How to Use Aquarium Sealant

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Aquarium sealant is generally used to repair leaky aquariums, although it can also be used to fix small aquatic ornaments. Some dedicated hobbyists have built entire aquariums from the stuff. However, in its traditional form, aquarium sealant is designed to repair cracks and leaks in aquariums. If your large aquarium has sprung a leak, then you may have to replace the aquarium. A leak in a small aquarium can nearly always be repaired with aquarium sealant.

Things You'll Need

  • Fish net
  • Scoop
  • Container for fish
  • Paper towels
  • Razor blade
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Aquarium sealant
  • Plastic sandwich bags

Empty the aquarium, putting the fish in a different aquarium. They may need to be there for a few weeks, depending on the type of sealant you are using, so make sure that they have enough room to be comfortable. Use water from the old aquarium so that the fish do not have to deal with the additional shock of new water when they are moved. You will also need to get rid of all remaining water and remove the plants and accessories.

Dry the aquarium out completely. Use paper towels to clean out any remaining moisture. Let the aquarium sit in a warm, dry place for 72 hours to make sure that it is completely dry.

Scrape off any old sealant with a razor blade. It is possible that there might not be any sealant if you have not had to repair the leak before. If you can see any sealant around the leaky area, then scrape it away with the blade.

Wipe down the aquarium with rubbing alcohol. This will ensure that the area to be treated is completely clean and dry.

Apply the aquarium sealant. Hold the tube upside down at a 45-degree angle. Then squeeze the sealant into the crack.

Press the aquarium sealant into the crack. This makes the seal tighter. Place a plastic bag over the repaired area and use that to press the sealant in so that you do not get it on your hands. The bags will peel off easily once the sealant dries, which usually takes about 24 hours.

Let the sealant cure. This involves the sealant setting so that the chemicals will not leech into the water and harm your fish. Curing time depends on the sealant used, so you will need to follow the directions to the letter or you could end up killing your fish. Some sealants just need a few days, while others require you to refill the aquarium and monitor the water for days or even weeks before putting your fish back in.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not add water before the manufacturer recommends or you will likely just make your leak worse.

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