What Are Coral Frags?

As an owner of a saltwater aquarium, the making of coral frags benefit both buyers and sellers of coral.  Buyers are able to purchase a desired coral at a fraction of the cost of a larger coral.  Sellers are able to make some money back on their investment of a saltwater aquarium because as we all know, this hobby isn’t cheap!  There are also many coral swap groups which are a great way to expand your coral collection without having to spend any money at all.

Mostly importantly however, it is of tremendous benefit to natural reefs across the world.  The more coral that can be propagated through hobbyists, the less coral is taken from reefs in the ocean.  The effect of coral continually being removed from reefs for commercial purposes would be catastrophic.  

What is fragging coral?

Fragging coral is to divide a large coral into smaller pieces and ‘planting them’ onto frag plugs.  This will mean you get several coral from one larger coral.  The term fragging comes from the word ‘fragmenting’. 

Aquarium Choice Coral frag Plugs for Coral fragging kit lps Bases(30pcs 0.98 inch Ceramic Coral Base)
  • 30 PACKS pure white Coral Frag Plugs
  • 0.98 Inch crown base,0.23 Inch thickness crown and 0.39 base plug which is suitable for almost coral frags
  • High temperature firing ceramics coral frag plate, safe material, does not affect water quality and coral status

How do a coral frags grow?

Coral frags grow in the exact same way the adult coral grows.  They are exact replicas only smaller.  They have the same requirements as adults such as lighting, water movement etc.  

If you’re a beginner to keeping coral then you might want to read this article on how to grow soft corals. 

Where to buy coral frags

Check out your favourite saltwater aquarium forums, reef clubs, facebook groups and trade shows.  You can sometimes get good deals from your local fish store especially if they need space for new stock. 

Don’t forget online stores.  Look for reputable companies/sellers with good reviews if coral frags are being shipped.  They should have a guarantee period so if any of the coral die within a certain amount of days, you will get a refund.

For information more information on fragging soft coral, read this article.

For information more information on fragging LPS coral, read this article.

For information more information on fragging SPS coral, read this article.

How do you attach coral frags to live rock?

Coral frags can be attached to live rock by using a two part underwater epoxy.  I use Ocean Wonders Epoxy Putty.  Epoxies come in different colors so choose the one that matches the color of your coralline encrusted rock. 

Take a small piece of each part of epoxy and knead together.  Place it on the rock where you would like your coral frag to grow.  Then simply insert the coral frag into the epoxy.

If you have a large or heavy coral frag, you can use both superglue gel and epoxy to create a stronger bond.  Use a small piece of epoxy and place this into position on the rock work.  Then add superglue gel to the bottom of the coral frag.  Quickly insert this into the epoxy and your coral should be held in place.

Gorilla Glue Super Glue Gel, Cyanoacrylate Glue, Anti Clog Precision Cap, No Run Formula, Fast Setting, Clear, Four 0.11oz/3g Tubes, (Pack of 2)
  • GEL FORMULA: No run control gel formula that is great for use on vertical surfaces
  • ANTI CLOG CAP: Helps keep glue from drying out. It's Gorilla tough use after use
  • IMPACT TOUGH: Specially formulated for increased impact resistance and strength.

How do you attach frags to frag plugs?

Coral frags can be attached to frag plugs by simply using a superglue gel.  You may even have some already but if you don’t, you can check out the price of Gorilla Super Glue Gel on Amazon.  This is the one I have personally used for years.

Removing coral from a frag plug

When buying a coral frag, it will usually come affixed to a frag plug or frag disc.  While they are practical to grow coral on, you may not want to see a frag plug on display when putting it into your display tank.  

Removing a frag from it’s plug or disc is relatively easy.  By using a sharp blade you can run it between the base of the coral and the frag plug.  This should separate the two and you can place the coral directly into your tank without needing to hide or disguise the frag plug.  

With certain types of coral, such as zoa, favia or acans, they will end up covering the frag plug so you won’t even know it’s there.  So you have the option to put them in your tank as they are.    

With other corals such as LPS or SPS, you will more than likely be able to see the plugs so you may want to remove them before putting them in your display tank.

Does fragging hurt coral?

There is no evidence to suggest that corals feel pain.  In fact, coral is often naturally broken during storms and rough seas.  

I do recommend using a sharp blade or coral saw to cut the coral and thereby making a clean cut.  This gives the coral the best chance at survival.  

Is coral worth anything?

Coral can be worth a lot of money but usually, it’s the slow growers that will make the most as there is less competition with other sellers.  Soft coral like zoas are pretty quick growers you will probably find that the market is more saturated as more people are able to frag and sell them.  The more colorful and rare the coral is the more money you can make.  This will drive the price down.

HOWEVER … It costs a fair bit of money to get a saltwater aquarium up and running and maintaining it.  Unless you’re going to locate to a warehouse and start a business selling coral, you will, like most who are in the hobby, use the profit of any coral sales to offset the expense of owning a saltwater aquarium and adding to your current fish or coral population.

Costs of running a saltwater tank include the tank itself, which can run into thousands of dollars, electricity, a reverse osmosis unit, filters, food etc!  It certainly isn’t a cheap hobby.  So swapping or reselling coral is a great way to offset these costs, if you’re not in it as a business. Have a look here how to post coral safely.

How do you grow and sell coral?

You will need a tank in order to grow coral.  It could be in a display tank or a tank dedicated to growing coral but you will need to know, or at least be willing to learn, how to properly set up and run a saltwater tank. 

Most people who end up selling coral frags start with a display tank with live rock and fish and then add coral, propagating them when they grow too large for the aquarium.  The purpose of the display tank is usually started for enjoyment with the selling of coral frags as a welcome by-product.

Not only can coral frags be put up for sale but they can also be used to swap for different types of coral.  Certain coral can be relatively fast growing which means a quicker turnaround in sales.

Another option is to set up a frag only tank.  This is normally a shallower tank than a display tank.  This is to allow easy access to the frags, especially when propagating more.  If you’d like to more about how to set up a frag tank, take a look at this article where I go into more depth. 

Growing and selling coral takes a lot of time so patience is a must.  Setting up a saltwater aquarium in itself is not always as straightforward as it may seem but it is so worthwhile. 


Taking your own coral frags can really expand your coral collection.  Some coral are faster growers than others but the slower growers are well worth the wait.  

Hi, my name is Craig.
I am the owner of The Salty Side.
Firstly, thank you for visiting us. If you have found this article to be informative, and you now have a better understanding of the topic, then my job is done.

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What Are Coral Frags?