maintenance, care, compatibility
What requirements must meet the aquarium glue
In principle, two parts of ordinary glass can be glued together using ordinary superglue or using other adhesive synthetic products. However, if we are talking about repairing or manufacturing an aquarium, then not every glue compound will be suitable.
And there are a number of reasons for this.
- First, the walls of the existing aquarium experience a sufficiently large lateral pressure of the water mass. If, after drying, the glue at the junction of the walls becomes too hard, then there is the likelihood of fractures and cracks along the seam line.
Consequently, the aquarium adhesive composition must be flexible and work well in tension, without losing its sealant properties.
- The second requirement is reliability.
The fact is that stretching acts on the glue-sealant constantly for a long time. In addition, the adhesive is affected by water from the inside and the air outside, ultraviolet radiation, as well as the temperature difference in the room (during the day) and in the water.
And although the biological aggressiveness of such an environment is small, not every glue is able to withstand such conditions for a long time.
- Thirdly, the chemical composition of the glue, which glue the aquarium glass, should not be toxic.
The safety of the inhabitants of the aquarium – this is what you should think first!
For example, a construction bituminous sealant or its polyurethane counterpart can reliably connect two glass surfaces of a frameless aquarium, but the harmful substances released over time can severely poison aquarium water. The same can be said about many other synthetic adhesives.
Thus, aquarium glue must be harmless to fish and aquatic plants.
Immediately, we note: there are a lot of sealants. Some of them are used in construction (for external and internal works), others are used in plumbing works, for gluing various surfaces, sealing joints, etc.
There are 2 main categories: two-component and one-component sealants. Already from the name it is clear that two-component adhesives-sealants consist of two parts – the main component and the additive that activates it.
Single-component sealants, ready for use, are the most common due to ease of use.
On the chemical composition of the main element sealants are:
- bituminous (used for sealing external surfaces);
- thiokol (resistant to hydrocarbon-based solvents);
Each of these species is designed for use in specific conditions and only silicone is suitable for aquariums.
All silicones are classified as acidic and neutral.
There is probably no home craftsman who, squeezing the sealant out of the tube, did not inhale the sour smell of vinegar. So smells acid silicone sealant.
On the tube with a similar composition there is a special marking – the letter “A” (acid, which in English means “acid”).
Neutral silicone has almost no odor, and it is recommended for bonding and repairing aquariums.
- Good silicone is durable, moisture resistant and elastic.
- It retains its properties in a large temperature range from -70 to +70 degrees Celsius.
- There are special silicone sealants (heat resistant) that withstand a larger temperature range.
The paint on the frozen silicone does not fall, it seems to be rolling down from it. It should also be borne in mind that a new layer of such sealant on the old can not be applied – it just falls off.
That is why when repairing a malfunctioning aquarium in the place of a leak, first carefully remove the old sealant, and then apply a new one to the degreased surface.
There is a huge choice of sealants on the market, but not every one of them can be used to glue an aquarium, because the glue must be both reliable and safe.
Do not use glue for gluing the aquarium, if it is an acrylic sealant. Such glue does not have sufficient strength of adhesion with glass, besides, it is not moisture resistant.
You should also not use a butyl-based sealant – although it is suitable for gluing glass, it does not have an adequate margin of safety.
Not suitable for glass aquarium and polyurethane, polysulfide or bituminous glue – these types are used mainly in construction.
You can use epoxy sealants, but you need to consider that before using them you need to carry out very thorough cleaning of the bonded surfaces, and they also require a long time to harden.
But the silicone adhesive sealant, being universal, is ideal for an aquarium. This adhesive is used for domestic use, it is flexible, adheres perfectly to any surface, and has a long service life.
So when the question arises, what kind of glue is needed for an aquarium, the answer to it is obvious – silicone.
Silicone sealant is completely non-toxic, when in contact with water it does not emit harmful substances, which is the key to safety for living organisms in the aquarium. The use of silicone glue for gluing glass aquarium is very convenient because it hardens within 20 minutes, under the action of moisture in the air.
The polymerization process is completed completely after 24 hours, the seams being distinguished by super-strength – in order to destroy them, the efforts must be 200 kg.
Being very elastic, this glue allows the seams not to become stiff and not to be destroyed or cracked, this ability of the glue is also important in terms of possible temperature differences, which often happens in an aquarium. When purchasing a silicone sealant, you should choose one on which there are no inscriptions: “antifungal” and “antimicrobial.”
Self-bonding aquarium involves the correct choice of adhesive. Silicone must be present in its composition.
When choosing, you should carefully examine the packaging. Glue for the aquarium should be designed specifically for this product.
Its composition should not include antibacterial substances that are detrimental to fish and plants.
Aquarium glass adhesive can be of several colors:
- black (looks great in large aquariums).
For those who glue the product for the first time, it is better to choose a transparent glue for aquariums (waterproof). For ease of use it is recommended to purchase a special gun that helps squeeze the tool.
Silicone sealants are considered the most universal remedy. Their advantages:
- long service life;
- the tool provides reliable adhesion to any surface;
- silicone is easy to use;
- does not emit harmful substances.
In addition, the glue for the aquarium freezes quite quickly, in just 20 minutes, and after a day the polymerization is finally completed. The seams are very strong. At the same time, silicone retains its elasticity.
Before starting to use a sealant, make sure that the surfaces to be treated are clean, dry and degreased.
In addition to silicone, you can use epoxides. However, they are more fluid, harden for a long time and require more thorough cleaning of the surface.
Convenient to use cold welding. This remedy is chemically inert, seizes in a few minutes.
Cyacrines are also good, only when gluing the aquarium between the parts should be small gaps.
If you can not find aquarium sealant, you can purchase a tool that is intended for plumbing or dishes. Only in its composition should not be antifungal additives.
What is a silicone sealant?
What kind of silicone is needed for an aquarium:
- When choosing a suitable option, you should avoid buying universal tools. Sealants of this category mainly contain antifungal components. As a result, such a silicone for an aquarium will harm the inhabitants of an artificial reservoir due to its high toxicity.
- Quite often on the shelves of retail outlets you can find fake silicone products. To avoid the acquisition of low-quality goods, it is recommended to pay attention to the availability of quality certificates that confirm the true origin of the products offered.
- Before giving preference to a particular option, it is worthwhile to carefully study the information on the packaging. Good silicone for an aquarium is able to retain its properties during operation in a temperature range from 200 to -70 ° C. If other parameters are indicated on the sealant tube, it is worth refusing to purchase such a product.
- One of the best, proven options is Den Braven, a silicone for an aquarium that has a transparent structure. If the seller declares that the means of black or any other shade is better, do not believe this statement. After all, the components that give color to silicone only worsen its physical properties.
- Going for a purchase, you should first ask how much the aquarium sealant is worth. If the price of the product of the desired brand in the store is a few positions lower, it is worth the alert. Discounts and promotional offers in this case are not taken into account.
- If a fake was detected directly in the process, it is recommended to remove the applied layer. In the future, this will not completely re-glue the aquarium when choosing a more reliable means.
If it is necessary to assemble an aquarium with one’s own hands, the choice of a suitable glass should be the primary task. Preference should be given to silicate bases of the highest quality. It is desirable that the glass was polished.
Only in this case will not have to additionally prepare the surface for the connection.
There are several ways to build aquariums:
- Side vertical walls are placed on the bottom. This method is not very popular, because in this case it is difficult to avoid smearing the sealant on the surfaces. Difficulties may arise with maintaining a uniform thickness of the seam around the perimeter.
- The second method is gluing the walls around the bottom of the aquarium. With this method, the finished structure is more resistant to increased water pressure.