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Old 02-12-2006, 12:40 AM   #1
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tank rebuild - any aquascaping suggestions?

hi everyone!

i'm new to the site and somewhat new to reef building ... i'm an experienced diver and i have always wanted to create a small replication of what i see down there right in the middle of my office to make work a little less dull ... so i got a 72G bow as a gift last year (and i don't really love the bow, but i'm kinda stuck with it for now) and i've been messing around with it for 6 months ... and i spent a lot of time aquascaping my rock formations to build a reef with a lot of "shelves" ... but now that i'm adding corals to it, i kinda feel like i didn't set it up correctly to begin with.

anyway, i'm also in the process of introducing a huge 8" anenome with a family of true percs and i want to get all the corals out for that anyway so they dont get mushed by the anenome while he tries to find a home ... so while the corals are out, i am thinking of re-scaping the rock ...

"why?" you might ask ... well, i kinda feel like while the rock formation is cool, i feel like it doesnt have enough slope to it and i feel like i will never be able to cover up all the exposed rock with corals ... i don't know if i'm over-thinking this, but i kinda think that i need either some validation or advice as to how to set up the rock

some things i'm hoping to do include:
- have the right side slope high up so some corals can be positioned in front of the filter
- leaving a sandy area on the left for feather dusters and clams
- and i'm hoping the anenome makes his home on left side

this can all change based on where the anenome desides to reside ... but i still think i need some advice ... a few pictures are included below with my tank as it is now

any advice on how / where to position corals would be appreciated as well

thanks in advance!!!
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File Type: jpg tank_pic_2_826.jpg (41.0 KB, 22 views)
File Type: jpg my_tank_684.jpg (37.6 KB, 21 views)

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Old 02-12-2006, 07:34 AM   #2
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When constructing the rock work of a tank, I think about accessibility to the inside, caves, and shelves. Accessibility will make you go mad, but it's worth the extra effort in the long run. You want to be able to get to any area of the tank inside with the least amount of disturbance. You want to be able to grab out a dead fish if he dies behind a rock in the back. You want to be able to get to any equipment that is inside the tank and remove things easily. You also want to make it so that areas won't stagnate due to low water movement. What I do is frequently snake my arms through what I have set and make adjustments as I go along. There will obviously be areas that are tight, but so long as you can use a set of tongs to help, then it's still accessible.

For best viewing, you would probably like a step type set up instead of a slope. Same perspective, but with more placement areas for coral. Make the caves flat on top. A set of caves on the bottom supporting a higher set of caves against the back. Leave space for a water pump to circulate water through the back so that area doesn't stagnate.

Once the rock work is how you want it...try to keep it that way. Moving coral around a lot can stress them. The flesh, mantles and skeletons of LPS and clams are fragile and easily bruised and broken. Avoid leaning the coral's flesh against anything and give each their space. They can lay themselves along the rocks, but any pressure on them can injure them. Use Stress Coat on your hands or use plastic wrap or gloves to handle the corals...if not for your own safety of being stung...at least for their safety from the acids on your fingers. Same for soft coral as well. I use cut fish bags to pick up and wrap coral people buy. It's a sound request to make to your LFS if they don't already do it.


This link goes to a good product that I've found very successful in helping to mend damaged coral. It's a simple and safe dip to use. Whenever there are stony coral touching, or have fallen, or somehow torn this stuff will help keep out infectious bacteria so the coral can heal. It's like a band aid.

Placements for coral would depend on their light requirements and their aggressive behavior. The higher the light requirement the closer they should be to the light. Lower light coral can be situated along the bottom and edges of caves. Clams should always be put in an open sandy area. LPS coral should never be able to touch each other and leave enough room for sweeper tentacles. I don't know what harm if any if two of the same species of LPS were to touch, but definitely those of separate species would be absolute chemical warfare. Some soft coral are well tolerable to others, but some are not like hairy mushrooms.


We, as a people, know so much more about outer space than we do about our own oceans. This lack of knowledge can very well spell the dangers that lay in wait for us.

The oceans surely would swallow us before a rock comes down to smite the planet of it's life.
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Old 02-12-2006, 09:59 PM   #3
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For best viewing, you would probably like a step type set up instead of a slope.
Great idea!!!

and thanks for all of your help - AA rulez
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Old 02-12-2006, 10:01 PM   #4
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your tank looks great
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Old 02-12-2006, 10:18 PM   #5
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I kind of like the way it looks already. Nice tank.
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Old 02-12-2006, 10:37 PM   #6
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i think it looks awesome now! nice tank!
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Old 02-13-2006, 05:20 AM   #7
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I like it also

and i'm hoping the anenome makes his home on left side
Good luck with that, lol

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