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Old 10-21-2014, 06:48 PM   #1
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Aquarium safe?

I just recently made a cave with pvc, aquarium silicon, and gravel. I let the silicon cure for 48 hours like said, than soaked it for 20 hours more. It still has a small sent to it. Is it safe in my 10 gallon? Thanks!!


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Old 11-05-2014, 01:10 PM   #2
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Yes it is safe. Silicone will cure in roughly 5 to 10 Minutes but needs up to 48 hours to become water tight. It is completely safe for your tank now

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Old 11-05-2014, 01:17 PM   #3
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Yes it is safe. Silicone will cure in roughly 5 to 10 Minutes but needs up to 48 hours to become water tight. It is completely safe for your tank now

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Not so much.. silicone takes up to 48 hours to "cure".. some silicone is water/rain ready in a few hours. Only 100% silicone is aquarium safe, if it contains mildew and mold inhibitors than its a no no..
Op- what type did you use?

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Old 11-05-2014, 01:34 PM   #4
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Brookster, very interesting. I didn't know there was anything but 100% silicone. Good to know

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Old 11-05-2014, 01:36 PM   #5
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Brookster, very interesting. I didn't know there was anything but 100% silicone. Good to know

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Allllll types out there, I only use GE I 100% for anything aquarium related... i have used the the quick set I I for an emergency leak but it was only a 1" bead and I let it cure for 24 hrs anyways..

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Old 11-05-2014, 02:17 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by EthanBeltramo View Post
I just recently made a cave with pvc, aquarium silicon, and gravel. I let the silicon cure for 48 hours like said, than soaked it for 20 hours more. It still has a small sent to it. Is it safe in my 10 gallon? Thanks!!


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I've had to use silicone with fish still in the tank and could only cure it for twelve hours before having to fill the tank and start the filters back up. I didn't notice any issues but I did add more carbon to the system to help remove any residual chemicals, so I'm sure you are perfectly fine to go.

By the way, I would NOT recommend doing what I did, it was an "act in seconds" solution. Those tend to happen when you accidentally bang a wrench into the side glass and water starts spraying all over.
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Old 11-05-2014, 06:04 PM   #7
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Oops. That's got to suck.

Silicone skins over in about ten or twenty minutes, depending on the relative humidity and the temperature you're working in. But it won't stop off gassing until it's cured, which is again somewhat dependent on relative humidity, but more so on temperature.

If you're in a hurry to cure silicone and it's possible to apply heat, it will speed up the cure quite a bit. A heat gun or even hair dryer on high will assist in faster cure times. Use some care, heat gradually, to avoid overheating the glass too quickly, which could cause shock breakage. And obviously you must take care to allow glass that's been heated to cool completely before you add water, that same temperature shock will break glass just as badly as a poorly swung wrench will .
Incidentally, you can use crazy glue to glue some decor, such as rocks, together and it cures in almost no time. Once dry, perfectly tank safe. Some use it to glue coral frags, some use it to glue moss or plants to rocks or wood too.

There are also two part epoxy putties that are entirely safe. Some are made for aquaria, mainly aimed at salt water tanks but safe for FW too. Usually come in a reddish and a slate blue colour, to match live rocks or coral. Slow cure, about twenty minutes of working time before it begins to harden. This will cure even under water, which is pretty cool, though I found it was a bit of a hassle to get it to stick reliably to wet rocks. It would appear to be stuck and then the pieces would come apart weeks or sometimes just days later. So I prefer to use it dry.

But there's a type made for plumbers too, that's tank safe. It's 100% safe for potable water systems, and safe for fish and other aquatic inhabitants, though this is known because folks have tried it, not because it says so on the label. I've used it with fish, shrimp and snails, and had no problems. I'll have to go find the brand name I personally know is safe.

