A lot of people dismiss the importance of choosing aquarium safe silicone for building an aquarium. Aquariums are fragile habitats for aquatic plants and animals because they are artificially made.
There are different components of a balanced aquarium that keeps the habitat alive and thriving. Besides artificial light, filters and neutralizer to keep away chlorine, the most critical element of a stable aquarium are ensuring that you have a secure aquarium that won't leak.
There are certain things you have to consider when building an aquarium and decorating it to ensure that your aquarium is safe. The glue that holds everything inside the aquarium plays a vital part in ensuring that the fish and the plants can thrive without toxic effects.
ASI clear aquarium safe silicone sealant forms strong cohesive bonds to glass without the need of primers. ASI silicone is unaffected by continuous immersion in water and, when fully cured, is non-toxic to fish.
This high strength silicone creates a permanent seal that is advertised not to crack or shrink and is non-toxic making it perfect for use on all aquariums. Available in both small and larger tubes for caulking guns, Aqueon is a popular choice for aquarium safe silicone.
There are many aquarium or glass sealants in the market that you can choose from to build your aquarium. Some of the most important features you should look out for a while choosing a silicone safe sealant are:
Specifically Designed for Aquariums
There are many types of silicone sealants in the market, but for gluing and sealing an aquarium, it is best to choose a sealant that is specifically designed for aquariums. Aquarium silicon seals different from glass silicon sealants because they are made to tolerate constant immersion in water and are
chemically treated to make it safe for aquatic life.
Both Saltwater and Freshwater Resistant
Sometimes the chemicals in the water, the lighting, and build-up of bacteria in the water can cause the glue to disintegrate. Aquarium safe silicon sealants are designed to tolerate both freshwater and saltwater to ensure that the adhesive does not dissolve or weaken over time.
No Primer Required
Usually, when you try to glue two materials together, you have to ensure that the surface is coarse and sometimes you need a primer to make the glue stick to the surface. The best silicon sealants do not require primers because they are designed especially for the glass surface.
Does Not Crack or Sag Over Time
Inferior quality silicone will either break or sag after curing it. It leads to cracks and leaks for the aquarium. However, a good quality aquarium silicone safe sealant will retain its grip and remain intact even after curing and years of usage.
Takes Fewer Days to Cure
The sealant needs to be left to cure for a few days before being used in the water so that it seals each surface properly. Some sealants take 7 to 9 days to properly cure whereas a good sealant takes a maximum of 2 to 5 days which makes it easier to repair any damages in the aquarium quickly.
Easy to Apply
Unlike manufacturing sealants that come in huge buckets, aquarium safe silicone sealants are available in small or large tubes that can be used with a caulking gun. It makes the application much quicker and smoother even for DIY-ers.
How do I use Aquarium Safe Silicone Sealant?
Ok, so you got some silicone and you have a repair to make or maybe you are making your own aquarium. Below are some quick tips to keep in mind when using aquarium grade silicone.
While most sealants have the same application processes, the curing time for various brands differs so carefully read the instructions given by the brand.
Do not use the aquarium while you are repairing it. Most sealants are safe for aquatic life, but only after it is given some time to cure. Using the aquarium while it is curing may weaken the grip of the glue and adversely affect the habitats and the aquarium.
If the aquarium has been in storage or was in use and need a repair, empty and dry the aquarium completely before you repair it.
To ensure that the bond is strong enough between the new layers of silicon and the glass surface, use an abrasive instrument like a razor or sandpaper to remove any residue of old silicon on algae on the surface of adhesion.
Use a caulking gun to apply the silicon on the edges and smoothen any excess glue around the surface.
Use clamps or duct tape to hold the glass in place while giving it time to cure.
Allow the instructed time to cure provided by the manufacturers.
Aquarium safe silicon sealants for different situations:
Leaks due to chipping
If there has been a leak because of a small chip on the glass, you do not need to replace the whole glass. You can drain the aquarium a few inches below the chip without removing everything and clean out any broken pieces of glass and replace it with similar pieces and the silicon glue. Cover it with wax paper and use a duct tape until it cures and ready to reuse.
Leaks due to cracks
Cracks may occur on the aquarium due to accidental impact or naturally over time. These cracks may be small, or it might spread throughout the glass., risking leaks and breakage. To repair such cracks, empty the aquarium and clean all the surface of the glass and let it dry. Make sure that you remove any splinter, dirt or residues near the crack.
Apply aquarium safe silicone sealant on the insides of the aquarium along the cracks and use another similar piece of glass to stick to the affected parts. Then apply sealant on the external parts of the crack and smoothen it. Let it cure until it is safe to reuse.
Leaks on tubes, hose and attaching aquarium accessories
Aquarium safe silicon sealants can also be used to repair rubes and hose. All you have to do is clean the surface and let it dry before removing other debris. Use duct tape to hold it in place and follow instructions until it cures.
You can also use silicone sealants to attach artificial accessories to beautify the aquarium. Stones, wood, slate or plastic miniatures can be easily attached to the surface of the glass using aquarium safe silicone sealant.
Regardless of how you use it, there are many possibilities of creating, repairing or renovating an aquarium with the help of the best aquarium safe silicone sealant. Just remember always to read the instructions and give it the required amount of time to cure.