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Saltwater Aquarium/coral attachment

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Question
Hello Mae:  I have a JBJ 28g reef tank with built in sump.  It has been running for 10 months and, other than a Kenya Tree (which is all over my tank)and some Ricordeas, I have been slow to add more corals, concerning myself with water quality, specific fish to meet my needs and the ins and outs of reef tanks.  (I have 4 freshwater tanks for 2 years) My question is probably very silly, but yesterday, I finally made it to a reef store and purchased another Ricordea and 3 Chalices. First, I attached them to the live rock with silicone, which has worked in the past. My corals all fell off overnight.  Then I tried an epoxy putty that you knead until white and apply.  Not only does it look ugly, it didn't hold either.  I don't know where to go from here.  I do have some critters (snails, shrimps, etc) that could knock off one or two, but all of them?  Obviously, I need better mechanics here.  Obviously, other people have attached corals to their live rock, so what do I use to get them to stay put?  I may have lost the Ricordea due to manhandling.  Can you help a rather silly newbie?  Thanks.

Answer
Hi Tricia,

Chalice coral can be tricky, being as they are flat normally and the current of powerheads can catch this extra lip from the coral and push on it. With Chalice I normally use aquascape epoxy which holds nicely when used properly. The corals need to be placed somewhere they will not fall even if the epoxy fails cause fall damage can be devastating to the coral or they can be irritated by the sand below. Although this may limit your placement if you want it in a certain place regardless you will need to place a rock below the coral to support it as the epoxy sets. I find with most epoxy even holding it for the directed amount of time on the label normally most epoxy's take a few hours to harden properly. If its placed on a edge with lots of current you may need to rearrange your powerheads to take pressure off the coral. Ricordia are fairly hardy unless like you said manhandled during placement. With my own I glued the little rock they usual come on to a small rock that can be moved and placed to my desire.Critters can knock coral and you'd be surprised how much one or a few snails can do over night, I have removed alot of snails and hermits for this reason and have a peaceful shrimp reef now, they are quiet light on their feet and I don't mind the extra scrubbing if it keeps my corals in place. I hope this will help your placement and don't forget you can get creative just keep in mind the rocks are their to support more then just your bacteria!  :)

Saltwater Aquarium

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Mae

Expertise

Marine Fish compatibility

Experience

Fish behavior, compatibility and needs. Treatments and natural ways to help better your aquariums overall health, medications if need be. Corals and their needs and overall health. Inverts and unusual identification on inverts and fish. General information on equipment and lighting.

Education/Credentials
Years in the industry, hobbyist.

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