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HarryPotter

Help! I could not make a nice aquascape to save my life!

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HarryPotter

Please help me out with this. I am really sgruggling- I have 30 lbs reef cleaners, 10 lbs of this nice flat live rock, and a tonga branch.

 

My aquaecapes stink! The tank is a JBJ RL-45, with a usable display space of 26x 16. Please help out!

 

IMG_0540_zpsx6jx0afn.jpgIMG_0541_zpsbtgbkpxg.jpg

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CronicReefer

Sometimes less is more.

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HarryPotter

As in what? Can you be a little more specific regarding placement of the rocks?

 

Sorry, pretty desperate here. I don't know if its the type of rock mix or just a brain fart, but Im really struggling for the last hour or so.

 

Ideas for next attempt:

 

Bridge type structure on the left 1/3, with a single tall piece of rock going up on the right?

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HarryPotter

Grrrr not even worth a picture. looks terrible.

 

HELP!

 

30lbs reefcleaners and 10lbs nice crazy flat slabs. AYUDAME POR FAVOR4

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VW_TDI_02

I would try to break it up a bit. Like, you have all the flat rocks together in one spot. What reefer meant was that sometimes you don't need to use all the rocks you have. People often buy extra just so that they have more variety. The hardscape is always the hardest and should take the longest time. It's good to set something up and then walk away for a few hours before coming back and checking on it. Personally I'm not a big fan of the flat rocks since they just don't look natural to me but there are some scapes that can pull them off well.

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hey

Grrrr not even worth a picture. looks terrible.

 

HELP!

 

30lbs reefcleaners and 10lbs nice crazy flat slabs. AYUDAME POR FAVOR4

 

heres my advice, take it for what its worth I am definitely no expert in aesthetics. I find the important thing when placing rock in a tank is knowing what coral I will be placing in it before I even lay out the rock. If I am putting some fast growing softies in that get tall, obv I want a lower structure. For a mixed reef height differences would be important to get various light levels where you intend to place corals.

 

With the structure you have posted it seems boring to you because you have it at about 50/50 in the tank height and it takes up most of the left to right. Taking up most of the left to right is fine in many cases but 50/50 is something to avoid in height (similar to images taken with a horizon in the background) you want the horizon to be in the top 3rd or bottom 3rd in most traditional images. It can be less or more but in a reef tank I find 1/3rd very practical and easy to implement.

 

I feel like you want tons of space for coral placement judging by the flat shelf you have on top. My quick and dirty fix would be to lower the structure keeping its general shape it has now to about 1/3rd the water columns height. You can definitely do more with what you have there but imo the lower 3rd flat shelf will look amazing with correct coral placement.

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HarryPotter

I would try to break it up a bit. Like, you have all the flat rocks together in one spot. What reefer meant was that sometimes you don't need to use all the rocks you have. People often buy extra just so that they have more variety. The hardscape is always the hardest and should take the longest time. It's good to set something up and then walk away for a few hours before coming back and checking on it. Personally I'm not a big fan of the flat rocks since they just don't look natural to me but there are some scapes that can pull them off well.

 

This was using only about 2/3 of the rock, but I will try using less and ditching most of the flat pieces next. Simplicity!

 

 

 

heres my advice, take it for what its worth I am definitely no expert in aesthetics. I find the important thing when placing rock in a tank is knowing what coral I will be placing in it before I even lay out the rock. If I am putting some fast growing softies in that get tall, obv I want a lower structure. For a mixed reef height differences would be important to get various light levels where you intend to place corals.

 

With the structure you have posted it seems boring to you because you have it at about 50/50 in the tank height and it takes up most of the left to right. Taking up most of the left to right is fine in many cases but 50/50 is something to avoid in height (similar to images taken with a horizon in the background) you want the horizon to be in the top 3rd or bottom 3rd in most traditional images. It can be less or more but in a reef tank I find 1/3rd very practical and easy to implement.

