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FAQs about "Coral" Reproduction/Propagation:  Tools, Materials

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A power saw is a handy tool

Is Super Glue a Super choice? - 5/9/2012
Hi crew!
wwm: Evening Jen, Bobby here
All in all everything is going very well with my 55 gallon with 30 gal refugium. I do have a couple of minor questions. 1. I want to affix some corals to live rock. I bought Super Glue gel containing cyanoacrylate and JB Weld WaterWeld (comes in a tube like HoldFast) at Home Depot for this project. I've read that the SuperGlue can be used underwater in the main tank but it does scare me. Some of the live rock can not be moved without causing a whole lot of problems. Is the SuperGlue ok to use on corals on rock and corals on plugs?
wwm: It is absolutely safe to use
2. I have a few corals that came on plugs. For aesthetic reasons I would like to remove them from the plug. Is this advisable? The corals in question are mushrooms, duncan, and green eyed cup coral.
wwm: That is fine, but many times it is just as easy to glue the plug to the rock and allow the coral to grow from there
3. The toadstool mushroom I have seems to be having problems standing up. First of all, I've read conflicting ideas of tank placement. I put it mid level of the tank and within 2 weeks it appeared bleached out. I have 4 T5s (2 Aqua Sun and 2 Actinic). I moved it back to the bottom and the stalks appear to be getting longer and now one of them has fallen over. I've attached before and after pics. I am currently running activated carbon and protein skimmer and did a water change to ward of allelopathy.
wwm: The leather looks fine in both pictures. Many 'Leather' corals will inflate and deflate. The Carbon, Water changes, and skimmer are all great ideas regardless
Please let me know if you need more information from me. Thank you! Jennifer
wwm: You are welcome. Bobby

frag accident   1/10/11
Hi Crew,
I bought a frogspawn with 5 heads in a line and decided to cut off the last two branches. This coral looks different than what I usually see. The color is like celery and the tentacles short and very compact with lots of tips. It almost looks like broccoli.
<Are variable>
I usually use a small scissors to nip at the skeleton and then keep snipping till it breaks off.
<Mmm, better to use a beefier tool, like lawn/gardening hand snips, and snip/snap all at once>
This one was very strong and my scissors didn't make any progress so I took a tin snip and shattered one branch.
The cracks ran lengthwise from bottom to top. I didn't know what to do so I just squeezed it together and put it in the substrate. It is almost 2 days later and is still alive. Afterwards I though I should have put a rubber band around it to hold it together better. At this point I think it is best to leave it as is and hope for the best unless you have some suggestions.
<I'd add a bit more iodide/ate to the water and call it quits. Bob Fenner>

Coral Glue And Coral Light Absorption (Photoperiod) -- 04/12/08 Awhile ago I got a couple of corals that came with a silicone type glue that mounted them to the rock. At the time, I didn't think it would be so good and don't recall where I got these corals. This glue bonds to rock just by placing it on top of it. I have tried to locate this material at all the tropical shops in my area but no one carries it or knows what it is. It is not "super glue" or putty - it stays flexible and doesn't need to be reapplied. Can you help? What is it and where can I get it? <<I can only guess, but there are some better 'underwater epoxies' that remain flexible. These products form a molecular bond that is quite tenacious. They're quite pricey too'¦at around $50 per quart>> On the coral's light absorption - how many hours of light do they really need daily using optimum lighting? <<'Optimum lighting' will vary by species'¦but lighting in the tropics where most all specimens we strive to keep hail from averages a bit more than 12-hours per day'¦and at an intensity we can only dream of replicating>> Does it vary by type of coral? <<Indeed>> I have polyp types, leathers, frogspawns, elegance and coral plates. Thank you. <<I suggest you provide a lighting period of somewhere between 10 and 14 hours per day'¦depending on quality/intensity of the lighting. EricR>>

