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I was curious to know if you felt your aquascaping techniques came in handy while hardscaping your reef. I would imagine the hardscape in a reef would be harder then a planted, did you find that your practice in scaping with plants helped you invision your reef? I will be starting a small reef soon, something 24" long and deeper than 12". I have 6x24w or 5x39w of t5ho, what do you think the ideal demensions are for a tank under 30g?
 

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I have both SPS reef and a planted setup.. for your question, I would say NO it wouldn't help much. Reef aquascaping is much more different and (somewhat more challenging) than planted. You use more tools in reef like two part epoxy, cyanoacrylate, zip ties, and PVC... you also have to worry about rockslides while also taking appearance, adequate flow, and accessibility into consideration.

With FW planted, you put Eco-Complete, drop the driftwood, pour the water and stick the Glosso's and you're done.
 

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And in the end, a reef looks like a reef, looks like a reef. Where as a planted tank can look like . . . well, a lot wider variety of things. Aquascaping just has metaphorical representation going for it, and reefs . . . don't.:icon_conf
 

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Other way around for me. I did reefs first. Plant tanks are exponentially easier. With a reef tank, aquascaping takes a back seat to keeping corals alive. Maintaining clean water, making sure each coral gets just the right amount of flow and light, won't fight with neighboring corals, and other concerns all come first. MOST people never make it past that point. When a plant dies, it's usually a loss of $5 or $10. When a coral dies, it can be hundreds.

Aquascaping a reef involves arranging a box of rocks, but also requires a lot of planning for flow, substrate, lighting, and other equipment. It really is so much more than making sure sticks and rocks follow the rule of thirds.

For reference, check out Steve's aquascape (and the rest of his site, it's quite a tank). It literally took him years to plan every little detail and refine his aquascape. Even after his tank was setup, he re-did a major portion of the plumbing to implement better circulation for the corals. Totally different ball game.
 

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haha ya you cant even compare freshwater to a saltwater setup unlike freshwater you need liverock in the tank which is an easy 200 bucks right there lol then you can deside if you wanted to go fish only or do a reef setup.
i remember seting up my 12g nano cube as a reef i think i spent 6 times the amount of money on it then im planing on spending on my 75 gallon high tech planted tank. like the guy above me said plants are only 5 maybie 10 bucks apeice corals are an easy 25-500 bucks apeice some are even more lol.

also one thing you have to know when starting a reef is if you cheap out and buy crappy equipment you'll pay for it. wether its in a ph crash and your tank dies (the whole tank will die in one of these if it were to happen)
or your lights dont work one day. one of your pumps burn out. thats all i can remember happening to me lol. hopefuly you wont have as much trouble as i did lol.
 

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I was curious to know if you felt your aquascaping techniques came in handy while hardscaping your reef. I would imagine the hardscape in a reef would be harder then a planted, did you find that your practice in scaping with plants helped you invision your reef? I will be starting a small reef soon, something 24" long and deeper than 12". I have 6x24w or 5x39w of t5ho, what do you think the ideal demensions are for a tank under 30g?
I started with reefs, and I think that hardly any reefers pay any attention to scpaing. Most reefs look just like piles of rocks. I think it really helps to carry over planted tank scaping skills over to reefs, like the golden ratio, lack of symmetry, etc if you want a nice looking looking reef.

Most reefs are a solid wall, with as much live rock crammed into the back of the tank as possible. I suggest two main mounds, with one being bigger than the other, with some space between the two. There can be other little fragments of LR. Also, 99% of reefers are in the "collectoritis" stage. Their tanks would look much better if they kept fewer species and had multiples of each.

Steve Weast's tank that was linked in this thread is probably one of the best scaped reefs ever.

This 15 gallon nano always impressed me too:




I think that the 8th and 10th place winners of the '06 ADA contest would translate into good reefscapes.

Are you having a tank custom built? If so, definitely go deeper than 12", maybe 24"x16"x16"? That's under 30 gallons, just a thought. I know it's probably too big, but 40 gallon breeders are awesome tanks dimension-wise. I don't think that there are any commercially made 24" tanks that are deeper than 12".

I think people in this thread are blowing the difficulty of reefs out of proportion. SPS is very challenging, and you need a lot more equipment. But soft corals, like zoos and mushrooms are cake, same with LPS. Much less work than a high light CO2 tank, because you aren't constantly pruning. You can get a lot of corals for very cheap too. There are lots of reef clubs that do frag swaps just like plant clubs have plant swaps. Corals are harder to ship though, so you don't see as much trading.

I always that thought a GSP (green star polyp) foreground would be cool. They will grow like a carpet and give an HC or glosso kind of look.
 

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I think people in this thread are blowing the difficulty of reefs out of proportion. SPS is very challenging, and you need a lot more equipment. But soft corals, like zoos and mushrooms are cake, same with LPS. Much less work than a high light CO2 tank, because you aren't constantly pruning. You can get a lot of corals for very cheap too. There are lots of reef clubs that do frag swaps just like plant clubs have plant swaps. Corals are harder to ship though, so you don't see as much trading.

LPS and softies are a lot easier than SPS, but there is still a very stiff learning curve. Your whole tank can get nuked in a hurry. If you lose power, salinity/ph/temp/calcium swings, something dies, parasites/predators/disease (Steve had to take apart $20k worth of livestock to remove a 6 foot worm), overflow clogs, float switch fails, etc., you might come home to find a black tank of death. So maybe there is less 'scaping work, but there is a lot more to worry about. I'm getting stressed again just thinking about it haha. Of course there are ways to safeguard, but s#$% happens.
 

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Actually..

If the original poster wanted a FOWLR tank, aquascaping is a piece of cake, since no fragile corals and inverts are involved. A softie tank adds some challenge but these corals demand less flow, less light, and are usually not picky with locations. Now if he wants SPS, that's a whole different ballgame. Before aquascaping, you will need to carefully plan your rockwork to make sure that corals don't overgrow each other and/or cause allelopathy or chemical warfare against each other. With FW planted, you don't worry about these. Driftwoods never grow and you can easily trim plants. Fragging corals is a tedious task..

good luck and have fun 'scaping

oh yea don't let the reef bug bite, lol. I have already spent close to $5K on my SPS setup.. in addition to the $300 monthly electric bills due to 400W Halides..
 

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For reference, check out Steve's aquascape (and the rest of his site, it's quite a tank). It literally took him years to plan every little detail and refine his aquascape. Even after his tank was setup, he re-did a major portion of the plumbing to implement better circulation for the corals. Totally different ball game.
Thats one hell of a tank:drool: :drool: :drool: :drool: :drool: :drool: :drool: :drool: :drool: :drool: :drool: :drool: :drool: :drool: :drool: :drool: :drool:

Thanks for the link!!

Alright guys, how about this.

You are an expert on both Planted tanks and SW reef tanks. But not an "expert" on scaping. You're say midium well with scaping in fw planted tanks and want to try and really get a nice scape. Would it be harder to get a decent scape in a SW reef or a FW PT?

My answer is it's impossible to compare But I think some of the scaping aspects used in a planted tank like Simplicity can go over very well... Heck I am looking at rooms now thinking... WOW they have collectorious! :eek:

-Andrew
 
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