Why Duct Tape Is Not Aquarium Safe, And What To Use Instead

When your aquarium is constantly leaking or things get moved around inside of it, it can be very annoying. You have to keep fixing everything over and over again which wastes a lot of time and effort.

We tend to look for easier alternatives to fix it, and duct tapes are probably the first adhesives that come to our mind. But do you know whether duct tape is safe for use in an aquarium?

In this article, we will be telling you if duct tape is safe for use or not, along with the alternate options. So, let’s get started without further ado.

is duct tape safe for fish?

Is Duct Tape Safe for Fish and Aquariums?

The simple answer is no; duct tape should not be used inside or outside the aquarium because the adhesive may potentially be toxic to fishes. 

It’s tempting to use duct tape to fix an aquarium.

Although it may appear to be a simple solution, the actual question is how it will influence the fish in the aquarium.

Duct tape is water-resistant, and not water-proof. This means duct tape can only hold water for a maximum of one hour.

After that, duct tape tends to detach, and your tank will start leaking again.

You can use duct tape to fix external leakage for half an hour to an hour, but not more than that. Use duct tape just an emergency spot fix and to allow you some breathing room to properly fix your tank.

What Is the Effect of Duct Tape on Fish?

There’s not a ton of information available out there about the effect of duct tape on fishes. There is some anecdotal evidence pointing to the adhesives in the duct tape being toxic to fishes.

The adhesive that holds the duct tape in place may chemicals that could cause harm to your fishes.

It is also important to note that some duct tapes with a dye may bleed into the water – and that is certainly going to degrade the water quality.

But since duct tape cannot even stand water for more than an hour, do you really want to risk the lives of your fishes and plants by using it?

Especially when there are aquarium safe options available.

Which Other Adhesives Are Safe for Use in Aquariums?

Non-toxic glues and silicones explicitly manufactured for aquarium use are the safest to use in aquariums. Don’t use any glue or silicone without first making sure it’s appropriate. If you’re not sure, don’t use it and seek guidance from your local aquarium shop.

Personally, I keep 100% RTV Silicone gel handy to perform any patch up. It is non-toxic and durable.

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Can You Use Flex Tape Outside or Inside the Aquarium?

Yes, you can use Flex Tape outside the aquarium to fix any leak or damage. However, it won’t last for a long time. Use it only to buy some extra time.

However, use Flex Tape inside the aquarium is a different deal altogether. I DO NOT recommend it.

Flex tape leeches toxins into the water, which makes it unfit for even human consumption. How can fragile fishes survive in such water?

Can You Use Gorilla Tape in Aquariums?

Mostly No, you cannot use Gorilla Tape in fish tanks. Mostly being the keyword here, since again there is only anecdotal evidence that says it is harmful. Gorilla Tape may contain adhesive chemicals that are not aquarium safe.

Which Glues Are Safe for Fish?

Silicon glue is one of the safest adhesives for aquariums. Some of the most common aquarium adhesives are Cyanoacrylate Super Glue and pure silicone. You should be able to get them at any store that sells fish tanks.

Is Superglue Safe for an Aquarium?

Yes, superglue can be used in an aquarium. Super glue turns entirely inert when moist or wet, so your fishes have nothing to worry about.

Is Scotch Tape Safe for Use in Aquariums?

Yes, you can use Scotch tape in an aquarium for short durations. However, you should note that it is not waterproof, so we doubt it will serve the purpose. Use it only to buy some time.

Is Electrical Tape Safe for Use in Aquariums?

Yes, you can use electrical tape in or outside the aquariums for temporary maintainance. There are no indications that electrical tape is hazardous to fish. But it does tend to peel off easily when wet.

Other adhesives like gaffer tape, masking tape, and Teflon tape can also serve as temporary solutions.

The Bottom Line

There are many ways of fixing things in the aquarium and the aquarium itself. The use of tapes is one of the popular ways, but sadly, it is temporary.

You now know that duct tape is not safe for your fish, and it can serve as a toxin, so better not use it.