Is Duct Tape Safe For Fish? Know Aquarium Safe Tapes

Many aquarists experience some sort of cracks and fractures inside the tank sometimes. Although major cracks on glasses assure you a change of tank, we tend to fix miner glass cracks with some quick fixes like taping and using Aquarium Safe Silicon.

About using tapes for fish tanks, there are mixed opinions about taping. Some people recommend some types of tapes for temporary fixes, while some people advise avoiding any type of tape. so Is Duct Tape Safe for Fish?

There are different types of tapes available in the market. Let’s discuss each of them. From this article, you’ll learn if each type of tape is safe for aquariums or not.

Is Duct Tape Safe for Fish?

NO. it can kill fish if used for long time. but for short periods (less that 30 min) it is OK. Duct tape is a durable tape with a sturdy backing that resists water.  It is used for repairing stuff and wrapping boxes by millions of people. Given that Duct tape is water-resistant, it can’t hold water for more than 1 hour. When used inside the fish tank, Duct tape tends to detach after about 1 hour. The tape’s chemicals will mix with the water posing a risk for the fish in the tank. Some discussions assure that using Duct tape for a short period is fine, but some said the duct tapes killed their fish. So, to be on the safe side, do NOT use Duct tape in your aquarium.

How to Select Safe Tape for Aquarium?

Choosing an Aquarium Safe tape can be tricky as many tapes include adhesives that are made with chemicals.

These chemicals are not safe for fish and can be toxic. Before buying a tape for your aquarium, you should check the safety precaution of that specific tape.

If the instructions sheet advises you to keep the product out of children and animals, it should not be safe for fish.

Only a few tape types are considered safe for aquariums. Most common types such as Duct tape, Gorilla tape and flex tape are waterproof, but they are not safe for fish.

There are specific types of tapes and glues recommended for using in an aquarium. Let’s talk about them below.

Is Flex Tape Safe for Fish?

On Flex tape official site, they say that “Flex Tape® has not been tested for use with potable (drinking) water.”

It means that flex tape releases chemicals inside the water that makes water not safe for human consumption. The water that is not suitable for human consumption is not safe for fish too. So, flex tape is not considered safe for aquariums.

However, Flex Seal Liquid is safe for fish once it’s fully cured.

Is Flex Seal Tape Safe for Fish?

There is no such product as Flex Seal Tape. The only tape product they have is Flex Tape. Flex tape is, however, not recommended for use in aquariums.

Flex Seal Products has another product known as “Flex Seal Liquid”. This product is officially confirmed safe for use in aquariums once the liquid is fully cured.

Many people confuse Flex tape with Flex Seal Liquid and think that Flex tape is also safe for aquarium use. But, Flex Tape is not safe for fish.

credits to Skate Skim Surf

Is Gorilla Tape Safe for Fish?

NO.According to GorillaTough, the official Gorilla Tape site, all types of Gorilla tape is harmful to humans and animals if swallowed or inhaled.

They have instructed to store away from children and animals and have a set of SOS instructions for medical emergencies. That assures, Gorilla tape is not safe for fish.

Is Electrical Tape Safe for Fish?

There are no clues that electrical tape can be toxic for fish, but electrical tape tends to peel off quickly when soaked with water. Depending on the requirement, a tape should have water resistance to keep sturdy inside water.

So, that makes electrical tape not safe for the fish tank. Electrical tape doesn’t have that quality.

Waterproof Tape Safe for Fish

Any type of waterproof tape that has adhesive on it is considered NOT safe for fish except Silicone self-fusing tapes. They are made out of self-fusing silicon rubber.

As silicon is considered safe for aquariums, silicon tape should be safe for aquarium too. Other waterproof tapes, except Teflon tape and Scotch tape, are considered not safe for fish.

Is Scotch Tape Safe for Aquariums?

Scotch tape is considered nontoxic as some people report that using scotch tape didn’t harm their fish in the tank. However, the Scotch tape tends to get damp and fall off quickly. So, I would not recommend using scotch tape inside the tank for repairing any scratches on the tank.  For repairing aquarium gear, it should be OK.

Is Silicon Tape Safe for Aquarium

Silicon tape is considered the only tape safe for aquariums. Silicon is recognized as a safe material for aquarium use. Hence, silicon tape falls into the Aquarium Safe category. Silicon tape is made out of self-fusing silicon rubber. This tape is flexible, stretchable, and conforms even to small pipe diameters, tight corners, and cold environments. It can resist melting, weathering, and tearing, which makes it perfect for aquarium use.

Underwater Silicone for Aquarium

Silicon glue is safe, flexible, and can last years without needing to be applied.

But the downside is that it doesn’t cure underwater. Silicone doesn’t make a bond instantly.  It needs a dry environment to bond and takes around seven days.

There is a gum that you can use underwater, called Aquarium Safe Cyanoacrylate gel. Better known as Aquarium Safe Super Glue Gel, this gel is easy to dispense, holds tight, and dries quickly.

And it is waterproof. This Cyanoacrylate gel is known as underwater silicone for aquariums and is safe for fish.

Is Teflon Tape Aquarium Safe?

Although there’s no official statement, fish owners say that Teflon tape is safe for the aquarium in different discussions. They further explain that they use Teflon tape for years with no problems. So, Teflon tape can be considered Aquarium safe.

Summary

Using tapes for fixing cracks and fractures of a fish tank can be a quick solution for many fish tank owners. But, there are cons of using tapes. Better off with Aquarium Safe Silicone Gel or Aquarium Safe Cyanoacrylate gel to fix anything inside the fish tank.

There will be times that you will have to use tape because of some reasons. In those situations, you can use either Teflon tape or self-fusing silicone tape.

Many other types of tapes have adhesives that are made with chemicals. These chemicals are usually toxic for fish and plants in the water.

With many uncertainties about tape safety in fish tanks, the best bet you can take is not using tape at all as it’s fish you are dealing with. Make one mistake, and you’ll have to lose your precious fish in a matter of time.

Read more How long does activated carbon (GAC) last? 10 Things must know

About Dr.Chamika

Hello, I'm Dr. Chamika. I am Researcher in water and environmental chemistry. I am passionate fish keeper, with years of experience. My mission is to help other aquarists experience the joy of fish keeping.