Valuable MemberView Badges
R2R Excellence Award
Reef Tank 365Build Thread Contributor
- Mar 14, 2013
- Reaction score
I'm not sure recreating a piece of nature is a good goal to have for reef scaping. Reef animals have such unique look that it won't really resemble other stuff under or above water. To accurately mimic a natural reef it would be one or two big colony of coral, with plenty of algae and other nasty looking stuff growing between gaps.
The way I see it, reef scaping is more like gardening. Building something that's nice and impactful to the eyes, but not necessarily resemble what you will find in nature. It's more about color theory and composition than looks natural.
I think the key for this is to steer the conversation and criteria towards the aesthetic.
There could be different approaches to reef aquascaping.
If someone wants to recreate as close as possible something close to the ocean (a biotope), it's a tank with very well thought out huge colonies and low diversity.
I think another option could be a reduction of scale, a bit like bonsai. Smaller colonies arranged in a way to simulate a larger portion of the reef than the volume tank.
Yet another option is the one you compared to gardening. Here many of the freshwater aquascaping techniques can be applied more easily.
There's a middle ground, something I would call a biotype. You analyse a specific biotope and incorporate elements of that biotope into your tank with a larger degree of freedom.