best reef glue

Best Reef Glue: Instant and Easiest!

Gluing frags can be a pain in the back if you’re not using the proper reef glue.  We’ve seen some horrible-looking reef tanks with glues floating all over the place. Your reef tank deserves better. 

If precision is not your forte, this one is going to be tough. I mean, you don’t want the frags to move around freely in the aquarium along with your fish, do you?

Since there are different adhesives in the market, it’s hard to pick the correct one.

Thus, we put ourselves through the grueling task of testing twenty-five different reef glues. Then we picked the top ten. 

I guess you’ll be able to pick the best reef glue for your aquarium from this bunch. That’s not all! We also included some technical know-how too. 

So, let’s get straight into it without wasting more of your time! 

Types of Reef Adhesives


Let’s get this straight, glues aren’t the only adhesives around. There are similar options that perform the task just as well. If you’re up for checking out other types of adhesives, let’s talk!

At this point, we’ll be pitting different kinds of adhesives together. You will see some comparisons among glues, cement, and adhesives. 

So let’s start- 

Glues, Adhesives, and Cement

Yes, they have quality reef cement for this kind of stuff too. But I digress. We were able to spend a bit of time with all types of adhesives. And then we decided to come up with a verdict. 

To each their own.

We’ve tried the NYOS Reef Cement. Although it didn’t make it into the top 10, it’s unique. We had to do a bit of prep work for this adhesive. I mean, it acts like cement. 

We stuck to their formula of using 1-part water with three parts of the cement. And then, we used the paste to stick the frags onto the aquarium.

The results weren’t bad. Everything stuck together in a matter of minutes. But the extra hassle of making the paste didn’t seem too good to us. 

We took their word for it and were pleasantly satisfied. The mixture wasn’t harmful to the fish. So that’s a strong point. I think you can try it out if you’re not satisfied with the other adhesives.

Glues are on the top of the list for me. And there are quite a few reef-specific glues, as you can see. What’s common is the typical amount of cyanoacrylate in the glues.

You must pick glues that are in their gel forms. That’s right, the runny glues won’t work underwater. And all the reef glues we tried out were in their gel forms. 

As for other adhesives, epoxy sticks are decent. I mean, they are fun to use. But you might need more epoxy than you think. 

So what’s our take? Go for glues. If you have any of the multipurpose glues lying around, go right ahead and use them.

And if you’re building from scratch, it shouldn’t hurt your wallet if you invest in a decent reef glue. 

So here’s the summary. If you have a ton of time, use cement. Sticking frags using epoxy needs a lot of kneading. A quick and practical solution is to use reef glues. 

Take a glance at the table below to get a better idea- 

Reef Specific Glues Vs. Other Glues

Here’s how we differentiated things for our list. We took the top performers from the best glues specifically made for coral fragging and put them here.

Then we tested some other gel-type glues that perform just as well. So you’ll see reviews from the top picks from both sides here. 

Top 5 Best Reef Specific Glues

We divided the types of glues into two segments here. Firstly, let’s take a look at the top reef-specific glues. These were specifically developed for attaching coral frags. 

That’s it for the quick comparison. Here’s a visual representation depending on how we rated the best reef-specific blues. 

Disclaimer: The lower the curing and the setting time, the higher their points here. 

Seachem Reef Glue Gel: More About it

Let’s start with the star of the show, this gel from Seachem. 

You might not agree with us on the decision, but I think this one ticks all the boxes. All the Seachem reef glue reviews are also up to the mark.

We got the chance to use this glue for a couple of weeks. And the best part about this is the long nose of the tubes. This longer nose helps when it comes to gluing coral frags. 

Although they claim their new formula is seventeen times thicker, I don’t think it’s that much in reality. 

Upon further testing, the glue looked promising. We were able to attach a few frags to the aquarium. It’s thick, like the second one on our list. The glue held up well.

Although this takes a longer time to cure, maybe, using an accelerator might help. You can check out the accelerator that comes with the last product on this list. 

It’s the most expensive option among the glues made specifically for coral frags. Heck, it’s likely the most expensive option on the list. But I guess you have to pay the premium for the ease of use, right? 

