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The DIY Frag plugs/disks/rocks thread.


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#1
Daemonfly

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STICKY PLZ!!!

It's gonna happen sooner or later, so I figured I might as well get it started...

Post up your info for DIY frag disks, plugs, & rocks (might as well do rocks as well as they're usually the same or at least a similar mix). We'll keep it all in here vs the general DIY section.

Recipes, pictures, forms and anything else you got.


_______________________________________________________________________


I gotta get some pics of mine tomorrow or so, but I'll post up the info first & get this thread started.

Warning: SG fumes = bad. Do this with ventilation :P

If you want/need a low number of something to frag your corals onto, Sand disks might be a good option for you. Work best for zoos & other short softies. Many have observed that corals spread/grow slightly better over calcium based substrates, hence the use of aragonite type sand. I've witnessed this myself with some frags that came in on solid rocks (pebble kind) and I fraged some and got a lot better growth from the frags vs the 3 left on the rock.

For the super glue, I prefer Duro brand (very quick setting) vs. "Super Glue" brand (dries way too slow), I haven't used other brands, but you'd want a fast-setting liquid type(not gel).

All you need is:

1 - Aragonite Sand
2 - Super glue.
3 - random small container

Pour your sand into whatever container you have on-hand, preferable at least a 1" sand depth so you don't glue right to the container itself. Level off the sand, and pour the superglue into it, I recommend about a 1" diameter. The glue will seep into the sand and then harden, leaving you a nice sturdy disk to glue your frags onto.

If these frags are going in your main tank, and you have a sand substrate, then these are virtually invisible when placed on your sandbed. They also sit on eggcrate just fine, as long as you make them with an adequate diameter.

Idea taken from the Eric Borneman propagation video(just mentions it).

If you have a very high-flow SPS frag tank, or work with higher growing coral then you'd probably want the peg-style frag plugs so they don't fall over. Sand/SG isn't as easy to form into a set shape, so you'd be better off with the portland cement based mixes. The portland based ones also work better for larger number production.

Edited by Daemonfly, 11 July 2006 - 09:37 PM.

3g long: Wow, found my first tank thread (retired)
5.5g reef: 96w Quad 50/50("rigged")| AC500 full modded fuge. (retired)
2.5g reef: Complete DIY 2.5g acrylic tank & hood (retired due to split seam ;_;).
20g long prop tank. 10g sump, 175w MH.

Coming soon! 2.5g dubbed "Pulse".

#2
tinyreef

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i've used almost everything under the sun as frag bases. pvc was usually the easiest to attach but most difficult to use afterwards.

lava rock was pretty imo, nice contrasting colors versus old LR. same goes with mini clay pots. the pots were somewhat easy to attach since they provided natural shelter but they were/are a bit of a pain to use afterwards like the pvc. i usually had/have to break the pot into bits to epoxy or wedge into place.

these are pics from my old hospital tank. it doubled as a frag tank but i really treated it more as intensive care for corals. it was a 20L lit by a 150W MH (not sure if it was 10000K or 6500K though).
Posted Image

the gsp's are attached to a lava rock.
Posted Image

#3
evoracer

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I find a bunch of LR rubble peices that fit into eggcrate like pegs (staghorn or Tonga branch rubble works best). Then I simply put the dremel to work giving them flat tops at the height that I want. I only prop zoas at this point and it works great for that. Place a few polyps on a peice and wait for the spreading to begin! I am intrigued by this sand idea though. If they do spread better over sand then rock, perhaps coating the top of the rock peg with sand?? Hmmm...
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#4
pookstreet

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Great idea. I am just curious tho. Wouldn't it take a lot of superglue to make these frag disks? If you add up the cost of buying the superglue and aragonite sand, I wonder if there is really a cost savings versus buying the frag disks directly from a source such as bostonaquafarms.com.

#5
er1c_the_reefer

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bag of portland cement is like $5 for 40# depending on where you get it.
aragonite sand is like $20 for 30# at marinedepot.com. water to mix is cheap. plus the cost of rock salt, plastic shavings, or whatever else you want to throw in the mix. 40# of cement will give you a lot of frag discs.

mix together, i use a 3:1 sand:cement ratio. some people use different ratios, but you the key is to have more sand than cement for a more natural look. not to mention that cement may leech silicates into your system, depending on the silica content of the cement. also, adding rock salt gives the disc/rock some texture. saw dust chunks, plastic shavings, etc. will give it more texture and help hold the disc/rock together if you're molding big pieces.

for a mold, i use egg cartons. they're cheap, disposable, and make a good size. if i'm making rocks, i'll usually go into the backyard, loosen up some dirt, form a mold, and pour it in there. or pour some sand into a box, form a mold, and use that.
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#6
proraptor2

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er1c_the_reefer - Ive been looking into making some of these for awhile now but am worried about the silicates...Do you know where to get the low silicate cement?

#7
Daemonfly

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Great idea. I am just curious tho. Wouldn't it take a lot of superglue to make these frag disks? If you add up the cost of buying the superglue and aragonite sand, I wonder if there is really a cost savings versus buying the frag disks directly from a source such as bostonaquafarms.com.


