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Looking for Aquarium Safe Silicon

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself' started by Flex26, Apr 21, 2004.

  1. Flex26

    Flex26 Large Fish

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    Hi All,

    I've been doing some research on aquarium-safe silicon. I've found that I can get some silicon made by GE at the Home Depot or Lowe's.

    Does anyone else have some recommendations for aquarium safe silicon?

    Are there any harmful ingredients that I need to look out for?

    I'm probably gonna pick up some silicon this weekend.

    Thanks for your help.
     


  2. bigfoot150

    bigfoot150 Superstar Fish

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    I was actually looking myself and from what I saw most of it actually said not for aquarium use or it was the wrong color.
     
  3. TurbineSurgeon

    TurbineSurgeon Superstar Fish

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    Home Depot and Lowe's both sell GE Silicone II. It is suitable for aquariums. I know Home Depot (and probably Lowe's) sells DAP Aquarium Sealant. The main difference between the two products seems to be price. The DAP stuff costs about 3 times the price of the GE stuff.

    The main thing to look for is that it is 100% Silicone, and does not contain fungicides, latex, or anything else.
     
  4. Flex26

    Flex26 Large Fish

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    Thanks, TS. This is exactly what I was looking for.
     
  5. JWright

    JWright Superstar Fish

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    If all else fails, your local petco (or other big-name pet store) should have some expensive "Aquarium Sealant" made by All-glass. Around here though, it's a lot more expensive than silicone from the hardware store.
     
  6. Clown_Loach_Kid

    Clown_Loach_Kid Large Fish

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    If you go to Petco or Petsmart they always have aquarium silicon there. I have used it and nothing bad has happened.
     
  7. CoNMaN

    CoNMaN Large Fish

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    Yeah, just like those guys said, if it doesnt specifically say on it "aquarium safe" then it really isnt safe to use on your aquarium, I used to work in menards, and we dont (didn't) carry a single sillicon product that we should sell for use on an aquarium.
     
  8. bevans76

    bevans76 Large Fish

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    I have had the worst time trying to find aquarium safe silicone. I've looked at the GE Silicone II that TurbineSurgeon suggested but it said "not for: aquariums" right on the back. GE Silicone I states it is not suitable for "surfaces that will exceed 400 degrees F, and food contact surfaces" but does not say anything about aquarium usage. Is the fact that it neglects to say if it is aquaruim safe good enough or does it specifically need to say "aquarium safe" like Conman says?
     
  9. TurbineSurgeon

    TurbineSurgeon Superstar Fish

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    I repaired my 75 gallon tank (not just re-sealed; I took an end off and re-did the whole joint) with stuff I bought at Home Depot about 17 or 18 years ago. I don't remember the exact product I used, but I do remember that it came in a caulk gun type tube (I'm sure that vital piece of information was squeezed out when I had to remember where I parked my car, or some other inane thing like that).

    If you don't feel safe using an unknown product, then by all means, don't use it. After all, the difference in price is only like $3 a tube (and a tube goes a long way).
     
  10. Lotus

    Lotus Ultimate Fish
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    I read something somewhere about GE Silicone that used to say it was usable in aquariums, but people used it to build large ones, which then collapsed, as its tensile strenghth wasn't designed for that much pressure. After some lawsuits, GE took the wording off the silicone.

    We use the All Glass brand for repairing tanks etc. We got a much better deal on it at Big Als than locally.
     
  11. sinasster

    sinasster Large Fish

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    Ive noticed the aquarium safe and the not recommended for aquariums silicone both say 100% silicone on the tube... so go figure.

    I personally think its just a way to get you to buy the more expensive product. But why chance it, just buy the more expensive product
     
  12. bigfoot150

    bigfoot150 Superstar Fish

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    I believe thatpetplace.com has aquarium silicon in the caulking gun tubes for $10.
     
  13. Lotus

    Lotus Ultimate Fish
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    It's $7.99 at Big Als for the 10oz one.
     
  14. Flex26

    Flex26 Large Fish

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    Yeah. I did see that. Well, I picked up a small tube of the GE II silcone for like $3. But I'm not gonna use it yet. I wanted to do a little more research. So I went to petsmart to compare the ingredients of the "aquarium safe" silicone. Funny thing is....the petsmart stuff (actually made by perfecto) is in a package. And the package didn't have the ingredients. Coincedence? Hmmm....hopefully not. I'm hoping they are hiding the ingredients on the tube so that you have to buy the expensive stuff. Does anyone here have the perfecto brand silicone? What are the ingredients on the tube?

