Well... here's some kinda idea of what I'm doing with the new tank. I'm settled on the rockwork, it's really built for the gorgonians. This is kind of a topographic map, the lines are the plumbed returns, each side of the tank is going to be plumbed the same for alternating... example, front to back, than side to side. Not necessarily in that order, I'm running both circuits independantly with a couple oceansmotion devices. The plumbing will be in through the top and sides, not the bottom. I want the bottom of the tank to be slower in current, for the deeper water species, but the top is going to have a real heck of a run going through it. The gorgonians necessarily have to live in a strong current, and they're pretty forgiving of laminar flow, but I'm hoping that the alternating current will induce them to grow more. The internal plumbing will be under the sand, I'll be building pvc
racks to put the rockwork on, which will rest on the floor of the tank, probably on acrylic plates to distribute the weight. This will actually elevate the rockwork a bit above the sand, not enough to look funny, but enough for cave loving critters (peppermint shrimps! Engineer gobies!) to live there, and it'll provide plenty of flow through of water under the rock. That is my biggest problem in my 58, not enough water flow through the rock. This will also protect the plumbing going under the rock. And yes, I'm ziptying the rocks together to stabilize this structure. Like I said before, I intend to let the tank stay in my garage for at least six months with just rock and sand before I move it to the house. Maybe longer. I figure I might be able to survive longer, but if I plan on six and last longer than that, it'll be a bonus. Ideally, I'd like to let it be fallow for a year, so that it would get seriously established microfauna, but fat chance of me having THAT much patience. At least I have the 58 to keep me occupied. Although I'm really hitting that point of having to decide... do I liquidate the soft corals or do I give up on the montiporas? The hairy mushroom incident really was a reality check. To elaborate... I got a frag of a purple rimmed brown montipora... within weeks it had changed to an irridescent green with hot magenta rim, and pretty emerald polyps, and noticeably grown. Then a hairy mushroom draped over it while I was at work. Came home, it was half dead. Removed the mushroom. Two days later the whole frag (three inches) was dead. I've left it up near the top on the hopes that maybe it just bleached, but it looks pretty dead to me. So I removed most of the hairies, but the 58 is just awfully crowded.