Mr. Saltwater Tank TV Friday AM Quick Tip #129: Protect Your Frags From Harm

I love getting new frags for my tank. And I HATE it when they get knocked over or buried by sand sifting fish. The good news is that I’ve found an easy way to keep the frags safe while they are acclimating to my tank.

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Comments for this article (23)

  • Mark H. says:

    Good tip Mark, my tank in the man cave is full of frag fittings until the frags is ready for the main tank upstairs.

  • Mark H…what is a frag fitting?

  • JasPR says:

    an oldie but a goodie! GOOD information for the beginner for sure! JasPR

  • Mark H. says:

    Mark, it is just another name for PVC coulpers or end caps. I have fittings from 1/2″ to 4″ in my frag tank. A 4″ end cap full of tiny rock rubble makes a good place for mushrooms to stay in place and attach.

  • Rick says:

    I took it one step further. I saw this on a video on youtube and though it was a great idea. For those animals like plate corals, where they rarely move, Take a piece of pvc wide enough for your plate (mine was around 3 inches or so, cover it with a layer of reef putty and then super glue pieces of broken apart live rock all over the sides, pushed into the putty. Then fill it with sand and put your little guy on top. Keeps them away from sand sifters and looks like a very cool natural accent in your tank.

  • Jason says:

    What keeps the sand sifters from knocking over the PVC pipe? I think it might actually work better to use a PVC reducing fitting so that the base of the pipe is wider than where the frag is plugged in. This would be a lot harder to knock over I would think.

  • Matt says:

    Hey Mark I take it a step further because I don’t like the look of the pvc in my tank either. I take the same size pvc smother it in tank safe silicon and roll it generously in dry sand and let it dry. I then do the same process on the interior of the pvc. This helps camouflage the pvc so its not screaming “look at me- I’m fake- and in a natural reef environment”!

  • JasPR says:

    by the way, to keep wandering species like sand anemone and the like happy and settled, fill what ever collar base structure you like ( PVC, coupling, reducer or even stone napkin rings! I like end caps myself- easier to move the anemone attached species from the aquarium base as they attach to the cap base instead) and fill them with a 50/50 mixture of very fine white sand and montmorillonite clay ( NOT kitty litter please!). This slurry like sodium calcium based mineral composition along with sand aggregate makes for a friendly and familiar digging structure for a ‘footed’ invert.

  • Stephanie says:

    Might want to check these out.

  • Matt says:

    those are good but beware they are not strong enough for aquarium thicknesses over 1/2″

  • brad says:

    Never fails, every time someone gives a tip on how to do something in this hobby someone else always chimes in with a “better” idea or says your idea won’t work. No one seems to agree much in this hobby. Makes it very hard for the beginner to know what to do and what not to do.

  • Rick says:

    To Matt: What isn’t strong enough for aquarium thicknesses over 1/2″?

  • Mithun says:

    I generally use a flat base rock.. i have one that i drilled multiple(8-10) holes of plug base size in it .. once done acclimatizing the frags the base rock goes back to the sump refugium.. looks more natural and handy to use

  • Matt says:

    those aqua-mags for holding frags. My glass aquariums walls are 3/4′ thick so the magnets aren’t strong enough to safely hold frags. That product is recommended for tank thicknesses 1/2″ or under.

    Nice product tho, just wish they would work in my tank

  • Mike says:

    Of course this is after you’ve dipped and QT’d the coral frag. 🙂

  • Craig says:

    Mark something seems to be wrong with the link the video is not running.

  • Mark W. says:

    brad, dont get upset at the “one-uppers”. They give the new guys/gals options and ideas. It was comments like those that gave the idea for completely refugium that I have ever seen before, but seems to be working great for me.

  • Dowtish says:

    I dont like the look of a frag rack, but i like the look of pvc sticking up out of my sand bed…..

  • Merne says:

    Brad, I feel your pain. It was difficult. The best thing you can do is research. Find out “why” don’t just take all tips blindly. Find out how modern the tip is (was the blog post made in 2002 or last week), and find a Reef club or some reefing buddies that have been doing it for a long time. In my experience the reef clubs are very welcoming of noobs.

    In the end its a trial and error type of hobby. If you’re not prepped for the ups and downs, you probably aren’t a reef junky, but more a tank dabbler. Maybe start out with some easy stuff, because I promise there is heartbreak in our hobby. 🙂 Best of luck!

  • Mike says:

    “to their final resting place”

  • Rick Schmidt says:


    I laughed so hard I almost cried when he said, “to their final resting place” too. 🙂

  • Rick Schmidt says:

    Mark; would an encrusting coral encrust (if that is the right word) on sand?

  • Al says:

    Thanks for another helpful tip. I’m going to try this with my next coral frag.

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