I have a glass aquarium and an acrylic terrarium. I am now thinking about buying or building a nice tall hex-style aquarium/terrarium for growing/displaying Nepenthes (in a visible place, so it has to look nice).
Is there anyone here who favors glass over acrylic/plastic/polyurethane or any synthetic (or vice versa) for any particular reason?
When I had my acrylic terrarium built, the builder said that some yellowing may occur because it would be exposed to so much flourescent light. That is the only thing -appart from some bending and distortion of the material which has occured after a few years.
Otherwise, how does the acrylic hold up to the humidity?
if your acrylic discolored after 2 years and changed shape than it either was very low quality or not really acrylic. Most likely what you have there is a very low grade acrylic, synthetic glass or "plexiglass". Acrylic will not bend or discolor at all as it is a solid state of matter unlike plastic and glass which are actually slow moving liquid (yes, glass is liquid, look at a hundred year old house windows, thats why they are wavy) Most zoo aquariums use standard acrylic that stands up for an indefinite amount of time. humidity will not affect the actual material, but it may break down the seals of the tank depending on what method they are joined with. You can either use a sealer method which is just clear caulking shoved between the pieces (poor lasting quality) or the professional chemical process which actually seamlessly fuses the 2 peices together. an acrylic tank that is "welded" like this will never leak as the flat pieces will break before the seal gives out because it is much stronger structurally in the corner than on a plane. So basically you have options, Acrylic done correctly is quite a bit more expensive than glass, but it is lighter and has better (nominally) light transmission qualities. Glass is cheaper but much heavier. My recomendation is that if you are building a tank that will be a permenant structure use glass. if you are building something you plan to move occasionally or that you will change the interior regularly, use acrylic. another factor is that if you want a tank with a door for front access to it, it is nice to have a light acrylic door to open than a heavy glass one that would like to shatter =)