Need first aquascape feedback

ReeferHolland

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Hi all,

Just started making my first aquascape with Caribsea Life Rock mixed shapes and base rocks. The tank I'm going to use is a redsea reefer 200L G2 (cube).
The sandbed will be 1 inch. Im mixing Caribsea ARAG-ALIVE special grade with their OceanDirect sand.
Any thoughts on this? I'm planning on a mixed reef with LPS dominated and eventually one or two anemones. I'm not sure about the fish yet. But will probably buy up to 6-9 smaller fish for this tank. The rocks aren't glued yet because I want to be sure before I setup the tank.
Is there enough room for flow?
are there enough mounting space for corals?
Is the sandbed in the center a good idea?
Is this a "hard to clean aquascape"? (there is enough space around the glass, about 2 inches)
Should I reduce heights? (aquascape total height is 38cm, tank height is 53cm)
Do YOU think it's visually appealing or not?
Anything else to consider?

The front is where you see the remote. it's 60cm
Sorry for bad video quality. Broken lens.
 

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Timfish

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I'd provide a few more caves or arches for the fish to use as shelter. I'd also use some maricultured or wild live rock to help establish healthy microbiomes. See Aquabiomics article.

 
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ReeferHolland

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I'd provide a few more caves or arches for the fish to use as shelter. I'd also use some maricultured or wild live rock to help establish healthy microbiomes. See Aquabiomics article.

Thanks! I will defenitely read the whole article, looks interesting.
Do you think I should add more arches all over the aquascape? Add them at any heights?
Im affraid that it will also block the view if I add too many arches, Or should I just break some leftover rock and make tiny arches of it?
 
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Depends on the size, number and personality of the fish you get. If you get a pair of clowns and a 2 or 3 fish what you have now is probably fine. If your're going to add a dwarf angel and several damsels it's probably not. WHat looks good to you is a factor also. But you want your fish to be able to setup their own spaces and have hiding places. Not having addequate areas, spaces for fish to espablish spaces can lead to stereotypy behavior and potentiially shortened life expectancies.

 
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ReeferHolland

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Depends on the size, number and personality of the fish you get. If you get a pair of clowns and a 2 or 3 fish what you have now is probably fine. If your're going to add a dwarf angel and several damsels it's probably not. WHat looks good to you is a factor also. But you want your fish to be able to setup their own spaces and have hiding places. Not having addequate areas, spaces for fish to espablish spaces can lead to stereotypy behavior and potentiially shortened life expectancies.


I understand,

So I have some questions upon that. Im now busy with adding some smaller arches and hiding places. Do fish generally like to hide more up or down in the aquarium? I don't mean fish that obviously only hide at the bottom. But fish species that swim all around the tank, when they hide, do they hide at the top, bottom, or just anywhere?
Also in some BRStv videos they mentioned that most fish settle for hiding places in visible areas so they only thinking that they are hiding, in that case we can see the fish while they are just hiding in some open arch or "behind" a rock which is actually next to the tank glass, which is great. But is it true?

Maybe its a better idea to decide during the process of the next few months which fish species can be added at that time and why
 

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Brilliant start, my aquriam is also 200litres (45g) but long. your rocks are really important as once placed they are your groundworks for a great fish tank, you need to ensure plenty of flow around all to minimise dead spots (areas of no flow) to ensure most waste is blown towards filters.
what ALOT of people don't say is your fish needs areas to sleep, yes everything is built for swimming, but they do need to relax :) at night
 

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ReeferHolland

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Brilliant start, my aquriam is also 200litres (45g) but long. your rocks are really important as once placed they are your groundworks for a great fish tank, you need to ensure plenty of flow around all to minimise dead spots (areas of no flow) to ensure most waste is blown towards filters.
what ALOT of people don't say is your fish needs areas to sleep, yes everything is built for swimming, but they do need to relax :) at night

Looks perfect! Your aquasqape has a lot more space between the rocks and the glass.
So would you suggest mine is too full? And perhaps the flow doesn't get through on the bottom? Or do you think it will work just fine?
I'm goin to use the redsea Reefwave 25 for flow. Any suggestions for how to place it in my aquascape?
 
