View Full Version : How did you plan your reef tank?

04/03/2017, 12:17 AM
I'm just starting to think about adding corals to my 90gal tank (been running a smaller FOWLR for over a year and a half and recently upgraded tanks), doing some research and trying to at least sort of have a game plan and I'm leaning towards an LPS dominant tank. I've seen pictures of tanks that seem natural and organic as if it really were plucked from the ocean just how it is and then others that seem like a mess just a jumble of nonsense all over the place. I'd really like to land in that first camp but I'm sure that it might take a few attempts and possible wrong turns to get there.

So I'm curious how did you plan your tank? Did you know exactly what you wanted and where it would go? Do you just go to the LFS and buy what you like and experiment until you found its perfect spot? Did your plans change as you went along? Was there anything you wish someone had told you in the beginning?

04/03/2017, 05:47 AM
I planned mine poorly. Really went overboard on rocks. Not so much the height of the stack alone, but the density. I stacked them like bricks and left zero sandbed. When my mind changed and I wanted more lps corals, I did a full rescape, thought I was doing right by it, and realized all I did was make it shorter...doh.

Overall I think it's important to think of some of your favorite "must have" pieces and ensure your aquascape is appropriate before moving forward. Constant rescape are so bad for a tank so get it right the first time.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

04/05/2017, 08:01 AM
Yup, me too.
Had a plan to go minimalist on rocks, totally failed.
Ended up throwing rock in, looked like crap.
Did a rescape to make 2 islands, looked better until I bought too many corals and screwed it up again.
Now in the process of selling stuff to get to my original minimalist look.
Probably won't ever get it right though.

04/06/2017, 03:58 AM
LPS lover here!

For scaping, I'll recommend looking at pictures of different aquascapes. See what you like/dislike about them, it will help a lot when you're doing a scape.

I think coral placement is not *as* important. Corals can usually adjust to lots of different conditions if slowly acclimated. As a new reefer, I think a game plan for maintaining water parameters is the most important. Bad parameters = tons of problems, and the last thing on your mind will be the perfect coral placement spot.

My only advice is to take things slow. I haven't heeded this advice myself, as many reefers probably understand. Going into an LFS is like going into a toy store when you're 5 years old, except now you CAN buy everything you like. Next week will be 1 month since my tank has been running, and I'll be doing a tank journal update. I've rushed everything way too much (corals and livestock), and I fully expect to be running into serious issues any day now.

04/06/2017, 10:22 AM
I think I probably have too much rock, and there's not really any room in the sump for rock. Eventually I'd like to get an even larger tank like maybe a 180 or bigger cuz that seems to be where you can get some really cool fish. So i'll just save the rock for later, because I agree the tanks I've seen with less rock work look much nicer.

I'm mostly concerned about planning for some of the more invasive coral species that I might want but I don't want to have overrun my tank. Most of the first corals that are recommended are mushrooms and zoas which I've read can be difficult to keep in check. Also, some of the tanks I've seen seem to have corals almost touching and most of what I read recommends leaving lots of space so I've been trying to find information on which corals win in a fight and who can get along and play nice etc.

04/13/2017, 08:31 PM
I made a rock and foam wall to maximize final coral stocking accomodation and to save some $$$ on my LR (used 25lbs dry rock on the back and purchased 65lbs live to seed it) then made a cave with the LR and minimized the amount touching the sand bed (practically none) and am holding many of the rocks together with fiberglass rods and zip ties that will be covered once im done stocking coral. Its turning out pretty nicely, cant attach more than one photo for some reason so ill reply to this with a photo of it set up

Edit... added photo link


04/13/2017, 08:40 PM
Ignore, had some tech issues getting that imbedded phtot above

04/21/2017, 05:15 PM
Done the same, going to rescape as it's just too much rock and want a more minimal look covered in my acans plus my chalices are fighting already... lesson learnt!



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

04/24/2017, 06:55 PM
Definitely planned my current tank. Read a few articles on ratios for visually pleasing layouts (mostly for planted tanks, but it applies to reefs as well). More importantly, I made sure I left plenty of places to mount new frags and room for coral growth. It seems understocked now, but I know in a year it will look okay.

The downside to all that planning is seeing a nice specimen at the LFS and knowing there are 5 reasons why it won't work in your tank rather than grabbing it and taking it home. Takes some of the fun out of it.