 

I feel like you want tons of space for coral placement judging by the flat shelf you have on top. My quick and dirty fix would be to lower the structure keeping its general shape it has now to about 1/3rd the water columns height. You can definitely do more with what you have there but imo the lower 3rd flat shelf will look amazing with correct coral placement.

 

 

Great ideas, inspired me to go try again. Pictures in 15 minutes or so!

 

 

 

In my cube tank I had just three pieces or so of rock that I custom picked out at the LFS

 

IMG_0522_zpsvabzqwzy.jpg

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hey

I find a hammer is the most helpful tool when starting with a bunch of rocks. Also to be on the safe side if you are stacking them a lower structure lends itself to being less disaster prone if they are big pieces. Good luck, lookin forward to what you come up with.

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HarryPotter

Take two:

 

Utilizing less new rock, emphasizing an off central vally and 1/3s in height

 

IMG_0542_zpspmysjtrn.jpg

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FlowerMama

I personally find it challenging to grow things vertically because the top corals would shade the lower. So for me there's not enough flat space but it's whatever you want to do, as was stated for your coral needs.

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HarryPotter

I personally find it challenging to grow things vertically because the top corals would shade the lower. So for me there's not enough flat space but it's whatever you want to do, as was stated for your coral needs.

 

Ahhhh I agree, but need some inspiration!

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FlowerMama

So, what I had when I was cycling. I didn't care where they were at the time.

 

031_zps27839908.jpg

 

Then after some inspiration on a vaca to this.... I came up w/ the picture below it.

 

246_zps168219a0.jpg

 

001_zps16a497f6.jpg

 

Then a little more tweaking.

 

347_zpsae45f80d.jpg

 

And a few rocks changed here & there still to become the present day.

 

148_zpsc8c2e5ac.jpg

 

20150131_163350_zpsbn3siev5.jpg

 

 

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HarryPotter

So, what I had when I was cycling. I didn't care where they were at the time.

 

031_zps27839908.jpg

 

Then after some inspiration on a vaca to this.... I came up w/ the picture below it.

 

246_zps168219a0.jpg

 

001_zps16a497f6.jpg

 

Then a little more tweaking.

 

347_zpsae45f80d.jpg

 

And a few rocks changed here & there still to become the present day.

 

148_zpsc8c2e5ac.jpg

 

20150131_163350_zpsbn3siev5.jpg

 

 

 

Wow that is beautiful- simplicity and somewhat "vally" like. I see the mountain inspiration!

 

Curious- are those Darwin Clowns? Ive been dying for them!

 

This is my take three- slight improvement but still too wild. I don't need caves anyway since no fish (probably, except 2 clowns).

 

IMG_0545_zpsaqgfgje7.jpg

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Pinner Reef

Take out the flat piece on the right and set the one on top of it in it's place. Really hard to get smooth and knobby textures to look right along side each other.

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HarryPotter

Take out the flat piece on the right and set the one on top of it in it's place. Really hard to get smooth and knobby textures to look right along side each other.

 

Haha great minds think alike! Theres already a V4, without that piece! No pictures of that now- phones dead- but ill try to get that first thing in the morning.

 

The NanoCube looks pretty bare now that the centerpiece is gone, and all the corals are on the bottom

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HarryPotter

V4:

 

Opinions? The coral is just some basic stuff that I didn't want to remove from the rock. I took off the more fragile stuff IMG_0546_zpszxmp4qoq.jpg

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Sancho

Caves are nice they give fish places to hide, allow flow through the rock so detritus doesn't just build up on the sand. I have spent many many hours doing just what you are doing. I am never happy with what I have. My wife usually has to step in and tell me to just put the rock down and come to bed. That is usually at 3am after I have been screwing with it all day. Since the tank is new have you considered building your scape outside the tank? You can lay out the basic dims of the tank place your rock how you want it. once you get it to you liking you can use epoxy, a drill and pvc or acrylic rods to hold it together and drop it in as one or two pieces. That way your arms and floors stay dry.

