If you’ve noticed that your tank has a little leak or if you want to attach something permanently to the glass, the best aquarium silicone is the proper product for the job.
These sealants are made of 100% genuine silicone and can be used in any kind of tank. One they cure, they last year and years without any issues.
Let’s take a closer look at aquarium silicone and the five best available products on the market today.
Table of Contents
- The 5 Best Silicones for Aquarium Use
- Aquarium Silicone Reviews
- What is the Best Aquarium Silicone?
- How to Use Aquarium Silicone Sealant?
- How to Remove Aquarium Silicone from Glass?
The 5 Best Silicones for Aquarium Use
The right silicone for your aquarium will give you amazing results that could last for years and years, possibly a lifetime.
|Pictures||Aquarium Silicones||For Aquariums|
|Clear Aquarium Silicone Sealant||Freshwater & Saltwater Aquariums|
|Aqueon Silicone Sealant||Freshwater & Saltwater Aquariums|
|Aquascape Black Silicone Sealant||Freshwater & Saltwater Aquariums|
|Loctite Clear Silicone Waterproof Sealant||Freshwater & Saltwater Aquariums|
|Dap 00688 All-Purpose Adhesive Sealant||Freshwater & Saltwater Aquariums|
Aquarium Silicone Reviews
1. Clear Aquarium Silicone Sealant
The clear silicone sealant from ASI has been specifically formulated for aquariums. It forms a tight seal that isn’t affected by being continually immersed in water and it tolerates both freshwater and saltwater.
The bond is so good, you don’t need to worry about using any primers. This stuff won’t crack or shrink and provides a long-lasting bond. Plus, it can be used vertically without worrying about flowing or sagging as it cures.
Speaking of curing, it takes 7 to 14 days to cure completely after which time it’s non-toxic to fish. Plus, it’s clear so it doesn’t distract from the look of the tank.
Because this sealant is 100% silicone, it’s resistant to ozone, airborne chemicals, and UV radiation so it can really withstand a lot of abuse.
2. Aqueon Silicone Sealant
Aqueon’s silicone sealant is 100% non-toxic silicone. It’s really easy to apply and creates a permanent, high strength seal to stop and repair leaks.
Over time, it won’t crack or shrink and because it’s non-toxic when it cures, it’s safe for any aquarium and all fish. This is actually the same strength used when manufacturing a new aquarium.
It’s strong, permanently flexible, and will last a long time. Allow 24 to 48 hours between application and use.
3. Aquascape Black Silicone Sealant
If you’re looking for something to patch a pond liner or fix a leak in a terrarium and want something that’s black instead of clear, you’re in luck.
The black sealant is 100% silicone that creates a strong, watertight seal even after being exposed to water for long periods of time. It’s black color will blend a little more easily with liners and fountains for a practically invisible repair.
This is a large 10.1- ounce tube that can be used with a caulking gun for quicker, smoother application. Once cured, it’s safe for fish, plants, and any other marine life.
4. Loctite Clear Silicone Waterproof Sealant
Next up is this sealant from Loctite. It can be used for a lot of different applications: glass, ceramic, toys, appliances, and, of course, aquariums.
This product is made out of clear silicone which creates a waterproof, protective seal. It’s safe for use with either saltwater or freshwater aquariums and won’t crack, peel, or shrink over time.
All you have to do is apply, wait 24 hours for the silicone to cure, then you’re ready to get your aquarium back together.
5. Dap 00688 All-Purpose Adhesive Sealant
This all-purpose sealant from Dap is 100% silicone and used to both build and repair aquariums. Once applied, it takes 24 hours to cure completely.
Then, it’s non-toxic and safe for use in any aquarium, freshwater or saltwater. It’s completely waterproof, stays flexible, and won’t crack, peel, or shrink over time.
What is the Best Aquarium Silicone?
Clear Aquarium Silicone Sealant is our top pick. Not only does it form a tight seal that can be immersed in water for long periods of time without breaking down, it’s also strong enough to tolerate both freshwater and saltwater. It doesn’t crack or shrink and it won’t flow or sag as it’s curing.
The thing that really put this product over the top is that it’s resistant to ozone, airborne chemicals, and UV radiation. That means it will stay tough, even in the sunlight.
How to Use Aquarium Silicone Sealant?
One of the first things you should do when getting ready to apply aquarium silicone sealant is read the instructions that came with the brand you chose. While it’s true that they all are basically used in the same way, the biggest difference you will find is in how long each product takes to cure.
