Trends in aquascaping

Fishfreak2009

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I went for the big pile of rocks. Lots of places to mount corals, tons of caves for the fish (very important since I stock so heavily). Also allows for more rock for more biofiltration. Roughly 120 lbs of pukani in a 75 gallon.

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Cool tangs

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I did a bonsai style for my home tank and I've not really been happy with it for the year and a half the system has been up. Def needs some caves but the problem with that is that it kills flow for some corals. On the other hand, because I have no caves the 40+ fish I have in there live under the corals/ around the corals/ in between the corals lol. There's no winning
Reef Fish live in and around corals in there natural environment, this sounds like the most perfect habitat to me
 

Tjm23slo

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Some call it a fad others aesthetics. Tank size matters. 3 boulders in a 45G cube is just that. Creating a structure to host corals that is different. Type of rock matters. You can make hide hokes based on coral growth. You can also add barnacle clusters for bkennies and dart fish.

big tanks can handle a pile o rocks. Little tanks never look as good to me. - lot of small rocks maybe but the live rock is see is huge for a 45G cube. This is one I just did for a 16” high 80G. Still maturing. Thinking gobies, blennies and start fish. I am adding barnacle clusters for hide holes. Trying to decide if this will be Gonis, hammers, Duncan’s, frogspawn and hammers. Or sps. Not sure how the livestock will adjust to the flow
 

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Never Wash Another Nasty Filter Sock Again!

jcolliii

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This thread needs some eye candy.

Big fan of open. Seem to me to be super compelling. Think about why your eyes are drawn to and linger where they do in images like these... And I would argue that these are pretty natural looking scapes - see images in second part of natural isolated bommies. I have 5lbs or man-made rock in my IM25 and it works flawlessly. Time to start letting go of some of the old ways, yes.

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IMO, these mimic highly compelling images of natural reefs like these...

bommie.jpg


bommie2.jpg


bommie3.jpg


bommie4.jpg


bommie5.jpg
 

Oceanis

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This thread needs some eye candy.

Big fan of open. Seem to me to be super compelling. Think about why your eyes are drawn to and linger where they do in images like these... And I would argue that these are pretty natural looking scapes - see images in second part of natural isolated bommies. I have 5lbs or man-made rock in my IM25 and it works flawlessly. Time to start letting go of some of the old ways, yes.

0346e49ad3d71853230963a1db858975.jpg


1a158aadbdd27f24412360b64bf5fd13--reef-aquarium-aquascaping.jpg


f8d61edd98de9d00114b382ab070ccbb.jpg



IMO, these mimic highly compelling images of natural reefs like these...

bommie.jpg


bommie2.jpg


bommie3.jpg


bommie4.jpg


bommie5.jpg
I have an NSA aquascape myself but calling it natural is a bit of a stretch. Those coral covered rocks are just that. Not a reef. Just my 2 cents, looks great but far from natural
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damsels are not mean

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Huh...

Calling NSA unnatural is quite a stretch. It's all about scale and vision.

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I agree but I think NSA that commit to matching a more natural looking scale are few and far between. Too many different corals it looks like a skittles packet. Not that I think that's bad but to say it's inspired by a real reef is a reach. That dirty gritty messy look with lots of brown and huge dominance of one type of coral over another. It is hard to do and usually not as rewarding to most people so it is not sought after.

I think NSA is more of a "mini reef" objective, whereas some people try to create a slice out of a reef.
 

monkeyCmonkeyDo

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I like coloums or islands. Floating aquascapes I see being a trend currently. Ppl trying to get their rock to look like it's floating. Allowing flow and such under the rock as well as a more even flow pattern.
I see us going from bare bottom to rock bottoms.
Please elaborate on the accroynmms please. Lol.
Nsa hnsa. I mean I read the thread and it's their... lol.
D
 
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Cu8ano

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Ultimately it’s whatever you find pleasing for your style but I’ve found at least for myself and other tanks I’ve set up for clients, opening up the scape allows for fish to hide in plain sight, allows for more flow and less dead spots, and allows your eye and mind to take in the entirety of the tank more cleanly and clearly.

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Fish man

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I go by the design rule of thirds. If you don't know what that is google it. When I did my tank I followed this method and I think it looks great. I never cared for the rock wall just piled against the back glass. I'm glad I kept all my rock a couple inches off the glass for cleaning purposes. As was said before, do what you like. There's no right or wrong.
 