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HarryPotter

Caves are nice they give fish places to hide, allow flow through the rock so detritus doesn't just build up on the sand. I have spent many many hours doing just what you are doing. I am never happy with what I have. My wife usually has to step in and tell me to just put the rock down and come to bed. That is usually at 3am after I have been screwing with it all day. Since the tank is new have you considered building your scape outside the tank? You can lay out the basic dims of the tank place your rock how you want it. once you get it to you liking you can use epoxy, a drill and pvc or acrylic rods to hold it together and drop it in as one or two pieces. That way your arms and floors stay dry.

 

So what do you think of this setup? It's pretty cavey, and I like the various levels for both SPS and Zoas!

 

I can't really build the scape outside, nor do I have any of the tools you mentioned. I do have a mat for the floor, and don't mind wet arms :)

 

Im ALMOST happy with it. I just need to fix a few places, and will just fix as I go with the corals.

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HarryPotter

V4 (cont.)

 

Needs the platform on the right to be straightened for Lucinda (my maxima clam) and possibly the tonga branch (Christianed penis rock by mswhitelock) will be removed to free up the scale a bit

 

FFC23A6F-8B03-40CC-8833-E49292379BCE_zps

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NorthGaHillbilly

the quality of an aquascape really comes out 6 months down the road when your coral placement either makes it or breaks it. What youve got could look great, just got to make your placements right. Ive always though cubes were the toughest to scape, but I also usually have low slung rockwork.

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pgrVII

Cubes are a trick to scape for sure. That is one of the reasons I wanted to switch from my nano cube. But,you will hit it just right I think. Trust your gut.

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HarryPotter

the quality of an aquascape really comes out 6 months down the road when your coral placement either makes it or breaks it. What youve got could look great, just got to make your placements right. Ive always though cubes were the toughest to scape, but I also usually have low slung rockwork.

I hit the "rock" jackpot with my cube, a single piece made up the entire aquascaoe and I love it.

 

IMG_0522_zpsvabzqwzy.jpg

Cubes are a trick to scape for sure. That is one of the reasons I wanted to switch from my nano cube. But,you will hit it just right I think. Trust your gut.

Thanks, I'm probably going to make the mentioned changes and continue adding my corals for now. I won't glue yet (if I can), so will be able to make changes later.

 

The clam rock is actually a medium sized piece, so that may replace the shelf on the right. Matches surrounding rock.

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NorthGaHillbilly

I hit the "rock" jackpot with my cube, a single piece made up the entire aquascaoe and I love it.

 

IMG_0522_zpsvabzqwzy.jpg

 

Thanks, I'm probably going to make the mentioned changes and continue adding my corals for now. I won't glue yet (if I can), so will be able to make changes later.

 

The clam rock is actually a medium sized piece, so that may replace the shelf on the right. Matches surrounding rock.

move the old structure over and add an island or two?

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HarryPotter

move the old structure over and add an island or two?

The structure is the new piece on the left- it looks dirty but that's just the lighting.

 

Check V4 again- it has that piece, the tonga from that tank, and a bunch of ReefCleaners dry rock

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hey

you're at 2/3rds the way up not 1/3rd btw. I try to stay away from 2/3rds because its pretty easy to have corals all the way up to the waters surface and receiving too much light that way.

 

Don't worry if textures don't go together right now, in a few months it'll all look very uniform with growth on it.

 

I liked v2, the 2 islands approach is pretty tried and true and usually looks good. Tonga makes a great base to grow matting stuff on or mounting sps on but its pretty useless asides from adding interest or a look of movement in a tank.

 

If you are still up for trying other scapes try one at 1/3rd the waters height with a scape similar to the 2 islands or your first scape, should let you place a fore middle and background of corals if you have something similar to your first.

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