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LongDoggy

Reefscape Uncertainty

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LongDoggy

16058496731_884e81dcbd_b.jpg

 

I am sure I am not the only one with this compulsive need to continuously fidget with the layout and structure of their nano reef. I fight hard to resist messing with it for as long as possible, but I can't say I don't think about doing the good 'ol 'rearranging' nearly daily when I walk by the tank.

 

So I came up with this structure you see today (excuse the photo quality - iPhone with amateur editing).

I built the structure on plastic rods which I drilled into the base rocks and arms. There are a few shelfs and the top has an arm that curves along the front of the glass. Below on the sand level there is another arm that crosses diagonally. In the back is a rock tower up to the outflow.

 

I was trying to create depth and perspective but I feel l like I am missing just something simple. Should I have the main structure along a side and pointing towards the front of tank with the rock tower in the foreground and not the background?

 

I feel like I am onto something after the last three years of 'scaping this particular tank. Any thoughts?

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hey

thats a very unique scape for a cube, right structure may be a bit heavy visually imo but overall the effect is very cool. I say don't doubt yourself if it appeals to you roll with it.

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LongDoggy

thats a very unique scape for a cube, right structure may be a bit heavy visually imo but overall the effect is very cool. I say don't doubt yourself if it appeals to you roll with it.

 

I did learn a while back to always trust your intuition. I'm kind of not 100% certain, but I definitely like it.

I've tried the 'pile of rocks, minimalist, rock wall, one big rock, and now this sort of abstract, gravity defiant, shelved structure. It made me realize my dislike for curved corners as it takes up valuable space and warps your view of a critical design accent! :furious:

 

The part that has me hung is at what angle do I point the main structure. I could do an off-kilter, channel theme pretty easily.

Ultimately I wanted to try something unique.

 

Other difficulties for doing a scape that really takes up the whole tank is a lid and the height.

I did LED Retrofit so I don't really want to take the lid of.

I have thought about elevating the tank or building a custom enclosure to make it look like it is set into the wall.

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Paandemonium

Remember that even if you dont think its 100% perfect in 6 months it'll be covered in coral :)

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hey

I did learn a while back to always trust your intuition. I'm kind of not 100% certain, but I definitely like it.

I've tried the 'pile of rocks, minimalist, rock wall, one big rock, and now this sort of abstract, gravity defiant, shelved structure. It made me realize my dislike for curved corners as it takes up valuable space and warps your view of a critical design accent! :furious:

 

The part that has me hung is at what angle do I point the main structure. I could do an off-kilter, channel theme pretty easily.

Ultimately I wanted to try something unique.

 

Other difficulties for doing a scape that really takes up the whole tank is a lid and the height.

I did LED Retrofit so I don't really want to take the lid of.

I have thought about elevating the tank or building a custom enclosure to make it look like it is set into the wall.

 

Well thought out, and as for it being covered in coral part, just be careful about placement and know what final height and shapes look like and you will be able to maintain the shape you looked for when scaping.

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LongDoggy

Remember that even if you dont think its 100% perfect in 6 months it'll be covered in coral :)

This is true. :)

 

I'm getting that feeling again.. I think I'm going to have my gloves on again tonight. Lol

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LongDoggy

Well, I was not able to resist. I went in and did some re-scaping yesterday. I think I am more satisfied with the outcome. I shifted the main structure to the left, elevated the front arm and created a good open space in the front right for some sanded corals. I had my eye on a beautiful orange torch coral at my LFS that I feel may go perfectly there. But still some good space for more coral livestock.

 

Here is the front:

16053857666_2fe68c9756_b.jpg

 

 

And the Left Side:

16079657095_04e65ab676_b.jpg

 

And the Right Side:

15457352924_491b9a74a7_b.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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farkwar
Remember that even if you dont think its 100% perfect in 6 months it'll be covered in coral :)

 

Qft

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LongDoggy

Qft

 

Totally. I think I got it where I like. Lots of good places for corals and I finally think I got the depth I was looking for.

This is what I am working with and will (most likely) leave alone for coral to grow in on. Will be making another trip in about a month to finish coral stocking. Then its time to grow out.