Re: Coral Glue And Coral Light Absorption (Photoperiod) -- 04/15/08 Can you give me the name(s) of some safe underwater epoxies? And where I might purchase? Thank you! <<I assume you refer to the 'flexible' epoxy mentioned previously. I've not attempted to use any of these myself nor can I vouch for their 'safeness,' and as was previously stated, can only guess that this was the material you were describing in the first place. But...a simple Google search of the NET re 'flexible underwater epoxy' or 'thickened epoxy' does turn up some sources if you wish to pursue. One source that provides a wide array of many types of adhesives is ELLSWORTH Adhesives (http://www.ellsworth.com/adhesives.html?tab=Products), and if you are interested in a flexible Cyanoacrylate (Super Glue) see here (http://news.thomasnet.com/fullstory/29449). Regards, EricR>>

Superglue gel Dear crew of WWM, I've been an avid reader of your marine articles and FAQs and would like to extend my gratitude towards such a wonderful public service. I live in Singapore, and the marine aquarium trade here is run on a lot of myths and misconceptions with regards coral and fish care so you've been a great help. I found out about cyanoacrylate super glue gel from you guys, and went shopping for some, and coming up only with this product called Quicktite, by Loctite, and its labeled super glue gel, with the behind instructions indicating warnings against eye or skin contact as it contains cyanoacrylate ester. I bought a tube of this though I haven't tried it out for fear of endangering my fishes. Pls tell me if you're able to if this product is acceptable for reef use. << I think that sounds like a perfect glue to use for coral frags.  I would use it. >> thank you very much. << Good luck. >> Ian <<  Blundell  >>

Aqua Mend, or Aquamend, epoxy for aquarium use Hello all! Bob I purchased you book, I think it is well written and very enjoyable. I really like that you never "hawk" the book on your website. <Am opposed to such blatant self-promotion... likely a cultural artifact of growing up in the Far East... not cool to "blow one's own horn"> Anyways a quick question, I have a reef tank and would like to know if you have ever heard of a product by the name of "Aqua Mend" it is a underwater bonding putty looks like the same as the bonding putty they sell at fish stores but it is much cheaper. It is made by "Polymeric Systems, inc." I bought it at "the Home Depot". Thanks for all you for our great hobby. Dan Taylor <Mmm, this is likely a very similar formulation that others have re-labeled and sold for aquarium use... we have a statement re as well as others if you want to put the string: using Aquamend in aquariums" in your search tools... And, of all coincidences, I have a friend also named Dan/ny Taylor, in the HHH, now residing in Houston. Bob Fenner> 

- Two Part Epoxy in Bulk - Hey crew.. Does anyone know of a good aquarium safe 2 part epoxy putty, that I can buy in bulk? <Have not seen the aquarium-safe varieties available in bulk but obviously they are to someone... I just don't know the source.> the 2oz pet store tubes  are just way to expensive. I'm not convinced there is anything special about them besides the color. they look just like the roll of two part found at my local hardware "which i have used with success," I was looking at the POR-15 and Milliput brand epoxies, which can be bought by the pound...Is there any way to tell if they are aquarium safe? I have contacted both dealers and they both said they are not designed for aquarium use although they will cure under water and bond to most anything... not much help. Thanks for any info.. A.J. <Perhaps someone reading our dailies will know where you might source this stuff. For certain it is available somewhere. Cheers, J -- ><<Go to Home Depot, Lowe's... look for name, address of manufacturer's... Not made by "fishy" folks, just re-labeled. BobF>>  

Zinc in epoxy 7/5/05 Hi WWM Crew, First I would like to thank you for your help. I recently bought and read (in about 2 days) Bob Fenner's book and am really enjoying the learning process. I got excited about aquascaping after reading that part of the book went out to the local hardware store and bought epoxy putty. I ended up with two kinds. One is Ace brand plumbers epoxy which I think will be safe, as I found reference to it being used successfully by others on the web. I ended up liking this one better and bought more of it. It is the majority of what I used. (About 5 10' sticks.) The second is PC marine epoxy. This one I am worried about because it lists zinc sulfide on the materials (5-10% of the composition). I only used one 5' stick of this. I unfortunately already used both of them to build a fairly large rock structure for my 55 gal fish and invert tank. My question to you is: Do you think that the PC epoxy will be harmful? <The Zinc is to be avoided... but over some time it should be of little to no consequence. I would place a pad of PolyFilter in your filter flow path for now... to remove this metal as it comes into solution from the Epoxy> What if I cover the exposed areas of PC epoxy with the other Ace brand epoxy? <A worthwhile suggestion, yes> And finally, if it should not go in the tank do you think that breaking down and reusing the rocks (coral skeleton) that were exposed to it would be OK? Possibly with new and extra carbon in the system? <I do think you are right here> I presently have 2 large hang on filters, a UV filter, new (3 days old) Aqua C remora pro skimmer, and an undergravel filter. I change 10% of the water twice a week using Waikiki aquarium filtered water. <Ah, "the gathering place", O'ahu> I tried calling the company and am waiting for a call back, although not sure they will be able to answer my questions. I did search this site extensively and although I found reference to a link regarding epoxy, I could not locate the link. Thank you so much. Looking forward to seeing what you have to say. Elizabeth <I would not be overly concerned here... with the size, type system, availability of good source water, use of chemical filtrants... the Zinc should be a small concern soon. Bob Fenner>

