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How To Glue Coral Frags


The goal of this article is to instruct all of those new to the hobby, or who do not yet know, how to securely attach frags in your aquarium. I see so many posts on the message board every week regarding this subject. These are my methods, all taken from ideas of other members. I have used this method for almost every coral in my tank. They are all hermit and snail proof, yet still removable if you need to re-aquascape.
 
This method will cure underwater, meaning there is no reason to remove the live rock from the display. Below are pictures showing how to secure a frag that has grown over a plug. This will also work if you have a frag attached to a piece of rubble. For attaching single polyps after a fragging, you would only need to use super glue gel, skipping the putty stage. I hope this can clear up this easy but heavily asked subject.

Step One

Gather your materials. You will need:

  • Super glue gel, I prefer Loctite brand to any others, but it must be the gel kind and have Cyanoacrylate as the active ingredient.
  • AquaMend putty, or any other kind of underwater stick putty. Sold at Home Depot for around $3.00 a tube.
  • Paper towels
  • Your coral frag!

Posted Image

 

gluing2.jpg


Step Two

Find the correct location in your tank for this frag. Take into account the flow and lighting the area provides, match that with the requirements of the coral frag. The area I chose for this frag has a large divot, so I will be using more AquaMend putty than would be needed for a more smooth surface of rock. The putty is used to fill any holes between the live rock and coral frag. The glue is what actually does most of the bonding.
 
gluing3.jpg

Step Three

Trim your frag plug if necessary. For this plug I cut off most that I could without compromising the coral. Frags are also sold on live rock pieces or on their own. You will only need to trim to match the type of aquascape you are looking for.
 
gluing4.jpg gluing5.jpg

Step Four
 
Mix up a small ball of AquaMend putty. This can be done before you bring the frag out of the water, but it is a quick process, and most coral will be fine out of the water for a short time. Make just enough to fill in any holes or areas that are on the live rock you are attaching to. Using too much here can make your frag look ugly in the tank, since you will see the white putty.
 
gluing6.jpg

Step Five

Apply the super glue gel to the frag or plug. I generally dab dry the coral with a paper towel, or blow off water with my super strong lungs. Use the correct amount to make a secure bond for the next step, but try not to add to much that it will ooze onto the coral itself.
 
gluing7.jpg

Step Six
 
Apply the putty ball to the super glue on the frag. You don't need to push very hard, just secure it to the glue.
 
gluing8.jpg

Step Seven

Apply another layer of super glue gel to the top of the putty. You can dab dry or blow again. Super glue gel will cure to a wet surface.
 
gluing9.jpg

Step Eight

Stick it in! Dunk the frag and all the glue and putty in the water. Secure it to the placement point you picked out earlier. Give it a firm push, turning the frag plug slightly to get the putty and glue in all holes and divots. Be careful to position it to best hide the white putty.
 
gluing10.jpg
 
Enjoy! You now have a coral that is secure on your live rock. The putty and glue will both cure and harden under the water. Some applications will require you to turn off the pumps, but for this demonstration I had all my pumps on. If gluing a polyp with glue only, it is recommended to turn off all flow and allow the gel to cure.

Good luck!


  • Marine Depot, sms31, buddythelion and 28 others like this


10 Comments

I don't think I've ever attached a frag plug directly to my rock.  I've always remove the frag from the plug, glued frag to putty and then the putty to the rock.  With matting corals (such as some zoanthid or star polyps varieties) I will cut them from the plug and, with only super glue, glue them right to the live rock.  Cutting from the plug is certainly more stressful to the coral and can potentially cause irreparable damage.  So, I'd suggest trying this out first with something cheap and hardy, like those zoanthids you can buy ~15 heads for $10.
 
Once you achive this you can farm your own colonies easily.  Magician's paly's grow like gangbusters in my tank, and I have the original plug constantly providing me with more.  Occasionally I slice a few off and glue them directly to the rock and put on a new plug to trade.  Never had a problem.
 
Please, wear eye protection when doing this.  I always do. Whether its toxins or bacteria, you really don't want this stuff getting into your body.
    • Hook'Em2006 and SeahawkReefer like this
This article helped me immensely this evening. Thank you so much for the detailed instructions!
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Grumblecakes
Apr 05 2013 07:07 AM

I would like to add that not all putty is safe. Some putty says its ok to use in water but NOT for potable water/aquariums.

My buddy cut me off a piece of a kenya tree to start my tank with and I was wondering if I just put loctite directly on the base of the frag then dunked it in and pressed it on the rock

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frankdontsurf
Mar 28 2014 01:26 PM

Could we get a few more specs, maybe a link to the right type of Aquamend? 

Could we get a few more specs, maybe a link to the right type of Aquamend? 

There are several brands and most fish stores (local and online) carry them. I wouldn't chance using one from the hardware store, just in case.

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famousdan314
May 02 2014 07:15 PM
I've used JB waterweld for live rock and frags with no I'll effects. Make sure it says for potable water use. I also use the new loctite gel super glue and it works amazing and its half the price of coral glue. I used this technique for glueing frags recently and it works very nicely thanks for the write up. :-)
Nice I was wondering how to attach coral to live rock thanks for the help

Awesome.  Answered my newbie question.

I've used JB waterweld for live rock and frags with no I'll effects. Make sure it says for potable water use. I also use the new loctite gel super glue and it works amazing and its half the price of coral glue. I used this technique for glueing frags recently and it works very nicely thanks for the write up. :-)

 I have used the JB waterweld as well and had no issues

 

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