The fish keeping hobby has seen a huge spike in popularity in recent years with a huge number of people picking up their first aquarium and getting their first tank setup. We have seen many beginners to the hobby pick up secondary market tanks that need minor repairs or look for various ways to secure tank accessories or decorations in place with a number of people asking if duct tape is safe for fish tanks or not.
Duct tape can be used on the outside of your aquarium glass to secure things to your tank if required but it should not be used in the water or as a way to try and repair cracks in your aquarium tank. Over time, the water will end up taking its toll on the duct tape causing it to give way and potentially drain your tank if it has been used to seal a crack.
Depending on exactly what you need, you should be looking to use something like an aquarium safe hot glue instead of duct tape to ensure that you are able to get the best possible results for tank repairs. Aquarium safe hot glue can often be used in the water of your tank to secure decorations or aquarium accessories in place without degrading over time in the water too making it a budget friendly option for many people.
Can I Put Duct Tape In My Aquarium?
You should never put duct tape into your aquarium as the water will eventually degrade the adhesive on the duct tape causing it to fail and lose its strength. Duct tape is commonly used to describe a range of different super strength sticky tape products these days too and some of them may cause problems with the water parameters in your aquarium due to their chemicals.
Depending on what you keep in your aquarium you may end up having problems with grazing fish trying to eat the edges of the duct tape inside of your aquarium too. Although very rare, this may cause problems with blockages or impaction in the digestive system of your pet fish and potentially result in a fatality but as we mentioned, this is rare but not worth the risk in our opinion.
Additional risks can be presented if you do use duct tape within your aquarium as whatever you use your duct tape to secure in place will likely fall once the adhesive degrades in the water. Thankfully, most fish will be fast enough to avoid any falling objects in their aquarium but snails, shrimp, and any other animals in your tank such as frogs or axolotls may not be fast enough and could be injured.
Is Gorilla Tape Safe For Fish?
Gorilla tape is commonly recommended by some people within the fish keeping community as a great way to secure accessories and decorations in your aquarium for cheap but it does pose a potential risk. The official website for the gorilla product range confirms this and does not recommend the use of their products in an aquarium even if the adhesive is 100% cyanoacrylate as it can still pose some risk.
Just like the problems with duct tape that we listed above, gorilla tape has very similar issues with water eventually degrading the adhesive on the tape causing it to fail given enough time. The adhesive may have an effect on the water parameters of your tank too but we have seen people say that they have used gorilla tape for small tasks in their aquarium without their water parameters changing at all.
If you do have minor issues on the outside of your aquarium or need to mount an aquarium accessory in place on the outside of your tank then gorilla tape does seem to be a popular option though with plenty of people using it outside of the water of their aquarium. Still, we don’t like the idea of using tape for this type of job and an actual fitting using it always our recommendation but this will depend on the budget you have available as fitting units can be expensive depending on the side you need.
What Adhesive Is Fish Safe?
All adhesives have their own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to use in an aquarium but some are fish safe with aquarium safe hot glue or silicon often being the best options. The disadvantage of these products is their prices as it does cost a large amount of money to produce both hot glue and silicone that can work in your aquarium without causing problems.
We have dedicated articles going over using hot glue in your aquarium as well as the best aquarium glue for rocks on the market that you may find helpful. If you are considering using duct tape or gorilla tape to secure aquarium decorations or accessories then at least skimming over those two articles is probably worth your time.
The majority of our readers will probably better off going with some types of aquarium safe silicone but outside of North America, this can be very difficult to find so our readers in Europe and Australia will probably struggle. Even in North America, aquarium safe adhesives are considerably more expensive than the alternatives though so this will often rule out many people due to budget constraints too.
That brings our article going over if duct tape is safe for fish or not to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand that duct tapes and gorilla tape as well as the various alternatives on the market do pose a thread when used in the water of your aquarium. Just because people on social media say that they have used it without issue does not mean that you will not have those issues with your own projects so keep that in mind!