Build-to-Order Glass Aquarium System
Finally... a build to order aquarium system that allows you to choose what configuration you want based on your specific needs. And, with our free aquarium delivery and refundable aquarium moving kits, even the largest aquariums can be easy to install in your home or office.
- Built to order for practically any size up to 2,000+ gallons
- Choose from multiple material thicknesses, clarity, and tempering options
- Marine grade anodized aluminum frame with unmatched integrity
- Custom holes for overflows/sumps
- Commercial quality, professional look and feel
- FREE delivery Nationwide*
- Refundable moving kits make installation easy!
- Higher quality and less expensive than acrylic
- Engineered and Built to Last a LIFETIME!
- View All Glass Aquarium Sizes or Glass Aquarium Package Specials
Advanced Experience & Engineering
Our Lifetime Aquarium systems are designed by professional service technicians as well as professional engineers to accomplish the goal of versatility and unmatched lifetime durability.
We don't just design aquariums for the short term or follow the latest trends. Our product development team also operates our sister company, www.SerenityUSA.com, (which includes Serenity aquarium services and Serenity aviary services). At Serenity, we have experienced service experts that install and service aquariums in hundreds of locations nationwide.
When we install an aquarium we don't just sell it to a customer and forget about it, we stand behind the aquarium and maintain it for the life of the service account. This means any time something goes wrong with one of our service accounts, we are directly responsible for the costs associated with the repair and maintenance of the aquarium as well as all of the associated equipment. This cost does not get passed along to the customer. This gives us a unique advantage to design products from the point of view of the end customer with the goal of having low lifetime operating costs and lasting quality.
Over the course of many years installing and maintaining aquariums, we continually found fatal flaws to all the various aquarium and filtration systems out there. These flaws create inconvenience, cost money, and negatively affect the overall customer experience. Rather than continue to deal with these flaws we dedicated our vast experience and knowledge to creating the best possible solutions by breaking down and solving each problem one at a time. The result is the revolutionary Lifetime Aquarium® System, the Seamless Sump® system, the H2Overflow®, the Siphon Stopper®, and the Majestic® stands and canopies. All of these revolutionary ideas were born out of vast real world experience with our aquariums. We thought not only about how to manufacture the most versatile low maintenance aquarium systems possible, but how to make it last as long as possible.
Where other companies design products so they can sell you expendables (ie. disposable filter cartridges, parts that purposely wear out, etc...) to nickel and dime you for all of eternity, we design our products to be easy to service and last a long, long time with minimal long term expense. After countless installations and services, thousands of hours of design, re-design, prototyping, and testing with our engineers, consultation with our full time professional service technicians (some with 25+ years experience), as well as other aquarium industry experts all over the country, we have developed what is the most comprehensive, quality, built to order aquarium and filter system on the market that is built to last a LIFETIME®. We designed all the products from the ground up, and take no short cuts with our design.
Lifetime Aquariums® Material Options
Our Lifetime Aquarium® system allows you to choose from a variety of materials for any panel. Here is an overview of the material choices.
Standard Clarity 1/2" Glass
Most aquariums 300 gallons and under come standard with 1/2" glass for the front, back, sides, and bottom. This is commonly accepted in the industry as adequate thickness for aquariums this size with plenty of additional safety factor to account for drilled holes for overflows and return fittings. Individual requirements may vary depending on the circumstances of each setup.
3/4" Standard Clarity Glass
3/4" Glass is typically used for larger aquariums greater than 300 gallons, (there are some exceptions to this rule based on engineered specifications, our recommendations are listed in the aquarium pricing charts). 3/4" glass upgrade may also make sense for smaller tanks in high traffic areas where additional precautions are desired or if an unusually large quantity of holes are drilled in the glass. Another solution to add strength without adding the additional weight of 3/4" glass is to get tempered 1/2" glass. Many of our 3/4" glass aquariums can be made with 1/2" tempered glass instead. Please call for details.
Tempered Glass (Available 1/2" or 3/4")
Tempering glass can add 5-10 times the strength to the glass panel. The tempering process super-heats the panel, then cools it down rapidly. During this process the exterior of the glass cools at a quicker rate than the interior of the glass. This difference in cooling rates creates tension, or "loading" of the molecules, making the glass very, very strong. At CustomAquariums.com we have a full glass fabrication capability and would be happy to drill whatever holes you need and do any other fabrication within our ability for a reasonable extra charge prior to tempering. Tempering does add to the lead time (usually 2-4 weeks) because we have to send the panel off to be tempered per order due to the fact tempering has to be done post fabrication. Once the panel is tempered, it cannot be modified later.
Ultra Clear Glass (Available 1/2" or 3/4", tempered or non- tempered)
Ultra clear glass has about the same strength as regular clarity of the same thickness. The difference is the ultra clear has a lower iron content that gives it an exceptionally clear look. This option is a very nice feature but does cost a bit more money. Our system gives you the flexibility to upgrade as many or few panels as you desire depending on the placement, configuration, and budget of your tank.
