Aquascaping Live Rock

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DocRose

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So my system has been up and running four about four months now. I'm already ready to (and preparing to) upgrade it. Going from a standard 29g to (most likely) a Red Sea Reefer 300 XL. Obviously this means more live rock, which isn't an issue. However, finally having plenty of space to play in...aquascape...I want to take the time and make something nice. So here's what I want to know...
  1. Am I able to use my existing live rock (currently in the tank) to scape with? And by scape, I mean chisel and break it up in order to create a "masterpiece".
    1. Will I be able to use other dry rock in addition to the live rock, or will it not bond together properly?
    2. How much time do I have to work with the live rock before I need to get it back into the water to prevent as much die-off as possible?
    3. What risks would I be taking by introducing new dry rock into my system in a large amount (i.e. 30 lbs.)? I'm not concerned about months of curing. This rock is dead...dead...dead. It has nothing on it to die-off, and will be properly rinsed first.
  2. If I cannot aquascape the way I would like to with my own live rock, could I scape with the dry rock, put it into the new system, and then just set my old live rock in the tank until the new scape is well established with good bacteria?
  3. I would like to get a Diamond Goby, or any other burrowing and sand sifting goby. Right now I have the ultra fine grain Oolite in my tank. Could/Should I switch it out for crushed coral, so that my (future) goby has the proper substrate needed for burrowing?
Finally, please feel free to leave any advice and/or warnings about what I would like to do as well.
 
Lazy's Coral House

Timfish

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I like drilling holes and using PVC pipe to hold stuff together. Diamond hole saws are readily available online and at home improvement stores. Live rock can be drilled under water using an drill bit extension. You certainly can mix and match stone to get what you want. Live rock can be spritzed with saltwater to keep from drying out. Here's a video on drilling rock that might help:

 
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DocRose

DocRose

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if you have room to put all of your current rock into your new(?) sump for the upgrade, check out the first page of my build thread. if you can imagine it, you can make it with this stuff.
That is friggin' amazing!!! I don't know if I have the patience to do it though. lol That, and I'm aiming for a minimalistic sump (no rocks, no pod hotels, no substrate, etc.) for easy cleaning purposes. Just filter socks, heater(s), dosers, skimmer, chaeto/pods, and return pump. In the past I've had the struggle of having to move equipment around to vacuum. So this time I want to make it as easy as possible for maint. Still though, if I decide to go your route, I could just move my live stock to a temp home in the basement, and start a new cycle with the new tank. Thanks for sharing! I would have never thought of that!
 

sp1187

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That is friggin' amazing!!! I don't know if I have the patience to do it though. lol That, and I'm aiming for a minimalistic sump (no rocks, no pod hotels, no substrate, etc.) for easy cleaning purposes. Just filter socks, heater(s), dosers, skimmer, chaeto/pods, and return pump. In the past I've had the struggle of having to move equipment around to vacuum. So this time I want to make it as easy as possible for maint. Still though, if I decide to go your route, I could just move my live stock to a temp home in the basement, and start a new cycle with the new tank. Thanks for sharing! I would have never thought of that!
if you were to decide to go this route, please let me know.
more than happy to help. i'm not that far away.
 
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sp1187

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i went this route because i didn't want to see the two gyres, the overflow box, the return line or the heater that are in the tank. and the only thing in my sump are baskets of seachem matrix for the bioload, a floating algae scrubber, and the return pump.
 

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