With Christmas only two days away, you have *just* enough time left to make this for the special reefkeeper in your life. Or…more realistically…it may be a present to yourself after the holidays.
I’d like to thank my very dear friend, Kevin, for the idea behind this. He gave it to me as a birthday present this year, and oh what a wonderful gift it was! I had a “frag box”…a Rubbermaid tote that held everything haphazardly…and left me subject to getting scalpel stabs while searching for super glue. This handy tote is rather inexpensive, and it keeps everything well-organized.
What you put into your frag kit is completely up to you – there are no right or wrong items. But, this is a handy list to get you started. First up is the container. The one above is a box from Harbor Freight (a U.S. based hardware store) that is currently sold for $7.99 USD. You could also use fishing tackle boxes, craft organizers, etc.
Ok, I guess a frag kit wouldn’t be complete without some way to frag, so I highly recommend “bone cutters.” These are actually commonly sold as toenail cutters, so you may be able to find small ones in your local health/grocery store for less than are sold in the hobby. Hobby-grade ones come even larger, which is great for cutting really thick frags. Some companies also powder coat them to extend their life.
Frag plugs are also a good idea, unless you have several hundred plugs like I do. I keep my frag plus in separate containers organized by size. I do keep a few plugs in the kit just in case I need a few quickly.
If you’re fragging, you’ll probably want some glue and/or epoxy to adhere the coral to the plug. I personally like the Super Glue Gel that I get from the dollar store.
If you’re fragging soft corals, like mushrooms, you may want to consider having some bridal veil fabric on hand. This is really useful to put over the coral so that it doesn’t float away in the current.
Rubber bands are useful to help tie down Xenia or leather corals to the frag plugs. It also is an easy way to secure the bridal veil mentioned above to the frag plug.
I also use my “frag kit” as a “coral dip kit”, so I have various other items in it. I still keep my scalpel separate since I don’t have a cover for it, and I really prefer to not cut myself. But, I do keep items like coral picks in it. I got these at Harbor Freight as well for $2, and they’re great for getting muck out of tiny crevices, knocking off eggs, etc.
Pipettes are always handy to have around. I use them extensively when dipping corals, but I also use them for feeding, cleaning the rock work, etc.
I keep an LED light handy in the kit to help inspect corals when I get them. Using this light is much easier than trying to move the coral around under an overhead stationary light.
I also keep random items that don’t fit elsewhere in my kit, such as measuring spoons (tablespoon, teaspoon, etc.) and this plastic scraper made for cleaning kitchen pans. It’s great for cleaning algae off aquariums (especially off acrylic surfaces.)
And of course, no kit is ever complete without some sort of safety equipment. I keep fresh gloves in my kit, and my safety glasses aren’t far away. If you are looking for gloves, I recommend powder-free nitrile gloves. Latex is ok, but they aren’t quite as puncture-proof, and many people have allergies to it. I have to admit, I’m not sure of the material of the gloves below.
Depending on the items, this kit could range from $30-50 USD. If your significant other balks at the price, just remind him/her about how clean it’ll help you keep your workspace! And, of course, you could always start small and just add the items as you go. Any other items you’d recommend?