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SMB

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I have to say, I have spent hundreds of hours diving on coral reefs and have never seen a "minimalist" reef. To me a beautiful reef tank is one that is aquascaped to met the needs of the inhabitants. A minimalist scaped aquarium with lots of fish is not a natural environment and to my eye looks stressful to the inhabitants.
I have always liked Centropyge angels. In the wild, if you are lucky to see one, they rarely stray from their territory of hiding places. If I have a Centropyge in a tank I don't expect to see it but for fleeting glances. They should be in and out of coral hiding spots constantly picking. They can't do that in a minimalist scape. Even large angels like a cave. Tangs need lots of swimming area but they also need a large surface area to graze. I have had fat and happy Mandarins that show up just in the evenings as they often do in the wild.
A beautiful healthy coral REEF tank should be just that, a thriving reef. That in its self is a work of art. If you want a piece of decorative art in your living room get a piece of sculpture :).

20090123_Seldom Stans Place_194517_29096.jpg 20111205_Day 2 Apo Is_202134_25346.jpg 20111212_Day 8 Cebu Sumilon_010411_26498-2.jpg 20111213_Day 9 Dauin_033126_26755.jpg
 
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Big Smelly fish

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I’m still a fan of the rock wall, I’m not running one now but I just stack my rock in a manner that pleases me. I make sure I live openings and caves.
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madmarks

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There are definitely trends. I think, today, trends are shifting away from the pure NSA look. I would say it is now about re-creating as natural an environment as possible while providing some good aesthetics. I have SCUBA dived all over the Caribbean, and I can say nature has given a variety of choices to emulate; coral heads, walls, pile-of-rubble, etc. Fish species vary in their preferences of a home as well. Schooling fish rarely hide in coral, same can be said of most predatory species (eel and some sharks being a glaring exception). Utility fish we use for tank maintenance tend to live in and around coral. Factor in that we are basically trying to recreate something that nature fits into an area the size of stadium and has built up, layer upon layer for countless years, we have quite the challenge.

Try think of a display tank as a bonsai scape, a reef in miniature. NSA emulates the upper reef where branching corals are plentiful. Below that plate corals and others. The reef base is older skeletons with passage ways. hidey-holes and caves. At the same time trying to eliminate pockets of dead flow where detritus accumulates. Build modules that fit together instead of a single monolithic structure. You always will need to remove a section to get at something. Emulate sections in reefs that are functional yet pleasing:

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damsels are not mean

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I have to say, I have spent hundreds of hours diving on coral reefs and have never seen a "minimalist" reef. To me a beautiful reef tank is one that is aquascaped to met the needs of the inhabitants. A minimalist scaped aquarium with lots of fish is not a natural environment and to my eye looks stressful to the inhabitants.
I have always liked Centropyge angels. In the wild, if you are lucky to see one, they rarely stray from their territory of hiding places. If I have a Centropyge in a tank I don't expect to see it but for fleeting glances. They should be in and out of coral hiding spots constantly picking. They can't do that in a minimalist scape. Even large angels like a cave. Tangs need lots of swimming area but they also need a large surface area to graze. I have had fat and happy Mandarins that show up just in the evenings as they often do in the wild.
A beautiful healthy coral REEF tank should be just that, a thriving reef. That in its self is a work of art. If you want a piece of decorative art in your living room get a piece of sculpture :).

20090123_Seldom Stans Place_194517_29096.jpg 20111205_Day 2 Apo Is_202134_25346.jpg 20111212_Day 8 Cebu Sumilon_010411_26498-2.jpg 20111213_Day 9 Dauin_033126_26755.jpg
If one were really after a "natural" tank that single colony in the middle with some damsels or anthias would more than fill even large hobbyist tanks alone.
 
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jcolliii

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If one were really after a "natural" tank that single colony in the middle with some damsels or anthias would more than fill even large hobbyist tanks alone.
I agree with this. And I will further add that if natural was a key concern, then NSA might be even more 'natural' in terms of the scale of our tanks - zoom in on the base of the reef. It's a mangled tangle of branches, caverns and caves. But even more to the point, reefs are not collections of small, highly diverse coral species all laid out next to each other - they are often monocultures.
 

vlangel

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I have a DSB and probably more than a lb of rock per gallon. Some of my very large dense rock make up the retaining wall to hold back the DSB. That means much of my rock surface is covered in sand but I have a 56 g column tank so it has plenty of height for rock above the sand. My display tank mimics a crest reef and has worked very well for my blennies, gobies and other smaller fish. I did leave some open water on the left side for fish that prefer that. This aquascape will not appeal to everyone but it is very natural looking and also creates a great bio-filter.

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