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Starphire - nice grade or gimmick?

  • Nice grade, must have

    Votes: 13 50.0%
  • Gimmick, waste of $

    Votes: 13 50.0%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I've been considering Starphire glass for a new tank and have read and seen the pictures all over the internet (including Nicklfire's thread). I went to KE yesterday and saw the Oceanic RR tanks with Starphire front glass. I walked to the different tanks and did a direct comparison and when directly in front, I couldn't even tell that they had starphire glass because the backs of the tanks were black. It seems to me that Starphire would only make sense if the tank were see-through (ie, viewable front to back). So I thought I would throw this out there and see what the opinions were.

I've pretty much made up my mind not to get starphire. I think if I could (I can't because of the plecos), I'd rather spend on money on an acrylic tank, if I could live with the scratches.
 

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Starphire (and other low iron glass) becomes more apparent the more light you have shining into the tank.

Its clarity advantage increases as the thickness of glass increases. IME, it's not noticeably clearer than regular float glass at thicknesses of less than 3/8". In other words IMO, Starphire for smaller tanks is not worth the additional price unless you really want that cool blue hue as seen from the edges of the glass. However, for a big and brightly lit show tank that you plan on investing a lot of time and money into, Starphire is a worthwhile investment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was thinking it had to do with spectrum too. For dimly lit and planted tanks, which have yellowish light, it's not going to make a difference, but for SW tanks with Actinics and 10000K lights, the tank will look "whiter" with Starphire, at least that's my thinking. Is that true?
 

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I have yet to set my tank up but from what i have read the glass thickness & light intensity certainly plays a role in it.

I dont think of it as so much a gimmick as just one of those things that really arnt needed, but can make a small difference.
 

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I have yet to set my tank up but from what i have read the glass thickness & light intensity certainly plays a role in it.

I dont think of it as so much a gimmick as just one of those things that really arnt needed, but can make a small difference.
Oh absolutely. Starphire is a luxury item like a Gucci handbag to my wife: definitely not necessary to have in life, but it's really nice when you do have it. It shouldn't come as a surprise that a major use of such glass is for high-end luxury car (e.g. Mercedes, Ferrari, etc) showrooms.

And I do agree that the high intensity lights in a reef tank show off the attributes of Starphire more in part because of the higher spectrums used, but also due to the lovely glitter lines produced by halide lighting.

One other thing about low iron glass is that it is softer and more easily scratched than regular glass. It is certainly no where near as soft and scratch prone as acrylic, but you should treat it with care.
 

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My reefing buddies with larger reef tanks using Starfire are all very happy with the look of their tanks. Again, Starfire is best under those conditions & I wouldn't bother if its for a fw tank or a med. sized sw tank.
 

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A lot of useful information here that I haven't thought of, so I'm glad I made this poll. Are you currently using Starphire fkshiu?
I had researched Starphire up the yin-yang and actually had my current tank on order with Starphire when I chickened out at the last second and went with regular glass. I have regretted that decision ever since.

As Anthony said, I don't know anyone who has gone with Starphire later wish that they had stuck with regular glass. Mind you, these were all largish custom reef tanks.
 

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the thickenss of glass will make a huge difference. I have a 100 gal tank with 1/2" glass (custom 3ft tank) and I would have had starphire on it in a jiffy.... but the tank was second hand so no choice.

The glass is "blue and cloudy"... even tho the water is clear it always looks a bit cloudy. I have a 75 gal tank beside it with much thinner glass and it looks crystal clear by comparisent.
 

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So what size tank are you getting is the more important question here :)

I have a starfire tank, and it is nice, but filled up I notice no difference then a regular tank. It is also very dimly lit.
 

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Nice grade for a display tank 100% if you can not go acrylic.

I have a 215 gal starphire tank showing my discus shoal...
 
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