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Old 07-05-2007, 09:28 PM   #1
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My 75 gallon build: Rock Placement in the Aquarium

Well I started putting together a tank last year (in my mind a future 75 g discus tank) but my wife was pushing to have a reef tank. Well I took the plunge and put my discus dreams on hold. I tried to convince her a nano tank would be fine even managed to scrap everthing together for cheap but to no avail. I was told to pull the trigger and start the reef tank while she was on vacation. I ordered some base rock and should be coming in soon. Is it best to place it directly on the glass (I think would be fine) or onto pieces of 'egg crate" to limit pressure points as I read? I also am toying with the idea to use acrylic rods to secure the overall structure, or is it more trouble than what it is worth?
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Old 07-05-2007, 09:47 PM   #2
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I`ve seen all kinds of ways. I have mine just on the back glass because it forces the fish out front. But it can be done many ways. I dont have any special thing holding the rocks together. I just give it the finger pressure trick and have not had any collapses in 10 yrs now. It`s basically personal preference.
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Old 07-09-2007, 10:59 AM   #3
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Ahhhh... the discus. Been there done that. They are great fish I had them for several years before I got out of freshwater. Its been a very very long time and I've recently gotten into the Saltwater fish. I think you will be very happy w/ the salt water. Discus are cool but the things you can do with saltwater seem to be so much cooler.
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Old 07-09-2007, 11:25 AM   #4
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On my tanks the LR is on the bottom glass and against the back for support. IMO no need for glues, supports ect.. I do the wiggle test when stacking the rock.. IMO the bigger issue is putting the LR in before the sand, this gives the LR a solid foundation.
I added the LR the sand then water in that order... Cover the sand if you use it with plastic bags and then pour the water into the tank slowly into a glass bowl.. If done right there will be NO sand storm.
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Old 07-09-2007, 02:10 PM   #5
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buy PVC couplings, and use them underneath the rocks. that way, you can keep as much of the rock above the sand, and not get mad that your $x.xx per pound rock is sitting buried beneath sand.

i used several of them across the bottom of my tank... no rock collapses.

~mike
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Old 07-09-2007, 06:35 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone. I will have 140 pounds of base rock (will add additional live rock also) to play with and most likely use the excess in the sump and/or a nano tank, if I can get it away from my 4 year old son. He has a pile of it in the den making terrain for animals, soliders, dinosaurs, etc.... I will plan on using the back of the tank for support since it should greatly add to the stability. After messing with the base rock I am not as worried about it being displaced. It really locks together rather nicely. Hopefully I can have the rock and sand in the tank by weeks end. I have been lookiing at the empty tank (price tag still on the glass) and the stand/canopy since my birthday over a year ago. I still need to spray the back and trim work black on the tank and purchase a few additional items also.
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Old 07-09-2007, 07:07 PM   #7
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Dont lock the rock to tightly.
Leave it open a bit, small holes here n there and what not so the fish have places to dart in and out of and hide if so needed. Also keeping it more open vs locked together looks more natural and visually appealing
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Old 07-09-2007, 08:07 PM   #8
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Basically, it all comes down to whatever looks good to YOU. In the begining, there will be some arranging and re-arranging of your rock until you find something you are happy with. For all of my tanks, I have the LR nestled into the LS bed. The most important thing to do is make sure it is stable.
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Old 07-09-2007, 10:07 PM   #9
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I don't think I am going to have problems getting it look good, I basically want it to look natural. Essentially a little cross section at the base of a reef. The base rock I purchased has tons of texture, curves, holes, etc... I dry fitted it several times to get a feel about how stable it was and was pleasantly surprised at all the little nooks, passages, and overhangs appeared. Areas that will create less intense lighting and current flow etc.... The stability issue is my biggest concern. I just would be sick for piece of rock to come unlogged and tumble down into the front glass and crack it or get a scratch. I plan on placing around a 2 to 3 inch sand bed.
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Old 07-10-2007, 05:43 PM   #10
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Just another point of view....

I had to move my tank about 4 feet about 5 months ago so I got the opportunity to redo all my rock work. I had mine up against the back glass and it looked nice or so I thought. My wife had the idea of creating 2 islands in the tank that reached up towards the surface so that is how we redid things... now I don't have a single rock touching the glass and I love the new look, there are caves and hiding places for the fish and it gave them much more total swim room in the tank. The fish can swim all the way around the rock work which has made my tang very happy. Just another point of view....I also use the PVC method of keeping things off the bottom. That rock is expensive and I want to see it!

Get some pics up when you get things set up!!!!
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