Aquascaping

Discussion in 'General Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by Paul B, Dec 5, 2018 at 7:45 AM.

  1. Paul B

    Paul B Well-Known Member

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    I see a lot of Noob Threads asking to comment on their aquascape. That is a good idea but the scape is your preference. But I see in most of them too much rock, especially with flat surfaces sitting on the bottom. I know this is the easiest way to stack rock and it probably looks nicer, but it is not the way to go. IMO the contact areas should be as minimum as possible, maybe using the pointiest parts of the rock to contact the bottom so as not to restrict flow. It doesn't look like much but those stagnant areas add up and do nothing for tank health and maybe be detrimental as we want circulation in every area as much as possible.
    My entire reef is sitting on DIY structures like this. You don't see these things in my tank because they are covered in rock and coral with just some of the "feet" visible.

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    It's hard to see in the picture but there is very little rock touching the gravel and water can circulate around, through and under the structure.
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. DaveK

    DaveK Well-Known Member

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    I've got to agree with you about most aquascapes. Yes, I do think you want to get that 1 pound or rock per gallon of water, but you also want to keep it off the substrata.

    I have often used short lengths of 1 1/2" diameter PVC pipe. I cut them to about 3 or 4 inches long, and push them into the sandbed. You want them to extend about 1" from the sandbed. Then place the rock on them.

    I have also built structures out of eggcrate. It;s easy to cut or break and forms a open grid. You can also place it over the PVC pipe lengths I described above.

    In either case, once you get some coraline algae frowing over them, you'll never see the structure.

    One thing you want to end up with is flat places where you can mount coral frags. Don't worry about trying to create caves and so on. You'll have plenty no matter what. You also want to end up with the rocks spaced out so that you get some flow between them.

    To keep good flow inside the rock structures, I use a closed loop, with the output going to a pipe run the length of the sandbed. The pipe is centered under the rockwork, so it's placed about 1/3 the width of the tank from the back. I drill the pipe with 1/4" holes apart 1" apart, one hole in the front, one on the top, and another in the back.

    When placing rocks, don't make one big pile, and don't make the rock work symmetrical. Check out the rule of thirds, which is a method for artists and photographers for laying out their work. See more here (offsite) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_thirds
     
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  3. DaveK

    DaveK Well-Known Member

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    One additional thought. Give a lot of thought to your aquascape. It's the one thing people see in the tank other than the livestock. A good aquascape is what turns an average tank into a real gem, even if the tank is very small.
     
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