"Decent" epoxy putty testimonial

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by screebo, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. screebo

    screebo Supporting Member

    I've tried every regular brand of epoxy putty including the D-D product that is coraline colored and clouds the water with talc. I recently found the putty that is clearly the best for my use. It's a coraline colored Two Little Fishes product that comes in the same tube that the green product sold under several names comes in. None of these puttys including the Two Little Fishes product stick very well to frag discs or corals prior to curing. You can dry the bottom of your frag plugs or discs and still, the putty has very little adhesion. This makes it nearly impossible to glue things upside down! :cool:.

    So...........my method is this. Prepare my coloneys or frags that I plan to affix in position. Have them easy to reach with tools ready that I may need in a pinch. Towels, bone cutters, tweezers etc. I do NOT mix my epoxy prior to having everything ready. The Two Little Fishes product hardens very quickly (a plus in my book) so working time is less than 3 minutes. The good news is that as it begins to heat and set up, it becomes a "little" more stickable. I dry the bottom of the disc or plug then wet my fingers to prevent the epoxy lump from sticking better to me than the plug. I press and press and press trying to be sure to get good contact with the disc and eliminate air pockets. I also try to bring a lip around the edge of the disc to "cup it". I then quckly move the disc and epoxy formed to the bottom to the place it is going. With one careful and dedicated movement, I apply pressure to the top edges of the disc and watch for some displacement of putty. At that time I carefully remove my fingers so as NOT to disrupt the delicate bond. Within 15 minutes the epoxy is hard and "usually" holds in place. I always come back within a few minutes because sucess rate is still only about 60% on the first attempt especially if it's on a sloped surface like most are. It's a little science and a little sculpture art. I love it and I love my tank. Strong words.
  2. Erick

    Erick Guest

    I put glue on the plug and then place epoxy, and glue on top of the epoxy to lock the coral in.
  3. badbread

    badbread Guest

    I do what Erick does, glue on both sides of the epoxy.

    It depends on what I am doing. If I am mounting a bunch of frags the 2 little fishies hardens way to fast for my liking. I use the DD as well, and the clouding thing is really concerning. If I switch the pair of gloves I was using to mix the DD the clouding is a LOT less, seems like it gets stuck to the gloves more than anything.
  4. seminolecpa

    seminolecpa Past President

    Agree with what Eric said. I take the epoxy ball put it in place and then put a dab of glue to ensure it holds. FWIW in leiu of using the two products you speak of, you could just go to Home Depot and buy Aquamend which is just as effective (except it isn't the pretty corraline color). I find that the "corraline" color looks prety fake anyway and that either will be covered in real corraline in a short period of time.
  5. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Out of curiosity why glue epoxy glue? if glue sticks to the rock, and glue sticks to the plug, why is the epoxy needed?
  6. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    structural rigidity of epoxy > glue
  7. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    oops. helps if I read the OP all the way ;)

    epoxy doesn't (IME) hold well as a form but is a strong smooth form to grow on. Glue holds well, but isn't nearly (IME) friendly to grow on. G-E-G lets you put epoxy where you want and ensure it holds in place.
  8. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    I find the BAF (Boston Aqua Farms) purple one to be very good :)
  9. Eight

    Eight Guest

    I also use the glue epoxy glue method. It makes a huge difference and I have probably 95 percent success on my first try using this technique.

    For epoxy, the best I have found is Apoxie sculpt by Aves studio. Its advantages:

    - cheap! Much cheaper than even Aquamend from HD.
    - longish cure time, which I like, esp with the G-E-G method. 45 mins or so.
    - noncloudy
    - multiple colors, but don't use the silver metallic one
    - best of all, no chemical smell like Aquamend. It smells like playdoh

    We should organize a group buy.
  10. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    I'm sure our sponsor, BAF, would set-up a group buy through one of our sponsoring LFS :) say the word and I'll ask!!!
  11. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    I should have read your post all the way :lol:
  12. Eight

    Eight Guest


    I didn't think BAF would do a group buy on Apoxie Sculpt.
  13. Eight

    Eight Guest

    To put 'cheap' in perspective, I'm talking a quarter pound of epoxy for $8.50 in whatever color you want. (Just not silver cuz they use metal in that one...)

    Round about prices...

    Apoxie Sculpt: $0.53 / oz
    Aquamend: $1.50 / oz
    TLF Epoxy (Gray): $2.25 / oz
    DD: $3.00 / oz
  14. screebo

    screebo Supporting Member

    Holy Cow, Guys! I'm glad I asked. It's ironic that I've been fighting this for more than a little while. That makes perfect sense and would indeed allow odd angle adhesion. Does this work for upside down work? Guess I need to do some experimenting. I guess the only thing I'm thinking is that it's a lot easier for me to move things if they outgrow the space when the bond is "semi" in stead of "done deal". Thanks for the great input and I like longer work time too so count me in on the group buy if it works out.

    PS You'll notice I edited the Subject Line :glasses: .........and, I've already had a chance to try the GEG method and I LIKE IT. Geeeze..........Now I look just like Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters of The Third Kind......with that same look in my eye.....
  15. JAR

    JAR Supporting Member

    I'm in.
  16. yardartist

    yardartist Guest

    When I use the g e g method directly to rock in the tank the glue films on the water surface going in and does not then hold the epoxy. How are you all getting this sandwich to work under water? I understand about making frags, but John is placing frags on rock in his display.
  17. iani

    iani Guest

    I myself glue frags directly to my rock with just ic gel. For me it works better than the g e g method, especially on larger pieces. After my frag is placed on the rock I sometimes place apoxie sculpt around it to create a ramp for the coral to encrust onto.
  18. screebo

    screebo Supporting Member

    So here's what I've gathered from the conversations so far. GEG is a very popular method of sticking things to the reef. (One that I was not familar with) The epoxy provides the support and spacing to position frags or coloneys properly but the IC gel is what provides the greatest amount of actual adhesion on any and all surfaces. This is because the epoxy follows and fills contours and provides greater contact area for both the frag/coloney side and the LR side. Another plus is that this method minimizes the amount of IC gel needed to complete the bond with a minimum of air gaps and maximum contact.

    I'm sure this sounds very elementry for most of BAR members but I keep trying to improve and simplify everything in my routines and like to understand why things behave the way they do.

    All: Thanks for contributing your experience and methods. Much appreciated!
  19. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    I find my frags pop off when using IC Gel. I stopped using it after my last case ran out.
  20. seminolecpa

    seminolecpa Past President

    I use the Rich "prime the rock" method and never seem to have a problem with IC gel.

    Let me qualify what I use epoxy vs. straight IC Gel on.

    When I want to just mount a frag on my rockwork or generally on a plug, I just use IC gel. I prime the rock underwater with some IC-gel then put a dab on the bottom of the coral to be mounted and work quickly in the tank.

    If I have a odd angle mount, I want some more stability either from a very large piece or I want to put the frag say in the gap or hole of a rock, I use the GEG method.

    I also find that epoxy works very nicely if you want to reuse a frag plug or are using something like coral cradles as it make it easy to pop the epoxy piece off or our of the plug.

    I like epoxy for sculpting and for creating a plate like surface for some chalices and montis as it seems to give them less surface tension for spreading out and helps them grow in that nice disk like shape. I also like it for mounting zoas as it makes for easier fragging later on. Hardened epoxy is way easier to cut then live rock.

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