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Aquascaping Help!


dchapman10

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Hey Everyone!

 

So the dry rock I ordered from Bulk Reef Supply came in today and I am very impressed. I ordered 25 lbs for a 20L and BRS sent 28 lbs. The rock looks really nice and it was shipped very quickly too!

 

So here is the rock.

IMG_0111.jpg
And here are my nosey cats Leo and Chester helping me.
IMG_0112.jpg
And here is the rock in the tank. I don't like how I have it now. It doesn't look natural. I watched a video about aquascaping on BRS and it helped. I like the idea of having a layout that has open spots where fish can swim through. I also liked the layout of all the rocks stacked in a natural way towards the back. I guess this is best for laying out coral and many people on here seem to do it. Is one way better than the other?
IMG_0117.jpg
Once I find a layout I like, do I put the rock in and then place the sand around it, or other way around? I would think to put sand in first and then rock, but I have read that if you have fish that moves the sand that the rock could fall...
Thanks!!! :):):)
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I haven't used it, but I wouldn't think so. You can also make your own. There are several DIY rock recipes online (which are basically white portland cement (type 1-2) mixed with sand and crushed coral, which should bond rock together). IF I recall correctly, the biggest problem is high pH while it cures. Read a few of these threads if you are interested in making your own mortar.

There is also pond foam, nylon or acrylic rods, epoxy, and so forth.

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nanolutionary

Heya,Really think about this stage the most as it is the step most people wish they had taken more time on as it has the most impact on how your tank will be aesthetically and is sometimes difficult to change I.e. Once corals are mounted or you have bonded the rocks together.My initial impression of your chosen rock placement is that you'll have a lot of dead spots in the sand behind the rocks and there also seems to be a lot of rock perhaps losing a piece or two might free up some space. I am a fan of minimalistic scapes though so if bulky is your thing then keep it this way but try and imagine how the water will flow around the rocks and move them around accordingly.Hope this helps.

 

p.s don't be afraid to go outside and smash one of two of the rocks into smaller pieces - by dropping them onto a hard surface is how I did it - then you can bond them together into more interesting shapes and create platforms.Check out Medred's July 2012 TOTM in the featured reef profiles section to see the extent of what can be accomplished.

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I would make a pillar on the left side, then a free floating shelf/ branch straight out right, from it.

 

USPlastic has threaded nylon rod and nuts to hold the shelf in place, then used reef epoxy to solidify it. You csn use an inexpensive 12" long masonary bit, nothing fancy its pretty soft to cut through. Just drill long holes through it, feed the nylon rod, and bolt it using nylon nuts.

 

It cuts real well with an angle grinder ($35Skil), if you need flat sections. Say if you wanted flat rock islands in the sand.

 

Hammer and chisel works well but more random.

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Ps, this rock is awesome. I wish John would take some out into ocean, leave it there for 2 years to get it covered in coraline and macro.

 

I would consider that primo cherry live rock.

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Agreed that this step is the most important one of all, since you dont want to have to tinker with it in the future. I have BRS rock, and I since bought 15 pounds of Pukani that I plan to do a 100% rescape.. funny thing, is that I will be creating a floating island similar to the one described above using acrylic. One thing to note.. try keeping a lot of sand bed, keep the scape open, and not cluttered. Leave those open spaces to an open mind, and fill them in the future with nice corals. I'd rather have corals filling my tank, than rock work crowding my tank for new corals, or even for open space for fish to use.

 

Google images will be your friend for inspiration!

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Thanks for the help everyone! :) I agree that I should take my time with this step. After messing around with it for a few hours last night, this is what I came up with. I wanted to go ahead and get the rock in and the tank setup so it can start to cycle. Since I'll be playing the waiting game, I figured I can always come up with a new design during this time.

 

http://s1093.photobucket.com/user/DChapman10/media/Reef%20Tank/IMG_0125.jpg.html'>IMG_0125.jpg

 

 

I like the opening on the left side that the fish can swim through.

