Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Thomaston, Georgia
ah, whatever. look at my new tank when i post pics...it's a teaser now, but i have rocks nearly out of the water.
The trick is simple-ish:
come up with the design in your mind.
place the base layer of substrate for cushion(i like this better than styrofoam as styrofoam is perfectly flat, thus, the rocks are very hard to situate...but if you want to sleep better at night, then put styrofoam first and then substrate second. NOTE: leave at least a 2 inch gap at the front so the styrofoam doesn't show from the front, even if it's shifted somehow.
Next, place a base foundation of rocks, these should be flat on top if possible to allow a second tier to be placed on top.
Next place the second tier on top creating the height desired, typically i chose tall rocks for my second tier, makes for less stacking.
After that, but before ANYTHING else add rocks in the front to keep the second tier from toppling, this can be tricky, and often you will need to add a thin front area of soil to act as a support for the "support" rocks.
Then, you begin to enjoy yourself. Add substrate to the front, i like sand recently, but you can use soil...this is a little more difficult as a planted foreground in this scenario tends to cover much of the "support" rocks which act as a good mid ground.
Then add rear stabilizing rocks, or you can simply add soil. I like to have both, tall thin rocks to support from the rear, and then just PILE the soil in. I think one could easily get 6-8 inches of soil behind, but you need to make a "retaining wall" of sorts flowing pretty much even with the "support rocks".
Many will say malarkey to what i've just told you, However, I received many compliments about illusion of depth in my 55 gallon tank, which was done with this method minimally.
My new tank was done this way to the extreme. Once i get pics up, take a look and let me know what you think.