Where to Buy Glass for DIY Aquariums (Do Home Depot & Cut Aquarium Glass?)


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If you’re in the market for some aquarium glass, you may be tempted to just run to the nearest pet store and pick up whatever they have in stock. 

However, it’s important to remember that not all glass is created equal. To ensure that your aquarium is built to last, it’s important to take the time to find a reputable supplier of high-quality aquarium glass.

Thankfully, we’ve done the legwork for you and compiled a list of the best places to buy glass for aquariums. So whether you’re looking for a custom-sized piece of glass or just a standard sheet, you can be confident that you’re getting the best possible product.

And trust me, when it comes to aquariums, quality is key. So without further ado, let’s get started.

Where to Buy Glass for DIY Aquariums?

Where should you go to find the best deals? Well, there are a few options. You could head to your local glass shop or one of the big home improvement stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s. Or, you could check out some of the reputable online retailers.

Each of these places has its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to know what you’re getting into before making your purchase. 

In the next section, we go deep into each of these places so that you know exactly what you’re going into. 

The local glass shop might have the best prices, but they may not have the selection you’re looking for. Home Depot and Lowe’s both have a wide selection of glass, but their prices can be a bit higher. And, of course, there are many reputable online stores that offer great deals on aquarium glass. 

Local Glass Shop

Before you look further, your local glass shop is a great place to start, as they may have overstock or discontinued items that they’re looking to get rid of. If you’re a beginner DIY aquarium enthusiast, you might be surprised to find that your local store has quality glass for aquariums. 

I buy all my glass for aquariums from the local glass shop. They have a great selection of sizes and thicknesses, and the prices are very reasonable. Shipping glass is usually pretty expensive due to its weight and fragile nature, so it’s definitely worth it to buy it from a local glass shop if you can.

Plus, it’s always better to support local businesses through tough times because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Home Depot 

For many aquarium enthusiasts, finding quality glass can sometimes be a challenge, especially if you don’t have any local glass stores in your area. That’s where Home Depot comes in.

While it’s true that Home Depot doesn’t specialize in glass for aquariums, they do offer a wide range of high-quality glass products that can be used to create a custom aquarium.

In addition, Home Depot offers a variety of other complementary products and services that make it an ideal one-stop-shop for all your aquarium needs.

Does Home Depot Cut Aquarium Glass for You?

Although Home Depot has the glass in stock, they don’t provide in-store glass cutting services. That means after you buy the glass from them, you’ll need to find a professional glass cutter if you can’t do it at home by yourself.

You can also check their “How to Cut Glass” guide, which shows you the steps and requirements for that.  


Photo: Lowe’s

Lowe’s is one of the few stores where you can buy glass for aquariums and have it cut to size. They’ve got a diverse selection of glass sheet types that fit the needs of many DIYers.

Does Lowe’s Cut Aquarium Glass to Size?

Yes, they do. But they’ll only cut your aquarium glass if you bought it from them. Lowe’s have tools and machines that make it possible for them to cut your glass even if the shape is odd. However, they can’t complete circular shapes or rounded edges. As a result, your glass will have to take on angular shapes. 

All you have to do is explain your needs and how you want the glass, and they’ll get down to it. You can choose from the available glass types and then have it cut to your specifications. 

Good Online Stores

You can also consider taking your search for aquarium glass to online stores. There are several reputable companies that sell the glasses and also provide cutting services. You also need to specify how you need your glass as you put it in your order. 

For example, do you require the edges to be beveled, or you’re interested in a unique shape? Many online stores will let you place your order and follow it up with either an email, chat, or phone call. It’s better if you can make a phone call since it allows more room for questions and clarifications. 

The major disadvantage of buying aquarium glass online is that you will pay more for shipping. You don’t want it to break while in transit, as that would be a costly mistake. 

Types of Aquarium Glass

There are two common types of glasses used for aquariums. One is the tempered glass, while the other is the float glass. 

Tempered Glass

Tempered glass is often used in aquariums because it is stronger than other types of glass and can provide sufficient support. It’s produced by heating the glass to high temperatures and then cooling it rapidly. This process creates an inner layer of compression and an outer layer of tension, which makes the glass more resistant to breakage than untreated glass. 

In addition, tempered glass is less likely to scratch than other types of glass, making it easier to keep your aquarium looking new.

As a result, tempered glass is the best option for aquariums because it is strong, safe, and easy to care for.

You might be interested in reading: 33 Gallon Long Aquarium | 40 Gallon Breeder Tank

Plate Glass

Plate Glass cannot hold as much water as tempered glass, but it certainly suffices for the smaller aquariums. On the other hand, this type of aquariums glass is also easy to find and relatively inexpensive, making it a popular choice for aquariums.

Glass vs. Acrylic Aquariums

Glass AquariumsAcrylic Aquariums
Scratch resistant
Rigid panels
Defects in Manufacturing
Chemical Resistance
Visual Distortion
Curved Panels

Acrylic aquariums are a popular choice for fish enthusiasts for various reasons.

Acrylic resembles glass, but it’s actually a type of plastic. It can be bent during manufacturing, meaning that it comes in a variety of shapes and sizes and not just the standard rectangle like most aquariums. 

Additionally, acrylic is easier to clean than glass, making it a low-maintenance option for busy fish owners.

Of course, there are many disadvantages of acrylic. Acrylic aquariums are prone to scratch easily and become yellow and brittle over the long run.

Furthermore, they usually are pricey. It is not hard to see why large aquariums, I mean, at least 125 gallons and up, are almost exclusively made with tempered glass.

How Thick Does Glass Need to Be for An aquarium? 

The recommended thickness for aquarium glass is 3.8mm. However, having a glass with this thickness isn’t an absolute guarantee of its quality and safety. Every manufacturer determines the quality of the glass they produce as determined by their manufacturing techniques and standards.

Having a glass that’s 3.8mm thick means that the risks of the glass failing are quite low. The other risk factors for a glass aquarium include chips and scratches, especially deep ones. As you settle for a glass aquarium, you also need to be intentional about giving it the best care. 

Since there are 100s of companies dealing in aquarium glass production, you can expect the quality also to vary from one to another. Before settling on a specific type of glass, it’s important that you take the time to understand the type of thickness that’s required for your tank. 

Final Thoughts 

With these tips, no one can stand in your way of having a beautiful and functional aquarium in your home. Remember, aquariums are more about functionality than they’re about appearance. 

Choosing the right glass thickness is integral to having a successful DIY project. Take the time to research and arm yourself with all the important details before stepping out to shop. And lastly, before placing your order with a specific seller, ask them if they provide cutting your glass to your specifications. 

If they don’t provide the in-store glass cutting services, try and find another company. The advantage here is that you won’t be left stranded when you need to make adjustments to your glass. 

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Jeff Colt

Jeff Colt

Hello, I'm Jeff- an aquarium enthusiast with over 25 years of experience caring for a wide array of tropical fish, including koi, goldfish bettas, cichlids and more! For me: Aquariums are like jello - there's always room for more!

1 thought on “Where to Buy Glass for DIY Aquariums (Do Home Depot & Cut Aquarium Glass?)”

  1. Hi, if I am replacing a glass panel in my 250 gallon, it had holes drilled for the sump, so my new glass panel will need the holes as well. I assume it was not tempered since it had holes in it, but if its a 250 gallon it was probably made with tempered glass to support that much weight. I am drawing a blank as to what to get.


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