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7g AIO, First Tank, Aquascaping Opinions Wanted, Options 4,5 Added


dnadrifter

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Hi All,

 

I am about to set up my first reef tank.  Its a 7 gallon, UNS, AIO.   I have three aquascaping options below that I would like to get opinions on.  I have lots of extra rock and am open to suggestions.  I am trying to balance having too much rock vs room for stuff to grow and roam.  Not really sure what I am doing, but even this part is fun for me.  I don't really have any idea what I am going to do with the tank.  I will probably have a fish at some point, but not right away.  I'd like a nice shrimp, maybe a crab of some sort.  I don't plan to have zoas. Other than pretty up in the air.

 

Apologies for the bad pics, they will get better when I have real stuff to photograph.  Sorry I don't have side angles of all options.  Any problems with the cave thing in the right base rock?....it kind of looks like a mouth.

 

Option 1)  Rock formations separated.   Overhang rock going out the the left

APC_0018.jpg.9c25cad054d5523a251b341ace1d2585.jpg

 

 

Option 2)  Tunnel / Arch formed by two rock formations.  Overhang rock coming out at you on right

 

APC_0026.jpg.db0ff17d74c9f5b4c9b70c19dda65729.jpg

 

APC_0028.jpg.5742da519efa2e48ab09c0bbf5e62631.jpg

 

 

Option 3)  Similar to #2, but less rock in the bottom left creating a more open scape.

APC_0032.jpg.7aa9d034cffb995d179c45ea1d5d341b.jpg

 

APC_0033.jpg.76f047f4a67195047571c5f0b9da9ec7.jpg

 

APC_0035.jpg.bde9e33b1dc9c4de70ba13adfd80617f.jpg

 

 

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I like the look of the bottom one, it's cool and gives you distance for corals.

 

The best suggestion for such a small tank, don't do too much rock. You don't need more than 5lbs.

 

It can become a real pain to clean or house corals.

 

 

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SaltyGallon

Seems like quite a lot of rock to begin with. How tall is the tank? Corals will take up lots of space 🙂

 

I like the last photo (the scape looks a bit like a person!) but you'll end up with lots of shading. I'd say Option 1 has best placement potential!

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Less is more. When I first started I used a large centerpiece rock in a really small tank and didn’t leave much open sand bed. Left me with pretty limited room for coral  placement and cleaning was a pain. I upgraded to a larger tank and am much happier with more open space to put things and, more importantly, give them room to grow. 
 

So not to confuse things more, I like option 2 but without that top rock coming out. It would look really nice to have a mushroom garden or a bunch of coral on the sandbed and then coral growing in the background on the arch. 

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Wow, many thanks for all the suggestions and opinions!  I will likely try a few more based on the opinions here.  Not in a huge rush.

 

Some comments:

  • so I have one vote for each....Haha !
  • tank is 11 in tall, take away 1 for sand and at least 1 for distance from the top rim and I am trying to get everything into 8 in tall
  • I was wondering about shadowing too....thanks for commenting on that.  I will try to minimize that.
  • I purchased 10 lbs....probably have 5-6 lbs in.
  • Just so many cool rocks they gave me, I want to use them....need to resist though
  • the monster big mouth rock at the bottom right takes a lot of space but I was really trying to use it because of the mouth cave.  Maybe I should abandon it.   That would provide more options.

 

Summary from replies:

  • less and simpler is probably better
  • watch out for shadowing from overhangs
  • open sand bed can help a lot

 

 

Okay, here are two more options, that don't use the overhang shelf as much, or at least does't block light in the front of the tank

 

4)

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_28d1.jpg.845d97139cdba217755e53f028bfc275.jpg

 

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_28d2.jpg.ad9f4750e65836c65c68412755bc8d7b.jpgUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_28d3.jpg.d0e93cb46c028605ae61a99c4db74e64.jpg

 

 

 

5)  Much more minimalistic - could break a large rock and put a few smaller ones in

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_28d6.jpg.76375333329dc75231e1f125b336e114.jpg

 

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_28d7.jpg.f79211e115ef7d91c0ea68e2a02df466.jpg

 

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_28d4.jpg.60af97c4c0f364a409377517952926d6.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Just an update that I went with a version of #5.    I will be starting a journal once I get the water, rock and sand in the tank.   Thanks for feedback that helped shaped my final decision.

IMG_4324.jpeg

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mitten_reef

In all options, the rocks appear wayyy too close to the tank wall (blue tape boundary). Be sure to leave enough clearance for your glass cleaner, magnet or otherwise, to get thru and around your scape. 
I like #4 the best among all options. 

  • Like 1
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22 minutes ago, dnadrifter said:

Just an update that I went with a version of #5.    I will be starting a journal once I get the water, rock and sand in the tank.   Thanks for feedback that helped shaped my final decision.

IMG_4324.jpeg

I like this one. Minimalist is a nice look giving more room for corals.

 

Just make sure you have enough rm in between rock and glass for cleaning.

