There’s no doubt about it:
If you want a good size striking aquarium to showcase your fish, look no further than the SeaClear acrylic 46 gallon tank.
What clearly sets this aquarium apart from standard tanks is its elegant bowfront design.
The gracefully curved front panel offers an unconventional and interesting perspective into your underwater world.
Today I’m going to share with you all you need to know about this aquarium…
…As well as what makes it so special.
So keep reading to learn more!
Table of contents
SeaClear 46 Gallon Summary
- The tank itself measures 36 long x 16.5 deep x 20 tall”
- The combined dimensions of the access openings are 28 x 7″ across
The acrylic is 3/16″ thick on the main tank and 3/8″ on the top partial canopy.
The 46 gal is a very nice size of aquarium – not too big and not too small.
Features & Design
This SeaClear Bowfront 46 gallon aquarium has two good-size primary access openings separated by a center brace.
It’s designed this way to support the outward pressure of the water.
Behind the access openings is a shorter, narrower opening created to allow for filtration equipment at the back center of the tank.
(And to the left of that back opening is a hole created for a heater.)
The tank is ideal for either freshwater OR saltwater.
I think you’ll be very surprised at how solidly it’s constructed!
In case you were wondering, no – this does not come with a lid.
It comes with a light fixture that’s designed to double as a lid.
If you (like many other buyers) don’t want to use the light fixture that comes with the tank, your best bet is to do two things:
1. Use a style of light that has feet at each end so you don’t have to worry about fitting the bowed shape of the tank.
The NICREW line of lights works well for this purpose.
2. You can do like I did and get a piece of acrylic custom cut for the access opening if you would like to reduce evaporation and prevent fish from jumping out onto the floor.
Glass also works.
Some people (myself included) were initially concerned by the structure of how this tank is partially enclosed at the top, which structure is especially important for bowfront aquariums.
But even their rectangular aquariums have this partial edge, and I found that it’s not a bad thing at all – in fact, it prevents water from splashing out of the top of the tank if it ever gets accidentally bumped.
You can also use the edge as a nice arm rest like I do
It’s also nice for setting stuff on like water conditioner while you’re working cleaning your tank.
The openings are generously sized, so most decorations fit in without a problem and it allows plenty of room for maintenance when it comes time to work in the tank.
Benefits of Bowfront Aquariums
So, why bowfront?
Let’s face it:
A bowfront aquarium is not your typical tank.
(With a convex front, it has a magnifying effect that enhances the view.)
Not only that, but this shape makes the aquarium itself appear larger than it really is.
Plus, it just looks downright gorgeous!
At certain angles some find the view to be distorted, but others feel that the bowfront style actually REDUCES distortion when viewed from the side (compared to flat-front aquariums).
Curved tanks for some people require a bit of time to adjust to the different perspective, which is something I’ve found in my own experience.
Some also speculate that the bowfront shape increases swimming room for the fish compared to traditional tanks.
If you want a tank that really makes a statement, this SeaClear aquarium could be just the one.
Selecting the Right Stand for a Bowfront Tank
You can put your bowfront aquarium on a regular rectangular shaped stand (provided its deep enough at the widest point), though it will have extra ledge room on each side from the center.
For this reason, some opt to use a stand specifically created with a curved front shape.
These are made just for bowfront tanks, though they can be trickier to find.
This one fits the SeaClear 46 gallon perfectly.
You can also get it from Petsmart, and it comes highly rated.
What Makes Acrylic Tanks So Great?
Bowfront tanks using acrylic are more equipped to deal with the extra stress of the uneven water pressure as opposed to glass.
Acrylic is such a strong material (17 times stronger than glass) that it has more flexibility (literally!) when it comes to forming tanks into unusual shapes.
It opens up the possibilities into designs that would potentially be a recipe for disaster using a more breakable material.
It’s also incredibly lightweight.
So when it comes time to move your tank, assuming you’re in relatively good physical condition you don’t have to ask for help and can do so yourself just fine.
This will greatly spare your back
Oh, and did I mention…
… Acrylic aquariums are created out of a significantly brighter and clearer material than glass.
Your fish and plants will really stand out, even more than with standard glass walls.
Now, it’s true that acrylic DOES scratch more easily.
But the good news is the scratches can be buffed out.
I think you’ll agree that it’s a small price to pay for all the benefits you get out of having an acrylic tank!
Worried about leaks like you might be with a regular glass tank?
That’s one weight you can take off your mind – this tank is seamless, all melted together out of one solid piece of acrylic.
Pretty neat, huh?
Related Post: Why the SeaClear Aquarium Beats Glass Tanks
This tank certainly makes a gorgeous and sturdy bowfront aquarium.
And the unique shape is an impressive component.
So in my book, you won’t go wrong with this choice!
What about you?
Have you ever owned a bowfront tank, or even this SeaClear one?
Let me know what you think about it in the comments below!
Looking for a uniquely shaped aquarium?
Check out our SeaClear 26 Gallon Flat-Back Hexagon Review.