When I started out in this hobby many years ago I have to admit I was clueless when it came to properly aquascaping a SPS dominant reef tank. The wall of rock I put together with my first reef, a 90 gallon aquarium, seemed like a good idea at the time but the stacked and unstable structure led me to fiddle with it numerous times, trying my patience and upsetting the delicate balance of my reef. At times is looked like a poorly constructed brick wall.
Back then the popular belief was to use 2lbs of live rock for every gallon of water. I adhered to this philosophy with my next reef, a 120 gallon tank, and used about 250 lbs of rock. My aquascaping talents improved so I did a better job placing the rock in a much more stable and natural looking reef structure.
My Aquascaping Philosophy
What’s my approach with aquascaping? Well, for a section of a reef I like to lay some relatively flat pieces of rock on the bottom of the tank as a base. It is always best to find pieces with some curvature and have this part pointing up, which provides some space underneath for flow.
I then look to add rocks on top of the base rocks that can naturally lock together. Mortar, putty and super glue can be used to help stabilize the structure. You can even drill holes in the rock and use acrylic rods to create some interesting aquascapes, although this is something you would do primarily with dry rock.MORE