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Old 04/25/2006, 03:45 PM   #1
clownfish4u
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Arranging Live Rock In Your Aquarium

I have a 29 gallon that is somewhat of a reef tank. It's got a pair of damsels, a pair of ocellaris clowns, a ywg, a candy stripe pistol shrimp, and a few corals.

It's got about 60 lbs of live rock, and the way I have it set up now, is pressed up against the back of the aquarium. While this looks OK, I'd like to find some other way to position it in the tank that looks appealing and is functional. Someone had shown me a website a LONG time ago that had some very intersting ways of arranging live rock, but I can't find it for some reason.

Here are a few ideas that I have.. Feel free to expand.

|----------------|
| oooo |
| o o |
| o o |
| o o |
|----------------|

This one is a sort of semi circle that allows the fish to gather in the middle, but allows them to swim to the back of the aquarium if they feel threatened.

|--------------------|
| |
| |\ \- |
| | \ \ | |
| |__\ \| |
| |
|--------------------|

This one has a channel for the fish to swim in but is still pleasing to the eye. I believe it will allow good flow throughout the aquarium if I can position my power head in the right spot.

Both of these designs we're taken out of The Concientous Marine Aquarist. These both seemed like good designs.

If you have any ideas on where I can find that website, let me know, or if you have any good ideas on how to arrange 60 pounds of live rock in a 29 gallon, please feel free to post a reply!




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Old 04/25/2006, 03:46 PM   #2
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Wow, evidently it really didn't allow my designs to show up. Sorry for the bad pictures. Maybe the description will help...


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Old 04/25/2006, 05:10 PM   #3
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On aquascaping, what's important is that you like it, that your livestock has enough room to grow and thrive, and that you have enough flow to prevent dead spots.

I used PVC pipe to form the basis of my aquascape to keep everything as open as possible -- helps keep flow moving everywhere and allows bigger spaces for fish to swim in and through. You can see a few parts of it in the photo below, but soon it will all be coraline covered anyway -- this is 13 weeks now and the coraline has already taken over...




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Old 04/25/2006, 05:17 PM   #4
jdhanover
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Clownfish4u - key is to NOT pack things in. If it is up against a wall it will be hard to clean that wall (and get anything out from behind it)

Alaskan Reffer:
Awesome setup!! I am thinking along similar lines (my 150g tank is scheduled to arrive next Thurs but it will be a while until all setup).

Can you expand on how you did the PVC so that it doesn't show? Did you drill in to the rock? Or just make stands out of pvc?

My tank will be acryillic and 24" wide as I don't want anything too close to the walls I am interested in how to rockscape mine like yours.


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Old 04/25/2006, 07:02 PM   #5
clownfish4u
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Your tank is beautiful. It's exactly how I want to set up my tank. The different caves, rock faces, everything. It's perfect. Please elaborate on how you did the PVC to make these magnificent creations.


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Old 04/25/2006, 07:18 PM   #6
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Thanks for the positive feedback!

My goal was three different islands of completely different shape, and that seems to have worked well. It's all on basic PVC stands. Here is a sample from the first time I aquascaped this tank with two islands...



I ended up using basic box shapes on both the right and left islands, and made an angled "table" for the center island, angling down from the back. What you can't see on the center island is the runway through the sides -- the hole in the front is just as large on both sides and it makes for great fish swimming lanes. You can see the PVC still on the far left wall and under the zoanthid colony centered on the middle island.

What I like best about doing it this way is that you dont have a pile of rock destroying flow -- while still being able to aquascape against the back wall. My sump returns point directly down behind the right and left islands, and the tank is bare bottom in the back corners -- for me that's perfect, that's the one place I can't get a siphon tube into, and with the returns pointed there everything gets pushed forward through the passageways in the islands where I can get at it with a siphon tube or my Tunzes can swirl it up and over the overflow.

The only drawback I can see from this is potentially visual (it takes a LONG time to get rock stacked to where not much PVC shows and in a shape you like), and in terms of filtration -- you need to go heavier on the skimmer and refugium since there's not as much live rock. This is a 125 gallon tank with sump for about 140 total gallons of water volume, and I only have 90 pounds of LR.

My fish do lots of swimming, they have lots of room.


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Old 04/27/2006, 03:53 PM   #7
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That's awesome. So you just build a PVC 'cage' and then glue the live rock to it? How do you get the live rock to stay? Great idea, by the way. It really looks like it would work well. I've got 60 lbs in my 29 gallon and the way I have it arranged now looks pretty cool, but I like the way yours looks a LOT better.


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Old 04/27/2006, 04:44 PM   #8
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I didn't glue anything, I'd call it more of a "rack" than a cage -- that's probably why it took me sooooo long to arrange everything in the tank to not only create the shapes I wanted but also hide the PVC. Basically, you're just stacking rock like you always would, but with a big hole underneath and behind it.

I've also seen (can't remember the member) PVC racks plumbed to a pump, and thus with flow shooting out from under the aquascape. No way any detritus collects anywhere he can't reach it. Now THAT'S cool.


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