[Coral-List] Glues for nubbins

Todd Barber reefball at reefball.com
Sun Mar 14 08:41:19 EST 2004

The Reef Ball Foundation has used "jurassic gel" or "palio bond" along with
a spray activator available for the form of superglue.  It has effectively
worked with both hard and soft corals in our research aquariums.

Jurassic gel is a form of superglue that is very thick, so it works better
underwater (we still use above water methods for actually attachments).  We
don't the stuff very often as it is expensive
(http://www.bhigr.com/pages/sans/prep/glue_kits.htm).  It is normally used
by scientists that are reconstructing fossils.  We have not documented any
toxic effects with the glue itself, but we have seen some signs of stress
with the activator (probably because it is a spray and its application is
not as controlled.  If you use it, apply a drop to both the substrate and
the coral then bring them together.

That all said, we normally use a 30 second setting concrete to create plugs
which are then later attached prefabricated strucutures that have receptor
holes for the plugs using underwater two part epoxy.  This works will hard
corals and with soft corals that have a woody stem (gorgonians). We use
growout methods for other soft corals where concrete plugs are left either
next to soft coral colonies for natural overgrowth, or we use temporary
methods of holding propogates next to the plugs long enough for natural
attachment (toothpicks and rubber bands, bridal veil, or super glues).

For efficency, we have found it is best to do as much work as is practical
above the surface of the water to minimize diving times as that is the most
expensive and weather variable part of working with corals.

Just as an observation, medical doctors also use superglue as stitches so
they must have some studies on toxicity.

-Todd Barber
Chairman, Reef Ball Foudatnio

From: <capman at augsburg.edu>
To: <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Sent: Saturday, March 13, 2004 12:54 AM
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Methods for nubbinising tabular corals?

> I honestly can't say one way or another whether superglues are
> absolutely non-toxic in an aquarium, but I can say that superglues
> have been in widespread use in closed system coral reef aquaria for
> *at least* 10 years (maybe more like 20?), by both hobbyists as well
> as people who make their living propagating corals for the aquarium
> trade.  These aquaria typically house not only many species of
> thriving corals, but also a diversity of fish and invertebrates
> (including sponges, worms, echinoderms, molluscs, crustaceans, etc.)
> I have never heard anyone expressing concerns over the safety of such
> glues in an aquarium (not even in the online reef aquarium forums
> where people obsess excessively about the minutia of reef aquarium
> husbandry...debating the pros and cons of different salt mixes,
> debating the pros and cons of trace element additions, worrying about
> the buildup of toxic metals in reef systems over time, etc...). My
> personal experience has been that zooanthids do not like to be glued
> using superglue (I'm not sure this is a toxicity issue...I'd bet that
> any adhesive attached to the soft tissues of zooanthids might cause
> problems???), and I don't think this technique is going to work at
> all well for soft corals (e.g. Xenia),  but I have never seen any
> problem with stony corals.
> In fact, for very small fragments superglue is greatly preferable to
> epoxy putty because coral fragments need to be embedded more deeply
> into the epoxy putty, and any living tissue covered by the epoxy dies
> of course.  With superglue, just a drop of glue between the coral
> fragment and substrate is sometimes all you need if the coral
> fragment is small, thus little if any live tissue needs to be covered
> by the glue.  Superglue does not work all that well underwater
> though.  I have managed to use it to glue onto underwater surfaces at
> times, but it is really much better to do the gluing above the water
> when using superglue.  Epoxy putty can be used underwater of course.
> Literally thousands or many hundreds of thousands (actually, probably
> a whole lot more than that) of stony coral colonies have been started
> using superglues to attach small fragments to surfaces.  I myself
> have started hundreds, with no obvious problems of tissue recession
> at the interface between the glue and live tissue.  This is a
> well-established, very standard, and very successful  method.
> My impression regarding the skin hazard has always been just that it
> can be very easy to accidentally glue your fingers together with
> superglue, and detaching your fingers could then damage your skin.
> And I would think that having anything (spilled glue, or whatever)
> stuck firmly to your skin is possibly going to cause some skin
> irritation.
> Incidentally, it is my understanding that certain types of superglues
> are now used routinely instead of sutures in some human surgeries.
> Bill
> >Greetings!!!
> >I do have some questions about using superglue....(I prefer using
> >epoxy putty or clay cementing substances)....
> >
> >How safe are these superglues?....
> >
> >Most of the superglues I have come across have been labelled as
> >harmful/toxic to skin.  When using superglue has your student seen
> >any reaction in corals ? if not the whole fragment...at least near
> >the area of superglue application......
> >
> >The lab in which I work, has a previous aquarium manager as
> >caretaker and he recomended me to use epoxy putty or clay as they
> >are more safer and are better cementing substances.
> >
> >Thanks for the information.
> >Regards
> >
> >Shashank
> >
> >
> >
> >"the role of infinitely small in nature is infinitely large"-Louis
> >
> >Keshavmurthy Shashank
> >Kochi University, Faculty of Agriculture
> >Lab. of AQUa. Environ. Sci. (LAQUES)
> >Otsu 200, Monobe, Nankoku-shi
> >783-8502, Kochi, Japan
> >alt. id: shashank at cc.kochi-u.ac.jp
> >phone: 81 090 8285 9012
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