Coral Glue Roundup:
There is a lot of different types of coral glue out there so I thought it might be helpful to do a quick round up of the different types and there features. This isn’t so much a review of them as they all have their ups and downs depending on what your particular purpose is but hopefully after reading this you can figure out what would be best for your application.
Each of the glues were put onto a frag tile to get an idea of how thick they were. I suspect most of the glues are likely a cyanoacrylate based glue, though the only pair I know for sure are would be the two BRS glues. You may have noticed that the KZ Speed Glue and Fauna Marin Ultra Reef Fix are not in here. I left them out because despite the name “glue” they have the consistency of sand and cement and really are closer in application to the epoxies, which will just have to be a different article :-)
20g Tube: $14.99
200g Jurassic Gel:$ 40.99
Jurassic Gel was one of the thickest of all of the glues. When placed on a frag plug it settled and pooled downwards a little bit but for the most part it really held its shape. Something really unique to the Jurassic Gel is that it remains somewhat soft after it has set. It is fully dried and cured but has a bit of flex to it. The fact that this particular glue comes in both 20g sizes as well as a huge 200g tube make it versatile for small jobs (frags) as well as really large jobs (like aquascaping). I would reserve the large tubes for occasions when you’re going to need to use a lot within a fairly short period of time like when your aquascaping. The main reason just being that the tips will likely clog after a few cycles of opening/closing/storing (just like any glue), so while it’s tempting to just get a year’s supply in one tube, it’s probably not well suited to doing 2 frags on 500 occasions. You would be better off with a handful of the smaller tubes.
Side Note: Ever wonder why it’s called Jurassic Gel? Its biggest application is out of the hobby where its used for gluing fossils together!
BRS Extra Thick Gel:
20g Tube: $5.99
1 oz Bottle: $5.99
The Extra Thick Gel is the second thickest glue when I tested them. It held its shape quite well and would be a great option for when you need to fill or glue to an uneven surface or want to create a base for a thin/tall coral frag. The 1oz bottle comes with a needle in the cap to prevent clogging which is a nice feature. If you know you’re going to use the whole tube in a single use or two, I personally prefer the 20g tube though. The reason I prefer it is simply that it’s really easy to push the glue out of the toothpaste type bottle compared to the thicker plastic bottles. The bottles still work fine but usually require you to hold the bottle upside down, as you can’t squeeze the plastic bottle hard enough to expel the air and push the glue out with the tip pointing out.
BRS Thick Gel Super Glue:
1oz bottle: $5.99
The BRS Thick Gel Super Glue is cyanoacrylate based glue that has a thickness between that of regular liquid super glue and our super thick super glue gel. As you can see from the image the glue spread out quickly when placed on a frag plug. This is a good option when you don’t need a thick amount of glue, but the liquid isn’t going to do the trick. One of my favorite examples for this type of glue is gluing the short sides of frag tiles together for Zoanthids or encrusting corals. You can mount your frag to the middle tile and glue together a bunch of tiles into an array. As the coral grows out along the tiles, when you want to frag them all you need to do is snap the tiles back apart. A lot easier than having them grow across a rock and then trying to break the rock up into smaller frags. The thin nature of the glue allows it to seep into the frag tile a bit but still thick enough that a bead is left on the surface to attach to the next tile.
EcoTech Coral Glue:
The EcoTech Coral Glue was in the middle of the pack as far as thickness goes. It holds its form pretty well and should be just fine for the vast majority of purposes. An interesting thing is that the EcoTech Coral Glue only comes in “big” sizes. 75mL is the smallest container and 295mL is the largest. That’s a really large bottle of glue! What I really like is that the caps for the bottles actually have a needle/pin in them so that when you screw the cap back on it pushes down into the hole and keeps the tip from clogging. This can be a real pain on other large bottles of glue.
Ocean Wonders Glue:
1oz Bottle: $8.99
For most folks Ocean Wonders is synonymous with fragging and fragging supplies. They make many of the frag tiles and tools that most of us our used to using. The Ocean Wonders glue is one of the thinner glues. It is still gel glue and is a bit thicker than the BRS glue gel (but not as thick as the extra thick). This would be another good candidate for applications where thinner glue is ideal (like gluing tiles together). The thinner glue also dries faster than the thicker glues which is a nice bonus, though water is a part of the curing process with most of them, so they usually cure pretty fast under water.
20g Tube: $16.99
The Fauna Marin glue was by far the thickest of all of the glue tested. Its a little hard to see in the image but it was so thick that I was actually able to make an arch with the wet glue and it didn’t collapse onto itself. This would be a great option for folks that need to create a thick base for a thin coral frag, or something that is a little heavy to one side. Normally I would use epoxy for something like a frag of frog spawn because of its top heavy/lopsided nature but if I were going to use glue for something like that this would be my choice. As far as the reef glues go, this was the thickest of the thick and my go-to glue if super thick is what I need.
What is your favorite glue? Any tips you would like share with your fellow reefers? Share them in the comments below! -Brandon