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tidepooldreamer

Talk me through (or talk me out of) rescaping my tank

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tidepooldreamer

I like the look of my current scape but I'm worried that there's too many shaded areas that will cause me frustration down the road as I add more corals. I'm also not a fan of the open sandy area in the back corner that I can't really see into; I have no idea what I could put back there and it seems like really wasted space. This was my first saltwater scape, and I can definitely see the influences of my freshwater experience - I was thinking of rocks as something to plant around, rather than on.

 

Top view: The back left is the hard-to-view corner.

IMG_20201204_133058.thumb.jpg.286b628f8eabadafb751dc6405aed887.jpg

 

The whole left side of the tank is really overshadowed by the tall rock (which I think is probably also too tall to put any corals on top of?) (Forgive the heater in the display, it's been switched out with one in the back chamber now)

IMG_20201228_145244.thumb.jpg.1b9d1da47e8b0e8462da9af2b2672d1a.jpg

 

What I think I'd like to do is create a small separate island in one corner of the tank to isolate my zoas, and then rearrange the rest of the rockwork to reduce unusable space at the back of the tank while keeping an open sandy area in the front for my pistol shrimp and goby.

 

I believe the procedure to do this would be:

1) Drain out ~5 gallons into a holding tank, set up with heater + pump and transfer corals + 3 hermit crabs into this with one piece of rock for the hermits to hold onto

2) Drain out as much of rest of tank water into a bucket as I can before disturbing the sand bed.

3) Remove sand into another bucket. Here's where I'm not really sure - I've read that it's very important to wash the sand thoroughly if it's been disturbed to avoid ammonia. My tank has been set up since last November, but I've only had the hermits that whole time, so I don't think my sandbed is actually very dirty. Hopefully I can get away with a quicker rinse so I can get everyone set back up again ASAP? Is there a good way to tell if the sand is cleaned enough?

4) Rearrange rocks, replace sand, refill tank with old tank water + any new water needed, get everyone back in.

 

Am I missing anything obvious?

I'll pick up an ammonia alert badge before I start, so I can catch any issues on that front before they do any damage hopefully. I have Prime on hand from my freshwater tanks to neutralise any ammonia, as well.

I'll be reusing all the same live rock + a little extra dry, so fingers crossed my cycle won't be disturbed by it.

 

One final question - I have a number of hitchhiker fan worms in my sandbed who I am quite fond of; is there a good way to remove them and keep them safe while I do this?

 

Thanks for any advice 🙂

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NoOneLikesADryTang

I’m not good at aquascaping, but fortunately my better half is excellent at it. 
 

I actually think it looks pretty good. What are you planning on keeping in this tank? What are you really trying to accomplish by redoing the scape? 
 

Also, your future pistol will never use the open sand space. They’ll make their den under/in the rocks. Usually, my luck is it’s at the back of the tank, where you can’t really see them. 
 

Someone with more experience may come along and correct me, but if you don’t have any fish, (even if you have another small cycle, from ammonia release in the tank from the disturbed sand bed) I don’t think it’d negatively impact anything.  
 

What are the fan worms attached to? I don’t see why you couldn’t pluck them out, before you disturbed the sand bed, and then put them back once done. 

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tidepooldreamer
15 minutes ago, NoOneLikesADryTang said:

I’m not good at aquascaping, but fortunately my better half is excellent at it. 
 

I actually think it looks pretty good. What are you planning on keeping in this tank? What are you really trying to accomplish by redoing the scape? 
 

Also, your future pistol will never use the open sand space. They’ll make their den under/in the rocks. Usually, my luck is it’s at the back of the tank, where you can’t really see them. 
 

Someone with more experience may come along and correct me, but if you don’t have any fish, (even if you have another small cycle, from ammonia release in the tank from the disturbed sand bed) I don’t think it’d negatively impact anything.  
 

What are the fan worms attached to? I don’t see why you couldn’t pluck them out, before you disturbed the sand bed, and then put them back once done. 

Thank you!
My plans are the aforementioned goby/pistol pair, possibly a possum wrasse, and then assorted inverts (porcelain anemone crab, some type of shrimp). Coral wise I'm not too sure: I think I'd like to get a brain coral which I know can't touch the rocks; maybe a galaxea which means thinking about sweepers...

My main goal with redoing the scape would be making sure I have plenty of good spots to put coral. I'd rather redo it now while it's mostly empty than realise down the road that it's really restricting my coral options.

 

Not sure re the fan worms - they're all in sandy areas rather than the rocks, but I don't know if they go all the way down and attach to the glass at the bottom. If they're just in the sand hopefully I can scoop them out without too much harm.

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Clown79

I've rearranged a few tanks before to redo my aquascape,  but in my 5g spec i ran into issues because it was a lot of disturbance in a tank that was only a few months old. 

 

I had an ammonia issue and it spiked high. i had to use Prime, ammonia badge, and waterchanges.

 

It was 2 weeks before it processed.

 

You need to drain all the water you want to save before removing any rocks because if you touch the rocks, it releases a lot of nasty stuff into the water column.

 

If you remove the sand, it should be thoroughly washed.

 

Personally, i like your aquascape. Having open spaces allows for better water movement, filtration, and less detritus traping.

 

There are lots of corals that should be on the sand bed and not in rock work. 

 

The open areas in the back could be used to place smaller rocks and then place a nice leather on them or an sps, or a bubble coral.

 

You can put eupyllia there, a plate, a ric garden.

 

It would create depth which gives it a very natural look.

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tidepooldreamer
11 hours ago, Clown79 said:

I've rearranged a few tanks before to redo my aquascape,  but in my 5g spec i ran into issues because it was a lot of disturbance in a tank that was only a few months old. 

 

I had an ammonia issue and it spiked high. i had to use Prime, ammonia badge, and waterchanges.

 

It was 2 weeks before it processed.

 

You need to drain all the water you want to save before removing any rocks because if you touch the rocks, it releases a lot of nasty stuff into the water column.

 

If you remove the sand, it should be thoroughly washed.

 

Personally, i like your aquascape. Having open spaces allows for better water movement, filtration, and less detritus traping.

 

There are lots of corals that should be on the sand bed and not in rock work. 

 

The open areas in the back could be used to place smaller rocks and then place a nice leather on them or an sps, or a bubble coral.

 

You can put eupyllia there, a plate, a ric garden.

 

It would create depth which gives it a very natural look.

Thanks very much! Might just leave things as they are, then 🙂

 

I am very tempted by a leather coral for that back corner, although I wasn't sure if it would have issues being so close to the return output.

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Clown79
1 hour ago, tidepooldreamer said:

Thanks very much! Might just leave things as they are, then 🙂

 

I am very tempted by a leather coral for that back corner, although I wasn't sure if it would have issues being so close to the return output.

Not likely. Mine was right near the returns, they like flow. 

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rough eye

i like your scape. you could always create an area of rubble for something like a ricordea garden, or add an island or 2 down the road. 

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Clown79
1 hour ago, rough eye said:

i like your scape. you could always create an area of rubble for something like a ricordea garden, or add an island or 2 down the road. 

Ric gardens are beautiful. All the different colours you can get really adds pop. 

 

 

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