Tips and Tricks on Creating Amazing Aquascapes.

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by Veganbrian, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. dieselkeeper

    dieselkeeper Active Member

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    I went with the open scape look when setting up my 210 gal. Im a SPS addict. So when I needed more room for more corals, I added 50 pounds of more rock. When I didn't have any more room for corals again. I ordered more rock. Now my tank kinda looks like a wall of rock. I did leave openings for fish to swim in and out of the rock. Hiding places. I guess that is why it's called a display tank. Lol
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
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  2. Bthomas

    Bthomas Active Member

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    The tank is 18 inches deep. I tried making 2 islands but couldn't really get that to work with the rock i have. I can try to open it up some to create more caves maybe but i feel like i would have to use less rock. I'm using 150 lbs with that scape
     
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  3. Maritimer

    Maritimer Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter CTARS Member R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Even if you can vary the height and depth of the structure over the length of it, you may find it more enjoyable to look at - and your future residents may find it more enjoyable to live with / on / in . . .

    ~Bruce
     
  4. Ento-Reefer

    Ento-Reefer Active Member R2R Supporter Delaware Reef Club Build Thread Contributor

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    You could put the extra rock you don't use in your sump. Also don't be afraid to break up some of the larger pieces if that would make it easier to work with.
     
  5. MamaLovesHerReefTank

    MamaLovesHerReefTank Active Member

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    If you're having a hard time making structures with your rocks, you could use aquastick epoxy putty. There are many other ways and ideas throughout this thread. I would try to do 2 or 3 structures with caves and swim throughs. You also want to make sure you get good flow through your rocks as well so you don't get a build up of detritus which in turn could cause algae.
     
  6. Bthomas

    Bthomas Active Member

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    Ok i played around with it some more what do you think about this?
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  7. chefjpaul

    chefjpaul Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Looks cool.

    My favorite thing is to build scapes, hammer, zipties and a bucket of marco cement with a bunch of time.
     
  8. Maritimer

    Maritimer Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter CTARS Member R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Great improvement!

    Always remember, though - in the end, I won't be looking at this tank all that often, whereas you're going to want to see it every day. It's not me that has to be pleased . . .

    ~Bruce
     
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  9. Bthomas

    Bthomas Active Member

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    Oh i know. I like the way it looks. i just wanna make sure its something that the fish will be happy with and will provide good flow and all that stuff also
     
  10. Chef Tommy

    Chef Tommy Active Member

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    One thing I noticed is my fish find caves at night I did not think were actually resting areas. There is a large stack they find their way into. Pretty cool to see them find homes!
     
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  11. Bthomas

    Bthomas Active Member

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    Here it is in tank. I think im happy with it as long as none of you experienced reefers see any issues with it[​IMG][​IMG]
     
  12. Maritimer

    Maritimer Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter CTARS Member R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    It looks as though you've got a lot of space behind it, between the overflows, yes?

    Could you allow that center section to flow/receed back into that space a bit, and thereby give the whole a less regimented look?

    ~Bruce
     
  13. Bthomas

    Bthomas Active Member

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    There's not a whole lot of space behind it. It does kinda curve back in that area a little bit. I wanted to allow space behind it for flow/hiding places but i can take another look at it.
     
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  14. norfolkgarden

    norfolkgarden Active Member

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    Looks pretty good.

    Can you take those 2 small pieces near the center and stick them at the top on either end without them falling?

    It doesn't matter if you are growing softies or SPS, you can use the corals to add elevation on either end.

    The 'scape looks good. Only concern is fish choices and how tippable the top rocks are.

    Our rocks are not glued. Even though the fish are too small to move a lot of rock my careless hands have hit a few things while I was "improving" other things.
     
  15. Bthomas

    Bthomas Active Member

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    Yeah i wasn't crazy about the 2 small pieces in the center they were just what i had left so i stuck them there. I may just remove them completely.
    I was wondering if i should glue any of them.. I dont think they're real tippable but this is my first rodeo so i dont know what kind of rock moving fish or things will be able to do. There is one larger rock at the top that wobbles a bit
     
  16. MamaLovesHerReefTank

    MamaLovesHerReefTank Active Member

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    If it wobbles, it will eventually fall. Better to glue them.
     
