Super glue (Cyanoacrylate), pure silicone, and epoxy putty are aquarium-safe glues. You can use these adhesives to fix aquarium equipment, attach objects to create decorations, and design aquascapes. They are non-toxic, easy to use, dry instantly, and form a strong bond between the glued surfaces.
Let’s talk about aquarium-safe glues in more detail now.
3 Types Of Aquarium-Safe Glues
Several types of glue are available today to fix damaged pieces of equipment or bind decorations and other objects.
Most of them are safe adhesives and are commonly used in aquariums.
Given below are the different types of adhesives that are aquarium-safe.
1. Super Glue
Super glue (Cyanoacrylate) products are the most popular adhesives for aquariums.
There are both liquid and gel varieties of super glue available today.
Both provide good results based on the requirements.
You can use liquid variants to repair cracked glass because it dries faster. You can also use it to fix gaps or cracks.
The gel form is widely used to bind aquatic plants, rocks, and other decorations.
It dries quickly without dripping or spreading out when applied to surfaces.
Below is the list of super glues used in aquariums:
- Super Glue: Super Glue by Superglue Corporation is a powerful adhesive that bonds various surfaces. However, it will not work well if applied directly on a smooth surface like glass. Super Glue needs water for its adhesive properties to be effective.
- Gorilla Glue: You can use it on any surface, including wood, stones, metals, and glass. Gorilla Glue is aquarium-safe and withstands temperature fluctuations. It dries instantly but must be handled carefully. It’ dangerous if inhaled and cause irritation on contact with eyes, skin, or respiratory system.
- Krazy Glue: This glue dries quickly and works well for sticking things together. It works best when applied directly on rough surfaces like rocks, stone, coral frags, etc. It’s not recommended for smooth surfaces like glass or plastic.
- Reef Glue: This glue has good adhesion properties and is long-lasting. Reef Glue is aquarium-safe and is an excellent choice for any fish tank. It binds well on most surfaces and used for repairs and maintenance.
2. Silicone Sealants
Silicone sealants are aquarium-safe and the most suitable choice for sealing or fixing cracks on an aquarium’s glass, equipment, and other decors.
They are durable and create a long-lasting bond with the glass.
Silicone sealants are flexible and can be used on curves for better adhesion.
They are also waterproof, hold under pressure, and don’t release any chemicals inside the water.
Another advantage of using silicone sealants for aquariums is that they are available in different colors that blend well with the background of your fish tanks.
The only downside is that they take longer to dry.
Silicone sealants are also not suitable for aquatic plants since you can’t keep plants out of water for long.
Epoxy differs from other adhesives because it consists of epoxy resin and polystyrene.
It’s flexible and powerful, so it makes an excellent choice for fixing aquarium issues.
It’s very effective because it dries quickly, bonds things together, fills small spaces, works well with any surfaces, and makes them waterproof.
Epoxy also protects the sealed surfaces from unwanted pathogens.
The downside is the cost, which is too high compared to other adhesives and make a hole in your pocket.
You can use epoxy to create an underwater garden.
It’s an excellent option for aquascaping and making small caves and rock formations for your fish to seek refuge.
Its ability to be used on different types of materials, fillers, and colors allows you to create the most varied landscapes.
What Glue Can Be Called Aquarium-Safe?
There are several characteristics that a glue should have before we can call it aquarium-safe.
Given below are the main characteristics that an aquarium-safe glue should have:
- Non-toxic: The glue must not alter the tank water quality and make it hazardous. A safe aquarium glue is non-toxic and will not release any harmful chemicals that are dangerous for your aquatic pets.
- Dries Instantly: Aquarists use adhesives that dry instantly to avoid wasting time waiting for them to dry. It may be inconvenient and undesirable to wait too long for the glue to dry. For example, the glue must dry fast when used on aquatic plants since you can’t keep plants out of water for too long.
- Creates a strong bond: Aquarium glue must hold things securely and not break apart. The glue must form a firm bond between the two surfaces for it to be called effective.
- Waterproof: It’s essential that the aquarium glue works fine in dry air and when exposed to water. The aquarium glue must become inert or inactive once it comes in contact with water.
- Versatile: An aquarium glue should stick on any surface, including aquatic plants, corals, wood, rocks, and other decorations that are commonly used in aquariums.
- Must be thick: Glue thickness depends on its state and quality. For instance, aquarium glue can’t be watery and flow out when applied on a surface. It must be thick and remain solid until it dries completely.
- Water-friendly: You need to ensure that the aquarium glue is compatible with water. Furthermore, the glue must withstand temperature fluctuations in freshwater and saltwater aquariums.
- Must be odorless: The glue must be odorless or at least emit less odor. It may be hard to remove the odor if the room doesn’t have proper ventilation.
- Durable: The aquarium glue must last long after it’s applied on the aquarium objects. It shouldn’t crack or peel off under extreme conditions such as high temperatures and humidity.
- Affordable: You shouldn’t have to spend a lot of money to buy a good aquarium glue. There are many affordable options available today. So do your research properly to find the one that meets your needs.
- Long-Lasting: Unlike most adhesives that don’t last long, an aquarium glue must last for several months if stored properly.
- Corrosion Resistant: A safe glue for an aquarium must not contain any substances that corrode the metal surface. It should also not affect the lifespan of the object on which it’s applied.
Now you know the characteristics of aquarium-safe glue. So let’s talk about the different kinds of aquarium-safe glues.
What Glue Is Safe For Saltwater Aquarium?
Super glue (cyanoacrylate), epoxy putty, and pure silicone are safe glues for saltwater aquariums. You can use these adhesives to glue marine aquatic plants and for aquascaping. These adhesives also fix broken pieces of equipment and attach decorations to the aquarium.
Many aquarists use live aquatic plants in saltwater aquariums.
Aquatic plants help manage the aquarium ecosystem and provide shelter to docile fish and newborns.
You can use super glue, silicone sealants on rocks, stones, shells, pieces of equipment, and wood in a saltwater aquarium.
Epoxy putty is also a good option for underwater landscaping.
You can also use super glue and epoxy putty in a saltwater tank for live plants, corals, and aquascaping.
Aquascaping helps maintain the water quality and enhances the visual appeal of an aquarium.
What Glue Is Safe For A Reef Tank?
A reef tank is an aquatic environment that prominently displays live corals, marine invertebrates, and fish.
It’s a marine aquarium where different fish species, crustaceans, mollusks, sponges, and corals are kept together.
Cyanoacrylate super glue, pure silicone, and epoxy putty are safe glues for a reef tank. They are non-toxic and don’t alter the water quality. You can also use them to set up reef tank equipment, place decorations, and create a stunning display of the coral reef environment.
A reef tank needs turbulent water movement.
These aquarium-safe adhesives become inert on coming in contact with moisture and are excellent in fixing and keeping objects glued to the surface inside the tank.
Soft corals like can, favia, and micromussa will attach themselves to the rock on their own.
However, you can use super glue or silicone adhesives to mount coral frags on rocks, plugs, and other surfaces.
Reef tanks are the best place to display corals using live rocks.
Epoxy putty is reef safe, easy to use, excellent at fixing stony corals on aquascapes, and helps enhance the look of a reef tank.