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Is Hot Glue Safe For Aquariums?

The popularity of aquascaping and adding optional accessories and decorations to fish tanks is becoming increasingly popular with more and more people looking to customise their own aquariums.

Due to this, we constantly see people reaching out and asking various questions about the various glue products that they are able to use in their aquariums safely with more and more people reaching out with each month that passes.

We already have a dedicated article online going over the best aquarium glue for rocks but we have noticed a large number of people reaching out and asking if hot glue is safe for aquariums or not.

With so many people reaching out and asking various questions about using hot glue in their aquarium and if it is aquarium safe, we have decided to publish our own dedicated article on using hot glue in fish tanks.

We will be covering a number of slightly different questions about using hot glue in your fish tank so we have added a table of contents below.

Our hope is that it will make it as quick and easy to navigate to specific sections of the article without you having to skim over the full article but get to the sections you need help with.

Is Hot Glue Toxic In Water?

Hot glue can be toxic depending on the specific hot glue stick you choose to use but there are plenty of non-toxic hot glue sticks on the market that are aquarium safe.

Modern non-toxic hot glue sticks are just as cheap as the traditional hot glue sticks too so there is no need to over pay.

Provided that you use a non-toxic glue stick and leave it to full cure then it should not cause any problems in your water.

Just keep in mind that different brands of non-toxic glue stick do have different cure times with some being as long as two weeks before you add water to the tank.

Some people have used hot glue sticks that are not marked as “non-toxic” in water without issue but we would never recommend it for an aquarium.

It just presents too much of a risk to most people, especially if you are planning on keeping sensitive fish or live plants but non-toxic hot glue sticks are around the same price as the rest of the hot glue sticks so there’s no need not to go with aquarium safe, non-toxic hot glue.

Is Hot Glue Safe For Aquariums?

Non-toxic hot glue sticks are aquarium safe and commonly used by a large number of fish keepers in their aquariums on a regular basis.

You are generally able to use the non-toxic hot glue sticks for any application in an aquarium glueing a wide range of different surfaces to each other as required without issue.

We know that it is common to see people on social media saying that they used hot glue in their and ended up having issues with their water parameters but this is due to using regular glue sticks when glueing their aquarium.

It is a very common mistake to make as the packaging for the regular and non-toxic hot glue sticks is so similar.

Always be sure that you are going with non-toxic hot glue sticks for your hot glue applier and if you gone already have on then you can get a cheap hot glue applier to get your hot glue into your aquarium.

Always check the packaging of the specific glue stick that you use to take note of its curing time too as even a non-toxic hot glue stick can cause issues if you submerge it prior to it curing correctly.

Is Hot Glue Safe For Aquarium Plants?

You are generally able to use non-toxic hot glue sticks for your aquarium plants both live plants and fake plants if needed but some live aquarium plants such as java moss or java fern will be able to bond to a surface without the need for glue.

You are often able to place fake aquarium plants without using hot glue too due to many fake aquarium plants coming with base clips to let you fit them as you require in your tank.

When it comes to aquascaping, especially high end aquascaping where the position of every single thing in the tank is carefully calculated to ensure the whole tank comes together once grown in often will require the aquarium plants to be set in place.

You can use hot glue to do this but you should usually glue a plastic grip on the plant rather than the plant itself to ensure that you don’t accidentally damage it.

It is great to see so many people new to fish keeping also trying their hand at aquascaping though and hot glue can be a great way to get started with your initial tank placements.

We have also noticed more and more people making their own aquascapes with fake plants due to the lower levels of maintenance being required for them too with hot glue being an excellent option to secure them in place.

Can You Use Hot Glue For Aquarium Decorations?

Most non-toxic hot glue sticks should work fine for most types of aquarium decorations but a small number of decorations may have problems such as melting issues or paint peeling in certain situations but this is very rare.

Some people also use biological matter such as leaves for natural tannins or coconut shells for hideouts in their tank that we would not recommend you glue in place as they will need to be changed out.

The regular aquarium decorations that you are able to purchase from pet stores should all be fine with hot glue though and make it quick and easy for your to glue them in place.

Another great use for non-toxic hot glue sticks when it comes to aquarium decorations is for glueing rocks in place to prevent your water flow level from being able to push them over.

If you are into your aquascaping then there is a high chance that you will be trying to integrate various, non-conventional aquarium decorations into your setup and hot glue can be a great way to secure them in place.

Large tree branches are an excellent example of how hot glue can be used to secure a large decorative feature in your tank in place without much effort but the possibilities are only limited by your imagination.


That brings our article going over if hot glue is safe for aquariums or not to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand the various ways that you are able to use hot glue in your aquarium safely but always remember to go with a non-toxic got glue stick. It is very common for people to accidentally purchase a regular hot glue stick that may lead to problems in your aquarium even once it has had time to cure.