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StevieT

** StevieT's How to Glue Coral Thread **

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Chris333

I'm just a cheap a$$ so that is why I saved the guts:

IMG_5563.jpg

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StevieT

wow, great picture!

 

It doesn't look as usable since you loose the tip, but I guess you could just use the new tip and cover it well. Looks like you are paying a lot for that great dispensing system.

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Polly

Thanks Stevie for this thread, great detailed instructions!

 

I have a question though. I went to Lowe's and bought Oatey Epoxy Putty. When I got home I decided to read the label, and it says it's steel filled, also the hazardous ingredients: Bisphenol A diglycidyl ether resin, Crystalline silica and Glass oxide.

 

Did I get the wrong stuff? It sounds kinda scary. I also read this on the Reaper Board:

 

"Careful with that stuff as it's highly toxic.

 

Wash your hands after using or mixing, if prefereable wear latex gloves while handling. Use a respirator while sanding, drilling or filing as well."

 

Thanks,

Polly

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StevieT

Polly-

 

That stuff does not sound safe. If it has any metal in it that is a huge red flag. Look for a product that is just a soft putty, two toned, you kneed it together. I need to get to Lowes and see what they offer, I only have HD close by.

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Polly
Polly-

 

That stuff does not sound safe. If it has any metal in it that is a huge red flag. Look for a product that is just a soft putty, two toned, you kneed it together. I need to get to Lowes and see what they offer, I only have HD close by.

 

Whew, thanks! I'm glad I asked before I used it! It definitely looks like the same stuff you pictured, it's soft and has the two parts to it so you have to kneed it. I've bought putty from my LFS but it's like $12 - ridiculously expensive, but I'd rather be safe.

 

This is it, Lowe's doesn't have the same thing online:

 

http://plumbing.hardwarestore.com/52-304-p...tty-118919.aspx

 

 

Thanks again!

Polly

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StevieT

That looks about right, but I am still worried about it saying it is steel filled!!! The chemicals don't bother since I beleive they all have some for various purposes of hardening etc.

 

Better to be safe

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StevieT

5 new corals came in today. Here are a few tips on when confronted with a frag plug. Examples include when the frag is growing over the plug and when you can pop the frag off the plug:

 

Monti Cap is Growing over the Plug:

 

IMG_3551.jpg

IMG_3552.jpg

 

Cut the Plug using the manual tool pictured in this thread

 

IMG_3553.jpg

 

SuperGlue Gel, Putty, Glue

 

IMG_3554.jpg

 

Mount.

 

Frag is glued to the plug

 

IMG_3555.jpg

Pop the frag off the plug using the end of a razor blade

IMG_3556.jpg

 

Glue, putty, glue

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proraptor2
For all of those that are concerned about the temperature issue with the putty I did a little experiment. I made up a ball of the putty and placed it on a thermometer probe. This was all taken from a time frame of 13 minutes, where the putty cured rock hard.

 

My conclusion, yes the putty increases in temperature, but in a water temp of 79* you have dispersion of temperatures where this increase actually won't hurt corals. The putty would have to increase in temps of greater than 120* to cause any problems. This was done in the air, but in water temperatures stabilize much quicker. A frag plug should still be contacted with glue then putty then glue again, but you shouldn't worry about a small amount of putty being in contact with your coral.

 

10:08am

 

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10:09am

 

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Sorry man but you are wrong in saying the temperature swing of curing aquamend wont hurt coral. We all know a swing of 3 degrees can cause SPS to bleach, rtn, stn....So a 22.9 degree swing will indeed hurt the coral....But hey if you dont believe me you can come over and look at my dead SPS skeleton pile.....Lost hundreds of dollars finding out the hard way with aquamend...Stick to super glue gel

 

Not to mention using a cheesy coralife digi temp guage isnt the most accurate way to measure the temp swing either.

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Ocho Cinco

I have used it from small cheap sps frags and had no problems. But hearing that I won't use it for a large nice piece.

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StevieT
Sorry man but you are wrong in saying the temperature swing of curing aquamend wont hurt coral. We all know a swing of 3 degrees can cause SPS to bleach, rtn, stn....So a 22.9 degree swing will indeed hurt the coral....But hey if you dont believe me you can come over and look at my dead SPS skeleton pile.....Lost hundreds of dollars finding out the hard way with aquamend...Stick to super glue gel

 

Not to mention using a cheesy coralife digi temp guage isnt the most accurate way to measure the temp swing either.

 

I haven not seen any issues with SPS and the putty as of yet, but I always have the buffer of superglue gel or frag plug between them. If I implicated that, my mistake, do what is best for your tank. My coralife thermometer is very spot on compared to my more expensive pinpont (+/- .4* max) difference, so this was an accurate test of temps out of water.

 

Here is a little experiment in the water.

 

Tank temp:

 

IMG_3608.jpg

 

Set up:

 

thermintank.jpg

thermintank1.jpg

 

9.01

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9.02

 

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9.03

 

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9.04

 

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9.05

 

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9.06

 

9-6.jpg

 

9.09

 

909.jpg

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Ocho Cinco

That seems fine to me. I just glued a sps frag using your super glue-epoxy-super glue method. We'll see how this works.

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matty0206

Do you have any tips for attaching a free floating ricordia to a plug or just to the rock itself? Mine is currently in the back of my tank out of the light on the sand bed.

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StevieT

I have actually had luck with super glue gel, but most don't. Use the shot glass method. Put the ric and a piece of plug or rubbe in the glass, turn upside down. Wait for it to attach on its own. rubber bands and floss also work, but they agravate the coral.

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matty0206

Thanks man I will try the shotglass method. I leave the open end of the glass up though right? So it still gets flow?

