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Silicone- Drying Time?

Discussion in 'Tropical Discussion' started by fiskkeeperpro, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. fiskkeeperpro

    fiskkeeperpro Member

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    How long does silicone take to dry out? If i put silicone in my tank on saturday, how long would it be before i could add any water and substrate and actually begin my tank?

    Thanks

    Will
     
  2. rdd1952

    rdd1952 Swim with the Fishes

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    It should say on the tube. I think mine says 48 hours but I'm not at home to check. Keep in mind that you have to use aquarium-safe silicone and also that the silica that it leeches out into the tank will cause some brown algae build up for a few weeks until all the silica is gone.
     
  3. raptorrex

    raptorrex Inactive

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    most manufacturers state 48 hours to cure. but the tube will tell you what the time for your sealant is.

    i have found a very effective and cheap aquarium sealant. silfix hm. it is a high modulas sealant and comes in 310ml tube @ £3.90 a pop, its from Hodgson sealants. only the clear one is aquarium safe, and it is safe, it even says so on the tube. but it does work and no problems have been reported. and its been in for over 12 months.
     
  4. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    it depends on how big the tank is and how thick the silicon is applied. Most silicon is touch dry within a few hours and sets in a day or so. However full strength is not normally attained until after a week. The time will be longer in colder or damp environments.
    If the tank is really big 6x2x2ft then leave the silicon to dry for 2 weeks or more.
    Smaller tanks say 4ftx18inx18in should be fine after a week.
     
  5. raptorrex

    raptorrex Inactive

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    i must admit that's what i thought.

    but not so, according to tank makers, repairers, or the manufacturers of the goo too. if you think about it the beads of silicone on a 4x18x18 are the same size, within reason, as the beads on a 6x2x2, though there is much more of it, so why would it take any longer to cure. granted a tube piled up on the floor may take longer to cure than a thin bead, but you are not using the pile, you are using the thin bead. the cure time seems to be for a bead of silicone, not sure on the dimensions. but if you buy silicon and it says 48 hours, you can be sure it is cured within that time, if used normally.
     
  6. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    The difference between a 6x2x2 and a 4x18 can be quite a lot. The smaller tank will only have a thin layer (less than 1mm) of silicon between the glass, whereas the 6x2 will often have 2mm of silicon between the pieces of glass. The actual bead on the inside of the corners will be of similar thickness as you said. But it is the stuff between the glass that takes time to dry.
     
  7. fiskkeeperpro

    fiskkeeperpro Member

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    well im going to be only sticking a juwel structured background to the back of a juwel rio 125. Do you think blobs in the corners would be better or a line down the 2 sides, bottom and top?

    thanks guys for the replys already
     
  8. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    lol
    all this discussion and its only for sticking a background in :)

    just a couple of blobs on the back and then run a thin bead around the edges to keep the fish out.
     
  9. raptorrex

    raptorrex Inactive

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    indeed so, but it will have no effect on the cure time. not even a bit honest :rolleyes:

    joking aside, it will make no difference. i've been doing some research, the cure time for single tube silicone sealants is based on a bead 1cm wide by 1cm deep. if you exceed this, the cure time will not be longer, the silicon below that depth will not cure at all. so providing your 2mm of sealant is not more than 2cm wide, assuming that air can get to the top and bottom of the bead. the cure time will be as stated on the tube. its one of those cases where 48 hour really does mean 48 hours. an email to any silicone sealant manufacturer will confirm my comments.
     
  10. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    fair enough, so follow the directions on the packet :)
     
  11. raptorrex

    raptorrex Inactive

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    seems so. it honestly stumped me at first. but i looked into how silicone cures. having found that out, it all makes sense. there is a warning here, too thick a bead of silicone does not simply take longer to cure, it will not fully cure at all. something that may well be worth knowing.
     

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