Is it ok to put my fish back in the tank after I've cured the silicone but it still smells a little of vinegar?


Looking at the chemistry of condensation curing of silicone, that vinegar smell is literally coming from a chemical bond being formed -- the smell is a byproduct. You have to remember, acetic acid (the stuff in vinegar) can either evaporate or solublize in water. There's also a special salt in the silicone that is necessary for it to form a solid structure, and this salt is also soluble in water.

If there is any vinegar smell, that means it's still setting/curing/evaporating, so by no means should you add your fish just yet (unless you're ok with acidic water for your fish and potential holes in the silicone)

Picked up at FishLore Forum:

Generally speaking, silicone takes:

1-2 hours to get a 'skin' (go off)

24 hours to set and seal (safe for showering)

48 hours to set, seal and bond (safe for immersion in water)

7-10 days to be fully cured, ready for use in a full fish tank. Most tank builders will require the tank to stay 'still' and clamped for 7 days before moving it. After 7-10 days, the silicone is strong enough to handle the pressures and movements.

I recently bought some silicone, and it had a clear guideline on the back "If using for an aquarium, allow 7 days before filling" or something like that.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.