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StevieT

that will depend on trial and error. right side up should work though

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matty0206

Thanks I really appreciate it, I just dont want to lose the little guy!

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CorvetteJoe

Awesome thread. I just found it linked from another.

I have all my zoo's glued down to small rubble pieces, but am going to permanently mount them to a larger rock very soon.

 

The 2part putty is a great idea! There are many places I wanted to stick the rubble frag rocks that just don't quite sit evenly in place.

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SPS20
right on. I don't even think you could use aquamend to stick corals to a frag plug.

 

I glue my acro frags to plugs directly with 2-part putty epoxy. The heat isn't as much of an issue with the 2-part if you wait until it starts to get hard before you stick the frag on it. I also like to dip the putty in a glass of icewater for a second before pushing the frag into the putty. This has the effect of stiffening the putty as well as cooling it so it doesn't burn the frag as badly.

 

Actually, in general, I think it is good advice to let the putty harden a bit before you use it, it is just too soft and muchy immediately after mixing, IMO.

 

In general, I agree that superglue gel is the way to go, but I am a big guy with big clumsy mitt-hands, and I like the fact that you get a couple of do-overs with the putty if you screw it up the first time. More than once I have securely glued myself to the frag plug along with the frag using superglue, so now I just use epoxy.

Edited by SPS20

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2knights2
For most of them I have used a razor blade and popped the coral off of the plug. IF the coral is overgrown on the plug, I use a snipping tool used for cutting nails out of wood boards, called an end nipper. I cut as much of the plug off. You can also use a dremmel type tool and cut around the frag.

 

5LJ39.JPG

 

Great thread, very informative!

 

At risk of exposing my idiocity, I should point out (the obvious) that you need to be really careful when using a Dremel (or any power-driven tool) for this. Just last night, I had barely finished positioning and gluing my first SPS frag ever (a 2" Seriatopora hystrix). Then, I had the bright idea that maybe it'd look better without the plug, so I pulled it out again, got the Dremel, and started trying to cut about 3/4 of the plug base off. Since I was trying to cut off so much, I didn't have much of the plug to hold onto, and (yes, you can see it coming) the frag flew out of my hand and smacked onto the floor. :o Fortunately, it was carpet, and it seemed okay... and that's when I should have stopped. But I have that deadly self-defeating trait, "perfectionism", and really wanted to finish what I started. So I kept dremelling! Well, sure enough, it flung right out of my hand and this time snapped off a couple of its tiny, previously perfect tips. :tears:

 

Moral of the story: don't be stupid (like I was). I was lucky I didn't dremel a good slice in my finger, or shatter the frag entirely. All may end okay in my story (time will tell), but there's only so much luck to go around! :D

 

Having said that, before I messed around with the plug proper, I did dremel off the tapered tip without problem. So, what does everyone else do? I've seen people that say they pop corals off the plug entirely, those that leave the plug entirely, and those that apparently successfully manage to do what I tried to do. Thoughts and reasons for the different approaches?

 

As an aside, before I hurt the frag I did manage to get enough of the plug cut (all but ~1/8" of the center) that I'm concerned about the plug's long term stability. I'm thinking of trying to use pliars to grip the part of the plug with the frag while I have somebody else finish the dremel job using a wider cutting wheel, then I can glue it down with Stevie's method. Is this me being stupid again? :blush: I can't think of a hand tool that would work here...

 

Sorry for the long post. My introduction to this has been a little rocky, despite my best efforts to get informed beforehand...

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Reefmack

Great thread StevieT! After some initial (unsuccessful) trials with Superglue Gel and Epoxy putty alone, I came to the same conclusion that a combo was best. You've done a great job of illustrating the method with pictures! I've been using this sandwich of SG Gel/epoxy putty/SG Gel for almost a year - great minds must think alike LOL! The only thing that I do different is that before I put the second blob of Superglue Gel on I make an indentation in the soft putty that will nicely hold a nice blob of SG Gel, and keep it from drying too much on the way to the tank.

 

I've also decided I'd rather pay a higher price to avoid the "dries pure white" putty. I also tried the coralline pink also, and to me that looked almost as unnatural as the white. Now I only use the stone gray shade of putty. To me that is closest to the shade of rock, and it doesn't show up anywhere near as much as the white or coralline pink shades.

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StevieT

Thanks! I think we are on the same page on a lot of stuff!!! B)

 

I try and hide all the putty that I can, I still use the white stuff and have done a pretty good job so far hiding it behind the coral itself. This is by far the best method I have found to attach corals.

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Reefmack
Thanks! I think we are on the same page on a lot of stuff!!! B)

 

I try and hide all the putty that I can, I still use the white stuff and have done a pretty good job so far hiding it behind the coral itself. This is by far the best method I have found to attach corals.

 

I don't know of any better method, that's for sure! I just used the method this morning to glue a superman monti on my rock - a tiny bit of epoxy showing, but with the gray stuff you wouldn't even know it. The monti was a day late via "next day" USPS Express mail - grrrrrrr! But, it seems to be OK after being in a bag in a box since Thursday. Keeping my fingers crossed.

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StevieT

I think the gray putty is a great idea

 

 

 

fingerscrossedfingerscrossed

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2knights2

The grey putty I use is from Ace and marketed for plumbing uses; it's pretty inexpensive. I've seen it recommended in other forums, and I've used it without problems.

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HankB

He StevieT,

Thanks for putting this up and congratulations on having your own Nano Reef Article!

 

I just glued a bunch of stuff down following your instructions and it was duck soup. The only thing I did differently was to spend $10 for tile nippers. I thought that would be better suited for cutting the plugs and as an ex-wrench, I'm all about the right tool for the job. But the plus I cut was really soft, so I'm sure regular nippers would work find.

 

thanks,

hank

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