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ReeferHolland

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I would recommend at least some wild live rock if you want nems...the more the merrier tbh

Thanks for the tip, I hear this a lot, but I didn't want to aquascape wet rocks. Should I add some in the sump? And what about those downsides of wet live rock? And how do I get good quality wild rock? I live in the Netherlands.

I bought ARAG alive and Ocean Direct sand from caribsea. Are those bacteria not sufficient for adding anemones after 6-12 months?
 
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Thanks for the tip, I hear this a lot, but I didn't want to aquascape wet rocks. Should I add some in the sump? And what about those downsides of wet live rock? And how do I get good quality wild rock? I live in the Netherlands.

I bought ARAG alive and Ocean Direct sand from caribsea. Are those bacteria not sufficient for adding anemones after 6-12 months?
After 6-12 months I'd assume you'd be fine. I got the impression that you wanted to add them earlier. It has to do with specific species of symbiotic bacteria that the anemones need to actually thrive I'd not mistaken which would be much more likely to be present in larger number on wild live rock. Definitely add some to the sump if you can get some where you are! And like you said, aim for WILD live rock from the ocean if you try to get some. I have no idea what the laws are in the Netherlands. Where I am I can order 100 pounds+ from the ocean tomorrow and have it delivered but in other places it's completely illegal from my understanding.
 
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After 6-12 months I'd assume you'd be fine. I got the impression that you wanted to add them earlier. It has to do with specific species of symbiotic bacteria that the anemones need to actually thrive I'd not mistaken which would be much more likely to be present in larger number on wild live rock. Definitely add some to the sump if you can get some where you are! And like you said, aim for WILD live rock from the ocean if you try to get some. I have no idea what the laws are in the Netherlands. Where I am I can order 100 pounds+ from the ocean tomorrow and have it delivered but in other places it's completely illegal from my understanding.

I don't mind adding them after 6 months or later if necessary. But I do want to add corals and fish succesfully after 6 weeks with this setup.

I have 2 options for wet live rock. Both from a LFS

1. From bali, they claim its the best available now where I live

2. Artificial cultured live rock

Which one would you recommend adding to my sump?
 

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I don't mind adding them after 6 months or later if necessary. But I do want to add corals and fish succesfully after 6 weeks with this setup.

I have 2 options for wet live rock. Both from a LFS

1. From bali, they claim its the best available now where I live

2. Artificial cultured live rock

Which one would you recommend adding to my sump?
I don't read Dutch but the stuff from Bali looks like it was actually collected from the ocean so hands down that one! I imagine it's pretty pricey, right?
 
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Like I said, the more the merrier...that is pretty pricey but worth the investment! Why not stick a few less conspicuous chunks in your DT as well as the sump?

Maybe I will, but in the DT its more difficult because it needs to be wet mounted.
Do you think like adding 3kg in the sump and 1kg in the DT would work enough?

Thanks for all the advice btw! I really appreciate that.
 
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livinlifeinBKK

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Maybe I will, but in the DT its more difficult because it needs to be wet mounted.
Do you think like adding 3kg in the sump and 1kg in the DT would work enough?

Thanks for all the advice btw! I really appreciate that.
I think that sounds like enough...and no problem, it's the middle of the night here and I'm always happy to give my opinions, especially on live rock use!
 
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ReeferHolland

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I think that sounds like enough...and no problem, it's the middle of the night here and I'm always happy to give my opinions, especially on live rock use!
Whats your personal opinion about-, and experience with the negative effects of wild live rock?
 