It’s really important to make sure you don’t use the aquarium before it’s ready. Either your repair won’t hold or the water will be affected negatively. These products are non-toxic and safe for your fish but only after given the right amount of time to cure.
Ideally, silicone that’s meant for aquariums cures at a slow, steady pace. If it’s too fast, you run the risk of inadequate surface adhesion.
There are a few ways that you can use silicone sealant on an aquarium. One of the most common is with an aquarium that has been in storage. Sometimes, when you’re ready to use it again, you’ll discover it’s no longer watertight. Silicone can be used to repair a leak in this or any other situation.
Here’s a general step by step method for how to seal a significant corner leak with silicone.
1. Empty the aquarium completely.
2. Use a razor blade to remove all the old silicone that you can. Why is this? When you apply the new silicone, you want it to only come in contact with the glass, not bits of the old stuff. The bond will not be nearly as strong between the old and the new layer of silicone as it will between a new layer of silicone and glass.
3. Clean the surface and brush with fine-grit sandpaper. This roughens the surface slightly and forms a stronger hold.
4. Make sure everything is completely dry before proceeding.
5. Use a caulking gun to apply a new layer of silicone inside the edges. Use duct tape or clamps to hold everything in place while it cures.
6. Smooth the silicone along the seams with your finger to get rid of any excess.
7. Allow the silicone to cure for the length of time recommended by the manufacturer.
This general method can be adapted for a few different situations. Here are some examples.
If you notice that there’s a chip that’s causing a leak, you don’t need to replace the whole seam. Drain the aquarium to a few inches below the chip. Clean out any broken glass with gloved fingers then use fine sandpaper. Insert silicone into the chip with a small piece of similarly sized glass. Cover with waxed paper and use duct tape to hold it in place until the silicone cures. Then, refill the tank.
Another reason a leak might spring up is if there’s a crack in the glass that goes all the way through. To repair this, empty the aquarium completely and clean both sides well. The best way to do this is to scrape a razor blade along the inside of the crack to make sure any small specks of glass are removed.
Apply the silicone along the crack using your finger to smooth it evenly inside. Repeat on the other side. If you want additional reinforcement, add a thin plate of glass to the inside of the crack using the silicone to attach it into place.
Most silicone repairs will last a really long time. In fact, if done properly, they can last a lifetime. That said, silicone repairs are more effective in a tank that’s actually being used. What we mean is if you repair a tank and then put it into storage and allow it to dry out, those repairs will most likely need redoing when you do fill it with water again.
There are uses for silicone beyond fixing repairs, too. If you have rocks, slate, or wood that you want to arrange in your aquarium, silicone is one of the best things you can use to attach them to one another. You can also use it to repair broken aquarium decorations.
If you notice leaks in any tubes or hoses, silicone is a great way to patch them. Simply place a bead over the leak and spread it out with your finger to make sure the whole area is sealed.
Again, regardless of how you’re using it, remember to allow the silicone to cure completely before putting it into the water.
How to Remove Aquarium Silicone from Glass?
There are a few methods you can use to remove silicone from the glass. The first and easiest is to use a razor blade and simply scrape it off. This is a quick and easy way to get any silicone off the surface. That said, you might find that if you have a lot to remove, this method can leave a lot of little bits behind.
If you have to remove silicone from a large area or if you’re attempting to remove it from the corner seam, you’ll need a few more supplies. Use either a heat gun or a hairdryer to blow hot air along the seam. A hairdryer will work but it will take a lot longer than a heat gun because it doesn’t get as hot. It’s a good idea to wear gloves that provide heat protection when using these tools.
Once the silicone is warmed up and more flexible, use a razor blade to scrape it off. It’s important that you don’t heat it to the point that it begins to melt. You just want it to be a little more pliable so it’s easier to remover. You can use a utility knife to split the corner if you are taking the whole thing apart. After you’ve removed everything you can and the glass has cooled, use a textured sponge to scrub away at any little pieces left behind.
Whether you have leaked to repair or you’re looking for an adhesive to build a rock formation that your fish will love, silicone is hands down the most effective and safest adhesive to use in an aquarium. It can tolerate both fresh and saltwater. Remember to make sure you give it enough time to cure. When it’s ready to be put into the tank, it’s non-toxic and will last years and years.
There are a lot of great choices for aquarium silicone in our reviews but the best one is Clear Aquarium Silicone Sealant. It forms a tight seal that doesn’t break down and won’t crack, shrink, or sag while it’s curing. It’s resistant to airborne chemicals, ozone, and UV rays which means it holds tight, even in direct sunlight.