Aquascaping GLUE and some "gluing" tips for your rocks!

BRS

Did you use an adhesive to create your aquascape?

  • YES (tell us in the thread)

    Votes: 182 46.4%
  • NO I just stacked them

    Votes: 185 47.2%
  • NO I used acrylic rods

    Votes: 13 3.3%
  • Other (tell us in the thread)

    Votes: 12 3.1%

  • Total voters
    392

Jilly92

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Absolutely had help!
Plus these pieces aren’t all glued together
I assembled them on my kitchen counter (that didn’t go over to well) and glued the primary pieces only.
I attempted on my first aquascape to glue the whole scape and try to lower it in by myself and it was HELL. I ended up putting it in a type of makeshift sling and breaking it in a few places. So second time around I glued sections and fit them together. Still fell apart over time.
 

Jilly92

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I think this really depends on how it is done. When I glue a frag to a rock for example, it can often times lose it's grip over time if it hasn't encrusted.

However, when you do rocks and such, I used A LOT of it. On the larger scaled, the softer glue/cement will bend and go into the cracks etc. When it hardens, it creates little locks.

Similar to catching a monkey with a hole in a box with a cookie/banana. The hole is small enough that the monkey can put it's hand down in the box to grab the cookie/banana. However, when it has something in it's hand, it can no longer remove it's hand from the box. Supposedly they say the monkey never figures it out, refuses to let go of the object, and is thus caught. Could be myth, but the principle behind it is correct.

*Now I hope my stuff doesn't fall apart tomorrow after saying this* :D
Well my glue was just ****e I suppose. Lol what are your glue recommendations
 

jiffyjhn

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i bought 2 little fishes stackable rocks and crushed them into fine powder. For glue I used thin CA glue(watery viscosity).
When glueing the rocks, alternate 1 coating of CA glue and a pinch of the powder to cover up the glue around the joint. Keep adding coats until the joints blend together and 2 pieces look like 1 natural piece.

glue:
tempImageMAw2Lv.jpg
tempImage917xSt.jpg
tempImageNzTiPs.jpg
 
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mindme

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Well my glue was just ****e I suppose. Lol what are your glue recommendations

I think all glues are basically the same in terms of their active/main ingredient. But the BRS gel is my go to. You can get similiar, but the small containers are more expensive, so even though the BRS is like $35 I think, you get so much that it's cheaper per fl oz.

Then I use accelerator to cause the glue to harden instantly. After I get what I want, then I go back and put marco cement over it all. Adds extra strength and after 6 months it's hard to find where the pieces are connected. In a few places where I had just a small piece, I didn't do the cement spot, and I can still very clearly tell it's glued. Eventually corals will grow over it, but the "Oh that's not noticeable" when I was doing it is now very noticeable.

In my experience the biggest worry is when you are picking it up and apply force upwards instead of downwards. When you glue it all etc, all the force is down. Some of it is the rock resting on the other rock. So if you aren't careful when picking it up, you can break it that way.

And that happened in mine. On the right side of my tank, the top of the rock originally had a long overhang that went towards the back and curved around a little. It was VERY heavy, too heavy really. When I was putting the rock in the tank, on the way down that piece got caught on my kessil light braces, the 2 little pegs that stick out. It knocked it right off. So now that is just in the middle, home for a diamond goby. Couldn't deal with the upward force.

Some of my hangs are much larger than they appear. On the left side, it looks like the arm starts on the sand, but that entire piece is actually an overhang. And then it goes towards the right about 2 feet. Believe it or not, it held no problem just like that on my kitchen table for days. But it scared the crap out of me, so I added a tiny little column half way down. On the right side, in the pic it looks like maybe an 8 inch or so overhang. It's actually a big long arc that curves from back to front. It starts on the high point in the back and comes forward all the way in front of the base rock while curving left.

All done with superglue and cement. Still a little hard to tell in this image, but you can somewhat see it in this picture by looking at the shadows on the sand. On the left side of the rock, that's just a big ledge sticking out. These pics are from about 8 months ago. You can see the cement in these, but they don't really show up at all now.

down at the bottom, the little piece that sticks out on the left side is also a ledge, but you can't tell because the sand comes up to it.

iK94TPh.jpg


Another view of the same rock, more on the left side. There are lots of smaller little ledges that stick out all over. Most of them have coral on them now.

It's all just 1 big rock.

