It came as quite a surprise to many when Ecotech Marine announced the release of a Coral Propagation Kit. While the Coral Propagation Kit is quite a deviation from Ecotech’s core group of products, they brought their own flavor of refinement and attention to detail to almost every part of this ensemble of fragging tools, quick-setting glue and some unique frag plugs.
The four steel tools included in Ecotech’s Coral Propagation Kit include coral cutters, scissors, tweezers and forceps. We’re not too excited about the tweezers and scissors, the German steel scissors will likely stay really sharp and the tweezers will also resist warping but the it’s the other two tools that we really dig.
The Ecotech Coral Cutters are larger, with a bigger cutting edge than any cutters we’ve used before and it should chomp through some live rock like butter. The forceps are also really cool, nice and large with a broad grippy end which should make handling soft coral cuttings so much more pelasant; don’t you just hate getting leather coral slime on your hands? Yuck!
We’re already pretty familiar with the Ecotech Elements Coral Glue, with its fast setting and uber sticky nature, but the neat coral plugs really caught our attention. The four legged base of these hexagonal coral plugs makes them straddle the corners of egg crate, preventing from moving or rotating at all when placed on egg-crate. The one thing these plugs aren’t super good for is sticking into the holes of reef rock but you should be able to cut off the legs with the big coral chompers and glue it into place nonetheless.
Like the Ecotech Elements Coral Glue before it, the initiated coral fraggers balked at the $99 price tag of the Coral Propagation Kit, with one commenter going so far as to note that the kit is “$98 too much” for this assortment of tools. That’s a pretty unreasonable assessment from the comfort of an armchair as all truly practicing reefers have learned that you get what you pay for, especially in the reefing hobby.
The one part of the Coral Propagation Kit which could have used more attention to practicality is the bamboo case. The wooden box of the Coral Propagation Kit isn’t exactly inviting you to take it into the dungeon of the fish room and mix it up with coral slime, live rock, rubble, more slime, and saltwater.
Also, having all the precious tools carefully put away into their protective case is not encouraging you to have the tools out and in reach when you need them. We keep our tools out and in sight so that we can reach for any one of them with crusty-reef hands without having to fumble with a case.
We would have preferred a case which made the frag plugs, glue and tools available at a quick-draw moment’s notice, but as far as the whole cost of the kit is concerned, the case, glue and coral plugs are basically thrown in as extras. The best news here is that in a short while, Ecotech Marine will make available each of the tools and the coral plugs separately so the armchair commenters can see exactly how much German steel tools cost on their own.