How to Glue an Acrylic Aquarium

Written by cheryl torrie
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Acrylic aquariums are manufactured in capacities from 10 to over 50,000 gallons. All enthusiastic tropical fish lovers appreciate the drama and living art that is provided by acrylic aquariums. When the acrylic adhesive gives away you might think the aquarium is useless, but it's not. With the right adhesive you can glue an acrylic aquarium safely and restore it to its original beauty for the cost of the adhesive and a few other low cost items.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Razor blade
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Clean cloth
  • Plastic 65-gauge opening solvent glue applicator
  • Fast-setting, medium bodied, high strength acrylic cement
  • Wood clamps

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  1. 1

    Scrape away any old adhesive and silicone with a razor blade.

  2. 2

    Sand the edges to be joined with a sheet of 240-grit sandpaper until each edge is flat and level.

  3. 3

    Clean the edges and surrounding surface by wiping them down with isopropyl alcohol applied to a clean cloth.

  4. 4

    Fill a plastic 65-gauge opening solvent glue applicator syringe with fast-setting, medium bodied, high strength acrylic cement.

  5. 5

    Apply the glue to one of the acrylic edges with the applicator syringe and press the two pieces together. Hold the two pieces together for 3 minutes. Then clamp the two pieces together with wood clamps placed 6-inches apart for 48 hours.

Tips and warnings

  • If scraping away the old glue caused the edges to gouge you can use a thicker bodied high strength acrylic cement to help seal the joint.
  • Acrylic glues are dangerous, toxic materials.
  • Wear glues when handling it.
  • Work in a well-ventilated area.
  • Avoid breathing the fumes by wearing a ventilator.

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