Float glass or optiwhite glass?A comparison
In recent years, aquariums made of white glass have become more and more popular. Conversely, conventionally-produced tanks are made of so-called float glass. We show you the differences here.
Floatglas is the standard material for the production of glass tanks. The "float" in “float glass” refers to the manufacturing process, where the molten glass is floating on a bed of molten tin. If objects are viewed through such a float glass pane, fish or aquatic plants will have a minimal greenish look due to the small amount of iron oxide contained in the glass. This green color cast can be seen particularly well if you look at the edge of a pane.
However, there are also qualitative differences in float glass production, which are reflected in the color of the glass. Compared to aquariums made of white glass, tanks made of float glass are usually a bit cheaper to purchase.
White glass contains a significantly lower amount of iron oxide than float glass. It looks less greenish and much more color neutral. Manufacturers often refer to this glass-grade as "Optiwhite". Due to the special clarity and transparency of white glass, it is particularly popular in seawater aquaristics and aquascaping. Colorfully designed aquarium layouts can be enjoyed absolutely neutral. However, you should also be aware that this type of glass has a slightly higher scratch sensitivity.
Especially with increasing glass thickness, the difference between float glass and white glass becomes more and more apparent. An ever thicker wall thickness is needed when setting up aquariums of increasing size. From a front length of about one meter upwards, wall thicknesses of 10 mm are in common use. The difference between the two types of glass is very easy to recognize here.
Even within the glass type "white glass" there are qualitative and thus of course also price differences in the production. However, the visible contrast between float glass aquariums and white glass tanks remains obvious. P>