Re: zinc in epoxy 7/6/05 Hi again, In reference to the attached email regarding epoxy putty. I received a call from PC marine. They assured me that the product, once cured, was harmless in a saltwater fish tank. The said that once cured that it will not allow any water entry or react with anything. They also said that they had given this advice to others and had them use it successfully. I am still a little hesitant and would love your opinion. Thanks! Elizabeth <You did get my email from this morning? I am in agreement with the statements above. This putty should be safe once cured. Bob Fenner>

Re: zinc in epoxy 7/6/05 Hi Bob, <Elizabeth> Thank you so much for your response. I was thinking that I would have to break down my big rock structure that I spent so long on. For some reason I did not receive your response to my first email, but I went to WWM and found it. <Bizarre... the Net...> I will buy some poly filters and put my masterpiece in! <Ah, good... get some help lifting!> Thank you very much for what you have done for this hobby. I recommend your book/site to every person I see in the pet store buying unsuitable livestock. Aloha, Elizabeth <Ahh, thank you for your kind, encouraging words, good works. Bob Fenner>

Am I Crazy or is this the same Glue? - 10/13/05 Hello again, <<Hello, TravisM here with you.>> Sorry for all these questions in one day. <<Not a problem.>> The glue (Zap Gel ) at my LFS that looks and smell like a "Crazy/Super Glue" , is that the same as the "Crazy / Super Glue" that you can find at the hardware stores ?(diff brand)  <<Yes>> It contains " Cyanoacrylate" on both glues but according to my LFS the one that they sell (Zap Gel) contains no harmful chem that will affect my tanks water chemistry, I don't know if this is true or they just want to make money since their price is almost triple than the one of the hardware store.  <<Super glue will not affect your water chemistry.>> They told me that the this glue their selling is made for Aquariums, but again it looks and smell like a regular "Crazy/Super Glue". <<Because it is the same stuff.>> Please enlighten me and the rest of my kind, this hobby is expensive enough to purchase such item that's triple in price but of the same effect or use than of the cheaper one. <<I personally use and suggest the cheapo super glue gel you can find at your local Wal-Mart.>> Thanks so much. <<Glad to help and happy fragging.>> Nemo1 <<TravisM>> 

Propagation of "Rose Leather" Hello, I will be acquiring a large "rose leather" in the near future and am wondering if they can be propagated as most other leathers can be by cutting off the cap and then sectioning into smaller pieces?   <certainly> How would I go about this with this type of leather being that is has numerous folds and valleys in the cap of the leather?  I love the way they look and would like to propagate it.  Any insight would be much appreciated.  Thanks again for the replies, Jeff <this would be hard to describe in the simple body of an e-mail but with your experience of cutting other leather corals, it is somewhat intuitive from an aesthetic point of view. Be sure to use a very sharp single edged blade like an Ex-acto knife or scalpel. Best regards, Anthony>

