Choosing The Best Custom Aquarium for You

There are many considerations when shopping for a custom aquarium with price being only one of them. Seam quality, reputation, fabrication experience and production capabilities are others.

The single biggest mistake shoppers make when evaluating acrylic aquarium manufacturers is assuming all companies have the same level of quality. This is absolutely not the case. For example, some companies who started out making glass tanks find themselves overwhelmed with the complexities of trying to fabricate an acrylic aquarium. They end up trying to learn along the way and the end results are not pretty. We know this because often their customers call us and frantically ask if we can help fix their tanks.

An example of poor bonding and poor design. Customer provided image.
Another example of poor edge prep and poor bonding.
Yet another example of poor edge prep and improper bonding technique.


Edge preparation, bonding techniques, tooling and material handling requirements for manufacturing acrylic aquariums are vastly more complicated than putting together a simple glass tank. And many acrylic "companies" are often no more than garage operations with a table saw and a router.

Seam Quality.

Seam quality matters and getting good seams is not easy, especially on larger tanks. Bubbles, poor welds and imperfectly aligned panels are very common mistakes made by many fabricators with limited acrylic experience.


One favorite line we laugh about is the "xxx years of combined experience" many fabricators tout. We picture them adding up everyone's ages and dividing by some number. A better metric is how many acrylic tanks have you built as a company? Tenecor has been building acrylic aquariums since the late 1970's. Simply put, we have built more of them than anyone. In a sense, every aquarium we build is a "custom" tank. And we build hundreds of them. On any given day, we build more acrylic aquariums and accessories than many shops do in an entire year.

Production Capabilities.

The production equipment also matters. Our facilities are highly automated and include several (really big) CNC routers, lasers and digital design capabilities. We can build a single dream tank for you or an entire store or several stores like the ones we designed and built for PetSmart. As one of the first acrylic aquarium fabricators in the world, many of our innovations have become industry standards. And Tenecor is where many smaller garage fabricators, especially in the metro Phoenix market first learned how to put together their first fish tank.

Next steps.

There is no form here for a custom quote. We ask that you first contact other companies and see what they tell you. Beyond their standard "we use 100% cell cast acrylic" replies, ask them the following questions:

  • Where will your tank be made?
  • Who will build it?
  • Is your building climate controlled? It better be!
  • Do you own a forklift? How are you going to load my tank?
  • How many tanks have you built in the last 12 months? Pictures?
  • Do you carry product liability insurance? (They don't) Why not?
  • Can I visit your facility? Why not?

Then after you get an idea what others are offering, please contact us. We are not in the game of beating the last guy's price by ten percent. Often, our bid is higher. Our main objective is to work with an educated, knowledgeable client.

All the best.