Is stacking rocks using the back wall of the tank a bad idea?

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mistergray

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My tank is only 32 gallons and at the moment I only have 16lbs of live rock, although 30lbs is recommended. My goal is to get 30lbs but I have limited space. I currently have the rock situated in the middle of the tank but if I were to move all the rock to the back wall I would be able to situate the rock better by using the back wall as leverage. Is stacking rocks using the back wall of the tank a bad idea? I understand it would be difficult or impossible to clean the back wall after that but I see beautiful tanks that have the whole back wall covered. Is not having access to clean the back wall of the tank a completely bad idea? I see some do it and some do not. Trying to get a feel of what I can get away with in order to not have any issues in the future.

And YES, I’m going to snatch that stupid little decoration out as soon as I can convince my kids that the fish will hate it. Lol!!!

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JoeM

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There is no harm in leaning rocks agains the back of the glass if you have adequate water flow.

I’ve used powerheads, or better yet, a small return-style pump with a 12” piece of PVC to kick up detritus in hard to reach places once or twice a month, including as I’m doing water changes.

Stop the overflow, kick up as much detritus as you can, and do the water change from the main tank trying to collect as much of that suspended junk as you can.
 
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mistergray

mistergray

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I don’t think so, the old recommendations used to be 1-2lb per gallon, and this man made rock everyone is using these days is heavier and less porous than real live rock (depending on the rock). If you’ve got 23lbs in there now, you could easily double it and still not even be 2/3 of the way to the surface. I’ve got a 28 gallon cube going right now with roughly 40lbs of rock (half ‘life rock’ and half live rock), and I could still use a little more, most of my scape is less than half way up the water column, with one little column going around 2/3 of the way, and I’ve still got a few places I’d like to stick a couple more rocks (probably 5-10 more lbs). I guess it just depends on the aesthetic you’re going for. In a tank that small, you’re not going to have any fish that require a ton of open swimming room (like a tang for example), so I prefer to just have lots of caves and little nooks and crannies for fish to swim in and out of and to have plenty of space to put corals.
If you’re super bored, please post a pic of your tank setup. I’d love to see how your rock is situated.
 
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mistergray

mistergray

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The reef wall on the back of the tank is out of style, but, still has some great advantages.

Good:
1. you don't have to scrape the back wall
2. hides your overflows and returns
3. leaves room in the foreground for other stuff
4. lots of space for fish to hide

Bad:
1. sometimes it is hard to mount corals
2. you need to be somewhat creative to maintain water flow and avoid creating a detritus trap
3. fish can hide from you so well you will start to doubt what you put in the tank last week
4. out of style (but will probably be back in style soon enough)
Thanks for the detail! LOL @ “you will start to doubt what you put in the tank last week”!!!
 
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PeterZammetti

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My tank is only 32 gallons and at the moment I only have 16lbs of live rock, although 30lbs is recommended. My goal is to get 30lbs but I have limited space. I currently have the rock situated in the middle of the tank but if I were to move all the rock to the back wall I would be able to situate the rock better by using the back wall as leverage. Is stacking rocks using the back wall of the tank a bad idea? I understand it would be difficult or impossible to clean the back wall after that but I see beautiful tanks that have the whole back wall covered. Is not having access to clean the back wall of the tank a completely bad idea? I see some do it and some do not. Trying to get a feel of what I can get away with in order to not have any issues in the future.

And YES, I’m going to snatch that stupid little decoration out as soon as I can convince my kids that the fish will hate it. Lol!!!

0C61A0B5-63DE-41C5-AD41-E2A10DDA5E75.jpeg
Rocks touching any part of the tanks glass is never bad. That being said, when they are resting back, it is impossible to clean behind the structure. some of us cheat and put an MP10 wavemaker running behind work that can't be moved for cleaning.
 
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