How To Safely Use Gorilla Glue In Your Aquariums!

Gorilla Glue is not officially recommended for aquarium use, but when applied correctly and allowed to cure for 24 hours, many aquarists have used it safely in their tanks.

I recently tried one of the popular aquarium glue products on the market, and like many others, I was disappointed with its performance.

This led me on a mission to find a product that is as aquarium-safe as possible while outperforming the currently available aquarium glues.

I have seen countless people on social media mention that they use Gorilla Glue in their aquariums without issue, so I decided to investigate and share my findings with my readers.

Is Gorilla Glue Aquarium Safe?

Gorilla Glue For Aquariums
Gorilla Glue Products

Many people use Gorilla Glue in their aquariums without issue but it is not rated as aquarium safe and Gorilla Glue clearly states this on their website multiple times.

IS GORILLA SUPER GLUE SAFE FOR USE IN AQUARIUMS?
Gorilla Super Glue is not waterproof and we cannot recommend our products are safe to use in projects with aquatic life.

Official Gorilla Glue Website

The above quote is taken from the FAQ section on this page of the official Gorilla Glue website page for their super glue gel, which is probably their most popular product used in aquariums.

Unlike the aquarium-safe glue products on the market that are purely cyanoacrylate-based, the safety sheet of Gorilla Glue super glue gel confirms that its formula also contains dihydroxybenzene.

This implies that the formula could potentially be hazardous to your aquarium if applied incorrectly. However, in my experience, and according to numerous others, when used correctly, Gorilla Glue can be safe for aquarium use.

Gorilla Glue Gel
Gorilla Glue Super Glue Gel

Please note that everything in this article is based on my experiences with Gorilla Glue super glue gel that has the green top in the UK but may look slightly different in other countries.

I have not used any other Gorilla Glue formulas in my aquarium so they may perform slightly differently even when following the tips below.

How I Use Gorilla Glue In My Aquarium!

Gorilla Glue Gel With Rocks And Driftwood
Gorilla Glue Gel With Rocks And Driftwood

I have used Gorilla Glue super glue gel in my aquarium for hardscapes, live plants, and live moss without any issues affecting the health of my fish, shrimp, or plants.

Here are some tips for successfully using Gorilla Glue in your aquarium:

  1. Let the glue cure, not just dry: While Gorilla Glue can dry within seconds, it can take up to 24 hours to fully cure and reach its safest possible state. Therefore, I always glue my hardscape, plants, or moss and leave everything out of the tank for at least 24 hours before submerging it.
  2. Understand temperature resistance: Gorilla Glue’s temperature resistance of -53°C to 104°C applies to fully cured glue, not just dried glue. Adding uncured glue to tropical aquariums with high temperatures can cause issues, so always allow the glue to fully cure before submerging it in hot water.
  3. Use Gorilla Glue super glue gel: Opt for the gel formula rather than the regular one. This isn’t because the gel is safer for aquariums, but because it holds its shape and doesn’t run everywhere, making it much easier to work with.
  4. Wear gloves: This might seem obvious, but I can’t count the number of times I’ve ended up with my fingers glued together or covered in glue. Using cheap, disposable gloves can prevent this messy situation.

Following these tips can help ensure that Gorilla Glue is used safely and effectively in your aquarium.

Gluing Hardscape

Using Gorilla Glue To Attach Java Moss

Gorilla Glue super glue gel is an excellent product for securing hardscapes. I have used it on large rocks and driftwood, which are surprisingly heavy, without any issues with the glue failing.

In contrast, several other aquarium-safe glue products I’ve tried often struggle with securing hardscapes. Some require applying the glue to tissue paper to form a suitable bond, which still results in questionable strength.

To use Gorilla Glue gel effectively, first build out your hardscape to get a rough idea of your desired layout. Then, apply the Gorilla Glue gel to the areas where your hardscape pieces meet.

I believe it’s better to use too much glue than too little, as this increases the chances of the glue holding the heavier hardscape.

While the glue may turn white underwater, you can easily hide it with live plants or moss.

Cyanoacrylate glue is also used frequently in aquascaping both freshwater and marine aquariums for the purpose of securing the rhizomes of live plants to pieces of wood or stone.

Wikipedia

Attaching Live Plants

Attaching Aquarium Plants With Gorilla Glue

I have used Gorilla Glue with a wide range of epiphyte plants such as anubias, java fern, bolbitis, and bucephalandra without any issues.

As mentioned in my article on anubias melt and rhizome rot, covering the rhizome of an epiphyte plant with glue can quickly cause problems.

I typically apply the glue to the roots of the plant and then secure it against the hardscape. This method offers more control over where the glue sits on the plant.

Some people apply glue directly to the hardscape and then push the plant into it, but this provides minimal control over where the glue will end up. Large amounts of glue may inadvertently cover the rhizome.

Depending on your tank setup and what you are trying to achieve, you may need to use the second method. However, I always try to use the first method whenever possible.

Attaching Live Moss

Using Gorilla Glue to Attach Java Moss

Although I personally struggle with the appearance of my moss when attaching it to hardscape, this is due to my own skill level and not the glue. I encounter the same issue when using thread to attach moss.

I have successfully used Gorilla Glue gel with both java moss and Christmas moss without any problems.

Most people apply a small amount of glue to their hardscape and then press the moss into it.

While some use advanced techniques, I prefer to keep things as simple as possible for my own projects.

Will Gorilla Glue Hold Underwater?

An Aquarium Built Using Gorilla Glue
An Aquarium Built Using Gorilla Glue

Gorilla Glue will hold underwater if it is allowed to fully cure for around 24 hours before being submerged.

The photograph above shows my 29-gallon tank, where the hardscape and epiphyte plants are all securely held in place with Gorilla Glue without any issues.

I know several people who have also used Gorilla Glue for hardscapes, plants, and moss with similar success.

Final Thoughts

While Gorilla Glue is not officially labeled as aquarium-safe by the manufacturer, many aquarists, including myself, have found success using it in their tanks when applied correctly.

Key precautions include allowing the glue to fully cure for 24 hours before submersion and being cautious about placement when attaching live plants.

It’s essential to do thorough research and proceed with caution when introducing any non-aquarium specific product into an aquatic environment.