Sunday, April 14, 2013

New shelf aquascape and update!

Current tank shot as of April 2013. Note to self: Quit messing with the tank! I've rearranged the aquarium too many times that I keep stressing the corals and fish. I'm finally happy with the aquascape and layout, and I will finally let the corals grow in peace. I had several corals brown out AGAIN as they were already recovering, but I know they'll bounce back in the following months.
I got rid of all my live rocks back in January. This is what my tank looked like while I planned and prepared the new aquascape. Biological filtration is from the Seachem Matrix stones as seen in my previous post. I didn't post any updates because I wanted to make sure I didn't wipe my tank.

Without having to rely on live rock as my primary source of biological filtration, I only used what I needed to make the aquascape look exactly like how I wanted it. My new aquascape is only about 25 lbs total. As you can see in the corals, the color and growth were recovering nicely, but then I stressed them out again as I kept rearranging the aquarium. Some of these corals had some really good color before they browned out from the constant stress.
I broke base rock, then epoxied them together to try to make some artificial tonga branches :)
After searching and shopping for the right shelf rock, I decided to go with the "Real Reef Rock" shelf rock. This rock allowed me to create a very interesting overhang. This rock isn't as heavy as base rock, as it is flat and pretty solid.
Used 10 lbs of base rock as center weight, then I started epoxying the shelf rock onto it.
Used some of my handmade branches to hold the shelf in place while the epoxy cured.
Mounted some branches to the top of the center rock to add some layers.
View from the back side
Large shelf is now freestanding and now appears like its "floating". I epoxied a smaller shelf on the right side, and continued to add more layers to the center piece.
I used four 4oz tubes of the Two Little Fishies Aquastik Red Coralline Epoxy for this entire project. I love this stuff as you just mold it like clay. Some of the reviewers on this epoxy say that it only sticks to your fingers and not onto the rock. Well here's a tip, wet your fingers as you mold and it no longer sticks to your fingers!
Third shelf rock added to add more layers. Epoxied more branches towards the front of the base rock to give me more room to place corals.
Back side view showing no support for the shelf. It's all held by epoxy!
Another angle of the finished center piece. The whole thing measured 27 inches long and 14 inches at its widest point. The shelves are about 12 inches wide.
After moving all the corals to a separate container, the new aquascape was finally placed in the aquarium as one entire piece.
Perfect fit as it gives plenty of real estate for corals while having almost no deadspots with water flow.
Keep following for some more exciting updates coming soon!