Whether you want to attach broken parts of an aquarium or securely place decorative plants and ornamental items in the aquarium, super glue is a widespread material for it. Since super glues are readily available at home, most fish keepers use it to attach plants and ornamental items in the aquarium.
However, it leads us to one big question,” Can super glue kill fish? “Well, the question itself is perplexing, and so, different people have different opinions on it- from their personal experience of using glues in the aquarium.
However, most people, especially experienced aquarists, opined that super glue is also safe for aquariums and fish.
But some people contradicted the answer (only a minimal number).
So, I decided to dig deep into the matter and found a result that will SHOCK YOU. So, keep reading the article for fish safety and know the proper use of glue (if you ever have to) without harming your favorite betta, guppies, or even neon tetras.
What Elements is Used to Make Super Glue?
We think that super glue is made using tons of materials (if not toxic, at least), forming a strong bond. Some variations of this have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for contact with the skin.
Well, sadly, most of us are wrong.
Super glue manufacturing procedure uses only cyanoacrylate. It is an acrylic resin. Also, it turns into a nearly unbreakable bonding within a few seconds.
Cyanoacrylate General forumla, CH2=C(CN)CO2R,
And even the cyanoacrylate material has surprising data for us. While we all think that water will dissolve the super glue, the reality is just the opposite. The acrylic resin uses water, more specifically, hydroxyl ions, to create the nearly unbreakable bonding.
Once the resin finds the slightest amount of water, the water will boost the bonding as cyanoacrylate creates a chain connecting each molecule with the hydroxyl ion found in the water. So, you see that at least aquarium water won’t weaken the super glue.
But is it still safe for the fish inside the aquarium?
Let’s see what people have to say about it.
Table of Contents
Can Super Glue Kill Fish?
Ideally speaking, super glue won’t kill your fish. Super glue is an adhesive that bonds quickly and transforms into a plastic state when dried/healed. It does not dissolve in water. If any fish pecks on the glue, it will not cause poisoning.
Super glue is safe for use inside the aquarium. Also, my fellow aquarists had the same idea. All said that they used super glue to attach plants and ornamental items in the aquarium and never found any problem with their fish.
The only exception came from Sharak (unanimous naming) in the Tropical Fish Keeping community, who said that two of his neon tetras died within two days of using ‘Krazy Glue’ in his aquarium. However, some fishers replied that they used glue to attach plants and various decorative items, such as a small hill or cave right above the substrate in the fish tank.
And guess what?
None of their fish showed any sign of illness or discomfort after using the glues within the fish tank.
So, it is safe to say that- YES, super glue is SAFE for fishes.
Also, it WON’T KILL your fish.
Is The Use Of Aquarium Glue Or Silicone Glue Better Than Super Glue?
Now that we know super glue is safe for fishes, it brings us to another crucial question, “Is aquarium glue or silicone glue better than super glue?”
Super glue is way better than the other two types of adhesives used in the aquarium, to put it shortly. How is this possible?
Here are a few reasons why using super glue in the aquarium is a far better option than silicone and aquarium glue.
Firstly, silicone adhesives take a MASSIVE TIME to adhere to the surface properly. Also, you need to use a considerable amount of silicone adhesive. In contrast, super glue will take around 30-45 seconds to form the bonding and requires the least amount for the process.
Secondly, aquarium glues are way more expensive compared to their amount served in a pack. Also, you won’t find the aquarium glue quickly in any fish or pet store.
But don’t get me wrong; if you can afford the expense of the aquarium fish glue and find it in your nearby store, it will provide you with an excellent result.
How Do You Use Super Glue for Aquarium Plants?
We all have, more or less, used super glue at any stage of our life. So, we should usually have an idea of using super glue for gluing plants in the aquarium. But in case you feel confusing with the gluing process, here’s the solution.
First off, choose a proper base for the pant on the aquarium. While many fish keepers prefer using a plant in the tank directly, we don’t encourage it.
What about a small piece of driftwood?
While you can add plants to it, the woody loveliness would attract all- fishes and audiences all at once. I myself have driftwood in my aquarium.
Can I glue the plant directly on the driftwood?
No, my mate. Unfortunately, driftwood has a slime covering its whole body, and it won’t let the glue stick on the base.
So, what shall you do?
Use a sponge cleaner such as Magic Cleaning Pad to wipe off the slime covering from the driftwood. It will help the glue bond quicker.
Now, it is time to pick the plant.
I love using Anubias Nangi Sapling. It is an inexpensive plant and increases the driftwood’s loveliness insanely.
Now, let’s get back to the gluing once again.
Pour a minimal drop of the super glue on the driftwood base that you prepared earlier. Now, stick the Anubias Nangi Sapling on it.
The super glue will rest on the base within a few seconds.
Once you have used the glue and stuck the plant successfully, you can slowly put it in the tank water.
Can I Use Super Glue In The Entire Tank?
The fact that super glue is safe for fishes doesn’t mean you should use it everywhere in the aquarium. It often leaves away white marks, which, if not hidden well, can deter the aquarium look. Also, the glues often leave small gaps between joints due to its brittle-ing feature.
So, it is NOT A GOOD SEALANT.
Therefore, the use of superglue in the fish tank is actually minimal. You can attach small plants, rocks, and decorative items with the base. Also, you can join pebbles or small rocks together with the glue.
However, if you think about joining different parts of the tank with the super glue- A BIG NO to it. The brittleness of the glue won’t simply withstand the heavyweight of an aquarium.
Tips On The Proper Use Of Super Glue In An Aquarium:
- You need to be quick and tidy while using the super glue in the aquarium. The quickness is essential to attach the materials before the glue hardens. On the contrary, the tidiness or accuracy in the adhesive used is critical to hide the white marks on the base and in the tank water.
- Another strong recommendation for super glue use is to get the Gel Version. The liquid glue often gets messy and turns the entire joining work into a horrible dream. The gel has a thickness that allows easy use and control of the item during the gluing process.
- Never go for underwater use of the glue. Since cyanoacrylate gets hardened with the water quickly, it could cure the whole super glue package even before you can work with it. So, always apply the glue on a dry surface.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Which glue brand should I use for my aquarium?
Answer: You can use all types and brands of super glue for the aquarium. Whether you use Krazy or Gorilla, the result and effect will be the same. Also, all brands of super glue are safe for fishes.
2. Is hot glue usable in fish tanks?
Answer: Hot glues are thermoplastics that harden when it comes across the water or air. It doesn’t have any toxicity. So, it is safe for fishes and perfect for using in the fish tanks too.
3. Is there any toxicity in the dried glue?
Answer: To be honest, dried glues have minimal toxicity. However, the toxicity is minimal that it won’t affect the tank water or fish health at all.
4. How much does a super glue take to create the bonding properly?
Answer: Super glue is made to work fast. It creates an unbreakable bonding in less than one minute. However, experts recommend waiting at least ten minutes to allow the resin to sit correctly. And once you apply the acrylic resin, the full bonding will nearly take 24 hours. But you can perfectly place the plants and other items right after the use in the aquarium.
The Final Words
So, the next time you ask, “Can super glue kill fish?” know that super glue CAN’T KILL YOUR FISH. It doesn’t have any toxicity that can potentially harm the fish’s health even, let alone killing it.
So, the next time you see any dead fish in the aquarium, don’t blame the super glue. The fish died because of the UNCYCLED and INAPPROPRIATELY maintained fish tank. Hence, always focus on keeping the tank clean to allow your fish to thrive on the water.
And use the glue cleverly to add plants and ornamental items in the tank to entertain your favorite fishes.