Super glue sounds very scary to put in a fish tank that houses fishes. It has nasty chemicals that can wreak havoc on all the life in the fish tank.
Fear not, most super glue is perfectly safe to use in an aquarium if it contains Cyanoacrylate. Of course, you can’t just dump wet super glue into a tank, but it’s perfectly ok to use super glue to glue together rocks or make other fixes before putting the glued object into the tank.
This article will cover absolutely everything you need to know about using super glue in an aquarium.
Super Glue Gel or Liquid?
Super glue comes in gel form and liquid form.
Most people are more familiar with the liquid form.
However, I strongly recommend against using liquid super glue for aquascaping purposes as liquid super glue is far too messy.
The glue won’t harm your tank, as covered already, but you probably don’t want dry glue all over your driftwood or rocks. And you will get glue everywhere if you use a liquid super glue.
Skip the liquid glue and stick (pun intended) with the gel.
Where to Use (and not to use) Super Glue in an Aquarium?
I usually use super glue to glue rocks or driftwood together or to attach plants to wood or rocks in my tank. Super glue is, well, super strong glue afterall.
It does a really good job of making sure things to stay together as long as they don’t flex much. I can’t think of any thing you would glue in your tank that would flex a lot… but don’t use super glue on anything that could flex.
Super glue is super strong and adhesive. It’s also extremely rigid and will break pretty easily if there is any flex or bend in what it is holding together.
You should not use super glue as a sealant on your fish tank.
That’s a really bad idea.
Super glue is a horrible sealant as it’s porous, so you will have tiny water leaks if you try and use it as a sealant. Use a silicone designed specifically for aquariums if you need to seal anything on your fish tank.
To summarize, use super glue to glue rocks, wood, coral, or plants to structure in your fish tank. Don’t use it as a sealant.
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How to Use Super Glue in a Fish Tank
Using super glue in a fish tank is easy. You can use it to attach rocks, wood, or even coral together. You can also use it to attach plants to structure.
Now, I strongly recommend only using super glue on dry things. This means you have to take the rock, wood, coral, etc. out of your tank and let it dry before applying the glue.
Once dry, just apply the glue and let it set for a few minutes. It should take about 5 minutes for the glue to set.
I recommend keeping it on longer than five minutes, though. Just look at the back of the container to see the recommended time by the manufacturer.
Note: Cyanoacrylate will cure and bond in water, so you don’t have to wait for it to fully bond before placing it in your tank.
Is Hot Glue Aquarium Safe?
Hot glue is generally aquarium safe depending on the additives it has in it. However, I don’t recommend using hot glue on anything you plan on putting underwater as the bond will weaken over time.
Basically, it’s a medium term solution, which is something that I do not like for an aquarium because it just means I will have to do more work later.
It’s also much messier than super glue gel.
Hot glue receives two thumbs down for use in an aquarium from me.
Super glue is safe for aquarium. It’s not only safe, but it’s the best glue to use on anything that you plan on putting in your aquarium.
Use the gel instead of the liquid glue to save yourself a mess. And don’t use it on anything wet or as a sealant and you will be very happy with it.
In fact, super glue is one of the items that I believe all aquarium owners should have in their toolbox.