Super reef gel - 2/15/03 Dear crew, hello again, can you guys let me know if you have ever used reef gel, <yes> i am looking at buying some of the super reef gel from GARF in warm springs, 1 tube at $18.00, have any of the crew used this type of gel or come across it, i can always buy Loctite super glue gel (cyanoacrylate) but i was wondering if the GARF stuff is more reef friendly. <superglue gels are fundamentally the same. I personally don't like using them for much of anything  except stony coral. I have outlined my complaints about using superglue in my book of coral propagation... noticing your UK addy, I believe that several of the larger aquarium clubs in the UK have a copy of the title in their club libraries if you care to peruse it. The chapters on specific propagation and settlement techniques are about 50 pages too long to e-mail <G>> I know its a lot more expensive that normal Loctite and some of the other commercial brands, but i suppose it's more specialized, am i thinking along the right lines or am i falling for the old chestnut (if its expensive its good). <the latter IMO my friend> Any advice fellas would be greatly appreciated. Paul, Manchester <kindly, Anthony>

Aragocrete?? 3/19/03 Hi, Thank you for all of the valuable information that you are providing! <thanks kindly> My question regarding Aragocrete is as follows:  Does Aragocrete release any chemicals/substances into the aquarium water?   <somewhat caustic when first made... can be leached quickly with a good soak and rinse> Do you foresee me having a problem with frags mounted to Aragocrete?   <not likely> I have a great reef setup and definitely do not want to take any chances! Thanks in advance for your reply. Cheri <somewhat a matter of personal preference. I like to use live rock rubble instead (available from the bottom of LFS live rock shipment boxes weekly and cheap/free/natural). Anthony>

Coral Identity & Tethering - 11/11/03 Anthony: I read in your BOCP on pg 391 on "Tethering".  I want to use the rubber band technique, but I am unclear as to exactly where to wrap the band around.   <rubber bands are generally used for firm Octocorals (soft coral) that have polyp cycles (expanding and contracting significantly ) that make being with inflexible string, thread or line less secure. Its fast and easy... but also not the best method overall (stitching is best most often... a needle and thread and throw one or two stitches into the coral near the base and tie it off to piece of rubble)> It can't be that you wrap it vertically around the rock and frag, can it? <yes... its that simple> Also, I was hoping you could identify these pictures of a coral I am thinking of getting from my uncle's tank.   <it is the Alcyoniid "Lobophytum". Very hardy and durable. Lends to this prop technique well> I have looked through the pages here and cannot find a match.  My uncle says it's a leather coral, but I was hoping for more specifics.   <correct... a Lobophytum "Leather" coral> This one is attached to a rock already, but 2 others are not.  Will the rubber band negatively affect this particular coral?  Thanks, Rich <best regards, Anthony>

Mr. Sticky's® Underwater Glue Dear Robert, I noticed your website through a search at yahoo and would like to let you know about a new epoxy which is stunning most experts. Mr. Sticky's® Underwater glue has three major breakthroughs: 1. It is very sticky underwater (salt or fresh) 2. It has very strong bonds to Plastic as well as glass, metal, ceramic etc. 3. It is not rigid, so resists bond failure due to shrinkage/expansion/vibration etc. Duke University has tested it in conjunction with Coral and found that it caused no tissue degradation. It is also currently being tested by scientists at the Florida Keys Sanctuary, Mole, Cheju Island in Korea and Eilat in Israel. It has also passed the bioassay for fish safety. You may want to check our website at http://www.underwaterglue.com, we would also be pleased to send you a sample for testing. Most of our customers love the glue because there are so few failures after initial bonding. You can fix very small parts, wet or dry. Kind Regards, Art Quinn, MSI <Okay... will post your note to the WWM site... and you may kindly send along a sample for our anecdotal testing (we have a 4k gallon pilot culture/experimental facility here) to: 10251 Thanksgiving Lane San Diego, CA 92126 Thank you, Bob Fenner>

Glue SPS corals (reason for articles, books...) what kind of glue should be used to glue SPS to small rocks. and how should it be done. Linda Gibson <the short answer is thick gel superglue or underwater epoxy. Corals are to be handled minimally, with latex gloves if possible, patted dry where they are to be adhered. So much more to say...purging mucous, heated prop baths, iodine dips, safe placement in grow out. Too much for a simple e-mail. This may be a perfect place for a plug of my, Book of Coral Propagation. Bob has a review of it here on our WWM site. Some of the advertisers sell it and you can buy it direct as well (signed if you like). Check out www.readingtrees.com for other reviews/samples. Best regards on your information gathering and coral propagation endeavors! Anthony Calfo

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