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Old 03-13-2004, 04:38 PM   #1
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Adding live sand? -- live rock aquascape also

So, what's the best way to add live sand? I will already have a good 4-5" of sand, so this will be going on top of that. I don't wanna just dump the critters, so should I put it in a pail, slowly dunk it under the water line, and then gently distribute (underwater) over the area of the tank?

Also, can I have some opinions on aquascaping? Build up the sides with room in the middle? In the middle, but not on the sides? I know the way I go will be based on my preference, but are there any special dos or don'ts of aquascaping? I want to try and hide my powerheads and the overflow chamber, but should I not put it against the sides, etc, etc.

I've read a lot of opinions about putting the rock directly on the glass (preventing landslides) or putting it on the sand (so as not to have small points of high pressure on the glass), so I decided I will go with a small small bit of sand down first (<.75" or so) then do the rocks, then fill in around them with the remaining sand, so that I hopefully get the best of both options. Sound good? Many thanks for all the help.
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Old 03-13-2004, 06:46 PM   #2
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Quote:
So, what's the best way to add live sand?
Take the bag of sand. Keep it sealed and lower it in your tank till its just above the sand floor. Tear a hole in the bag and gently pour the sand on top of your existing bed. Move the bag around so you dont burry your existing sand bed to much in any one spot.

Quote:
are there any special dos or don'ts of aquascaping?
Dont stack the rock so its like your building a rock wall. Leave lots of area between the rocks for water and fish to go in and around. Its a compromise between stability and water flow so it just takes some time to move the rocks around till your happy with the look. Its best not ot put the rock aganst the sides and back simply cause that will inhibit water flow.

I allways twist my rocks down into the sand a few inches. I dont think I usually get all the way to the bottom but its deep enough to make sure any digging creatures dont easily unearth the rock foundation.
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Old 03-13-2004, 10:57 PM   #3
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The problem is this: I have 3 pieces of rock that are approx 10-12" long. I like these, the problem is that the tufa rock I've got is pretty small, the largest piece being maybe 6". It's very difficult to stack these. Now, I've created it with holes and gaps and spaces, but it looks very unsteady and very unnatural. Also, when I add coral frags, mushroom rocks, etc...I have no idea where I'm going to put them. Any suggestions? I've got a temp setup (pics) here:

http://mipunk.tripod.com/0385/aquascape.html
(sorry for the external link, there's too many pictures to post in here)

I've got a lot more tufa than that, and I'm adding about 30lbs. LR from liverocks.com ... I've requested larger pieces, so hopefully I'll get some. Anyways, suggestions, hints, opinions, anything Thanks!
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Old 03-14-2004, 10:06 AM   #4
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I dont see much unnatural about that.

Here is a photo of my 75. There is more space behind the rock to the glass but you can see it with the angle and the heater in the way.

http://www.vafishfreek.com/gallery/v...l&id=RightSide

http://www.vafishfreek.com/albums/75...half.sized.jpg
Note: in the photo above the pink leather is directly infront of a big cave area and the rock above it is a long simewhat flat shaped rock that forms the roof of the cave.

http://www.vafishfreek.com/gallery/v...al&id=LeftHalf

The photos dont show it as well but there are many spots where a fish even as large as the yellow tang and expecially the size of the clown and flame can swim in/thru the rocks as well as lage cave areas for shrimp to form their homes.
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Old 03-14-2004, 04:03 PM   #5
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Yes, I suppose you're right. The color's probably throwing me off right now, as it's a funny orange. Do you recommend epoxy'ing the rocks together? If I ever have to move the tank, I imagine this would make a hge task trying to remove massive chunks from the tank. As far as space in between the rocks, do I want NO rocks touching one another on the sand bed? I wasn't sure, and right now have spaces at least 1/2 between all the foundation rocks. I think this will allow for water flow between the rocks, and it will give more places for smaller animals to hide from larger ones.

I shouldn't have dead spots because of the spray bar. I've been putting the RO/DI in the sump, then filling the tank with the return pump and the psray bar, so I could see where it would end up, and I've got pretty good coverage with it. I've still got the 2 powerheads to add in, so I should have a pretty decent amount of flow. I'm trying to also leave some open sand bed for future clams and brain coral.

What I was concerned with regarding places to put the corals, a lot of the rock faces are near vertical. Would a coral be ok with this (providing the conditions if its area are acceptable) my having to glue its base rock onto a nearly vertical face? Thanks again for everything fishfreek!
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Old 03-15-2004, 09:56 AM   #6
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I dont like gluing rocks together. It will make it much harder later one when you want to reaquacsape. If you work on fiting the rocks together you should be able to get them to interlock and be fairlystable. The key is to not be so limited in your placment that your not willing to try roataing the rocks around and try different spots and positions.

There is no real hard fast rule to laying rocks in the tank. The key is that a) you like how it looks, b) that they are not stacked like bricks.
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Old 03-15-2004, 04:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishfreek
I dont like gluing rocks together. It will make it much harder later one when you want to reaquacsape.

This is the only part that I would have to disagree w/ you on. The epoxy will stabilize rocks that may be slightly unstable and it helps create much more interesting scapes. When pulling them apart, the epoxy will turn loose w/ a little sideways pressure. Below is the link for my tank. There is no way I could have elevated that much rock w/o using epoxy. The epoxy is not used for structural support, but because it stabilizes the structure it is much stronger and allows for more creativity.

http://www.reef-aquarium.net/175gall...l3-gallery.jpg

The large cave on the right has a rock that weighs about 15lbs for the roof. Epoxy locked it down and stabilized it to the base.
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Old 03-16-2004, 12:14 AM   #8
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I've got a good deal of little caves and overhangs. I'm really kinda liking it. I'll just occasionally glance at it while I'm watching tv and I'll see a new way to put something in. Now I'm simply waiting for the liverock to arrive, so I can place that, add the final rocks, and start my cycle! I'm really excited.
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