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Old 08-04-2009, 10:07 PM   #21
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that really is nice rock. some day i'll have some of that.
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:34 PM   #22
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I went hog wild when it came to LR. I live in Alaska so choices are limited due to shipping options. If you look at the first pic, all the white rock in that photo is Key Largo dry rock from Marco Rocks the small darker rocks is just cherry picked rubble from my LFS. I bought two 50lb boxes because I was worried about getting just broken rubble after shipping. The rock actually arrived in great shape, each piece was bubble wrapped. After doing that first scape, i think i probably had about 20-30lbs left over that i actually made a centerpiece for my living room with. I think the total price on it came out to about $300-350ish after shipping costs (nothing that heavy is cheap to ship up here). Sadly its mostly been religated to base rock. One last note about the dry rock, it attacts hair algae like you wouldn't believe.

The extra rock that is in the newer photos is just a straight up 50lb box of Fiji Standard from Quality Marine that I got my LFS to order for me. They ordered two boxes and let me pick and offered to let me cherry pick from each. I found one box was mostly solid shelf like pieces while the other was a better assortment with a little more holes and texture. I made one swap out for a cool piece made of a bunch of large bivalve shells that had become cemented together to form an odd little rock formation and took that box. From what the LFS tells me i got lucky with the quality of this rock though. Even though it's directly shipped same day air to Alaska from their facilities in LA my LFS says it normally shows up almost dry. One trick I tried was to take the bag that the rock came in and pour some tank water in it, then flush all the little grit and gravel into a cup that i then sprinkled over the dry rock as a way to try and seed it.

I love how my tank looks now, but I still think that if i had it all to do over again, i would have just used all dry rock and seeded it with something like GARF grunge cause i LOVE how holely and lacy the dry stuff is. I was a little disappointed with just standard Fiji, but i didn't want to wait for the planetary alignment of my LFS not ordering for another 2+ months and hoping QM will have what i want at that time. I have to admit too that the last time I saw "fresh" live rock it was uncured wild Florida back way back in the day. Oh, and from what I've heard, Tonga and Marshall Island rocks have pretty much been off the market for about a year or so now.

Thanks again for all the kind words of encouragement!
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Old 08-04-2009, 11:08 PM   #23
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It looks great! How is it that people get there live rock positioned so nicely like that? I just can't get the caveness like you have and nice stacks. Any pointers? rofl.

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Old 08-05-2009, 12:08 AM   #24
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I could make up some long winded post about perspective and proportions etc, but it would just be me talking out my blowhole. Keep in mind, this is MY first SW tank ever, so in all likelihood, I got lucky. =P

The best pointer I could give is to play with your rock. I had my dry rock for probably a month before I got it wet. Pick up the pieces, turn 'em over, flip 'em around, get an idea of each rocks personality. Got an ugly rock? Try breaking it, worst case, you end up with some rubble to spread around the base of your rockface which makes it look a little more natural. Got a solid hunk of rock thats just plain boring? Use masonry drill bits and think like a mantis shrimp (minus all the carnage and bloodlust ). As for caves, think of them more like tables. Use smaller less attractive pieces to support large flat pieces, or there's always PVC scaffolding. Then take some of the nice looking pieces and place around the sides to form walls, just make sure there's plenty of water flow through the cave and more than one entrance so fish can't get trapped inside by a bully.

For arches... i got lucky, I dropped a nice large rock by mistake and it broke into an almost perfect arch. If i hadn't gotten so lucky, my plan was to use alot of the smaller rocks and rubble I had and some of the aquarium safe epoxies to make a single arching rock. The few times I've done things like for freshwater the trick was to think like an artist first and an engineer second. Sculpt it how you want it, then use some epoxy to make it stable on at least one end. I say one end because you'd generally want to anchor an arch off a large stable rock to help it fight the tendency to fall forward or backward. I wouldn't recommend epoxying both ends because that would probably make it a pain to get back out of the tank if you have to take the system down.

Just remember, an aquarium is its own little world and you are it's god. Try to work with your building blocks to make the world in your image, but if all else fails, your only human, so break stuff till it works!

/close blowhole
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Old 08-05-2009, 12:09 AM   #25
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Many people scape and rescape over and over until they get it to the point where thy like it. It is best to do the scaping when there are no fish/inverts in the tank.
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Old 08-05-2009, 12:28 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by thominil View Post
Many people scape and rescape over and over until they get it to the point where thy like it. It is best to do the scaping when there are no fish/inverts in the tank.
Its so true. I scaped and rescaped and rescaped and rescaped. You just have to do it, look at it, and change things around if you dont like them. Thom also makes a good point - make sure you scape while you dont have any fish or inverts!!
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Old 08-06-2009, 05:45 PM   #27
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Figured i'd post a few pics before work, trimmed the macro a bit and finally added some livestock to the tank. 2 Feather dusters and 3 turban snails, think they are Astraeas.



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Old 08-06-2009, 08:12 PM   #28
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Give us a pic of you artwork "centcenterpiece for my living room"
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:22 PM   #29
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Figured i'd post a few pics before work, trimmed the macro a bit and finally added some livestock to the tank. 2 Feather dusters and 3 turban snails, think they are Astraeas.



Nicely done ... kinda has a 'lagoon' feel to the aquascaping!
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:56 AM   #30
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Looking good, that coralline will make it look spectacular!
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