Things That Need Improvement

  • They could have made the glue dry clear. You can still see the glue once they cure. So that’s something they need to work on. 
  • The cap sometimes sticks with the container. If you have any issues with this one, you can try something with a better cap design

Bob Smith Industries IC-Gel Coral Glue: More About it

The previous product that we just checked has a lot going for it. But the curing time is a bummer.

Would you be interested in something that offers a better curing time for a few more bucks? 

Well, this one from Bob Smith Industries might be what you’re looking for. If you’re familiar with the aquascaping industry, you probably heard about the IC-Gel. 

But let’s not brag too much about the brand now. 

Unlike the first one, the nose of the container isn’t that impressive. I mean, you could still get a bit of leeway while applying, The nose goes from thick to thin at the end. And it’s not as long as the previous one. 

I mean, IC stands for Insta Cure. And I’m pretty confident that the glue does not cure instantly, especially not underwater. But it’s faster than the rest in this aspect. 

If paying extra can give you better curing time, I don’t think that’s too bad of a deal. Upon further evaluation, the glue holds up well. We tried to attach five frags in our aquarium, and this worked like a charm. 

Things That Need Improvement

  • The container isn’t the best out there. You might have trouble when the glue starts to run out. Maybe a product with a decent container could solve this issue. 
  • You don’t get a lot of leeway for adjustments. Maybe the fourth one on the list is slightly better for that. 

RA Aquatech Aquascaping Glue: More About it

If we’re talking about containers, this isn’t the cream of the crop either.

But the fact that you get a quicker bond compared to the first one seemed interesting. This one even comes close to the second one. It’s not as fast in curing, but it’s also not as expensive. 

If I’m honest, I don’t know how this one won. It went toe-to-toe with the next product on the list. Nonetheless, this one came out on top. 

They claim that it’s insoluble in water, and that’s true. But a bold claim of bonding within seconds wasn’t such a great idea. 

If we’re being specific, the bonding time was just a bit quicker than the second product on the list. 

Want to hear another one of their bold claims? They claimed that it dries clear while it’s “clearly” white. So yes, we were still able to see the glue after it was fully cured. 

In terms of quantity, it’s practically the same as all the others that come in a tube. So we shouldn’t be complaining about that.

But if you think the smaller package can actually increase the utilization rate, as they mentioned, think again. It’s almost the same as every other package.

Things That Need Improvement

  • You might not appreciate the fact that the glue dried white. A gel that dries clear should be able to do the trick if this is something that bothers you. 
  • Takes a while to get off compared to the others. You might need a bit more acetone to remove this. 

Two Little Fishies ATLCF2 Adhesive: More About It

This one comes in a different-looking bottle compared to the others. But the bottle’s not the only thing that’s different.

We tried to figure out what the consistency is actually like. And the gel type actually resembles honey inconsistency. But it doesn’t look like honey, though. So you don’t have to worry about accidentally eating it.  

The best part about it is the leeway. The second and third products on the list harden quite quickly. But this one tends to give you a bit of leeway.

I mean, it still hardens fast. But you get a few seconds to make adjustments. And that’s extremely important in the case of coral fragging. A bit of room for wiggling is always appreciated.

As for the bond strength, it’s comparable to the others on the list. Try wearing gloves, we didn’t have a fun experience trying to get the gel off our fingers. 

Things That Need Improvement

  • The gel tends to dry up at the tip of the container. You can probably use a nail to free up the tip. But that’s extra work.
  • This gel can tend to get messy. But a lot of them do. It didn’t bother us since we got used to it at this point. But you can try out a stick of epoxy if you want to avoid the mess. 

Polyp Lab Premium Coral Frag Glue: More About it

Finally, we have this one from Polyp Lab. Since it’s in last place, you might think about avoiding it.

Well, stick around for a bit. It’s got something good up to its sleeves.

It’s the only one that comes with seven tubes in the box. That’s the highest on the list. But it isn’t very far ahead in terms of the total quantity.

