Aquascaping a barebottom tank

Madison Area Reef Society - Club and reef discussion

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Aquascaping a barebottom tank

Postby BraenDead on Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:00 am

Anyone have any suggestions/tips/etc for aquascaping a barebottom tank? My tank has been down for several months (since spring) and I am setting it back up again (both circuits on the tank tripped while I was on a trip in TX, everything died). Anyways - I am starting with all new live rock and am planning to start aquascaping sometime this week. I've never liked my aquascaping in the past - it's just not something I think I am good at. Anyone have any tips or favorite layouts/etc for aquascaping a barebottom tank?

Note - I've done this several times and know the basics:
* Try to keep the layout open to maintain good flow
* Keep the layout assymetrical
* Big rocks on bottom, smaller on top, don't create shadows
* Test the stability of the rockwork as you go

I'll be using 1/2" diameter delrin rods drilled into the rockwork to keep it off the bottom as well as to create spacing and structural integrity between the rocks. Any other suggestions anyone has, or any links to pictures or guides that have helped you, would be appreciated.

Thanks!

Bob
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Re: Aquascaping a barebottom tank

Postby Jeromi on Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:14 pm

sorry to hear about your tank crash:( I really like Cliffs aquascape best I've seen
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Re: Aquascaping a barebottom tank

Postby BraenDead on Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:54 pm

It's the third time in 10+ years my tank has crashed in some way/shape/form, although this was the first time for a total tank crash (normally it just gets some of the corals). I learn more and more each time one happens, pretty soon I should have enough redundancies on my tank to protect everything and prevent anymore crashes.

I'll take a look at Cliff's - thanks!

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Re: Aquascaping a barebottom tank

Postby starboard on Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:44 pm

Madcityreefer(Cliff) is very good in my opinion at aquascaping. Maybe you could pick his brain.
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Re: Aquascaping a barebottom tank

Postby Longinus on Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:58 pm

going bare bottom I imagine you are shooting for an SPS dominated tank? I think lagoon style tanks are pretty excellent looking, but that may be a bit odd bare bottom. I have seen some interesting Acro islands before based around one large colony, but it limits your use of the space greatly/how many species you can have in your tank if you want to keep it clean.
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Re: Aquascaping a barebottom tank

Postby BraenDead on Tue Dec 17, 2013 5:50 pm

I've traditionally run SPS tanks, however I'm going to try a mixed tank this time (never done the whole LPS thing). I'm primarily going barebottom as I understand it, have the equipment for it, and know how to run a successful BB tank. I'm not sure I could say the same thing about a SSB, DSB, or RDSB.

What is a "lagoon style" tank?

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Re: Aquascaping a barebottom tank

Postby Longinus on Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:47 pm

The lagoon style as I understand it involves one central island that actually juts out from the top with minimal rock aside from the central island, with plenty of open space for fish to swim. Alternatively it can involve two or three decent sized rock piles, but primarily relies on having minimal rock in the tank and lots of open space to prevent the tank from feeling crowded and give it an open feeling.The thing I like about this is that it really draws the eye to the center of the tank and showcases brilliant pieces, but its probably best for a few showpieces rather than a big mixed reef. I have no clue how it would look with a bare bottom mixed reef though, I think its probably best with just SPS on the rocks and nothing resting on the bottom to keep it clean, as it seems to focus on being minimalist. Certainly not the style of my tank though, my strategy is to just pile the rock in and leave as much room as I can for corals since I am so space limited.
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Re: Aquascaping a barebottom tank

Postby Jeromi on Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:37 pm

I think bb with some scattered toga branch rock on the bottom would be cool and then let zoas, palys take over the whole bottom of the tank.
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Re: Aquascaping a barebottom tank

Postby Longinus on Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:44 pm

Jeromi wrote:I think bb with some scattered toga branch rock on the bottom would be cool and then let zoas, palys take over the whole bottom of the tank.


I saw that done with GSP in a nano before, it looked like grass growing in a field full of rocks, pretty awesome!
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Re: Aquascaping a barebottom tank

Postby Jeromi on Thu Dec 19, 2013 6:43 pm

I'm planning on doing it with zoos when I build my new tank. It will be a zoo lawn not a garden:) I just have to figure out how to have a sandbox hidden for my wrasse to sleep;) or perhaps I'll embrace it and add a playground as well.
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Re: Aquascaping a barebottom tank

Postby Rueg on Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:27 pm

I ran bare-bottom on my 180 when I had it. I had cutting board cut to fit the bottom. Coraline algae and corals would grow on it. I liked it.
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Re: Aquascaping a barebottom tank

Postby BraenDead on Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:43 am

Thanks for the various replies and thoughts. I'll be working on placing rock work this weekend or Christmas eve and will see what I can get setup. I'll try to post pictures after it is setup.

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