Its main disadvantage is a fast cure time, only two or three minutes before it hardens, so you must have all your pieces arranged and ready to assemble fast, and its tan colour won't match a lot of things, so depending how you use it, it may show up more than you'd like it to. But it's very cheap compared to the aquarium specific type of epoxy putty.

Edit. the brand I'm familiar with is called Oatey's. Home Depot has it here, it's made in the USA.
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Old 11-05-2014, 06:38 PM   #8
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Oops. That's got to suck.

Silicone skins over in about ten or twenty minutes, depending on the relative humidity and the temperature you're working in. But it won't stop off gassing until it's cured, which is again somewhat dependent on relative humidity, but more so on temperature.

If you're in a hurry to cure silicone and it's possible to apply heat, it will speed up the cure quite a bit. A heat gun or even hair dryer on high will assist in faster cure times. Use some care, heat gradually, to avoid overheating the glass too quickly, which could cause shock breakage. And obviously you must take care to allow glass that's been heated to cool completely before you add water, that same temperature shock will break glass just as badly as a poorly swung wrench will .
Incidentally, you can use crazy glue to glue some decor, such as rocks, together and it cures in almost no time. Once dry, perfectly tank safe. Some use it to glue coral frags, some use it to glue moss or plants to rocks or wood too.

There are also two part epoxy putties that are entirely safe. Some are made for aquaria, mainly aimed at salt water tanks but safe for FW too. Usually come in a reddish and a slate blue colour, to match live rocks or coral. Slow cure, about twenty minutes of working time before it begins to harden. This will cure even under water, which is pretty cool, though I found it was a bit of a hassle to get it to stick reliably to wet rocks. It would appear to be stuck and then the pieces would come apart weeks or sometimes just days later. So I prefer to use it dry.

But there's a type made for plumbers too, that's tank safe. It's 100% safe for potable water systems, and safe for fish and other aquatic inhabitants, though this is known because folks have tried it, not because it says so on the label. I've used it with fish, shrimp and snails, and had no problems. I'll have to go find the brand name I personally know is safe.

Its main disadvantage is a fast cure time, only two or three minutes before it hardens, so you must have all your pieces arranged and ready to assemble fast, and its tan colour won't match a lot of things, so depending how you use it, it may show up more than you'd like it to. But it's very cheap compared to the aquarium specific type of epoxy putty.

Edit. the brand I'm familiar with is called Oatey's. Home Depot has it here, it's made in the USA.
Great info!! Do you think this epoxy you speak of would suffice as thread lock/sealant?

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Old 11-05-2014, 08:20 PM   #9
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If you use epoxy of any kind to seal threads, you won't ever be able to unscrew them again. It is very, very much permanent.

If permanent is what you want, I'd use a liquid epoxy, or even crazy glue, which would also be pretty permanent. The putty type expoxies are very thick and stiff, and won't be very easy to use on threaded parts - you might not be able to screw the parts together. Liquid two part epoxy would work better for that.

Though I used some of the ordinary two part liquid epoxy back in high school to repair a corner filter, and it worked very well, lasted about seven years or so, basically, 'til I had to take the tank down. But the labels on the liquids all tell you it is not meant for constant submersion in water and I'm not sure any of them are labeled as aquarium safe. Once cured they're pretty inert and my fixed up filter sure didn't harm any of my fish or turtles. My Dad was a chemical engineer who was part of a team at Shell who worked to develop epoxy paints and glues, so he was the one who suggested I try using some to repair the filter. At the time, I don't think you could even buy it in stores, but he had all kinds of unusual stuff in the workshop he brought home to work on.

So it depends on whether you think you'd ever want to unscrew the threads again, whether you'd want to epoxy them.

You can get a very tight seal simply by using teflon pipe tape, which is also quite inert and safe, and designed to make very tight connections in threaded piping. Comes in white, which is very thin and flimsy, and pink, which is thicker and can be stretched more before it breaks. Both work, I like the pink stuff better, it's easier to control. Very cheap.
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