Even the pricing is competitive. It’s around the same pricing as the previous three that we just reviewed. 

In terms of consistency, the thickness sure surprised us. It might just be the thickest gel among the top five by the slightest of margins. We were able to glue a few frags with this, and they held up well.

If a handy metal tube is something you prefer, I’d say you can go for this one. 

Things That Need Improvement

  • They could have cut the cost down a tiny bit. That would have made this a better option.
  • The success rate at sticking frags isn’t perfect. I think the binding strength needs a bit of improvement. 

Top 5 Best Multipurpose Glues

Previously, we’ve gone through reviews of the reef-specific glues. But you might want to pick something that’s useful for other materials too. Once you’re done coral-fragging with these glues, you can use the leftover glue for some other project. 

Now that you’ve gone through the quick comparison, here’s a chart that should give you a better view. 

Disclaimer: The lower the curing and the setting time, the higher their points here. 

Gorilla Super Glue Gel: More About it

Up next, we’re moving on to the multipurpose glues. While these glues might not be made specifically for coral fragging, this one has something going for it.

Honestly, we’d pick this one over some of the more reef-specific glues. We had the whole pack to ourselves and almost used it up.

So, what did we figure out? 

Well, something you have to keep in mind is that this is the gel version. There’s also the runny version of this specific glue. 

And, mind you, that’s not going to work with the coral frags. 

Well, if we compare this to the others below it, it comes second in terms of quantity. But when it comes to overall practicality, I think this one takes the cake. 

Our only complaint with this one is the curing time. You have to hold the plug with the frag for a while for it to stick. But once it’s cured, it’s stuck well enough. 

Although they brand it as “impact-tough,” don’t go around hitting the coral frags. But this raises another concern. What happens when your eels hit them with their tails?

Don’t worry. We didn’t come across many incidents where frags fell off due to fish hitting them. So you should be safe. 

Well, here’s the thing.  They’ll come off with enough impact. 

Things That Need Improvement

  • Takes a while to dry. If you don’t have time on your hands, a quick curing glue might do the job. 
  • If air gets inside, this turns messy. But if you’re careful about keeping it airtight, I think one of the easiest glues to work with. 

Loctite Super Glue Gel: More About it

Here’s one from Loctite. And, I’ll be honest. You don’t get a whole lot of glue, to begin with. 

It’s tied with the next product on the list when it comes to the smallest quantities. But we liked how this one doesn’t drip as often as the others. 

You’re here to find out whether they’re good enough to keep the coral frags stuck? Yes, they are! 

This might be going toe-to-toe with the first one among the multipurpose glues in terms of binding strength. We did fiddle around with the frags to see if any slight impact might pull them off. Well, they stayed stuck. So that’s good.

We were kind of disappointed at the container, though. Although one of them was in good condition, the other one somehow came in contact with air and dried up. That’s not good at all.

Things That Need Improvement

  • The container isn’t airtight. This might bother some of you. You might be more comfortable with a glue with an airtight container
  • This isn’t the ideal amount of glue if you have a big project. But a small number of frags could be planted easily. 

LePage Ultra Gel Super Glue: More About it

If you’re looking for the same sized glue as the previous one with slightly improved packaging, this is it. 

It’s pricy. You don’t get a ton of gel glue for the price you pay. But if you’re willing to pay more for an easier squeeze, this is a good choice. 

That’s right, the bottle design is unique in its own way. You can squeeze the grips on the side to squeeze the coarse gel out. 

Our coral frags didn’t seem to mind. They stayed attached to the surface well enough. 

If I were to improve anything about this one, it’s the curing time. We found that some of the frags still had soft glue after three days of application. That’s not a good look.

We liked the application process, but this one takes a long time to cure. 

Things That Need Improvement

  • This isn’t a quick curing solution. If you’re in a rush, you can try out a product that cures quicker
  • I mean, they could have used a bit more glue, right? However, you can always pick the next option if you want more glue for the price. 

The Original Super Glue 15185 Gel: More About it

Our penultimate choice is this one from The Original Super Glue Company. Yeah, that’s a mouthful. But hey, at least they’re offering good value, right?

