Terrible Advice Tuesdays: Sure-Fire Aquarium Leak Suppressant


Terrible Advice Tuesdays: If your aquarium is leaking, just pour in Radiator Stop Leak to seal the leak.

The rest of the story: If taking a substance meant for a car’s radiator system and adding to your saltwater aquarium sounds strange to you, you’re in luck. You have at least enough common sense not nuke probably everything in your tank.

6% of Radiator Stop Leak is copper. [source: product safety data sheet] Here’s what copper kills in a saltwater aquarium: invertebrates. I.e. shrimp, snails, corals, etc. And it kills them 100% of the time. Copper is a well-document and safe fish treatment, however, in high levels it can be toxic to fish as well. Your leak might (big emphasis on might) stop and your livestock will probably be dead as well.

Besides the copper toxicity issue, 94% of the product is made up of substances that the manufacturer describes as “trade secrets”. While the manufacturer claims these substances are “not considered hazardous under the Federal Hazard Communication Standard 29 CFR 1910.1200.” [source: product safety data sheet], I highly doubt the Federal Hazard Communications Standard takes into account organisms in a saltwater aquarium.

If your saltwater tank is leaking, you can try to seal it with aquarium silicone (note that other types of silicone clearly state on the label that they should not be used in aquariums). Leave the Radiator Stop Leak for the Corvette in your garage.

Thanks Luis for submitting this one.

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Comments for this article (16)

  • Tyler says:

    Wow……just wow, somebody actually said this to someone else in all seriousness……

  • Tyler…I don’t make this stuff up. I cringe when I think of the people that might follow the advice.

  • mark says:

    I am amazed at how stupid some people are to even suggest that could be used in a marine aquarium

  • Matt says:

    how this could even make it to being considered bad advice is amazing. While your at it use a chain saw to cut your Thanksgiving dinner

    PEOPLE use common sense!!!!!

  • Damion says:

    Fix a Flat works much better (at thinning the herd). That is so outlandish, that it’s insulting. Pick it up a few notches Mark. Let natural selection do the rest.

  • dave says:

    Any body that would take the time to actually read the can (and had half of a brain) would NOT do that. it’s for copper and aluminum NOT GLASS!!!!! I really hope this is not a true story.

  • Matt says:

    Nowt wrong with a good old chainsaw carvery … man up 😉

    Epo putty in an emergency leak situation works best…

  • Keith Hays says:

    I just recently had one of my glass sump tanks break. I was able to silicone a piece of acrylic over the break to the inside and it worked long enough to replace the tank. This works better on a tank that can run dry long enough for the silicone to dry, but might be useful in a tank to seal it long enough to think of a better solution.

  • Joe says:

    I cant believe someone actually thought this was an idea at all to begin with…

    Am i in the twilight zone?

  • John Rodgers says:

    April Fools Day has certainly been extended a few weeks.

  • Thea says:

    Who are you kidding……if you’ve got salt water aquariums you probably don’t have a Corvette on the garage l o l !

  • Sindy says:

    I’d say somebody was trolling for drama when they gave this ‘advice’ …… Just hope no one is even contemplating using that bad advice.

  • Randy says:

    That had to have been a joke? So sad such a wonderful hobby with so much bad/disastrous advice floating out there.

  • Randy…not a joke. It was given out in a Facebook group.

  • victor says:

    I was going to read this and move on. But when I read it to my friend. Who in most cases can’t tell you if a fish is salt or freshwater. He is by no means a idiot. Just has little intrest in fish. Past eating them. Not everyone is into this hobby. Anyway after he herd it he responded . “Hmm that would kill your fish”. I hope most would agree with him.

  • Steve says:

    So fix-a-flat is out too? (Sorry… had to)

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