1bxCGid.jpg
 

flyfisher2

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Did you have help when placing in the aquascape? That would really make me nervous. But maybe I will try it with my frag tank. I am wanting to do some kind of permanent aquascape with it.
Yes my family helped me with it
And like I said, it looks like one piece but it’s several and they are just tied in
 

flyfisher2

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I attempted on my first aquascape to glue the whole scape and try to lower it in by myself and it was HELL. I ended up putting it in a type of makeshift sling and breaking it in a few places. So second time around I glued sections and fit them together. Still fell apart over time.
That’s where placing it on the acrylic would be a better choice
No leverage
Just goes in flat
 

flyfisher2

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I think all glues are basically the same in terms of their active/main ingredient. But the BRS gel is my go to. You can get similiar, but the small containers are more expensive, so even though the BRS is like $35 I think, you get so much that it's cheaper per fl oz.

Then I use accelerator to cause the glue to harden instantly. After I get what I want, then I go back and put marco cement over it all. Adds extra strength and after 6 months it's hard to find where the pieces are connected. In a few places where I had just a small piece, I didn't do the cement spot, and I can still very clearly tell it's glued. Eventually corals will grow over it, but the "Oh that's not noticeable" when I was doing it is now very noticeable.

In my experience the biggest worry is when you are picking it up and apply force upwards instead of downwards. When you glue it all etc, all the force is down. Some of it is the rock resting on the other rock. So if you aren't careful when picking it up, you can break it that way.

And that happened in mine. On the right side of my tank, the top of the rock originally had a long overhang that went towards the back and curved around a little. It was VERY heavy, too heavy really. When I was putting the rock in the tank, on the way down that piece got caught on my kessil light braces, the 2 little pegs that stick out. It knocked it right off. So now that is just in the middle, home for a diamond goby. Couldn't deal with the upward force.

Some of my hangs are much larger than they appear. On the left side, it looks like the arm starts on the sand, but that entire piece is actually an overhang. And then it goes towards the right about 2 feet. Believe it or not, it held no problem just like that on my kitchen table for days. But it scared the crap out of me, so I added a tiny little column half way down. On the right side, in the pic it looks like maybe an 8 inch or so overhang. It's actually a big long arc that curves from back to front. It starts on the high point in the back and comes forward all the way in front of the base rock while curving left.

All done with superglue and cement. Still a little hard to tell in this image, but you can somewhat see it in this picture by looking at the shadows on the sand. On the left side of the rock, that's just a big ledge sticking out. These pics are from about 8 months ago. You can see the cement in these, but they don't really show up at all now.

down at the bottom, the little piece that sticks out on the left side is also a ledge, but you can't tell because the sand comes up to it.

iK94TPh.jpg


Another view of the same rock, more on the left side. There are lots of smaller little ledges that stick out all over. Most of them have coral on them now.

It's all just 1 big rock.

1bxCGid.jpg
Loving that Kessil shimmer
 

Jilly92

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I think all glues are basically the same in terms of their active/main ingredient. But the BRS gel is my go to. You can get similiar, but the small containers are more expensive, so even though the BRS is like $35 I think, you get so much that it's cheaper per fl oz.

Then I use accelerator to cause the glue to harden instantly. After I get what I want, then I go back and put marco cement over it all. Adds extra strength and after 6 months it's hard to find where the pieces are connected. In a few places where I had just a small piece, I didn't do the cement spot, and I can still very clearly tell it's glued. Eventually corals will grow over it, but the "Oh that's not noticeable" when I was doing it is now very noticeable.

In my experience the biggest worry is when you are picking it up and apply force upwards instead of downwards. When you glue it all etc, all the force is down. Some of it is the rock resting on the other rock. So if you aren't careful when picking it up, you can break it that way.

And that happened in mine. On the right side of my tank, the top of the rock originally had a long overhang that went towards the back and curved around a little. It was VERY heavy, too heavy really. When I was putting the rock in the tank, on the way down that piece got caught on my kessil light braces, the 2 little pegs that stick out. It knocked it right off. So now that is just in the middle, home for a diamond goby. Couldn't deal with the upward force.

Some of my hangs are much larger than they appear. On the left side, it looks like the arm starts on the sand, but that entire piece is actually an overhang. And then it goes towards the right about 2 feet. Believe it or not, it held no problem just like that on my kitchen table for days. But it scared the crap out of me, so I added a tiny little column half way down. On the right side, in the pic it looks like maybe an 8 inch or so overhang. It's actually a big long arc that curves from back to front. It starts on the high point in the back and comes forward all the way in front of the base rock while curving left.

All done with superglue and cement. Still a little hard to tell in this image, but you can somewhat see it in this picture by looking at the shadows on the sand. On the left side of the rock, that's just a big ledge sticking out. These pics are from about 8 months ago. You can see the cement in these, but they don't really show up at all now.

down at the bottom, the little piece that sticks out on the left side is also a ledge, but you can't tell because the sand comes up to it.

iK94TPh.jpg


Another view of the same rock, more on the left side. There are lots of smaller little ledges that stick out all over. Most of them have coral on them now.

