Anybody else have a tiered sand scape?

Discussion in 'Aquascape Discussion' started by vlangel, Jan 31, 2019.

  1. vlangel

    vlangel Seahorse whisperer R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award 3RMAS Member Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    Hi all,

    I have high tall tanks because I keep seahorses. I am always trying to find ways to use some of that vertical open space. In my last tank, a 56 gallon column I tried a tiered approach and really liked it.

    I used my largest, most dense rocks for the retaining wall. Then I just poured the sand behind them. I had to use smaller rubble rock to plug leaks but it works pretty well. So my sand bed is 2 distinct heights: the ssb is about an inch while the dsb is probably 7". I will add some photos.
     
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  2. DeniseAndy

    DeniseAndy Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    I have not tried it, but have seen others tanks that have. Not sure long term how well everyone liked them. Hopefully someone else chime in. I got my sand rearranged by my engineer goby before it died. Does that count.
     
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  3. vlangel

    vlangel Seahorse whisperer R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award 3RMAS Member Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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  4. DeniseAndy

    DeniseAndy Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Cool little tank. Reminds me of the planted tanks for the scenery look. I like it!
     
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  5. vlangel

    vlangel Seahorse whisperer R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award 3RMAS Member Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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  6. vlangel

    vlangel Seahorse whisperer R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award 3RMAS Member Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    Yeah, I am a macro algae gal, and I like as natural a scape as possible. I try to get my tank to look like something I would see while snorkling.
     
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  7. norfolkgarden

    norfolkgarden Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019

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    Love it!

    Tanks that remind me of being in the water are always a favorite.

    Looks beautiful!
     
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  8. vlangel

    vlangel Seahorse whisperer R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award 3RMAS Member Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    Thank you! Appreciate the kind comment.
     
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  9. PhreeByrd

    PhreeByrd Active Member

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    When I had my 56g column tank I made an acrylic base for the rock and had a 4" sand bed. The extra stability of the base allowed me to stack rock to within 4" of the water surface. I really liked that tank and it was extremely successful. As I recall, I had about 40lbs of rock in that tank.
     
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  10. VR28man

    VR28man Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    Thanks, @vlangel ! I was thinking of such a setup for a future tank (as a place for a jawfish colony, among an otherwise not very deep sandbed in the rest of the tank. The way you set it up is awesome!
     
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  11. vlangel

    vlangel Seahorse whisperer R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award 3RMAS Member Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    I bet that was a successful tank because of the biological stability along with structural stability. Do you have any pics of that tank?

    Large amounts of LR is not the popular trend these days with minimal scapes being what most folks are choosing. You can't beat the biological stability that you get from LR however. I do not know how much rock is in my tank because I moved rocks from other tanks to this one but its quite a lot.
     
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  12. vlangel

    vlangel Seahorse whisperer R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award 3RMAS Member Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    Ha ha, that is a big reason that I set it up that way as well. I want a dusky jawfish. Also the retaining wall has lots of hidey holes for all my blennies too.
     
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  13. PhreeByrd

    PhreeByrd Active Member

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    I agree. It was extremely stable and trouble-free. Never had a bit of 'the uglies' phases I've experienced with some other tanks. I'll have to look and see if I still have some photos of that tank.

    I don't necessarily agree with the minimalist rockwork approach. To me it's unnatural and not beneficial for the tank inhabitants. Stability is key to everything we do, and it plays a huge part in everything that challenges and frustrates people in the hobby. But there are those whose goal is to have a picture-perfect reef tank with perfectly white sand and not a shred of anything out of place. I won't argue that they are wrong or misguided, but that's not what reefkeeping means to me.
     
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  14. Nami

    Nami Member

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    If one is going for a lagoon style scape, then minimal rock with white sand is really the way to go. Initially I went for the same thing but after adding a few fish, I felt that they appreciate more hiding spots, so added some rock arches and caves. The fish seem more happy now but the additional rock sort of ruin the lagoon look. So I'm still debating right now.
     
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  15. VR28man

    VR28man Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    Thread drift...

    I don't quite know what a "lagoon style scape" is supposed to be. If it's supposed to be a scape like in a stereotypical lagoon part of a coral reef, it is true that many parts of the lagoon part of a reef are loaded with sand. But those parts won't have many corals or fish. :) The parts of a lagoon that have good amounts of coral and fish, "patch reefs", are (usually) coral rock (s) (of small to sometimes house-size) that allow encrusting organisms, corals to live there and thereby attract fish. The difference between them and the "back reef", "reef crest", "upper fore reef slope" and "lower fore reef slope" further down the typical reef is essentially in the amount of flow and nutrients that may accumulate.

    Anyway, for our purposes, IMO live rock provides several purposes: 1. space for nitrifying bacteria 2. space for denitrifying bacteria 3. space for a good number of other bacteria which are needed for a stable reef environment 4. space for a good number of encrusting, often microscopic (and if not, definitely small) things which are needed for a stable reef 5. space for corals, etc.

    1 and 2 can be done by a variety of artificial media (seachem matrix and marinepure are the only ones I've used personally; IME the first works well and the second not so well). 3. might be also done by artificial media. Therefore, the live rock necessary in a tank may not be all that great; were one to do a "lagoon"/"patch reef" or (worse, IMO) minimalist scape a decent amount of live rock may be all that's necessary, depending on how much you want to stock.
     
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