Although this thing is specifically used for porcelain or leather, we tried it out with coral frags. And this worked. Be sure to get the gel version of it, though.

Like the other glues on the list, this is made from gel-type cyanoacrylate. So you should be able to complete your coral fragging tasks easily. I mean, maybe not easily.

You have to hold it in place for around 3-5 minutes. So that’s a bummer. But you have to hold the frags even with the “Insta Cure” solutions on the list. So this should not be a big deal. 

There are a lot of tubes in the box. But you have to participate in a wrestling match to get the box to open up. We’re definitely cutting points for usability. 

Things That Need Improvement

  • The outer shell isn’t really a practical solution. It took us around 10 minutes to crack the hard plastic shell. Yes, it’s that hard. I won’t recommend this to my grandparents. Maybe an easier-to-work-with solution is something you’d prefer if this worries you. 
  • It doesn’t give you enough time to make adjustments. If you want to work with the glue after applying it, the third multipurpose glue might help. 

Bob Smith Industries BSI-157H Combo Pack: More About it

The last one on the list is another one from Bob Smith Industries. It’s different from the first one as this is a multipurpose glue. 

Let’s start with what sets this one apart, it comes with an accelerator. And although this isn’t dedicated to this specific task, it works with frags

Although you might see some mild reactions, I think it shouldn’t matter too much. We used just a bit of the accelerator, and the curing process sped up. 

Even if you run out of glue, you can still use the accelerator with other super glues. 

You can rest assured that you don’t have to wait for the glue to dry, keeping your hands inside the tank. 

It’s on the thicker side. I mean, it’s different from the runny liquid glues. But it sets quickly compared to the others. 

Things That Need Improvement

  • This thing might freeze up inside the bottle a bit too fast. If this is a problem for you, try out a product with better packaging
  • The glue falls between the gel and runny types. So you might not have enough leeway like the gel glues. A gel-type glue might give you a bit more leeway if this isn’t what you want. 

How to Use Reef Glue?

Once you’ve purchased a reef glue of your choice, it’s time to get to work. 

But how exactly do these glues work? Or how to glue frags to rock? Don’t you just stick them onto the surface and attach the different parts? 

Well, yes, that’s the principle of all glues. But there is a specific way of doing things. 

Although you might not be in a lot of trouble if you get a couple of steps wrong, it’s better to stay on the safer side. 

Glues like these can stick corals to rocks or plugs to rocks. They’re also capable of holding the coral fragments up for a while.

You probably know already that it takes way longer for the glue to work underwater. 

Step 1: Finding a Frag or Coral to Mount

First, you have to find the coral or your fragment. So pick out your favorite frags first and gather them around the tank.

Step 2: Preparing the Rock

Next up, you have to prepare the rock for the frags to adhere to. For this, pick up a toothbrush. 

Brush the area where you want to place the coral or frag. This is to clear out all the algae or the debris around the area. You need a clean surface, or else the frag won’t stick even with powerful glue.

Step 3: Setting Up the Frag Plug

You can start by placing the frag plugs on a towel. Make sure they are faced downwards to apply the glue to the bottom of the plugs.

If the plugs are wet, use the towel to dry them.

Step 4: Applying the Reef Glue

Grab the reef glue and apply the gel to the bottom of the frag plug. Make sure you’re generous with the glue. 

You’ll need a decent amount of glue so that you can mount it properly. It’s important that you can squish the frag plug onto the surface with a decent amount of glue.

This step of using more glue helps out when you’re mounting things on an uneven surface. 

Step 5: Mounting the Frag Plug

Whether you’re mounting the plug on an even or uneven surface, you’ll need to push the plug down and smear the glue. Try pushing it firmly; that’s why we told you to use a generous amount of glue.

The glue can get into all the gaps and crevices if you use a good amount. So the plug will eventually stick well.

Step 6: Cleaning up

Pick up a soft bristle toothbrush and start a bit of cleanup. If you move it accidentally while cleaning, push it firmly in place again.