Anodized Marine Grade Aluminum vs. Plastic Frame
|Anodized Aluminum Frame||Plastic Frame|
|Much stronger||More expensive||Less expensive||Flexible, weak|
|More silicone, stronger joint||Less silicone, weaker joint|
|Won't turn brittle||Can turn brittle|
|Custom sizes possible||Fewer custom sizes|
Stronger, Longer Lasting for a Similar Price
Our Lifetime Aquarium® system is manufactured with a marine grade anodized aluminum frame. The aluminum frame provides a much more durable, rigid solution than plastic. The fact that it is anodized also creates a hardened surface that will not rust, corrode, or oxidize. This is the same material ocean rated boats and ocean view skyscraper windows are made out of. As a further piece of mind, no part of the aluminum is submerged in the tank as the entire submerged interior is glass and silicone. The aluminum frame is considerably more expensive to manufacture than a mass produced injection molded frame, however with our direct to consumer business model, we are still competitive with plastic rim tanks in price by cutting out the multiple distribution markups that most other companies have.
Stronger Joints with More Silicone
The profile of our aluminum frame not only allows for more rigidity than a plastic frame, it creates areas to apply more silicone with a better bond. Particularly for large aquariums with large spans this will significantly increase the strength and long term durability of the aquarium. Our proprietary frame design makes large, build to order aquariums possible at the same time making them stronger than the competition.
Our proprietary patent pending aluminum frame system not only adds strength and durability, but allows us to custom build to order virtually any size and still maintain commercial grade strength and a professional look. Most other custom glass enclosures out there are made with a euro-frame design, which basically means it is pieced together with large chunks of reinforcement glass, and lots of unsightly silicone. If you are interested in a "euro" style custom aquarium, be sure to examine close up pictures of the frame. The aesthetics are something to be desired and because of all the additional glass involved they are quite a bit heavier.
Plastic Framed Tops - Inherent Risk of Failure
Most commercially available mass produced aquariums are made with injection molded plastic tops. Although these usually will last quite some time without a problem, eventually like anything else made of plastic it can become brittle, particularly when exposed to UV light. As we explained in the Acrylic vs. Glass comparison, plastic is porous and will absorb moisture. This combined with exposure to UV light will create a situation where over an extended period of time, an aquarium top can fail and lead to a total failure of the aquarium. This is far less probable with our reinforced aluminum frame.
Plastic Frames – Center Brace Failure Can Be Disastrous. This WILL NOT Happen with an Aluminum Frame!
One of the most common calls we receive on a daily basis is a customer calling because they have a well-established, built in the wall aquarium for 15-20 years, then one day it spontaneously fails, which is nothing less than a complete emergency situation. There is water all over their home destroying property, and they have well established, valuable, and beautiful fish/corals that are not only something you are proud of and emotionally attached to but are irreplaceable without a lot of time, money, and effort. This is almost always due to the failure of the center brace. Not only is the center brace the most vulnerable to someone accidentally putting weight on it when servicing it, it is also usually the weakest part of the aquarium because it has the most amount of force exerted on the weakest structure. Over time the plastic becomes brittle, as ALL plastic eventually becomes brittle (just like acrylic aquariums and sumps). UV light over time breaks it down and dries it out and over time will make it weaker and weaker. Over the long run with the enormous amounts of pressure involved with larger reef tanks it is only a matter of time and you may be vulnerable to a catastrophic failure. The damaging UV light can come from being near a window, or even from the lights in your tank.
Our Lifetime Aquariums have marine grade anodized aluminum center supports that are reinforced with a secondary aluminum bracket and riveted for extra strength. No longer is the center bracket a long term failure risk. Our anodized, marine grade aluminum frames will never turn brittle and crack like a plastic frame. And, because we are factory direct, there is no trade off. You will find our aluminum framed Lifetime Aquariums to be competitive with just about any other plastic framed aquarium on the market for about the same price, delivered to your door.
We have many testimonials from customers all over the country, who have reached out to us to say “Help, my aquarium exploded, I have live established corals, and nobody can make a tank to fit in the space in my wall!” With our lifetime aquarium system we can not only make virtually any size aquarium with the appropriate thickness glass, custom holes, and tempering if need be, but if the customer had used an aluminum frame aquarium in the first place they would never be in this situation.
"I sent a request into the customer service asking about my tank that had just developed a crack in the top brace. Seeing as it was a holiday, I did not expect to hear from anyone on the same day, but to my surprise I had a response within the hour. While the answer to my question was not what I was hoping to hear, I was very pleased with the quick response and the honest advise given. I will be sure to visit Custom Aquariums in the future for all of my aquatic needs!! I am very satisfied with the service that I received!"
"I have a 300 gal. reef aquarium that the top center glass brace broke off. After measuring the ends and center I noticed the center of my tank had bowed a full inch. In fearing that my front glass wouldn't stand the water pressure I looked online for any help I could find. Within the hour customaquariums.com came to my rescue. And within 3 hours a plan was in place! Thank you so much customaquariums.com for your quick concern to my emergency and helpful staff. I also have to say in being in this hobby for the past 25 years. It's been a major concern with the structure of aquarium tanks holding up to wear and tear caused by saltwater,new wave makers, and just water pressure. The design of the marine grade anodized aluminum frame makes for a long time worry free hobby."