I've been looking for a used Solana in order to consolidate my BC14 and NC12 tanks into a single tank. My LFS bought a handful of old Current USA tanks - some Cardiffs and a Solana. They offered me a new Solana and stand for about the same price as a used one, so I bought it the last week of March. I'd prefer a larger tank - around 45-60 gallons - but I'm in the process of remodeling the room that would house the tank, so I opted for a compromise for now.
Anyways, I performed a leak test in my garage last weekend, moved it into position this week and started on the aqua-scape today.
I have left over Marco rock from another project that I'm reusing. My goal is to do something slightly different and unusual, and I want to utilize the height of the tank. My inspirations are MedRed's 60 Gallon Solana XL
and John Ciotti's "Upside Down Reef" nano reef
I cut a piece of egg-crate to the tank's dimensions and will use it to stabilize the aqua-scape because it has a high-center of gravity and is off-balance as you can see from the photo. I've drilled the main column of rock and attached the bottom rock to the egg-crate with a zip-tie.
I stacked the next 2 rocks using Marco's aqua-scaping mortar between each layer, then ran a big zip-tie around everything to compress the rocks together and keep everything stable while the mortar cures. I also dry-fit a shelf at the top of the column.
Finally, I cemented the shelf to the column and added a couple clamps to hold it together while the cement sets. The next 2 photos show the front and back views. I'm going to leave the shorter zip down shown in the back view to help hold up the column. I will also trim the PEX to the top of the column and plug it before moving everything to the tank. The vertical piece of egg-crate in the rear view picture shows the top of the waterline which will be just a few inches above the top of the column.