 

15965961459_4b5ff72924_k.jpg

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1.0reef

Totally. I think I got it where I like. Lots of good places for corals and I finally think I got the depth I was looking for.

This is what I am working with and will (most likely) leave alone for coral to grow in on. Will be making another trip in about a month to finish coral stocking. Then its time to grow out.

 

15965961459_4b5ff72924_k.jpg

ilifaw_rm_w_r_e.gif

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R1sky_Biz

Really Liking the scape LD. The look from the side show just how much dimension there is.. Now you've got me wanting to re do mine.. I actually kind of hate mine now tbh... Haha

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LongDoggy

Really Liking the scape LD. The look from the side show just how much dimension there is.. Now you've got me wanting to re do mine.. I actually kind of hate mine now tbh... Haha

 

Thanks RB! Thats the one thing with the cubes is that sometimes you come out with a better side shot than a front shot. Thats sort of where I ended up with the start of this structure. I consulted with my more artistic family members and made a few adjustments which incorporated what I was doing on a side that I liked and shifted the main structure to allow that to function as the front.

What I initially ended up doing was creating the upper and lower arms which lost the depth from the front because of the angles.

As they say, when looking at an FTS from the front; its essentially a 2D image that you need to create 3D from with color, angles, and perspective.

 

As with most of our tanks, I think it looks better in person. :)

 

Whats yours looking like?

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R1sky_Biz

Thanks RB! Thats the one thing with the cubes is that sometimes you come out with a better side shot than a front shot. Thats sort of where I ended up with the start of this structure. I consulted with my more artistic family members and made a few adjustments which incorporated what I was doing on a side that I liked and shifted the main structure to allow that to function as the front.

What I initially ended up doing was creating the upper and lower arms which lost the depth from the front because of the angles.

As they say, when looking at an FTS from the front; its essentially a 2D image that you need to create 3D from with color, angles, and perspective.

 

As with most of our tanks, I think it looks better in person. :)

 

Whats yours looking like?

 

I know what you mean about asking artistic people about things like this.. I am a photographer of sorts so I get how it "Should" go as far as the rule of 1/3rds but with the 8g I have it was easier said then done.. My rock is all pretty big honestly. In hind sight I should have broken it all down and stacked small pieces until I got what I wanted out of it.. Needless to say i was far too anxious to wait even another hour to get this thing rolling haha.

 

Here's a shot from about 20 minutes ago.

 

39C67057-AE83-4F4D-82A3-BDEF34E0D7C0.jpg

 

The scape is pretty uninspired but like I said.. I had to get it started.. omgomgomg

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LongDoggy

 

I know what you mean about asking artistic people about things like this.. I am a photographer of sorts so I get how it "Should" go as far as the rule of 1/3rds but with the 8g I have it was easier said then done.. My rock is all pretty big honestly. In hind sight I should have broken it all down and stacked small pieces until I got what I wanted out of it.. Needless to say i was far too anxious to wait even another hour to get this thing rolling haha.

 

Here's a shot from about 20 minutes ago.

 

39C67057-AE83-4F4D-82A3-BDEF34E0D7C0.jpg

 

The scape is pretty uninspired but like I said.. I had to get it started.. omgomgomg

That's not bad at all. I can only imagine how challenging the 8g is. The 14 was tough and had me wishing I bought the 29.

But the best thing I did was broke out the hammer and chistle. Breaking up my rocks was the key to my finding a good layout. And it took a few iterations after "the break up" to make it acceptable to me.

Have you considered breaking yours up?

I supported my structure with plastic hangers. Put together by drilling holes and affixing with two part putty and superglue.

I was breaking up existing rocks from my tank display.

I now keep a bucket of random rocks cures for the purpose of building a new accessorize by structure, frag rock island, or random needed pieces. Always comes in handy.

Would you be open to this?

I found the effect to be most dramatic when I did not worry about going up high in the water column with my structure.

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R1sky_Biz

I am definitely open to Breaking some of it up. I thought about doing it before there was water in there but like I said, I got anxious since this is my first one..

 

I am going to try and decipher a plan tonight.. But the re scape might have to happen. Especially after seeing yours!