If you use the tiny tubes of superglue, then you'd get 2-3 out of a single tube. Not that many. Larger bottles will, of course, give more pieces. Also, HD/Lowes commonly sell 10-packs of the tubes. Like I said, it's a low-yeild system, but it has some benefits.

1 - Look completely natural & blend in with tank sand (if you have it). I'd have no problem taking a piece of of my frag tank and popping it right in a display tank. You could frag up a larger collony, then put the pieces right down on the sand bed if you don't have a prop tank, and it will still look good.
2 - Practically ZERO cure time, vs many weeks of cement based ones.
3 - very very simple to make. Pour glue in, wait 5 seconds or so, and it's done & ready to go into tank. (They do heat up a bit while curing though).



It's an option. If you want to buy the pre-made & pre-cured cement plugs, go right ahead, or make them yourself.
3g long: Wow, found my first tank thread (retired)
5.5g reef: 96w Quad 50/50("rigged")| AC500 full modded fuge. (retired)
2.5g reef: Complete DIY 2.5g acrylic tank & hood (retired due to split seam ;_;).
20g long prop tank. 10g sump, 175w MH.

Coming soon! 2.5g dubbed "Pulse".

#8
er1c_the_reefer

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er1c_the_reefer - Ive been looking into making some of these for awhile now but am worried about the silicates...Do you know where to get the low silicate cement?



i wouldn't be too worried about it. portland cement is 80% silica, and some of it is bound to react to form silicates. that's another reason they say to cure it for a good 2-3 months with plenty of water changes before using them, because by then most of the silicates have already leeched out.
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#9
pico1

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Here is how I make my frag plugs:

Ingredents:
* $7 cash
* 1 LFS
* 1 car

Directions:
1. dirive car to LFS with $7 in pocket
2. purchase concrete plugs
3. take home, enjoy, and be glad you don't have to DIY
4. attach corals
5. sell to make money to buy more plugs

Pics:
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

#10
pico1

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:D

#11
Stevej72

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^^lol

#12
Daemonfly

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What does that have to do with DIY?
3g long: Wow, found my first tank thread (retired)
5.5g reef: 96w Quad 50/50("rigged")| AC500 full modded fuge. (retired)
2.5g reef: Complete DIY 2.5g acrylic tank & hood (retired due to split seam ;_;).
20g long prop tank. 10g sump, 175w MH.

Coming soon! 2.5g dubbed "Pulse".

#13
proraptor2

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I also think its a lot easier to just buy them....It sure seems like a lot of work to make them....

#14
er1c_the_reefer

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me too... but i like the satisfaction of DIY. makes me feel... manly. and i can customize the disc/plug/rock to whatever shape i feel like. :)
are we done yet?


i hate people too. that's why i'm going into nursing.


#15
pico1

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makes me feel... manly

LMAO

#16
Stevej72

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me too... but i like the satisfaction of DIY.

I DIY all day every day At work

makes me feel... manly.


LMAO

#17
Raskal311

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Tonga branch rock cut to a disk: easy, quick, cheap, and did I say cheap?

#18
yardboy

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If you want to really feel manly (no matter what your gender!) then take some base rock and cut slices out of it with a hacksaw. It's actually easy to do and makes some good bases to attach corals of any kind.
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#19
DAMIAN

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I was reading up on aragocrete rocks on another thread in here in the beginners section and found this link to a place that sales ready made aragocrete rocks and their dry mix. They also had some ready made frag growing pieces some flat and some with pointed tips on bottom, pretty cheap too and look much more natural for when your ready to add them to your main tank........
ReefRocks R Us

Just thought id pass this along as im reading thru the forums....

#20
formerly icyuodd/icyoud2

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I also think its a lot easier to just buy them....It sure seems like a lot of work to make them....


not to mention they really should be cured for a month in the back of the toilet or fresh running water. i purchase mine fully cured, it much easier (unless your planning on makining hundreds)


i just read something that was very interesting about diy rock. if you use rock salt in the mix, during curing it will melt out leaving the rock very porus. i thought this a very creative way of making rock porus.

Edited by formerly icyuodd/icyoud2, 13 October 2006 - 06:58 AM.


#21
sambo123

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yes, thats what I did her is the thread, still dont know if it worked yet

http://www.nano-reef...?...=99744&st=0

#22
ProFlatlander15

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yardboy- what is that brownish coral in the center of your pic? It looks like it an encrusting 'something.' I had that as a hitchiker on my LR since my forst reef and it has grown very slowly and I do not know what it is.

Sorry to hijack.

Edited by ProFlatlander15, 13 October 2006 - 10:11 AM.


#23
kdxboy

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I read somewhere on here about those marble tiles sold at Lowes. Just picked up a bunch of them (about 25 for $10). Boil them, use your thumb to rub off cement, they are ready to go. Marble is calcium based (very good for coral) and if I could remember the thread I read about on here, I'd link it. Seems pretty easy to me....

#24
Upright Joe

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I've got a bag of cement, a bag of rock salt, and a bag of aragonite sitting in my garage as we speak. Hopefully I'll have time to try making some plugs and/or artificial live rock next weekend. I've been wanting to experiment with this for awhile.

#25
Dr. Daggett

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I like to use snail shells. Weird, but it works out. Then you can just throw the snail shell into your rock work and it looks more natural.
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