Minimalist Aqua scaping and fish Stress

90's reefer

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Still only 3 months in and migrated some tester corals over from my old tank. A few fish are doing well but I had a copperband I could never get eating (not unusual but I think the lack of hiding spots contributed to stress) and a small convict tang that I found stuck on an MP40 one morning after seemingly being very healthy.
The ridge and arch rock formation in the center is at least 4 inches from the front and back of the tank. The formation is great for detritus removal and will be good for raising flow for SPS but I don’t think most fish are gonna love it. I am banking on when mature SPS colonies fill in a lot of that space it’s going to create more natural hiding spots and overhangs.

6D879CD2-4230-49BE-A73F-1449B186C25E.jpeg
Very nice scape.
It will take some time as in a few years to fill in with colonies from frags.
I started with live rock which speeds up the process and I had coral in and growing at 2-3 months.
I have a convict tang in my 120 and would not put one in again.
IMO they need a minimum tank size of 6'.
They never stop moving.
My tomini is much more suited for the 120.
Start a build thread so we can follow.
 
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Mike Hettinga

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The ridge and arch rock formation in the center is at least 4 inches from the front and back of the tank. The formation is great for detritus removal and will be good for raising flow for SPS but I don’t think most fish are gonna love it. I am banking on when mature SPS colonies fill in a lot of that space it’s going to create more natural hiding spots and overhangs.

6D879CD2-4230-49BE-A73F-1449B186C25E.jpeg
I like your scape a lot. With what I can see, I feel the overhangs you have give more protection than you might think. I also love the shelf tops. Might look a little flat now but the corals will take care of that. Makes me want to redo my scape. Thank you for sharing the pic.
 

Timfish

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My 2 cents,. Fish need to be "socialized" just like cats and dogs. Most of my clients have fish that come out to greet them and are visible most of the day (but they're quick to hide when that jerk of a maintenance guy shows up to mess things up). Fish are very good at recognizing individual people and it shouldn't be a surprise they show some preference, indifference or dislike for a person.
 

SixtyFeetUnder

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Very nice scape.
It will take some time as in a few years to fill in with colonies from frags.
I started with live rock which speeds up the process and I had coral in and growing at 2-3 months.
I have a convict tang in my 120 and would not put one in again.
IMO they need a minimum tank size of 6'.
They never stop moving.
My tomini is much more suited for the 120.
Start a build thread so we can follow.
This is a 72” tank but I agree with your comment about always moving; i’ve never seen such an active tang species in one of my tanks before!
 

SixtyFeetUnder

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I like your scape a lot. With what I can see, I feel the overhangs you have give more protection than you might think. I also love the shelf tops. Might look a little flat now but the corals will take care of that. Makes me want to redo my scape. Thank you for sharing the pic.
Thanks for the positive feedback! I learned from my old school rock wall in my 15-year-old 75 that it’s a detrtitus trap and did not want to re-create that environment. Every night the fox face nestles into one spot in an overhang in camouflages in with the rock; pretty cool.

The end goal is to have all those flat tops covered in sps; A mix of new stuff and some mini colonies from my 75. The migration of the apex and sps from the other tank will be a heck of a day.
 
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Hofstadter

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I'm a big proponent of complex reef works. In my tank. I have a royal gramma, two clowns, a bicolor and a Citron goby. My main thing is with the gramma and bicolor. Gramma is pretty much always out and about, but he has two defined hides holes. However he is also out the front a lot and his personal space bubble is massive, acts like a huge drama queen towards the blenny and he perches on the back rockwork higher up. I think if I went minimalist if I had intended, the gramma would be even worse
 

Ardeus

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The original question is very pertinent but it also serves to show that reefers really are an unsophisticated bunch when it comes to fishkeeping.

I had Tanganyika cichlids and any half serious hobbiest will create the aquascape taking into account each fish species. It has a huge impact in fish behavior and ultimately if they will survive in the tank.
 

Anupam

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From what I have experienced, for a fish community to be peaceful or stressfree various factors make their influence.
•The radius of the territory established by a fish around its cave.
•The length and width of the tank.
•Fish species, shape, size, colour and inherent temperement.
•Order of introduction.
•The shape of the openings or crevices between rocks that should match the basic body shape for the fish to comfortable swim through.
•Fishes have personality and they too have company preference. Like having budies.
•Swim behaviour. Like tangs vs clowns.
•Availability of real-estate that a fish can claim as its own. This is where the rock structure, stony coral bushes, anemones, shells and substrate come in.
Arrangement of rocks done with the individual fishes in mind in a manner as to provide each with a personal room that they can defend as their own along with common rooms, baconies, corridors (no toilets of course). This may end up with a heavy structure but we must not forget that our tanks a tiny compared to what our fishes were used to from birth. We ought to be compassionate enough. But, if we are making a water zoo, or more fittingly a correctional centre-like thing, we deserve to be punished.
We should stop forcing these creatures to coexist in a manner that goes against the ways found in an ocean.
(Thats it for now. I might add more.)
 

Timfish

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As an addendum to my first post here, (and echoing Ardeus' comment on sophistication), just like color, growth and polyp extension can't always be taken as indicators of health in corals a lot of activity diplayed by a fish can't always be taken as a good sign either. Stereotypy behaviour often is expressed as a lot of activity on the part of a fish but is indicative of a fish that has not adjusted well to a system.
 

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