! I'll probably soon give the 55 away on freecycle to anyone who wants it. I'm not even sure if it leaks or not and don't want to fill it up just to find out it does! I wish I had a place downstairs for the glass 55, but I don't. Anyway, as you can tell, I love acrylic tanks!

I know what you mean on the hexes - I always wondered how you'd reach the bottom on big ones! I like the look of a hex, but I'd rather get the increased surface area & swimming room with the rectangular types.
 

kalika

Member
Cool! I didn't know that the acrylics had gotten better recently. I was feeling a little weird even typing that stuff to you because I know you know more than I do about this stuff so thank you for the great info! I may have to look into that if I add to my hobby anytime. I love that fact that they weigh less. I got lucky with the house we just bought and I have a finished basement (split level entry) and it's carpet over a concrete slab so I didn't worry about the weight of my 33gal L. Well, good luck with this. If you get it you will have to let us know how it pans out.
 
  • Thread Starter

Terry

Member
Hi. Please - don't ever think I know more than you do! And I don't consider myself an expert on anything, and you shouldn't consider me such either! I can be wrong (and am at times LOL). And no matter how old I get, I'm still learning. I just do a lot of research on things, so a lot of what I know is just from researching things, and a some from experience.

Wish I had a basement! They don't have them on houses in my area very often, supposedly because the clay soil here is always wet and basements tend to leak over time - at least that's the excuse they use here. When I grew up, up north, we always had a basement & it was great for so many things. Everything here is pretty much on cement slabs except for a few I've seen with a crawlspace (useless).

I haven't given up just yet on using the 55 glass. I'm still trying to find a place in the family room, but it's not easy coming up with 4 feet of wall space in a room that has none left! I could put it in the living room downstairs, but nobody much ever goes in there & I can't see setting up a nice tank where you aren't going to see it much. So, my best option right now is upstairs here in my "computer room" - crowded with 3 PCs and a table full of amateur radio gear, but at least we're up here a lot, and there's actually room for the 40 gallon acrylic (if my wife breaks down & lets me move a few things LOL).
 

kalika

Member
Too funny, about the computer room I mean. I can relate. My husband is in Iraq right now and has no idea I have the newer 33g L tank in the basement. He did say I could use my bonus I got from my boss this year for whatever I wanted but he isn't a fan of the fish like I am or like the kids are. Since he is allergic to dogs and cats and I am to cats, and we keep our house too cold for any kind of rodent in a cage, fish are pretty much the only pets we will ever have. Good thing I love 'em so. The kids too. THey think they are great! My son just named one of our fish, get this, Fruit Snack. Yes, he is 4. Gotta love it though!
 
  • Thread Starter

Terry

Member
Kalika said:
Too funny, about the computer room I mean.  I can relate.  My husband is in Iraq right now and has no idea I have the newer 33g L tank in the basement.  He did say I could use my bonus I got from my boss this year for whatever I wanted but he isn't a fan of the fish like I am or like the kids are.  Since he is allergic to dogs and cats and I am to cats, and we keep our house too cold for any kind of rodent in a cage, fish are pretty much the only pets we will ever have.  Good thing I love 'em so.  The kids too.  THey think they are great!  My son just named one of our fish, get this, Fruit Snack.  Yes, he is 4.  Gotta love it though!
Hey that 33 sounds nice! It'll be a nice surprise when he gets back! I've got some bonus money too, and I've almost switched my mind from the 40 gallon SeaClear to a Red Sea Max Reef marine tank. Sure is expensive though - but if I handle it discreetly my wife will never know what it cost LOL!!! She likes the look of it too, and the smaller space it takes up. My only concern is it's all glass, but hard to tell by looking at it, as it appears to have rounded corners like acrylic. So now I'm going crazy with all kinds of new tank options.



Marine tanks are so much more care intensive than freshwater, with so many more water parameters to control, so I really need to figure out if I want to go ahead. But, it would keep me busy (and broke I think LOL). On the other hand I could use a new challenge and saltwater would sure give me that. I just love the look of live rock and the colors of marine fish, corals and inverts.
 

kalika

Member
I love the look of the saltwater tanks too. Afraid of the water maintenance though. I learned some hard lessons a few years back with trying to change my pH for my freshwater fish and I will never do that again. I hope my husband thinks of it as a nice surprise. I kind of doubt it. When I say he isn't a fan I really have to say he doesn't really like fish. I think he just sometimes thinks it takes up too much time. It did for a while when I had a load of Zebra Danio fry I was trying to keep alive. No, fry though and the maintenance issues/time spent go way down. I wish you luck in you decision and can't wait to hear how it all turns out if you go ahead and get the new redsea max tank. I just saw in TFH magazine some awesome looking tanks that are curved and are all glass. Probably the same one. They really looked fabulous.
 

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