Aquarium advice

Aquascape Advice - Pros and Cons of Rimless Aquariums

Planted rimless aquarium

Rimless Aquariums

Most beginner fish tanks which are widely available at pet shops and online have a plastic lid, built in light and are normally part of a kit which include other equipment such as filtration. These beginner aquariums have rims around the top edge and most of the time also have plastic trim around the base. Some larger rimmed aquariums have brace bars for added strength. These aquariums are usually offered to beginners, they are far lower in quality when compared to a rimless aquarium. Rimless aquariums have no plastic trim or hood, have clearer low iron glass and have perfect dimensions for aquascaping. Rimless tanks have thicker glass meaning they do not need any extra support or braces which can look ugly. High quality brands such as ADA, UNS and Aqua One manufacture a variety of rimless aquariums of different sizes. Chances are if you have seen an aquascape that you like the look of it was a rimless aquarium.


Rimless Aquarium Pros

The main reason to choose a rimless aquarium is that they look beautiful! A rimless tank is the perfect way to display your aquascape, the low iron glass and minimal design means the viewer is not distracted by plastic trim or braces so you can completely focus on the plants and livestock. Rimless glass tanks have become the gold standard for aquascaping, the same scape will look better in a rimless tank when compared to a lower quality beginner tank with a plastic hood. Having a rimless tank increases your aquascaping and equipment possibilities. You can have large piece of wood protruding out of the surface of the water and you can easily instal high end equipment such as an external filter without having to cut a preformed plastic hood. Lighting is a key area where rimless tanks excel, your lighting options are limitless on a rimless aquarium; you can have the light resting on the edge of the glass, install a gooseneck or even hang your lighting from above. High quality planted aquarium lights cannot be fitted onto a rimmed aquarium with a hood. Rimless tanks look high quality, if you want your home interior to look modern and sleek then a rimless aquarium is the way to go. The silicone is almost invisible in rimless aquariums, most companies use minimal silicone seals. Some rimless tank brands such as UNS connect their glass panels using 45 degree cuts which makes stronger seals which are almost invisible when looking head on to the tank.


Rimless Aquarium Cons

Rimless tanks are usually slightly more expensive when compared to a beginner aquarium of the same size. Although this prices difference will be worth it in the long run. Rimless tanks are slightly more delicate as they do not have any plastic trim around the base which means you need to lay a foam mat down before you set your aquarium in place. Luckily most high quality rimless aquariums come with an appropriately sized foam mat and if needed these are usually very cheap. Because the tank is rimless you will not have lid so keep this in mind when choosing your livestock, a discrete lid can easily be made to stop fish jumping out if needed.


Best Option for Aquascaping

In my opinion, rimless aquariums are the best option if you are planning to create a planted tank. The low iron glass produces a crystal clear view and the quality of this type of tank is second to none. I believe the lack of a rim reduces any distraction to the viewer. These tanks are such high quality that they have far better silicone work and seals than rimmed tanks. A well maintained rimless aquarium can last decades without needing to be replaced.  Although you may not believe it at first having opti-white or low iron glass really does make a difference to clarity. Normal float glass used in most beginner aquariums has a slight green tint which is especially noticeable when looking at the edge of the glass. Higher clarity glass will look far clearer and have a light blue tint when view from the side. If you are a passionate aquascaping hobbyist, a rimless aquarium is your best option to fully enjoy your aquascape!



At AQUAnatur we stock a variety of high quality rimless glass aquariums. We stock brand such as ADA, UNS and Aqua One. We stock a range of different shapes and sizes, something to fit everyone’s planted tank needs! Please let us know if you have any questions, our friendly expert team are happy to help!

By Alasdair McPhail

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