I know–an update on the glassbox has been overdue. The tank has admittedly not gotten much attention until recently. Over the past few weeks I’ve engaged in a glassbox ‘audit’. If a rock or coral did not ‘add positively’ to the tank it was either rearranged or removed. It was a difficult process, but this […]
I know–an update on the glassbox has been overdue. The tank has admittedly not gotten much attention until recently. Over the past few weeks I’ve engaged in a glassbox ‘audit’. If a rock or coral did not ‘add positively’ to the tank it was either rearranged or removed. It was a difficult process, but this weekend I made the last major removals and changes.
The biggest change was a large rock near the very front of the aquarium. I was never thrilled with the structure and it did not allow the coral placement or depth that I desired, as such it was banished to the sump.
After drafting some designs I settled on a pinnacle style coral head. Visually I was looking to create a structure that stood 15″ tall to place a tabling Acropora on top. At 15″ the structure will partially block the curving aquascape behind it, visually increasing the depth from front to back. (Interestingly the height also corresponds to the golden ratio when applied to the height of the actual aquarium — 24.00/14.83=1.618)
To do this I went with dry rock. This has the benefit of being light weight and easy to manipulate. Thankfully GBD contributor Mike Clifford had hundreds of pounds of this, which allowed me the opportunity to cherry pick. Before working with the rocks they were soaked in a 10:1 water and bleach solution and aggressively scrubbed. The rocks then sat out for 4 days to allow the bleach to evaporate and subsequently soaked for 48hrs in RO/DI water. Despite appearing clean, dry mined rock can hold plenty of nutrients and dried detritus.
To see this vid in full size, check out the GBD channel on Vimeo.
When using dry rock epoxy works extremely well. Typically superglue is not needed, but I use it for extra precaution. Remember that superglue is a surface adhesive and it will not fill gaps–that is what then epoxy is for. After 24 hrs the bond formed using epoxy and super glue is stronger than the porous calcium carbonate rock. This is an easy and affordable way to implement stable, creative aquascaping into your aquarium.
Sidenote: A key when building vertical structures is continuity in the rock–meaning they should look like they go together in some manner. A recent trend has been the use of rock towers using plastic rods. I have used this method in the past and it can work quite well, but it is much more difficult than dilling rocks and stacking them. Many images I’ve seen of this method online border on a rock snowman and/or a kabob! In some cases corals blend rocks into one another and or make them invisible to the viewer; however, where they are not, be conscious of shapes and textures.
In the next couple weeks I’ll be wrapping up the last bit of aquascaping left–a large overhang. Till then…