Why is reef aquascaping so unexplored when compared to freshwater?

Discussion in 'Aquascape Discussion' started by Ardeus, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. Ardeus

    Ardeus Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Really, why?

    I have seen a couple of times where people who are really good at creating nature/iwagumi aquascapes try their hand at a reef but the results were a bit underwhelming.

    There are a good number of competitions for freshwater aquascapes but none for saltwater. Why the heck???
     
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  2. Tahoe61

    Tahoe61 Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member Moderator Emeritus Build Thread Contributor

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    I think the lack of mediums available compared with FW.

    With FW you've got different rock types, that may not be SW safe, you have wood, and you have a ton of FW plants. You can change the size of the scapes, and build landscapes that look natural for FW and would probably not carry over well to SW.

    I do agree though I love to see systems that are unique especially mangrove systems and systems devoted to macro algae.

    SW hobbyist want it to look like the natural typical reef. Floating reefs are hard to pull off. Corals require certain positioning in the tank so you modify your scape for those consideration.

    Interesting concept, I would like to see more done and I am a huge fan of minimalist.
     
  3. ncaldwell

    ncaldwell Active Member

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    Probably because you can get a freshwater set up with some dragon stone and a little drift wood, fill it with plants and it looks good unless you are carpeting plants and you have to wait a couple weeks. Saltwater all you can really do is place rockwork and sand then place a bunch of coral frags that will take 2 years to fill in several hundred to several thousand dollars later. I'd say the difference is the time it takes between the 2
     
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  4. NY_Caveman

    NY_Caveman Troglodyte R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    In an established saltwater tank, the corals become the aquascape more than the rock. In freshwater, nothing really grows on the aquascape, although plants can be affixed to it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
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  5. rockstarta78

    rockstarta78 Well-Known Member

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    @Ardeus funny that you'd start this topic. Couple of days ago I spent a good chunk of time looking for Iwagumi reefscape on google. From what I can tell this style of reef is very rare. I could find a handful of reef aquascape that followed iwagumi. This probably has to do with how we have to make sure we are not causing shadowing, have enough hiding space for fish, and the material we use. I think my next tank, I'd definitely like to give that a try, I don't know how much success I will have.
     
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  6. Ardeus

    Ardeus Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    I made this with photoshop.

    ARD-06.jpg

    I bet this would be a cheaper layout than most nature aquascapes.
     
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  7. Ardeus

    Ardeus Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    I also wish I could start all over again. A great deal of the freshwater know how applies easily, but there's a lot that needs a great deal of thought. Reefs deal much more with color and textures than freshwater.

    Beyond that, corals in general are much more demanding in what concerns placement than aquatic plants and sting each other.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
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  8. Ardeus

    Ardeus Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    I could see carpeting plants being easily replaced by different varieties of GSP.

    What's also weird is that rarelly you see people that do these fantastic aquascapes attempting their hand in saltwater.
     
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  9. mahindra.dev

    mahindra.dev Euphyllia Lover R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Well from an aquascape stand point, you can still do the same thing. Use rules of 3rd, add depth of field etc. But if you want Iwagumi and start going into 3,5,7 or odd not of stones etc approach with one being the main focal point, coral selection is important. Agree with your point though, there isnt as much focus on the scape in SW vs. FW. I used to have FW and followed a lot of Mr. Amano videos. UK is big into this as well.
     
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  10. rockstarta78

    rockstarta78 Well-Known Member

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    I think coral placement along with coral growth would eventually hide you main focal point. but it would be an interesting concept to try out. Plus not to mention you'll have 4-5 smaller islands where you can do single type of coral on each island.
     
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  11. Ardeus

    Ardeus Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    I think you really need to be in a different mindset if you want to follow this route. You can't buy any thing you feel like and put it in the tank. It needs a huge amount of restraint.
     
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  12. mahindra.dev

    mahindra.dev Euphyllia Lover R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    This was my Nano 6 gallon and 30gallon setups from 4yrs ago!!!
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Nothing close to what you find online... but wood and rock and carpeting plants make a big difference
     
  13. Ardeus

    Ardeus Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Now imagine GSP as the carpeting plant and those rocks covered in pompom xenia :)
     
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  14. Sallstrom

    Sallstrom Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    Good topic!

    I often wonder why there are so few coral aquarist that put an effort in hiding pumps and pipes.
    You see amazing tanks with beautiful corals, clean windows, white sand AND a couple of those big ugly stream pumps(sorry ecotech et al)... It ruins it a bit for me.
    Sure we need the flow but wouldn't it be possible to find a way to hide the pumps?

    / David
     
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  15. mahindra.dev

    mahindra.dev Euphyllia Lover R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    I feel like starting a nano... may be something I should try. Carpeted GSP bare bottom and some encrusting Low demand corals on the rocks!! Low maintenance setup.
     
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  16. rockstarta78

    rockstarta78 Well-Known Member

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    upload_2018-4-11_16-14-47.png

    This is a good example of iwagumi. I wonder how this would look without the carpeting plants. But this is not impossible to do within a reef tank even without the carpeting plants.
     
  17. Ardeus

    Ardeus Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    What makes me angry is that none of those freaking incredible artists from the freshwater aquascapes contests wants to have anything to do with saltwater.
     
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  18. Ardeus

    Ardeus Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    I have been giving a lot of thought to this and one of my theories specifically for reefs is the contrast/similarity.

    When placing corals next to each other the neighbour should be similar and contrasting. It can be similar in color and contrasting in shape or similar in texture and shape but contrasting in color.

    Orange zoas going into orange monti going into purple monti, etc.
     
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  19. Shores805

    Shores805 Rogue R2R Supporter

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    Freshwater is an entirely different application. In that realm, the scape is the sole aesthetic aspect of the tank. The livestock( which is aesthetically underwhelming imo) is secondary. Scaping freshwater is similar to landscaping. Throw a few potted palm trees in the corner of a concrete yard and the result is instant. In saltwater we’re just creating structures where our fish, coral etc become the aesthetic appeal. I wouldn’t say there’s a shortage of amazing aquascapes in the reef world. Plenty are using methods which stray from the typical “stacked pile of rocks” look. Also you’ll notice that almost every “elite” tank has color contrast as opposed to blending colors into one another.
     
  20. Ardeus

    Ardeus Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    There are some "nice" aquascapes in reef. I can't say I have seen the art level you find in freshwater.

    0001_pc.jpg
     
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