How to Use Super Glue in Your Fish and Coral Tank

November 9, 2015 by Leave a reply »
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Many people enjoy the magnificent sight of an aquarium filled with vibrant fish swimming gracefully throughout it, or with a display of stunning coral. Whether in an office, restaurant or home, it’s a chance to behold and appreciate the beauty of aquatic life here on dry land. Reef builders and fish tank hobbyists put forth a great amount of time and effort in creating and maintaining these tanks, using various materials to bring it all together. It may come as a bit of a surprise, but one popular tool for aquarium use is Super Glue.

As a cyanoacrylate adhesive, Super Glue’s relationship with water is an interesting one. When exposed to even the moisture of the air, cyanoacrylates react rapidly and form extremely strong bonds. They also have the ability to resist water, which is why they are so commonly used for aquarium applications.

How It’s Used

There are several different aspects and natural components that play unique roles in a tank, like types of plant life and corals. These elements often require a fixative to set them in place.


One way Super Glue is used in aquatic tanks is to anchor plants such as java ferns to driftwood (or rocks). Java ferns are beautiful, green plants that can add an aesthetic touch to an aquarium, as well as provide an area of protection for fish. By gluing them to something like a rock or a piece of driftwood, it gives their roots a chance to attach. To do this, first use a paper towel to dry off the driftwood and the stem-like portion of the fern. After that, apply a small amount of Super Glue to the stem and connect it to the wood. When all java ferns are on the driftwood, let the glue dry for about 5 minutes or a bit longer, before putting the completed piece into the aquarium.


Cut coral parts (called frags) can also be affixed to live rock in order to colonize the coral. In this case, Super Glue Gel is a favorite. With its thick consistency, this adhesive provides for more precise application because it does not run. Connecting these elements can actually be accomplished underwater.

Once a frag has been cut and removed, it needs to be dried off with a paper towel. Then apply some of the gel to the coral, then a bit of safe underwater putty, and then another application of the gel (in essence-like a sandwich). Next, quickly and firmly attach the coral frag to the desired location on the rock and the gel will cure underwater.

What’s Your Super Glue Story?

Did Super Glue also help your aquarium project go swimmingly? Or did you use it for a unique DIY craft or a much needed repair? Tell us the details and you just may wind up winning some free Super Glue products!


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