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Whats your personal opinion about-, and experience with the negative effects of wild live rock?
I think it's a very important part of setting up ANY new reef tank regardless of what exactly you plan to keep in it or how soon you plan to add livestock personally. I've started multiple tanks with a minimum of 80% live rock and would prefer for it to be 100% all live and collected from a tropical part of the ocean (similar environment to the one you're trying to recreate). I've heard and believe maricultured live rock is also really good although I personally don't think it's as good as wild collected due to the process and the time factors at play. I actually haven't had any major negative experiences with hitchhikers at all. The worst I've gotten are a few unidentified crabs I'd prefer not to have bit doubt harm much at all. One thing no typical hobbyist can really do even with years of time is recreate the biodiversity the wild collected live rock contains. This is for many reasons butt I won't elaborate why at this moment. (I said typical hobbyist just because maybe there is some microbiologist out there somewhere in the world that has figured out a way to get "close" to recreating live rock without the use of other live rock but I highly doubt it.)
 
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ReeferHolland

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I think it's a very important part of setting up ANY new reef tank regardless of what exactly you plan to keep in it or how soon you plan to add livestock personally. I've started multiple tanks with a minimum of 80% live rock and would prefer for it to be 100% all live and collected from a tropical part of the ocean (similar environment to the one you're trying to recreate). I've heard and believe maricultured live rock is also really good although I personally don't think it's as good as wild collected due to the process and the time factors at play. I actually haven't had any major negative experiences with hitchhikers at all. The worst I've gotten are a few unidentified crabs I'd prefer not to have bit doubt harm much at all. One thing no typical hobbyist can really do even with years of time is recreate the biodiversity the wild collected live rock contains. This is for many reasons butt I won't elaborate why at this moment. (I said typical hobbyist just because maybe there is some microbiologist out there somewhere in the world that has figured out a way to get "close" to recreating live rock without the use of other live rock but I highly doubt it.)

Hi, thanks again for the extensive reply. Today I'm expanding my knowledge about wet/dry live rock. Im reading a lot of discussions and they all end the same way: one person says go for the live rock, love the organisms, the other says: stay away from it nowadays because you don't want those pests in your tank when just starting a first tank.

So what I conclude from this is:
A lot of people suggest to use live rock but they just really like to see the hitchhikers and VISIBLE microbiodiversity that comes with it, but don't really talk about what the "real longterm benefits" are. They often just tell how they miss the little crabs, stars, and bristleworms when they used dry rock on their new tank. But I don't see the problem of missing out on bristleworms and small crabs that I didn't buy myself. Whats your opinion about this?
Am I missing any points?
 

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Hi, thanks again for the extensive reply. Today I'm expanding my knowledge about wet/dry live rock. Im reading a lot of discussions and they all end the same way: one person says go for the live rock, love the organisms, the other says: stay away from it nowadays because you don't want those pests in your tank when just starting a first tank.

So what I conclude from this is:
A lot of people suggest to use live rock but they just really like to see the hitchhikers and VISIBLE microbiodiversity that comes with it, but don't really talk about what the "real longterm benefits" are. They often just tell how they miss the little crabs, stars, and bristleworms when they used dry rock on their new tank. But I don't see the problem of missing out on bristleworms and small crabs that I didn't buy myself. Whats your opinion about this?
Am I missing any points?
Yeah, your missing out on the most important attribute of wild live rock of all-the microorganisms (as in bacteria and other microbes you can't even begin to see)...I'll include a scientific paper detailing some of the bacteria naturally present in the ocean and in particular benthic substrates such as rock on reefs. There are 0 supplements for the vast majority of those benthic bacteria that form biofilm on live rock...in fact, the best microbiology labs in the world aren't even able to culture many of them! (Some would say a majority are actually non culturable.) If you want to establish as close to a natural microbiome as possible as quickly as possible wild live rock is pretty much your only option. Yes, there are plenty of amazing tanks using only dry rock but the benefits you and your livestock will reap from live rock will make it WELL worth it.
 

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