Introducing your first few coral fragments to your reef tank is one of the most exciting parts of doing your own build. With seemingly endless possibilities for arranging and rotating the fragments, you can make this display your own in a lot of ways. However, when it comes to securing these specimens to your live rock, even experienced hobbyists can experience some difficulty. This is how to glue coral frags to rocks the right way and ensure your marine life looks its best.
Clean the Area Prior to Placing the Coral
If your corals frequently detach themselves from your live rock, this could be because you forgot to clean the area. During the time you spend regulating your tank, algae often begins forming over the surface of your live rock. This substance can make it difficult for the glue to properly cure to the rock, which makes it easy for the coral to dislodge. For this reason, it’s important that you clean the section of rock where you want to place your frag by blowing the area with pressurized water and brushing away the debris.
Acquire a Strong Superglue and Epoxy Putty
Next, make sure you’re using quality adhesive products for this task. Saltwater can be highly corrosive, so you’ll need to use materials designed to withstand some of the toughest conditions. Tank builders often recommend using a gel-based superglue as well as a water-resistant epoxy putty. Using both together is crucial to creating a quality seal within the rock and raising your success rate.
Trim Your Frag Plug
When purchasing your corals, you probably noticed they were affixed to a small, plug-shaped piece. This is the section of the frag to which you’ll apply your glue and putty as well as the part that will be pushed flush with the live rock. However, since frag plugs tend to be a universal size, you may need to cut down the stalk if it doesn’t fit where you want to place it. This isn’t always the case, but it’s something to keep in mind as you plan out your aquascape.
Apply Glue and Putty to the Frag Plug
Then, in order to glue coral frags to rocks the right way, you’ll need to apply your glue and putty properly. First, make a ball of putty large enough to fill the gap in the live rock but small enough to limit the amount of excess left over. The putty will fill in any nooks and crevasses in the rock and create the seal. Apply glue to the plug, and stick the soft putty to it. Next, use more glue on top of the putty. Once you’ve completed these steps, press the plug into your desired position and let it cure.
At World Wide Corals, we know how frustrating it can be to have coral fragments constantly fall out of place and need to be reapplied. This is why we want to ensure that you not only have access to the corals you want, but also know how to make the most of them. From colorful, diverse chalice coral to easier-to-care-for soft corals, the technique outlined above can help you arrange all of them to your specifications.