Step 7: Letting it Dry

You’ll need to wait hours before the glue hardens. Since this isn’t the typical environment for the glue to dry, you might need to wait a long time. 

It could even take up to two days to cure completely. So patience is the name of the game here. 

And then you’re done. Now you know how to place coral frags in your tank. Next up, we’ll give you a bit of a tip on gluing softer corals.

How to Glue Soft Corals?

Do you know how to attach a toadstool coral? The problem with these soft corals is that they tend to excrete a slime-like substance. If you’re not using a plug, you can squeeze the gel onto your desired location.

Just like the other application, use a generous amount. The glue should adhere to the rock. Then you can pick up a pair of tweezers to pick up the soft coral and attach it to the glued surface.

Just try and avoid the face of the coral. This might damage the coral. Gently press the base of the coral into the glue to securely hold it in place. 

Then repeat the other steps of the previous application method. And then you should be done. 

How Long Does Reef Glue Take to Dry?

You can probably guess already that these glues need to work underwater. And, drying in a fully soaked environment isn’t really a good thing.

Although you can start a new aquarium without the water first. But if you’re introducing new coral frags into the aquarium, you have to use them while the fish are still there. 

I think the curing time is more critical in this particular case. Even if the glue dries, it needs to cure for several hours.

We’ve tried out all the best glues here with different curing times. But leaving the reefs attached with the glues for two nights seems to yield the best results.

If you want specific numbers, well, they take around 36 hours to cure fully. You wouldn’t be able to tinker with them after they have been fully cured.

So if you have to move the plugs or base stands around even after attaching them, do it before it cures. 

How Safe is Reef Glue?

Lastly, let’s cut to the point. You might think that the glues are harmful to you. So how do you know that they aren’t going to take your skin off with them?

How to Get Reef Glue off Fingers?

How To Get Super Glue Off Of Skin - Clumsy Crafter


There are quite a few funny-looking ways to approach this. One weird way includes using a can of acetone. It’s the same thing they use in nail polish removers. And it works. 

If you’re not in a hurry, just let the oil from your skin do the trick. Most of the time, it’s enough to get the excess glue off your fingers. 

Want to know the silliest way to do it? Sandpaper! Yes, you heard that right. Don’t even ask why we decided to try that out.

But don’t go crazy with this. Take some fine sandpaper and use them on the parts of your fingers affected with glue. Make sure to be gentle. 

You can always avoid this using these weird solutions if you use a pair of gloves. Try using a pair of nitrile gloves if you’re really bothered about this. 

Which Glues are Reef Safe?

You don’t want the glue you’re using to harm your fish, do you? So the glue that you pick to attach frags should be toxin-free. 

After much evaluation, we’ve found that gel-type glues with cyanoacrylate are good enough for your aquarium. 

Don’t put your aquatic life at risk by using just any household glue. I mean, it might still stick your coral frags to the aquarium. But what’s the use of that if you end up having no aquatic lives at all.


What do the adhesives do?

Coral fragging is one of the popular hobbies now. And the best way to stick these coral fragments onto your aquarium is using adhesives. You can use glues, adhesives, or even a specific type of cement. They attach the frags to their dedicated places in the aquarium.

Are Hot Melt Glues safe for Your Tank?

Yes, they’re fully safe. You can use hot melt for your tank. The temperature shouldn’t affect the aquatic environment of your reef tank. But be sure that the different polymers used in the hot glue should be safe for your tank. 

Are thick adhesives better?

Yes, since we’re focusing on gel-type glues, it’s because they’re superior. The liquid glues shouldn’t be used underwater because most of them won’t work. So yes, try out thicker adhesives. 

Bottom Line

Now that you’ve come this far, it’s time to part ways. Thank you for being patient. I know that all this might be a bit tricky to process just for picking a glue type.

But if you’re serious about sticking the coral frags properly in your aquarium, I think this is worth your time. 

Pick the best reef glue from our list. You can either pick the reef-specific glues or the multipurpose glues. Both types offer something different even though they have a lot in common. 

So be sure to pick the correct one. Good luck! 

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