What Glue Can You Use In An Aquarium? (6 Qualities To Look For)

Image of a glue being used in an aquarium

There are many kinds of glue available in the market today. So, what glue can you use in an aquarium?

You can use super glue, gorilla glue, krazy glue, reef glue, silicone sealants, epoxy, etc., to bind or fix the various decorations and equipment of an aquarium. However, ensure that the glue is non-toxic, water-resistant, easy to handle, and safe for the fish and other inhabitants of the aquarium.

With that said, let’s now understand more about aquarium-safe glue.

What Is An Aquarium Safe Glue?

A safe aquarium glue is a type of adhesive made from ingredients that won’t harm the fish or other inhabitants of the aquarium.

Below are some characteristics of a safe aquarium glue:

  1. Non-toxic: The glue must not change the balance of the water and make it hazardous. You want to ensure that it doesn’t hurt your aquatic pets.
  2. Waterproof: The aquarium glue must be designed for underwater use. It means the glue must become inactive or inert when the glued surface comes in contact with water.
  3. Easy to Apply: It’s essential that the glue is easy to handle and doesn’t create a mess around the surface it’s applied.
  4. Durable: When applied properly, the aquarium glue shouldn’t crack or peel off even under extreme conditions such as high temperatures and humidity.
  5. Affordable: It’s better to use aquarium glue that’s strong and doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket.
  6. Long-Lasting: Unlike most kinds of adhesives that only last for a few days, the aquarium glue must last up to several months, depending on how well it’s stored.
  7. Corrosion Resistant: An aquarium-safe glue must be free of properties that corrode metal surfaces. It shouldn’t impact the lifespan of the object on which it’s applied.
  8. Versatile: The glue should work great on all surfaces like aquatic plants, corals, wood, rocks, stones, and other decorations that are commonly used inside an aquarium.

Now you know the characteristics of aquarium-safe glue. So let’s now understand the different kinds of glue used in an aquarium.

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What Are The Different Kinds Of Aquarium Glue?

There are three main kinds of aquarium glue:

  1. Super glue,
  2. Silicone sealants, and
  3. Epoxy.

Let’s take a look at each one of these now.

1. Super Glue

Super glue (Cyanoacrylate) products are the most preferred adhesives for aquariums.

They come in liquid and gel forms. Both can provide good results based on the requirements.

The liquid form is best to fill cracks developed on the glass or other objects. It can fill the gap and create a cover.

The gel form is widely used to bind aquatic plants, rocks, and other decorations.

It’s thick and doesn’t drip or spread from the surface where it’s applied.

Below is the list of super glues used in aquariums:

  1. Super Glue: Super glue is a super adhesive that can bond a wide variety of surfaces. However, it can be ineffective on an entirely smooth surface like glass. In addition, super glue needs moisture to form an instant tight bond between two surfaces.
  2. Gorilla Glue: It works well on wood, stone, rocks, metal, and glass. Gorilla glue is aquarium safe and can withstand temperature variations. It dries instantly but can be hazardous if inhaled or can cause irritation if it comes in contact with the eyes, skin, or respiratory system.
  3. Krazy Glue: Krazy glue dries instantly and is good at binding things together. However, it doesn’t work well on smooth surfaces like glass, plastic, or wood.
  4. Reef Glue: Reef glue bonds well and is durable. It’s aquarium safe and can be used for aquascaping in freshwater and saltwater aquariums. It works on most surfaces and can be used for repairs and maintenance.

2. Silicone Sealants

Silicone sealants are aquarium safe and primarily used to fix the cracks on the glass and other decors.

Silicone sealants are flexible and can be used on curves for better adhesion.

Another benefit is that they come in various colors and can easily merge with the background of a fish tank.

The only downside is that they can take longer to dry.

In addition, they are not suitable for aquatic plants since you can’t keep plants out of water for long.

3. Epoxy

Epoxy is different from other adhesives as it’s made of two components: epoxy resin and hardener.

It’s versatile and strong, making it the perfect solution to fix aquarium issues.

Epoxy is very efficient as it dries faster, binds objects together, fills cracks or gaps, and can be used on any surface.

However, the downside is the cost, which is too high compared to other adhesives.

So, let’s now understand the things that you must consider before buying aquarium glue.

Related Further Reading:

What Qualities Should You Look For In An Aquarium Glue?

An aquarium glue must be safe for aquarium use.

But in addition, there are a few things that you should look for before choosing a particular glue for your aquarium.

Below are some of the qualities you must look for in an aquarium glue:

  1. Should dry quickly: Most aquarists prefer buying adhesives that dry fast as they don’t like to spend too much time waiting for their glue to dry. Waiting for the glue to dry is inconvenient and undesirable in some instances. For example, they must dry fast when used on aquatic plants since you can’t keep plants out of water for too long.
  2. Must be thick: Thickness refers to the state and the quality of the glue. For example, aquarium glue must not be watery and run down after applying it on any surface. Instead, it must be thick and remain solid until it dries completely.
  3. Create a strong bond: Aquarium glue needs to hold objects firmly without breaking apart. Therefore, make sure that the glue you choose can create a strong connection between the two surfaces.
  4. Must be waterproof: Some glues might work fine in dry air, but they may start leaking once exposed to moisture. Aquarium glue must become inert or inactive once it comes in contact with water.
  5. Should be water-friendly: The aquarium glue must be compatible with water. In addition, the glue should have the ability to withstand temperature variations in freshwater and saltwater aquariums.
  6. Must be odorless: This is another important consideration when choosing aquarium glue. If the glue isn’t odorless, at least try to get the ones that emit less odor. The unpleasant smell will take a long time to dissipate if the room is not well ventilated.

Let’s now understand how to use glue in an aquarium effectively.

Tips On Effectively Use Glue In An Aquarium?

Here are a few tips on effectively using glue in your aquarium.

1. Use glue on a dry surface.

Before applying glue on any surface such as wood, plastic, or metal, ensure that these objects are thoroughly cleaned.

For example, if you have rinsed them with water, allow them to dry.

Identify the area on the object’s surface where you plan to apply the glue.

Then, apply the glue and press the surfaces together for a few minutes so that both the objects bond properly.

Also, it will be less effective to apply the glue on wet objects as the aquarium glue becomes inert when it comes in contact with water.

So use a dry surface to improve adhesion.

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2. Use the gel form.

Aquarium glues come in both liquid and gel forms.

The liquid form is more effective in fixing damaged objects or glass as it quickly penetrates the cracks.

However, it’s highly recommended to use the gel form as it creates a strong bond between two surfaces because of its high viscosity.

In addition, the gel is thick and will not drip or run down from the surface it’s applied on.

Finally, gel form will improve the application process as it’s easy to handle.


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