[Coral-List] Epoxy? Mortar? etc.? for coral transplantation - sharing experiences

Gordon, Ben benjamin.gordon at jcu.edu.au
Tue Mar 22 19:46:30 EDT 2011

Hi Verena,

Have you tried using 2-part epoxy putty? While I’ve never used it myself, there is a brand available in Australia called “Selleys Knead It Aqua”.. According to their web page, it is a kneadable 2-part putty that can be mixed underwater (fresh/salt) and sets hard within 20-30 mins. It has a “high tack” making it suitable underwater and it also seems to be non-toxic as it complies with Australian standards for contact with drinking water. I suspect that it’s not too cheap though.

Here’s the link. http://www.selleys.com.au/putty/epoxy/knead-it-aqua/

For the record, I’m not endorsing the product or the company in any way.


Ben Gordon
School of Pharmacy & Molecular Sciences
James Cook University, Townsville QLD 4811 AUSTRALIA
Ph (07) 4781 5395
Int +61 7 4781 5395
Fax (07) 4781 6078
Benjamin.gordon at jcu.edu.au
Location: DB020 (Molecular Sciences Annex)

From: Verena Wiesbauer Ali <marinebiology.verena at gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 21 Mar 2011 22:53:35 -0700
To: "coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov" <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Subject: [Coral-List] Epoxy? Mortar? etc.? for coral transplantation - sharing experiences

Dear all,

I know this is not the first time someone mentions this topic on the Coral
List, but I would really like to collect different opinions and experiences
under one subject and I hope are willing to share them with me.

The biggest issue while transplanting corals or establishing nurseries
is probably the GLUE.

1) For small nubbins, a two-part Epoxy like the one from Emerkit works well...
It is mixed over water (never tried to mix it under water!?) and takes
between minutes (hardware store products) and a couple of hours (Emerkit) to
harden under water - easy to work with - but expensive in large quantities.

2) Then there's hydraulic cement of various manufactureres, ideal for larger
quantities, especially for transplanting large colonies. Disadvantage: has
to be mixed over water; time between mixing and fixing is somewhere between
2 and 5 minutes, depending on the mixture and ambient temperature.

3) Finally there's the two-part epoxy that can be taken underwater in
cans. I remember someone sealing the windows of our Underwater Spa in the
Maldives with a glue that was taken underwater in cans, and the guy mixed it
while scuba diving. I just can't find him to ask him what he used (Chris
from Austrialia who sealed windows in Huvafen Fushi - contact me if you read
This would be something convenient.
Is it something like the "Z-Spar 788 Spalsh Zone Epoxy "  which was
mentioned on the list some time ago? (I never worked with this product).
Disadvantage: very expensive.

4) Two-part epoxy can also be taken underwater in a gun in which it stays
separately and is only mixed when pressing. The product a friend of mine
used in this seemed not to harden properly so that corals fell off either
seconds and even two weeks after attaching them to a substrate.

I'm happy with the reefs I do, they look great, are stable and grow huge!
But I am tired of arranging boats, canoes or other floating devices...
divers and a herd of snorkellers... just to mix hydraulic cement on land and
take it down into shallow water! Is this really the only affordable option?

Does anyone have recommendations/ideas which product to take underwater with
SCUBA gear and mix/use on the seafloor? I'd really appreciate your answers
collected under this subject.

Thank you!

 Verena Wiesbauer Ali, M.Sc.
Marine Biologist / Zoologist
EIA Consultant: 03/10
Austria and Maldives
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