    Here is the list of the ingredients on the GE II stuff:

    Methoxypolydimethylsiloxane: 68037-58-1
    Dimethylpolysiloxane: 63148-62-9
    Treated Fumed Silica: 68611-44-9 or 68583-49-3
    NJTSRN 11473-01-4-5138P
    Hexamethyldisilazane: 999-97-3
    Methyltrimethoxysilane: 1185-55-3
    VOC (excluding water and exempt compounds) is less than 50 g/L

    edit: I am not using the silicone to repair or build a tank. I just want to glue some rocks together to prevent an avalanche due to digging.
     
  15. TurbineSurgeon

    TurbineSurgeon Superstar Fish

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    I just spent the past hour or so of my precious and too-short life Googling to find something definitive on this topic. Some of what I found was contradictory, most was confusing and inconclusive.

    Here is a synopsis:

    There are a bunch of things that are added to silicone sealants and adhesives including fillers, plasticizers, adhesion promoters, cross-linkers, and catalysts. In some specialized circumstances, iron oxide or even platinum is added (heat resistance, fire resistance).

    The DAP Aquarium Sealant I bought from Home Depot doesn't have any ingredients listed on the tube, but I found the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet for those unfamiliar with the term). The listed ingredients are:
    <=87.0% Dimethyl siloxane, hydroxy-terminated
    <=10.0% Silica, terminated
    1.0-5.0% Methyltriacetoxysilane
    1.0-5.0% Ethyltriacetoxysilane

    I had less success with the GE Silicone I and Silicone II. It seems that GE has a fairly definite idea of intended markets, and insists that these products are for household (not industrial) use, and therefore don't require an MSDS. Their industrial silicones site doesn't list either of these products, so it is hard to draw any conclusions. One thing I did notice is that the Silicone II for Kitchen & Bath contains fungicides and is definitely out of the question! See this for more information.

    C.R. Laurence also makes aquarium sealant. Theirs is available in 52 gallon drums for those really big projects. The MSDS for that product lists the following:
    60.0-80.0% Dimethyl siloxane, hydroxy-terminated
    10.0 - 30.0% Silanol/STPD Siloxane W/ME SILSQXNS (whatever that means)
    7.0 - 30.0% Silica, amorphous, fumed
    1.0 - 5.0% Methyltriacetoxysilane
    1.0 - 5.0% Octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane

    Big Al's Online sells All-Glass Silicone Sealant in 1, 3, and 10.3 ounce sizes in clear, and 3 and 10.3 ounce in black, ranging in price from $2.99 to $7.99. I checked out the All-Glass Aquarium website, but found no list of ingredients.

    In conclusion, I would recommend using a product that is specifically recommended for aquarium use. I know this means I am contradicting what I said earlier, but then again, I did my (and your) homework this time. The difference in cost, especially if you only need a little bit, is negligible in the long run and there is additional peace of mind in using a product when the manufacturer is willing to accept the potential liability and is stating that the product is safe for this purpose.
     
  16. Flex26

    Flex26 Large Fish

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    Oh, geez...thanks, TS. I wasn't expecting you to jump through hoops for me. I was just hoping somebody had some ingredients that I could compare. But I definitely appreciate your efforts!! *thumbsups

    That's exactly what I was thinking. I paid $3 for a 3 oz. tube of the GE II stuff. The stuff at petsmart was $3.25 for a 1 oz. tube. It's the difference of a quarter and leftover silicone.
     
  17. Lotus

    Lotus Ultimate Fish
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    I would say that unless you can get the full list of ingredients, paying an extra bit of money is worth it. Saving a buck but losing your fish isn't a good thing... especially if you think about how much it would cost to restock your tank. ;)
     
  18. TurbineSurgeon

    TurbineSurgeon Superstar Fish

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    Well, I didn't do it entirely for you. That was one of the things I had always wondered about myself. We use a variety of different silicone based goops at work that range from clear vinegar smelling stuff to some red stuff that you have to mix like an epoxy and feels like ceramic when it cures. Heck, we even have some stuff that doesn't cure -- it feels like the aquarium type pookie even years after application.
     
  19. Flex26

    Flex26 Large Fish

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    Absolutely. I don't exactly have grand plans for the silicone. So three bucks for a 1 oz tube of silicone isn't a big deal.

    Thanks again, Turbine....and lotus.
     
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