Float glass or white glass?
A comparison

In recent years, aquariums made of white glass have become more and more popular. Your normal standard tanks are made of so-called float glass. We'll show you the differences here.

Float glass

Float glass is the standard material for the production of glass aquariums. The "float" in “float glass” refers to the manufacturing process, where the molten glass floats on a bed of molten tin. If objects are viewed through a piece of float glass, for example, fish or aquatic plants, they will have a minimal greenish look due to the small amount of iron oxide contained in the glass. You can see this greenish color fault particularly well if you look at the edge of a piece of glass.

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Depending on the exact method of float glass production there may be differences in the glass quality, which can be seen in the color of the glass. Compared to aquariums made of white glass, even tanks made of high-quality float glass are usually sold at a somewhat lower purchase price.

White glass

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White glass contains a significantly lower amount of iron oxide than float glass does. It looks less greenish and much more color neutral. Some manufacturers refer to this glass grade as "Optiwhite". Due to the special clarity and transparency of white glass, it is particularly popular in marine aquatics and in aquascaping. The true colors of contrastingly designed aquarium layouts can thus be enjoyed with no influence from the outside whatsoever. However, you should also be aware that this type of glass is slightly more prone to scratch.
Especially with increasing glass thickness, the difference between float glass and white glass becomes more and more apparent. Large aquariums need thicker glass. From a front length of about one meter upwards, glass thicknesses of 10 mm or more are in common use. The difference between the two types of glass is very easy to recognize here.

Depending on the production method, there are different qualities of white glass, which come a different purchase prices, of course. The visible contrast between float glass aquariums and white glass tanks remains obvious no matter what the quality.