For fish hobbyists, plastic aquariums were one of the biggest technological advances in the hobby. Coming shortly after the invention of silicone adhesive made metal-framed glass aquariums all but obsolete, acrylic aquariums haven't completely replaced their glass counterparts, but are the material of choice for many fish owners. Thanks to manufacturing techniques such as injection mold design, plastic can be formed into a wide variety of fascinating shapes. This holds true for plastic fish tanks, which have been made into everything from gum ball machines to furniture such as coffee tables.
While acrylic does offer benefits over glass, such as being lighter and more forgiving of bumps, there are some minor down sides that need to be taken into consideration as well when bringing an acrylic aquarium into your home. After all, this is a much bigger investment than a Ball Qube, and displaying living creatures always requires much more care than simple collectibles.
While acrylic allows a great view of your finned friends due to a high transparency, it also scratches more easily than glass. Care must be taken when cleaning acrylic aquariums. Avoid using paper towels, as well as abrasive or harsh cleansers, as they mar the pristine surface of the acrylic. It's recommended that you use cleansers specifically designed for plastic. On the plus side, acrylic die cast display cases can be repaired if they are scratched, unlike their glass counterparts. Acrylic repair kits are fairly easy to find online, as well as in brick-and-mortar hardware stores or pet stores in your neighborhood.
If you are purchasing your first acrylic aquarium, you might find yourself a little overwhelmed by the wide range of choices available, as well as the number of places that they are sold. Both general pet stores and specialty fish retailers will commonly have a variety of aquariums available. Many options can be found online as well. Many aquariums are sold as "starter kits" that come with filters, lighting, and/or substrate. Where you buy your aquarium is less important than purchasing the right size for the fish that you intend to keep in it.