View Full Version : Aquarium-safe gel glues?

06-16-2011, 09:10 PM
What brands of gel glue are safe for attaching aquarium plants ... and how long must they cure before being inserted into the tank? And, which kinds are invisible when they dry?

-- mermaidwannabe

06-16-2011, 09:20 PM

Here's what I used. Should be able to find it in any home improvement store. I let it cure for all of about 30 seconds. It dries really fast - watch your fingers! Any Cyanoacrylate super glue should be fine.

You don't need a lot of it. If you apply it thickly in any areas that aren't covered by the plant itself, it may leave behind a visible residue with sort of a frosted appearance. This happened to me in a couple places where I was less than careful, especially with the java moss I plastered all over the driftwood... but once the plants grew in a little you couldn't see it anymore.

06-16-2011, 09:35 PM
As mentioned, any gel type "super glue" will work in your tank and not harm it. I like to give it a couple of minutes to cure when gluing plant rhizomes to wood or stone chips.

Invisible is a relative term. If you use too much, the "cured" glue will be visible. I try to put mine behind a root so it shows less.

Now, my experience. I got a lot of small anubis plants a few months back. I glued some to wood and rock and rubber banded others and put them all in the same tank. - In my experience - the rubber banded ones are growing better.

06-16-2011, 10:03 PM
Check out Gorilla brand glue.
I believe its aquarium safe.

06-16-2011, 10:12 PM
Thanks for the link, Brhino. I've written the info down and will be looking for this product in our local hardware / home center store.

Would rubber bands rot after awhile, when continuously submerged in water?

-- Mermaid

06-16-2011, 10:26 PM
gorilla glue isnt a instant glue and takes a very long time to dry. The better method,but not the fastest for attaching roots to wood is fine black,brown or green sowing thread,it really is unnoticable when in the water and breaks down in about the same amount of time as it takes roots to attach.

06-16-2011, 11:45 PM
Was considering cotton thread in earthtone colors, but am concerned about the possibility of toxic dyes leaching into the tank water. I used fishing line for my Anubias, but the gel glue would be easier to work with.

-- mermaid

06-16-2011, 11:47 PM
I have a half a spool of thread in my tank! holy cow,is that why my fish are colored so pretty:hmm3grin2orange:

06-17-2011, 03:21 AM
You could give the below a try


Drys in seconds and hardens under water. It's also made for aquarium use so it will be safe

06-17-2011, 03:42 AM
That stuff is just an expensive version of the cyanoacrylate based Loctite super glue gel that you can pick up in a hardware store. I use this (http://www.loctiteproducts.com/p/4/3/sg_g_cntrl/overview/Loctite-Super-Glue-Gel-Control.htm) one myself. It's a little bit pricier than the one Brhino linked but it's much easier to use.

06-17-2011, 01:23 PM
This one, I notice, is only one dispenser whereas the other product has two tubes in a single package. Wonder if I would have to mix the products in the two tubes together, like one does with some epoxies? I would think the single dispenser would be easier. Thanks, Funkman!

-- Mermaid

06-17-2011, 01:28 PM
Oh, and thanks also, Cliff, for the tip about the Reef Glue. That might even be easier, yet -- providing I can find it without having to order it online. Wonder if either of my LFSs might have that?

-- Mermaid

06-17-2011, 01:32 PM
the one I linked is just a package with two individual containers. It's not a two-part compound. Good thing, too, because it sets up far too fast. You'd get done mixing it and it'd be set.

06-17-2011, 01:50 PM
So where exactly do you super glue these plants? I've been looking in the forums for this, maybe a picture or something? I'm assuming just above the roots, but can you explain how this all works? I apologize if it is blatantly obvious and I'm just missing something....

06-17-2011, 02:00 PM
The plants that I've glued down have had a rhizome. A rhizome is sort of like a horizontal stem. The roots come off of the rhizome and go downward, and the leaves come off and go upward. You can see it in this picture of an anubias I took when I was setting up my tank.

The rhizome is what you glue down.

I was also able to use super glue gel to java moss. Java moss is just a big tangle of individual strands with tiny leaves on them. In that case, I just glued it down in several different places and sort of pulled the tangle over the wood I was growing it to... it worked a lot better than I expected.

Most root-and-stem type plants need to have their roots planted in the substrate where the nutrients are, so they would not be a good candidate for gluing to decor.

06-17-2011, 02:07 PM
Use silicon sealant. It's waterproof.:ssmile:

06-17-2011, 02:12 PM
silicon takes a day to cure. You can't leave aquatic plants sitting high and dry for that long waiting for it to set up. Super glue takes seconds, and then it's ready to go.

06-17-2011, 02:27 PM
The next attachable plants I'd like to try are Java Ferns. Like the Anubias, they don't require a lot of bright light or ferts. Easy to keep, and attaching them to decor makes rescaping a breeze.

I still plan to use fake plants for the type that have to be buried in the substrate (although many of those have weighted bases that can simply be set on top of the gravel), but I'd like to have more live ones of those that can be attached and are low-to-no maintenance, so I can have more nitrate sponges in my tank. Between them, the mossballs and the live floaters, maybe I can control the nitrates a little better in between gravel vacs. Of course, the weekly water changes will continue, as always.

Any input about Java Ferns?

-- Mermaid

06-17-2011, 02:32 PM
They've done well for me without any extra attention on my part. Got a whole mess of them covering my rock pile.

Lady Hobbs
06-17-2011, 03:47 PM
Seems to me if you are worried about the thread and looking to buy some glue, you could buy another spool of thread just as easy?

06-18-2011, 03:59 PM
Thread would be fine if I knew it wouldn't leach dye into the tank. I would want it colored to blend in with the surroundings so as not to look conspicuous. White thread would show too much. Just seems to me that glue would be the easiest to work with, as fishing line is hard to see even when working with it out of the water, and I find it not that easy to work with in some cases.

I'm leaning toward gel glue, and thank everyone here for the great suggestions.

-- Mermaid

07-08-2011, 01:38 AM
can you use liquid super glue as opposed to gel super glue? I grabbed a packet of liquid superglue like Brhino had mentioned on accident and used it on a bunch of java ferns....please tell me I didn't just lose these plants

07-08-2011, 01:45 AM
it's all good, it's the same stuff. The gel is just easier to work with. If you got plants anchored the way you wanted with the liquid, then you're all set.

07-08-2011, 03:15 AM