Tag Archives: fragmentation


First thing is first….does anyone remember Fraggle Rock?

All my little cousins think I make these critters up.  Boo-yah.
Ohhh to be a child of the eighties.
Second thing second….below you will find a lot of words.
Pictures are at the bottom for you visual learners.
For those of you who are curious about this whole “fragging” thing we are always talking about.  I am going to break it down for you.
“Fragging” is short for fragmentation, it’s the process of reproducing corals.  The long story short is you break a piece off of your coral and call that it’s baby.
Fragging is usually pretty simple and a good way for you to share or sell some of your corals.  A lot of people frag their corals and hold onto the mother colony…kind of like breeders.
The best reason to frag is simple….conservation.
Corals are dying off at a remarkable rate and one day the majority of corals will be found in homes.  Sad but true friends.
Corals are almost always fragged out of the water, you generally don’t want to keep them out of the water longer than 15 minutes and no extreme temperatures people.  You think your Hawaiian pretty piece wants to visit the chilly South Pole….nope.  They are tropical peoples.

 If you want to frag a coral with large polyps, gently wave your hand over the coral before removing it from the water so that the polyps retract. Major tissue damage can occur if you lift some corals with large polyps out of the water while the polyps are fully extended.  Ouch.

How you frag depends on what coral you are fragging.  If you are wanting to split a soft coral or leather then we suggest a scalpel.  If it is a rough and tumble kind of coral, then try coral cutters or even a band saw.  Be careful please, no coral is worth being thumbless.

Here is where I will beg you to always wear safety goggles.  There is a woman from our neck of the woods who was blinded after a Zoa attacked her eyeball with it’s squirt.  Danger, please wear goggles….oh and gloves too.  Ok, now I am done preaching.  Love ya.

We always dip both the mother colony and the new frag in a coral dip containing an iodine solution after fragging. This dip will help ward off bacteria, fungus, and protozoans.  Gotta keep your babies healthy.

After you break a piece off from your mother colony, you can return the her to the water and let her relax…she had a long day. Using some aquarium-safe super glue for SPS corals and epoxy for LPS, stick the frag to a rock or plug and return it to the water. Eventually, the frag will encrust the plug or rock.

We use epoxy on most LPS corals because epoxy can handle the weight of the frag better, and it generally only comes in contact with the dead calcareous skeleton. The epoxy curing process will kill any tissue it comes into contact with, so Super Glue is really the best bet for SPS corals even if it sounds crazy.

It is important to never frag more than about 25-30% of your mother colony at one time.  Seems like common sense….but you know.

Happy Fragging my friends!




Written by Christina and Tim