Want to Know the Secrets to Fragging Corals? Avoid These Top 20 Coral Fragging Mistakes!
There may be no better way to enjoy the reef-keeping hobby than to frag your ever-growing coral colonies. Coral frags can be sold to other hobbyists helping to finance your own reef tank or they can be traded to grow your coral diversity and share with your friends. Creating and trading frags really is one of the most rewarding aspects of our hobby, just like growing vegetables in the garden, your hard work pays off in the way of a rewarding frag. When the time comes for you to cut and create fragments of coral from your own system, avoiding these Top 20 Fragging Mistakes will help you get it right the first time around resulting in an abundance of healthy frags to sell or trade with your fishy friends.
1. Not Having A Full Tool Kit
Having the proper tools required to frag the corals you have will make the process easier, quicker, and safer for the coral.
2. Not Knowing When Epoxy is Right
Epoxy is not always the best choice, it makes your skimmer go nuts and takes a long time to cure. It does work well when used in conjunction with Coral Glue but we typically only recommend it when you're looking to create a lot of frags in a relatively short amount of time.
3. Not Knowing When Coral Gum is Right
Like epoxy, coral gum will mold around the frag, but it will not harden all the way through like epoxy. That being said, it will form a hard outer shell within 60 seconds and is a good choice when doing just a few corals at a time.
4. Not Knowing When Super Glue is Right
Super glue is best when you don’t need any structure to support a coral frag. Most super glues harden quickly underwater and for best results, apply it to a dry frag plug before placing your coral then submerge it only after the coral stays in place by itself.
5. Overlooking Hybrid Combo
Combining coral gum and super glue or epoxy and super glue works very well for adding support to your frag. We like to recommend this when placing frags directly back into your display aquarium.
6. Using Too Much Glue
Using too much glue can create some ugly frags and you can also wind up covering a coral’s healthy tissue, same goes for too much epoxy. If you find yourself using a considerable amount of adhesive just to attach one frag, your likely not using the right method.
7. Not Planning For Fragging Down The Road
Having the tools, the plugs, and the proper space to house these frags will be crucial to their health and growth potential. Keeping these items on hand will allow you to conduct fragging projects whenever a window opens in your schedule.
8. Not Having Storage Space For Frags
Frag plugs can fill up any frag rack rather quickly and, therefore, having enough space for your frags is very important. Magnetic frag racks are a great way to create usable space and just be sure to place them lower in your display to ensure even light coverage. Setting up a separate frag tank is also a great option.
9. Not Considering Frag Racks In Sump With Small Light
If you have space in your sump for a frag rack or two, simply add a small LED light fixture to illuminate your corals and you can store frags in the sump. These frags will be in the same water as your display tank and this solution will allow you to maximize your space.
10. Fragging Too Much At Once
It is no secret that the fragging process can be stressful for corals. Therefore, we recommend cutting just one or two corals at a time to prevent a spike in stress throughout your tank.
11. Not Considering The Saw.
A coral saw is an excellent tool for those who plan to do some heavy fragging. They are most valuable for cutting LPS corals but, in general, will help you to cut your corals with precision and care. They also work great for removing the ends of frag plugs or shaping frag tiles.
12. Not Getting Enough Frag Plugs
When you’re fragging away, you will be amazed at just how quickly you use up that bag of frag plugs. Always have a surplus of frag plugs and coral glue on hand for this very reason. Nothing is worse than ending up with some coral pieces but having nothing to glue them to for safekeeping.
13. Overlooking Tiles For Frag Plugs
Frag tiles are a great option for any encrusting type of coral that grows across a surface. For example, encrusting Montipora and colonial Zoanthids both pair great with tile-shaped frag mounts. Better yet, once the tile is full of coral you can cut them in half and turn one frag into two!
14. Not Considering Disks
Frag disks are great for any corals you want to display on the bottom of your tank or on the sand bed as they will always sit flat. When used with branching SPS corals like Acropora, frag disks provide a larger base for the coral to encrust which leads to a sturdier foundation as the coral frag grows into a colony.
15. Not Using Rock Rubble
Rock rubble is one of our favorites and can be ideal in a number of scenarios. It is very natural looking which means it won't look like a foreign object inside your reef tank. You can allow soft corals like mushrooms and leathers to attach themselves to a pile of rubble and when the time comes to separate out some frags, you can easily remove bits of rubble with coral attached. This is common practice when propagating mushrooms and small anemones but you can use a piece of rock rubble just like a frag plug, it simply won't rest in your typical frag rack.
16. Overlooking Aquadomes For Euphyllia
These Aquadomes are dome-shaped and quite heavy which helps to weigh down all sorts of branching Euphyllia and keep them in an optimal position.
17. Not Dipping
Be sure to dip anything new coming into your system to prevent coral pests and parasites from making their way into your display tank. We have a large variety of coral dips to suit any need.
18. Not Considering A Chisel.
A chisel can be a really helpful tool for separating out a large colony in order to break it down into more manageable pieces. Just use serious precaution when using a chisel, especially if you are doing it inside of your display tank.
19. Not Rinsing Your Tools
Without proper rinsing, even stainless steel tools will rust over time with multiple exposures to saltwater. Be sure to rinse and dry any fragging tools you use in freshwater and that will go a long way in preserving them.
20. Not Considering A Frag Tank
A frag tank can be as simple or, as complex as you want it to be. Anything from a small 10-gallon tank to hold your overstock to a large 48"x 24" coral run, full of impressive frags to sell at the next club meeting or local frag swap. The advice here is don't overlook building a separate tank , it doesn't have to be complicated and allows you to store frags without having unsightly frag racks in your display.
21. Grow A Colony
Focusing on creating a healthy coral colony and fragging off individual nubs is the best way to create a healthy frag. It will also allow your colony to keep producing in the future. If you try to chop up new corals that are not well established, you will have a much lower success rate with the frags and possibly even stunt or harm the mother colony.