How to attach corals in your reef aquarium

Once we picked our corals and got them home, we needed to place them in the tank. But with the high water flow, emerald crabs, and clownfish in the tank, just setting them on the live rock was not option. Upon talking with the local fish store and reading online, super glue or aquarium epoxy are popular choices, so we tried both.

The super glue we used was sold at Preuss Pets and made by Stick Fast.

We had to remove a piece of live rock and attach the coral to it outside of the tank. Ultimately you would wait 15 minutes for it to set, but since you don’t want to keep coral outside of water for very long, we put it back in the tank very quickly. Even though we didn’t wait for the coral to adhere to the rock, it stayed put and we haven’t had any problems with it staying put when we placed in moderate water flow.

We also tried Epoxy, which we liked better. The epoxy we used was DD Aquascape Construction Epoxy, also sold at Preuss Pets.

We liked this method better because it has a putty-like consistency that can help stabilize the corals, but not adhere them to anything. This way if we placed a coral somewhere but changed our minds right away, we could remove it fairly easily. We left the corals on the frag bases they came on from Preuss Pets, and simply epoxied them where we wanted in the tank. This was nice because we placed most of our corals on rocks that are not easily removed.

Equal parts of each epoxy stick are kneaded together for five minutes to activate the epoxy. This epoxy comes in a mauve color, which will blend in nicely with the purple coralline algae that grows in established tanks.

The epoxy can stain your hands, so we wore gloves and laid down a piece of wax paper. Overall, we liked this method. The epoxy does not dry out quickly so we could use it forĀ  for extended lengths of time as we were picking out the best spots in the tank for multiple corals.

Here is a picture of our Hammer Coral with the epoxy holding it in place.

Aquarists also use fish line, thread, or rubber bands. We may give these a try in the future, but the epoxy and super glue made it very easy to place corals on our reef with very little effort.

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