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Thread: Glass vs. Plexiglass UV Filtration

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    Glass vs. Plexiglass UV Filtration

    Hi Everyone,

    I'm a student who is working on a 300 gallon vivarium/terrarium display. It is filled with carnivorous plants accenting a artificial stream created by a resevoir on one side of the tank with a 250 GPH pump supplying water to three small mini-waterfalls. Im very proud of it
    The science hall director and I are debating what kind of material we should use to enclose the system: plexiglass or glass? We are concerned with which material will block the UV rays our plants need to function. Does anyone have any knowledge of which glass would be sounder to use?


    Thanks for your time!
    -Jim

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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    It doesn't matter. The light they block is negligible. Glass breaks, acrylic warps. It's up to you. Technically acrylic is more clear than standard glass, but unless your cover is an inch thick you shouldn't worry about that You may not even need a cover.

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    Vater Araignee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AgapeErosLogo View Post
    I'm a student who is working on a 300 gallon vivarium/terrarium display. It is filled with carnivorous plants accenting a artificial stream created by a resevoir on one side of the tank with a 250 GPH pump supplying water to three small mini-waterfalls. Im very proud of it
    The science hall director and I are debating what kind of material we should use to enclose the system: plexiglass or glass? We are concerned with which material will block the UV rays our plants need to function. Does anyone have any knowledge of which glass would be sounder to use?
    Simply going on what you have posted, I am leaning towards glass.
    What is your budget like?
    Indoors or out?
    Is your lighting natural, artificial or both?
    If artificial is involved, what type?
    Is it in a high traffic area or low?
    What age group will it have the highest exposure to?


    Light refraction, reflection and absorption are not the only things to consider.
    Plexiglas is cheap crap and it should only be used in home applications by individuals that understand it's weaknesses and will cater to them.
    Glass is better for durability over time but is easy to brake compared to Plexiglas and should only be used in home applications.
    Lexan is stronger and more durable than Plexiglas and is a good choice but you need to keep people from touching it to reduce the risk of scratches. CDs and DVDs are made of it.
    Tempered glass by far is the superior choice for durability and is slightly less expensive than Lexan of the same thickness.


    After thought.
    Plexiglas exposed to year round outdoor exposure will cloud in 18 - 36 months depending on quality.
    Lexan will do the same in 25 - 50 years depending on quality.

    I use Lexan shields on my welding helmet (to protect my auto glass from impacts) and have to change them about every two months due to UV clouding.
    I tried Plexiglas for two days, nuff said.
    Last edited by Vater Araignee; 10-04-2007 at 07:49 AM. Reason: After thought

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