AQUASCAPING FOR THE 1ST TIME

Discussion in 'Live Rock' started by JOER0178, Feb 2, 2004.

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  1. JOER0178

    JOER0178 Peppermint Shrimp

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    Hi Everyone, Going to start my 1st LR aquascaping soon was hoping some people can give me some good tips. I've been looking at alot of pics lately does anyone have some really good pictures for inspiration. Thanks ;D :D
     
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  3. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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  4. omard

    omard Gnarly Old Codfish

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    Whew..now that is a beauty Matt! :eek:

    Yours?

    Nice "model" to use for my new tank rock arrangement - just what I was looking for.

    Good post.

    OmarD
     
  5. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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  6. inwall75

    inwall75 Giant Squid

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    Definately don't do what I did. I went with the Wall O' Rock look. It doesn't seem natural. I will definately be changing the aquascaping at a later date.

    Aquascaping the Reef Aquarium
    By Eric Borneman
    The landscape of a reef aquarium is not merely one to engage the senses, although aesthetic function is certainly important to the tank keeper. Aquascaping in reef aquaria is primarily based around the structure of live rock and sometimes sand substrate. In the past, it was suggested that up to two pounds of live rock per gallon of tank water capacity be used to provide adequate filtration. Over the years, however, and depending on the weight and shape of live rock, it has become apparent that the earlier estimate was exaggerated. Not only are lesser amounts of live rock capable of managing biological and mechanical filtration of substantial bioloads, but, in this case, less is actually more.

    Reef aquaria in the past, as well as many "older" style aquaria currently in operation, consisted of large massive walls of live rock, occupying virtually every square inch of the aquarium. As such, it was difficult to obtain a "natural" look, much less function. Typically, such aquaria were soon filled with undesirable filamentous algae, large pockets of detritus and waste material, and occasional populations of corals and invertebrates wedged into the nooks between the calcareous boulders. Invariably, coralline algae and various other photosynthetic organisms could not thrive except on the surfaces actually exposed to light. Similarly, the numbers of corals and other light-seeking invertebrates were limited as to the availability of space occupied by so much rockwork.

    There are other difficulties with such massive and cumbersome aquascaping protocol. Perhaps foremost is the compromise in water movement and circulation patterns within the captive reef. With the exception of deep water and cave dwelling organisms, most of the sessile and motile life on a reef is exposed to great amounts of water displacement. Even those life forms that dwell in relatively calm lagoon areas, while not always exposed to strong or fast currents or wave action, are treated to relatively short water dwell times. By this I mean that even calm lagoons are exposed to massive water flux, washing, and dilution through the water volume itself, waves, tides, and currents. Reef organisms depend greatly on the flushing of their habitat to remove wastes and provide food and gas exchange. Without it, biodiversity and success wanes. Reef aquaria are even more dependent on adequate flow that wild communities, partly because of the lack of water volume and the general lack of food (though not water quality degrading dissolved nutrients) that only compound the problems inherent to captive systems.

    A reef aquarium today, barring the desire to create specific niche environments, should be a more sparse landscape of hard substrate (live rock). Open architecture consisting of various pillars, mounds, buttresses, channels, and caves provides a more natural framework for the organisms generally kept in such tanks. Water flow can circulate in and around such formations unimpeded, providing the very important water flow that contributes to the health of the inhabitants, including fish, corals, sponges, and invertebrates. The opened architecture allows for better coralline algae growth, exposes more surfaces to light, and allows for more numerous, accurate, and beneficial placements of corals and sessile invertebrates. It is important to remember that corals, sponges, and many other filter feeding invertebrates are also highly efficient water filters and purifiers. They contribute to, as well as depend on, high quality water. Live rock, excepting the biodiversity and waste processing abilities of various small organisms and bacteria, is a mostly passive substrate. Corals and other filter feeders, in contrast, actively remove organic material such as dissolved nutrients and detritus from the water as a food source. They also harbor large populations of productive bacteria on their surfaces, which further contribute to heightened water quality. In total, open architecture contributes to a vastly more successful and productive community and reef aquarium. As such, it is more functional, more natural, more attractive, and -- as an added bonus -- less expensive.

    Copyright 2002 by Eric Borneman. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

    Eric Borneman is the author of Aquarium Corals: Selection, Husbandry, and Natural History, and co-author of A Practical Guide to Corals. He is also the co-founder of the Marine and Reef Aquarium Society of Houston and is active in reef conservation efforts worldwide.
     
  7. JOER0178

    JOER0178 Peppermint Shrimp

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    WOW those two tank are amazing.  I can only aspire to one day have something like that.  But, thank you that is great insiration.  Also the article was really good thanks  
     
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  9. Guest

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    Hey it's CG on a different computer: i was just wondering if its "ok" to change the aquascaping after things have started to settle in. And if so whats a good way to go about doing it? I'd think take out all the LR first so you don't squish anything, then i guess put everything in (clean) buckets?
     
  10. omard

    omard Gnarly Old Codfish

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  11. JOER0178

    JOER0178 Peppermint Shrimp

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    THANK YOU OMARD THATS A REALLY GREAT WEB SITE
     
  12. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    [quote author=CG2 link=board=Newbie;num=1075750021;start=0#6 date=02/03/04 at 15:23:56]Hey it's CG on a different computer: i was just wondering if its "ok" to change the aquascaping after things have started to settle in. And if so whats a good way to go about doing it? I'd think take out all the LR first so you don't squish anything, then i guess put everything in (clean) buckets?[/quote]

    That's what I do. I do it with water changes so I have some water in the buckets. If you read my 'aquarium stress' post, you will see it always doesn't go as planned. [smiley=hehe.gif]