We’ve been gluing corals to frag plugs, tiles and discs since the early 2000s and it’s well past time for us to think outside the box of what constitutes a suitable base for corals. The last few years we’ve seen a trickle of artful coral encrustations with fast growing species like Leptoseris, Stylocoeniella and Cyphastrea being particularly great for giving statues and shapes a veneer of living coral.
One company which is leading the charge in creating much more inspiring coral bases is Reef Casts by Derek Hopkins. This guys is going above and beyond in creating plugs in different colors, tiles with colorful swirls, and much more.
Reef Casts’ best work consists of many popular statues and figurines from pop culture including popular Pokemon like Bulbasaur, Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy, Goombas from Super Mario Brothers and even ancient ones like the Venus de Milo reproduction. Oh and of course there’s the usual assortment of skulls, trucker ladies, and Star Wars characters.
As the name implies, these intricate figures are cast in a mold which is made from a 3D printed model – this is quite involved work both on the technical side, and there’s lots of post production of the 3D prints before it can be used to make a cast. I for one am bored out of my GI Tract of gluing corals and frags to the same old plugs and discs, and a fresh delivery I recently purchased is definitely going to keep me inspired in the Reef Builders Studio.
If you want to branch out from the typical plugs, tiles and discs, definitely hit up Reef Casts for some more creative objects to glue corals to and let’s see what we can do to spice up our coral fragging and coral gluing efforts.