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LongDoggy

I am definitely open to Breaking some of it up. I thought about doing it before there was water in there but like I said, I got anxious since this is my first one..

 

I am going to try and decipher a plan tonight.. But the re scape might have to happen. Especially after seeing yours!

It's totally worth it. I did the breakup after it was all wet and full.

I think the acceptable level should be 95% like in favor of leaving you scape alone.

100% is impossible. Lol

 

Break it up and redo it! May I suggest to just be prepared to get it done in just an hour or two?

Have your drill, glue, epoxy, support rods, and work station all setup so you can do the job quickly.

 

It is really nice to place the structure in and not be fiddling with trying to get to get rocks to lay nicely on each other in the tank full of water. Buyancy is not in our favor.

 

Btw, the right hand structure is made up of about 10 small (~1/4lb pieces) all joined with super glue.

I only used plastic hanger rods along with 2 part epoxy and super glue on the main left hand structure. I used them to create the main pillar and the two "arms" which are fully suspended.

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R1sky_Biz

Looks like you've talked me into it! now I just need to find a little inspiration and map out what exactly I want to do and how to go about doing everything.

 

You set it out and glued the whole thing together and put it in the tank in one piece correct?

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LongDoggy

Really love this idea.. Would be pretty difficult to pull off in a super small tank like mine though.

 

http://reefbuilders.com/2012/03/27/kangs-korean-reef-aquarium/

 

Thats pretty sweet, I have seen that. It may be challenging to pull off in a nano cube because we are lacking in side to side space needed to create that type of layout.

 

This was my inspiration:

15601389294_3ed587d9b7_o.jpg

 

I'd be glad to cite whoever created this, so thank you to mr/mrs/miss reefer for your idea and contribution to the community.

 

When I first started working on my design, I went with the one main structure in the back corner which had the arm running diagonal across the cube. I was struggling with my limited space; the lower arm was barely elevated and the upper arm was actually a little too high up. Also, my top arm was pointing at the front of the tank and the problem with this is that when you have a structure pointed at the line of sight, you lose the perspective. So unfortunately ended up with something that looked pretty good in person but not so good on film.

 

My next attempt was to modify the overall layout by creating a background structure. This is my pillar. I did not like the initial pillar and the positioning was not the best. I then moved the pillar to the opposite rear (back right), and the main structure to the left. This worked out well because the lower arm tapered down and gave me a nice area for low lying coral placement and the upper arm tilted down towards the front creating another good coral area with higher light and also which casted a shadow to place my chalice and other low light corals on the back midlevel shelf.

 

I finally created a new back right structure to give me more depth, and also to hide the Korilia pump. It also gave me a clean structure to load up with zoas. I shaped in in a way that it conformed to the pump. I don't like seeing too much equipment in the tank. I even learned that I hate coraline on the back wall, so I keep this scraped and black.

 

This finally left with with negative space and sand space for things like my GSP island, Clam and a few other choice corals I will be adding in time.

 

Looks like you've talked me into it! now I just need to find a little inspiration and map out what exactly I want to do and how to go about doing everything.

 

You set it out and glued the whole thing together and put it in the tank in one piece correct?

 

Dude go for it and post it up! Don't settle until you like it (95%).

 

You can probably do a left to right structure by creating a tower on one side that has arms that go across the tank. This will give you sand-space, shadows, and dimension.

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R1sky_Biz

I absolutely love that scape you posted... :o That would be sooooooo sick.. I wonder how small I would have to make that shelf.. Dont want to lose proportion or have the "arm" look too big.. I wonder if I should get some tonga rock for that? Do you think it would be weird to use multiple different types of rock?

 

Also, If I take the rock out of the water and its exposed to air for an extended period of time will that be detrimental to the cycling process? Or to the overall health of the tank in general?

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LongDoggy

I absolutely love that scape you posted... :o That would be sooooooo sick.. I wonder how small I would have to make that shelf.. Dont want to lose proportion or have the "arm" look too big.. I wonder if I should get some tonga rock for that? Do you think it would be weird to use multiple different types of rock?

 

Also, If I take the rock out of the water and its exposed to air for an extended period of time will that be detrimental to the cycling process? Or to the overall health of the tank in general?