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  17. Chris Baker

    Chris Baker Member

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    I work for an ocean-based education nonprofit in Connecticut and got the aquarium bug through caring for the brackish, fish only tanks in our classroom (six tanks stocked with Blackfish, Blue/Spider/Green/Lady/Asian Shore crabs, winter flounder, and striped Killifish). When I start a build thread I will include some more on those tanks for anyone who is interested. I got the reefing bug when we took our after-school program to the Credabel Coral Gallery in New London, Connecticut and got to frag some coral and meet Justin. Awesome place if you are passing through. I'm prepping for a move next month after which I will be setting up my first tank, an old 60-gallon hex that I got for free from work. It seems like there aren't a lot of hex reef tanks, probably because of the height and limited footprint but I got the tank for free and I like a challenge.

    Since I don't close for another month I've been fussing with and designing my aquascape until I was happy enough to share the first draft. My goal was to create lots of habitat for fish and places to display coral while giving the tank a different look and character on each side and the front. The challenge, as I see it, with the tank is the scape has to be mostly vertical and encourage fish to move up in the tank. The left side of the tank will be visible as people walk in, the right side when they sit on the couch in the living room, and the front is obviously where people are naturally drawn to observe. I ordered CaribSea Liferock, Liferock Shapes, and some shelf rock. I love the life rock shapes package and wound up using the circular pieces to form the central part of my scape which means the whole "tower" is a series of hollow caves and hiding places. Right now it is free stacked but I will be bonding all the shelves and a couple other places when I am satisfied as a precaution.

    Front:
    IMG_1672.JPG
    Right Side (seen when you first enter):
    IMG_1674.JPG
    Left Side (viewed from the couch):
    IMG_1673.JPG

    Forgive the iPhone pictures and the mess. I am working out of my parent's basement while I wait to close on my new place. Let me know what you think/how it can be improved. I'm definitely looking for suggestions on the lower left side where I currently have an island that I would like to use for some of the more "pesty" soft corals that I really like the look of (Xenia, Greenstar polyps). My very first design had a large piece of shelf rock sloping down to make a swim through, break up the verticality, and make more space for corals. Ultimately though I was concerned it would be too close to the glass, obscure a lot of the left side, and be difficult to clean under.
    IMG_1659.JPG
    IMG_1657.JPG
     
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  18. Maritimer

    Maritimer Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter CTARS Member R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I like this one rather a lot, Chris (Welcome to Reef2Reef!!). Like it much better with the small "xenia island" than with the leaning shelf piece.

    ~Bruce, who's also at a Connecticut ocean-based educational institute on the weekends . . .
     
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  19. MamaLovesHerReefTank

    MamaLovesHerReefTank Active Member

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    This looks really good. Lots of hiding places and still enough swim room. Happy you took out the leaning shelf piece, it would have been a pain to clean under and on the glass. Epoxy putty can be used to attach everything so it doesn't fall. It can be worked into the cracks pretty easily. Once you have it wedged into the rock, use a spray bottle with water to get the curing process going. Let us know when you start your build thread, I'll definitely follow along.
     
  20. nursedude

    nursedude Member

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    In my experience, you can plan how you want the lay out and it will still change once you add it to the tank. I epoxied some pieces into island shapes before adding them to the tank, then merged those. This allowed a more natural look. I jig-saw-puzzled things together so it didn't look so "stacked" and shied away from the sloping from front to back. By building islands I created lots of caves and crevices for swimming. This is about 80lbs of dry BRS, and Fiji. (This picture is AWFUL, I totally know, cell phone, early-day, tons of blue, just trying to show aqauscape). I like a natural looking tank, personal preference, whatever you like you should do.

    Aquascape fish tank end 2017.JPG
     
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