It's all just 1 big rock.

1bxCGid.jpg

I think all glues are basically the same in terms of their active/main ingredient. But the BRS gel is my go to. You can get similiar, but the small containers are more expensive, so even though the BRS is like $35 I think, you get so much that it's cheaper per fl oz.

Then I use accelerator to cause the glue to harden instantly. After I get what I want, then I go back and put marco cement over it all. Adds extra strength and after 6 months it's hard to find where the pieces are connected. In a few places where I had just a small piece, I didn't do the cement spot, and I can still very clearly tell it's glued. Eventually corals will grow over it, but the "Oh that's not noticeable" when I was doing it is now very noticeable.

In my experience the biggest worry is when you are picking it up and apply force upwards instead of downwards. When you glue it all etc, all the force is down. Some of it is the rock resting on the other rock. So if you aren't careful when picking it up, you can break it that way.

And that happened in mine. On the right side of my tank, the top of the rock originally had a long overhang that went towards the back and curved around a little. It was VERY heavy, too heavy really. When I was putting the rock in the tank, on the way down that piece got caught on my kessil light braces, the 2 little pegs that stick out. It knocked it right off. So now that is just in the middle, home for a diamond goby. Couldn't deal with the upward force.

Some of my hangs are much larger than they appear. On the left side, it looks like the arm starts on the sand, but that entire piece is actually an overhang. And then it goes towards the right about 2 feet. Believe it or not, it held no problem just like that on my kitchen table for days. But it scared the crap out of me, so I added a tiny little column half way down. On the right side, in the pic it looks like maybe an 8 inch or so overhang. It's actually a big long arc that curves from back to front. It starts on the high point in the back and comes forward all the way in front of the base rock while curving left.

All done with superglue and cement. Still a little hard to tell in this image, but you can somewhat see it in this picture by looking at the shadows on the sand. On the left side of the rock, that's just a big ledge sticking out. These pics are from about 8 months ago. You can see the cement in these, but they don't really show up at all now.

down at the bottom, the little piece that sticks out on the left side is also a ledge, but you can't tell because the sand comes up to it.

iK94TPh.jpg


Another view of the same rock, more on the left side. There are lots of smaller little ledges that stick out all over. Most of them have coral on them now.

It's all just 1 big rock.

1bxCGid.jpg
Ya the overhangs and arches are a pain. That's why I would really like to try those rods out, something I won't have to worry about crumbling. Here was my first scape tried the gel first and that didn't stick so I used the putty you mix.
 

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ClownWrangler

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I used black hot glue to fill a hole an Aiptasia was in effectively entombing it. It never came back. Hot glue is fairly inert as it is just thermal plastic. I wonder how well it would hold rockwork together.
 

therremans

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Yes, super glue gel and accelerator. The product was advertised for granite but likely doesn’t matter. I also used black expanding pond foam to fill in the small crevices in the joints and for additional long term strength.

Here they are before curing. Top is for a 20g cube and bottom for a 15g hex.

D70A00BE-9E91-49B8-8A32-B03C3ECBC201.jpeg
641E8414-2541-48EF-AD56-1D66ECCCDC42.jpeg
 

kilnakorr

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Meaning,
It falls apart in the tank over time?
I can't tell if it will last over time (1year, 10 years?) but I did superglue and sand and tank is only 6 months old.
I made one branch a little to high, and tried breaking it off, but didn't move at all.
 

James_O

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I just stacked mine. They fit together perfectly and haven’t fallen yet.

However, I don’t like the idea of them just testing on each other and not being solid. Especially since I’m getting more coral, and I want to start mounting frags on the rock work.

When I move (which is going to happen soon) I will probably glue them together after I tear down the tank.
 

rhostam

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Yes, I have glued scape in my first tank.

Yes, I’ll glue base level rocks in my new tank.

No, I won’t glue all rocks along the top where they interlock and won’t budge by hand at all.

I’ve read too many issues with locked down aquascape to the point where you have zero options if you do require removal, etc.

This way, I feel I have some options if need to use them.
 

Fish Think Pink

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this should be MULTIPLE CHOICE question, but since not, I picked other. Used:
- acrylic rods
- reef mortar

We marked out the space we had to build, created plan to build sleeping caves as well as terraced coral spacing for maximum lighting options, then arranged, drilled, pegged, and to ensure solid yet removable structure, reef mortar (with temporary plastic barrier while reef mortar dried so rocks can be pulled apart yet fit snug)
 

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