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Mounting a Coral Frag





Once you get a brand new coral from a LFS or any source, you are too excited to wait until you see the new addition in your main tank. Especially a beginner will want to get it done as soon as possible. However, it is quite important that you understand the species well before mounting in substrate or rock.


Every species of coral differ in many-a-ways and have different ways of handling them while fixing. Safely fixing them is of great importance for their thriving and preventing them from being knocked down. If your frag is not fixed properly it may perish easily.

Glues and Epoxy Putty

Adhesives are more commonly used for fixing corals to rocks. Cyanoacrylate glue is one among the few types of glue that are widely used in coral propagation. While these glues can easily fix corals of SPS species it is usually found insufficient while used on other coral types. Even some SPS refuse to hold into place when fixed using these glues. You may face the notorious problem of withered frag floating around in tank. Personally I would never suggest you to use these glue for coral mounting. Though it is quicker as compared to other ways of coral propagation, there are times when you will need to re-apply the glue. Epoxy putty is more efficient in this purpose. You can easily get them from any LFS or even hardware stores. The aquascape brand putty differs from the local putty in the purple color that blends well with the coral. Though they are much better than glues, the drawback is that they can make the water cloudy if accidentally rubbed in water. They also have a strong odor which is not harmful to corals or any marine invertebrates. You will commonly notice your skimmer either stop working or skim terribly when you introduce putty. There is nothing to worry about it as it will return to normal in a couple of hours.


Methods like tying, banding or stitching is considered the most efficient means of securing the broadest range of propagated hard or soft corals with sensible to very good rates of success. Nylon thread or monofilament fishing line, natural rubber bands and plastic cable ties are the most familiar claspers used in this purpose. Stitching with plastic thread or wire is also amongst the fastest, safest and surest ways of fixing corals. Most soft coral that are split can also be stitched with a needle and plastic thread with very little endeavors. You can also drill a small thread hole in scleractinian skeletal mass so that many stony corals can be fixed with conviction in a similar manner. Corals fixed in this way are safe from being dispatched by strong current or aggressive fishes. Almost all types of corals can be secured using this procedure. They are more safe and sure than epoxy or any other adhesive that may claim to be super effective for coral propagation.


Some propagating corals in large scale recommend using cement for securing corals. Dental cement, hydraulic cement commonly called expanding/fast-setting cement, and even common Portland cement are used in the process. Though they are safe to use, some species of corals and fishes have shown disappointment with their usage. The time taken to dry them is also longer that causes stress to many coral species. Study the species very carefully before beginning to mount them. Use this process only if you are sure your coral species and the fishes in the tank are resistant to the type of cement you are about to use in the process. Anyway, you have to perform a large water change after using cement for fixing in coral frags.

Containing with Artificial Barriers

PVC collars/pipe segments, plastic cups, shallow glass jars, plastic or nylon netting (like rain gutter guard, bridal veil, fruit mesh, etc.), clear plastic tubes, floral picks, and even holes drilled in rock or other substrate are used for creating artificial barrier for the process of containing. This technique is also used to contain an enthusiastic or overgrowing species of coral from intrusion on adjacent cnidarians.

Apart from these there are other ways like impaling corals which is used on both soft and hard corals done usually with plastic toothpicks. Natural attachment process is also used for fixing in corals in the most eco friendly way. The two processes usually are not carried out by most aquarists as they are time consuming and require a lot of patience until your coral is securely fixed in position.

Also what you must consider while coral fixing is the ways of handling different species. Some species can be handled bare handed while working with other needs gloves for safely. Make sure you minimize handling them to the least to reduce as much stress as possible.