 

You could break up a bunch or rock into rubble, make a little box for it and stick it in the back chamber/sump, it can be a pod condo and biofilter.

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Thanks everyone.   I will be careful not to get to close to the glass.  The interior tape edge was set to be approximately 1 inch from the glass wall.   Also in some photos the lens viewpoint and angle is making it appear that rock in some cases is over the interior line when it is not.

 

Is a one inch perimeter around the rock sufficient?

  • Like 3
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On 3/29/2020 at 8:14 PM, dnadrifter said:

Thanks everyone.   I will be careful not to get to close to the glass.  The interior tape edge was set to be approximately 1 inch from the glass wall.   Also in some photos the lens viewpoint and angle is making it appear that rock in some cases is over the interior line when it is not.

 

Is a one inch perimeter around the rock sufficient?

One inch should be fine as long as you place coral carefully. Before I got a larger tank, I had placed my candy cane on the outer edge of my main rock and thought I had enough room until it happily puffed up and was almost touching the glass.  Made cleaning difficult because there was no way to remove algae in that spot without bothering the coral

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On 3/29/2020 at 8:14 PM, dnadrifter said:

Thanks everyone.   I will be careful not to get to close to the glass.  The interior tape edge was set to be approximately 1 inch from the glass wall.   Also in some photos the lens viewpoint and angle is making it appear that rock in some cases is over the interior line when it is not.

 

Is a one inch perimeter around the rock sufficient?

Should be enough. A nice algae scraper that fits in small areas is the Flipper nano. Expensive but really worth the price since you can use it on hard algae and film algae. It also has replacement blades.

One thing I love about it is its slim body, no glued on parts, and best the design to not allow sand to collect and scratch the glass.

 

If your gravel vacuum won't fit between rocks and glass, you can just stir the sand in those areas and siphon the floating detritus

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I think maybe I should try one more time for the rock scape.   Just not thrilled with the way it looks.  Somehow once in the tank with water, I change my opinion compared to working dry.

 

Thoughts?  Opinions?  See below journal thread for pics.

 

Big downside is I would have to take the glued rock apart.

 

 

 

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Up to you. Did you just use super glue? It will come apart pretty easily. I think it look cool with the overhang. Are you getting a lot of shading underneath?  it looks like you still have a lot of room to place corals and the varying height will make it easier to do mixed reef work different light requiring coral.  
 

If you are definitely unhappy with it then by all means take it apart. Just keep in mind the coral you get and their placement will be equally important and will change how you tank looks just as much as how your rocks are placed. I thought the original way, with the half overhang looked pretty cool, and gives you space to put coral that will eventually grow up and out. 
 

I say keep it. You have cool rock work and plenty of sand bed left over. Plus the empty space will fill in with coral. 
 

I get the feeling if you change it you will be unhappy with something else about the tank. My first time I thought it looked great until its came time to place coral. Then I change it and was happy. 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, aclman88 said:

Up to you. Did you just use super glue? It will come apart pretty easily. I think it look cool with the overhang. Are you getting a lot of shading underneath?  it looks like you still have a lot of room to place corals and the varying height will make it easier to do mixed reef work different light requiring coral.  

Yeah, superglue for almost all of it, although there is a rod in the over hang piece to help stabilize.   Yeah lots of shading underneath, but I anticipated that, and that area is kind of a vertical wall anyway.

 

Really appreciate your opinion and chiming in.

 

13 minutes ago, aclman88 said:

I get the feeling if you change it you will be unhappy with something else about the tank. 

Haha, you are probably right.

 

 

Decisions, decisions.

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27 minutes ago, dnadrifter said:

Really appreciate your opinion and chiming in.

 

Haha, you are probably right.

 

Decisions, decisions.

Of course, glad to be of help.  Hope I didn't offend with my last comment.  I get the feeling that you are like me (and a lot of people on here) and are always toying with scapes and worried it could be made better.  Good luck and I look forward to this tank!

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41 minutes ago, aclman88 said:

Of course, glad to be of help.  Hope I didn't offend with my last comment.  I get the feeling that you are like me (and a lot of people on here) and are always toying with scapes and worried it could be made better.  Good luck and I look forward to this tank!

Of course not... no offense taken.  I do enjoy trying to create something and always want it to be better if possible.  🙂

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Decided to change.   Last time.  This is what I ended up with.   Now to get its cycle finished and get something in it besides dead rocks.

 

Front

_P2A3603_editv1.jpg.0a2e1b763a708d0cbf8f898f69ac5cf0.jpg

 

Left

_P2A3608_editv1-2.jpg.841c0463586244f59ac6d9e45fbd2857.jpg

 

Right

_P2A3605_editv1-2.jpg.a1a581ac27d950052219fbe49c725e76.jpg

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11 hours ago, dnadrifter said:

Decided to change.   Last time.  This is what I ended up with.   Now to get its cycle finished and get something in it besides dead rocks.

Looks great!  

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