Leaving space between the Aquascape and Back Glass: Why should you?

BRS

How much space do you leave between the aquascape and back glass?

  • None

    Votes: 63 8.8%
  • Very little

    Votes: 104 14.5%
  • Couple inches

    Votes: 391 54.5%
  • Wide Open

    Votes: 140 19.5%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 20 2.8%

  • Total voters
    718

revhtree

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Today let's talk about the space or room between the aquascape and the back glass. I'm a big fan of having the space for several reasons like flow, frag holding, swimming space etc. But I'm wondering how you feel about it. Some will stack rock against the back glass for stability or to have more room for the front of the tank and I get that too. Let's talk about it.

1. Do you leave space between the aquascape and back glass? If so how much space?

2. Why should you or why should you not leave space?


image via @snafte
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Lost in the Sauce

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My tank has only two viewing angles. From the front and left side. I like being able to look from the side down both side of three aquascape structure. I've got a few inches clearance at the bottom, 10" from the glass up top
 

Peace River

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Two reasons I leave space at the back glass is for a flow path and swimming path.
 

90's reefer

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Well that depends on your scape.
I have always had the great rock wall. I have a minimalist scape with 3-4" between the rock and the back wall. This allows swimming room for fish and makes detrius removal easier on my bare bottom.
However as the tank grows in corals are encroaching on the back glass. It wont be long before several attatch to the back.
The back is difficult to access now but powerheads keep the area free of detrius for now.
1.5 years ago and now.
20200523_193935.jpg

20211102_170312.jpg
 
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ylreefer

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Yep, room behind is essential for me after many years of pilling rock up against the back glass, mainly from not being very good at aquascaping .

I recently went from reef to FOT so scaping for that is obvious a lot easier I'll admit. But as previously mentioned having that room for the fish to go hide/sleep out of sight I think it's important.

It always amazes me 10min after lights out you cant see any of the 21 fish in my tank lol. Their ninjas .
 

ApoIsland

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The entire back wall and 1/2 of the two sides is a thin wrap around rock wall as I prefer the more natural look of seeing rock instead of glass back there. I do have a few rocks right up against the glass, but I like to make sure there is almost an inch of space in most areas so the fish have a nice place they can sleep / hide.

if you look at the middle of this pic you can see the rock wall.
 

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bevo5

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I think flow and removing dead spots are both good reasons to keep some space. But I also just prefer it aesthetically. I like seeing the fish swim throughout the entire rock structure. I also like having the other side to look at sometimes. Or at least down from the side.
 

Mhamilton0911

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This was my first reef tank, so I didn't know the right answer, but I left enough room for a magnet scraper. 1.5" or so. The fish really use it for swimming space so that's a bonus, plus it allows light to shine behind so it gives a cool look through the bottom of the rockwork.
 

kittenbritches

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Rock work is against the back glass in my 65g in several places for stability, with a lot of other places that have gaps and caves for the fish, but limited space for cleaning.

In my 40B I have several inches clearance in the back and front (centered). I wanted it to look very different from the other tank, which was a larger consideration than being able to clean the glass.
 

sdreef

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I like space to allow water to move around the entire rock scape. It's good for flow to avoid dead zones. Also, another area for the fish to swim and hide.

Currently, I have about 4 inches of space, but how much depends on the size and layout of the aquascape.

IMG_0552.jpg
 

daileyo

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I've Put rocks right up against the back glass in the past to give a rock-wall effect. I didn't like how difficult it was to clean, and it made the tank feel enclosed.

Leaving space, for me, has a few benefits:
  • Easier to clean
  • More open for fish to swim/hide
  • Gives the tank a more open feel
My new problem is that my tank isn't as deep (l x d x h) as I'd like, so leaving space in the back takes away from space in the front. It is the lesser of evils atm though.
 
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revhtree

revhtree

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I'm surprised so far of how many of you DO leave space!
 
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