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Aquarium silicone

(the purpose and usage) Aquarium silicone is used to glue the glass together in a glass aquarium and seal the joints. Learning how to use silicone is not only necessary for those interested in building an aquarium for scratch; it is also very helpful for anyone with an older aquarium in need of some repair.

It is very important to only use aquarium safe silicone, because other types of silicone can include harmful compounds that may leech into the water and harm the inhabitants of your fish tank. Silicone sold for bathroom use can for instance contain arsenic to prevent fungi growth in damp rooms.

When using aquarium silicone, it is important to work on a very level surface. It is also important to keep the room well ventilated, because the fumes aren’t exactly healthy to inhale.

Different aquarists use slightly different methods when applying silicone and you may have to practise and experiment a bit before you find which method that suits you best. A commonly used technique is to run a continuous 0.25 inch bead over the glass and never apply more silicone than you can work with within 3-5 minutes. Gaps and bubbles should be avoided. After 3-5 minutes, aquarium silicon will begin to “skin over” and gradually loose its binding ability.

When joining two pieces of glass together, you need to smooth out the aquarium silicone. Press your finger tip down into the silicone and run it along the full length of the joint at a slight angel. It is important to do this in a firm and smooth motion. You can now proceed to secure the glass with duct tape to keep everything stable until the silicone has cured. Excess silicone should not be removed now; you can do that later using a razor blade.

Aquarium silicone should be left to cure for at least 48 hours before you add water and start filling the fish tank.

Source: AC tropical fish.

Questions and answers

You're welcome to submit your own unique and not yet answered questions here, use a form at the bottom of this page, please. On March 24th 2011 we added the following question&answer here due to merging with related pages of While these questions are partially answered above, we list them "as is" because of people who link to the answers section - they're directly redirected to the questions.

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