If you have or are considering the route of buying a custom made fish tank you will often be faced with the decision of whether to go for Optiwhite glass or not.
To give you some background on what this actually is we have put together a few notes to try and help you make the decision as to whether you should go for this or not. Optiwhite glass is from glass makers Pilkington and in summary it is extra clear, low iron glass with very high light transmission. Given that fish tanks are for viewing primarily this is perfect for them and why most aquarium manufacturers give the option of using it.
It is clear to see from the image above that the optiwhite glass on top has much clearer edges and so the green of the normal glass (at the bottom of the image) is reflected across the panel giving a slight green tinge to the whole tank when light is shone on it.
It comes at a slight premium and you can expect to pay around 20% extra for having an optiwhite panel on the front of the aquarium so for say a standard 48″x24″x24″ you may pay around £250 for the tank, the optiwhite panel on the front would add an extra £50 bringing it up to £300 for the aquarium. This may seem like quite an uplift however the clarity it gives we think makes it well worth the while. If you look at it from the point of view that the aquarium itself is often only around 10%-20% of the cost of the overall aquarium when you factor in fish and equipment too (even more when going marine), this is actually a very small increased cost so if it is the financial side of things you are concerned about then my advice would be to go for it as you will only regret it if you don’t because you can’t change it after the tank has been set up!
So that is the downside of optiwhite glass, the cost. The benefits are a much clearer view of the fish and everything else in your tank, it almost looks like the glass isn’t even there. It is common to see a slight green tinge to a tank if it is quite deep and this is purely down to the glass used not being optiwhite so this is eradicated.
You can see form the image of the tank below the green on the left side panel compared to the front panel is quite evident.
Overall we would recommend you chose the option of the optiwhite glass for any panels which are going to be viewing ones, it can’t be changed afterwards and ultimately we keep fish for viewing pleasure and this upgrade will certainly add to that.