 

Heya, Really think about this stage the most as it is the step most people wish they had taken more time on as it has the most impact on how your tank will be aesthetically and is sometimes difficult to change I.e. Once corals are mounted or you have bonded the rocks together. My initial impression of your chosen rock placement is that you'll have a lot of dead spots in the sand behind the rocks and there also seems to be a lot of rock perhaps losing a piece or two might free up some space. I am a fan of minimalistic scapes though so if bulky is your thing then keep it this way but try and imagine how the water will flow around the rocks and move them around accordingly.

 

I did make sure to leave space in the back so there wouldn't be any dead space. I was thinking about leaving a piece or two out, but doesn't more rock --> better biological filtration? When it comes time to place corals, do many of them mount to the rock or do you place in the sand? I agree in that I like minimalistic scapes better. I like the clean and open look. However, I thought I would need more of the rock so corals can grow and expand on to them...

 

 

I would make a pillar on the left side, then a free floating shelf/ branch straight out right, from it.

 

I've never thought about that idea. I'm still a little confused on it, but I'm definitely going to be checking it out on google. After school work of course... :rolleyes:

 

Google images will be your friend for inspiration!

 

I've started to discover that... So many possibilities! :)

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Thanks for the help everyone! :) I agree that I should take my time with this step. After messing around with it for a few hours last night, this is what I came up with. I wanted to go ahead and get the rock in and the tank setup so it can start to cycle. Since I'll be playing the waiting game, I figured I can always come up with a new design during this time.

 

IMG_0125.jpg

 

 

I like the opening on the left side that the fish can swim through.

 

 

I did make sure to leave space in the back so there wouldn't be any dead space. I was thinking about leaving a piece or two out, but doesn't more rock --> better biological filtration? When it comes time to place corals, do many of them mount to the rock or do you place in the sand? I agree in that I like minimalistic scapes better. I like the clean and open look. However, I thought I would need more of the rock so corals can grow and expand on to them...

 

 

 

I've never thought about that idea. I'm still a little confused on it, but I'm definitely going to be checking it out on google. After school work of course... :rolleyes:

 

 

I've started to discover that... So many possibilities! :)

mAybe try moving the right front-most rock (second to the right) a bit less than 90 degrees CCW for a "V" shape.

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I was thinking about leaving a piece or two out, but doesn't more rock --> better biological filtration?

No. More rock doesn't always improve the biological filtration. The bacteria populations will adjust accordingly (whether you have 1 lb per gallon, or 2 lbs per gallon). While it's possible to have too little rock if you have a large bio-load, the minimum amount of rock needed is usually well under 1 lb per gallon.

 

When it comes time to place corals, do many of them mount to the rock or do you place in the sand?

Most will go on the rock. Also note that many will come on small rocks, so you will actually be adding more rock to your aquascape.

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Thanks for all of the advice! After looking at the tank for a few days with the rock, I agree that one of the rocks on the right should be removed. I do like the left half though :). Also, my lights came in the other day. After spending several hours online researching lights the other day, I think that the Current Orbit Marine LED will suit my needs. Here is a pic of the lights on the tank.

 

http://s1093.photobucket.com/user/DChapman10/media/Reef%20Tank/IMG_0127.jpg.html'>IMG_0127.jpg

 

So my next question is when do you add the clean-up crew? Do you wait until the tank has cycled completely or when you start getting algae? Also, what would you recommend adding first to the tank?

 

Thanks!

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Looking good!

 

Add CUC after the tank has cycled, usually you would start to see algae growths soon after, good indication for time to let the CUC make your tank all sparkly.

 

In my previous tanks, diatoms usually are first to come, but every tank is different.

 

Here is a good article to help you select the members of you CUC: http://www.nano-reef.com/articles/_/livestock/clean-up-crews-r16

 

Reefcleaners have a brief description of what each of their snails/inverts would eat as well: http://www.reefcleaners.org/aquarium-store/tank-cleaners

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