Some know the curved glass aquarium as ‘bow fronted.’ It is certainly different to a standard aquarium. The front pane bends outwards, making the front panel convex. In a way, it is a bit like reversed cinemascope.
These aquariums are usually more expensive than the standard types, for the obvious reason that the bowed front is more difficult and therefore more expensive to manufacture. The price difference though is not that much.
The only real advantage of using the curved glass aquarium is visual. They do look impressive, particularly if they are in a tailor made cabinet. There is a slight gain in water gallonage, though not enough to be significant. Some aquarists are a little concerned about cleaning the front panel of algae, as it is thought the magnetic algae pad may not touch sufficiently. This is usually not a problem, particularly if the algae pad is used with the longest sides running vertically. Even if it did cause some trouble, there are practical alternatives.
There are no particular extras that need to be considered for a reef aquarium or fish only aquarium, all the guidelines for these set ups apply.
There is only one negative comment I have heard, and that is the curved glass is able to distort the view of the interior. I have not seen this for myself, but it sounds possible. The distortion I assume would not be from a full on view, or from a generally oblique view, but when the viewer was positioned at an acute angle as then in effect the view would be through ’thicker’ curving glass.
A cracked front pane would be more of a tragedy than in a normal aquarium, but this is hardly a worry as aquariums built by reputable companies are immensely strong and durable.
A reef tank or fish only aquarium has a considerable impact without enhancement. A curved glass aquarium could give that little extra ’wow’ factor.