How Long Do Fish Tanks Last?

Fish tanks are a fantastic addition to any space. However, it can be a big hassle if you have to replace them frequently. When you have invested in a good quality fish tank, you’d expect it to last a relatively long time. So how long do fish tanks last?

It is often recommended to proactively replace or service the seal of your fish tank about every ten years. Glass tanks can last up to 50 years or more using this method. Some owners have claimed that good quality, sturdy fish tanks can even outlive you. Keep reading to find out how to choose and maintain a long-lasting aquarium!

So How Long Do Fish Tanks Last?

Typically, fish tanks can last between 15 to 20 years with their original seal. Glass fish tanks don’t necessarily need to be replaced unless there is damage to the tank or when the maintenance has been poor. If the glass is scratched it can often be repaired, and if the silicone seals deteriorate, you can replace them, and the fish tank can last even longer. 

One estimate is that a fish tank should last for at least 8 to 10 years before it needs to be resealed. However, others state that they have had their fish tank for much longer, up until 15 years, with the original silicone seal. 

Fish tanks can generally last long; however, the exact lifespan will depend on several factors. Some of these include the quality, brand, glass or acrylic, and general use and maintenance. The main reason people are concerned about their fish tanks’ lifespan is if it will start leaking or worse. 

Quality Of The Fish Tank

How long do fish tanks last also depends on the quality of the glass or acrylic tank is essential to its lifespan. Quality is one of the significant components, and certain brands are considered better than others. The stand also plays a role here, supporting the fish tank and giving it its foundation. 

Glass tanks seem to outperform acrylic tanks. Therefore, acrylic tanks tend to last for fewer years, especially if the manufacturing quality is not the best. The structure and materials used for a glass tank ultimately set it up to last longer. 

Glass tanks are also scratch-resistant, which contributes to their overall aesthetics, making them easier to maintain. Even with a good quality fish tank, regular maintenance and care would also determine how long the fish tank lasts. Also, some propose not moving the fish tank as much can help its longevity. Leaving it in the same place also results in less handling and fewer opportunities to weaken the base and structure. 

Resealing A Fish Tank

The components of a fish tank are generally held together by a silicone seal. This is what keeps it from leaking. Fish tanks can last even longer than 10 or 20 years as long as they are resealed semi-regularly. One suggestion is to have it resealed about every ten years as a preventative measure.

Resealing especially applies to glass tanks, which could last for the entire duration you need them, spanning a lifetime.

Chemical or mechanical accidents are two reasons why the tank’s seal might begin to erode. To prevent further accidents or leakages, you should get the damage repaired as soon as possible. Resealing must be done if there is external damage to the fish tank. In the case of glass tanks, you can more easily do this. However, acrylic tanks are more difficult to repair.

How Long Do Fish Tanks Last

Fish tanks with salt water will be more prone to glass silica aging than those with fresh water. The salt tends to break down the glass silica gel even more, so these tanks may require more regular maintenance. 

One tip for maintaining silicone seals is to not handle or scrub them in any way. Excessive cleaning could eventually cause them to break away and deteriorate slowly. Washing and scrubbing at the seals regularly can even cause leakage as soon as six months after buying a new tank. 


How long do fish tanks last? They’re known to last between 10-20 years, and some up to 50 years, but you likely will have to replace the silicone seals. Glass aquariums and freshwater tanks have a longer lifespan than their acrylic and saltwater counterparts. Of course, purchasing a quality tank from the start, will also play a factor in how long fish tanks last.

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