 

Yea, it was a pretty killer scape.

 

For you to fit something similar, you'd need some pretty small rocks. Given your working with an 8g, you'll likely want the rocks to be as light and porous as possible. The more porous the rocks, the better biological filtration you will have which will benefit you since this type of scape will have you in the <1:1 lb:gal ratio. You will want to make the most of your filtration capabilities.

 

I've played with the different types of rock in one scape and it does not look right so I'd advise against that. For you to do the arm, you may want to use fairly flat pieces because you don't want it to go too low to the sand bed, else you will lose the effect of it being an arm and the shadowing effect.

 

How mature is your tank? I think the age of your tank/sandbed will determine your ability to recover from a small cycle.

Also, what livestock do you have? If nothing and still early on I would not worry much about it. I think that having your rock out for 1-2 hours you should be totally fine and any cycle will be a mini cycle.

 

Many times I have taken out my rock and worked with it. Also added new rock (which was already cured) and have no problems. I've done this with livestock in the tank. Intact, this most recent scape change, I had all of the rock out for about three hours. Only think in the tank for that time was two clowns, crabs and snails. I had my rock out on my workbench being drilled and glued during that time. All was well.

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R1sky_Biz

The tank is about 8-9 days old I believe.. Might be experiencing a Bloom of some sort right now. Not too sure. I just have a clown in there at the moment. Probably going to order a piece of the BRS shelf rock. That's about the only way I can accomplish the shelf while retaining the proper dimensions. The rock I have is far too chunky and brittle. If I try to chisel it, I'm sure it will break apart..

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LongDoggy

Well your pretty early in the stage and I'd say your definitely going to see some algae. I had different types coming in at different times over the first year of the tanks life. Its just kind of the evolution.

 

Buy a bunch of rock and cure some of it. I have about 10lbs cured running in a bucket in my garage and another 10-15 lbs dry in a bag for a future project or rainy day. :)

Having choices is a huge help and you never know when you may need more rock. :)

 

Personally, I'd still say to smack what you got with a hammer and see what happens. Its sort of like natures turbulent chaotic way of creating the beauty we see in nature every day. If it breaks into little pieces you can probably use it sometime down the road. I always have a use for rubble. Whenever I get new frags, I break off the frag plug because I think its gross and unnatural to see in a tank, and then glue the coral onto a pice of LR. Then I glue/affix the rubble with coral to the main structure. Looks so much more natural.

Just buy more rock, a bunch of super glue gel and be creative. :)

 

Since your cycle is so early I think its definitely possibly you'd invoke a new cycle, even with just stirring the sandbed since its not too mature.

If you have a little jug and pump you can quarantine your clown for a few days while you do your work and let things settle; just to be safe. No harm.

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R1sky_Biz

Well your pretty early in the stage and I'd say your definitely going to see some algae. I had different types coming in at different times over the first year of the tanks life. Its just kind of the evolution.

 

Buy a bunch of rock and cure some of it. I have about 10lbs cured running in a bucket in my garage and another 10-15 lbs dry in a bag for a future project or rainy day. :)

Having choices is a huge help and you never know when you may need more rock. :)

 

Personally, I'd still say to smack what you got with a hammer and see what happens. Its sort of like natures turbulent chaotic way of creating the beauty we see in nature every day. If it breaks into little pieces you can probably use it sometime down the road. I always have a use for rubble. Whenever I get new frags, I break off the frag plug because I think its gross and unnatural to see in a tank, and then glue the coral onto a pice of LR. Then I glue/affix the rubble with coral to the main structure. Looks so much more natural.

Just buy more rock, a bunch of super glue gel and be creative. :)

 

Since your cycle is so early I think its definitely possibly you'd invoke a new cycle, even with just stirring the sandbed since its not too mature.

If you have a little jug and pump you can quarantine your clown for a few days while you do your work and let things settle; just to be safe. No harm.

 

Yeah, Im definitely doing this.. I just need to get some more rock and take everything apart. Going to start making a footprint template tonight and see what I can come up with. Once the shelf gets here I'll be in business.. I'll keep you updated as I go.

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LongDoggy

RB. You ever change your scape?

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