Aquascaping 101 Aquascaping-The process of arranging rock, sand, corals, and equipment to develop a functionally aesthetic appearance in a aquarium. Focused on mimicking the beauty and functionality of the natural coral reef.
Overview • Safety • Aquascaping Shapes • Aquascaping Techniques • Putting It all together
Safety First • Goggles • Gloves • Old Clothes • Common sense
Shapes • One giant mound • Walls • Caves • Spires • Shelves/Overhangs • Other- be creative, bonsai styles
One Giant Mound • Most common • Pros- extremely easy, filled look, hides back wall(no cleaning back wall), hides power cords • Cons- greatly limits water circulation/flow, hard to clean detritus in the rockwork • Methods–stacking against walls of aquarium
Walls • Pros- filled look, hides part of aquarium walls(no cleaning), hides power cords • Cons- lack of hiding spots • Methods–stacking against walls of aquarium, new ceramic insert or foam technique
Caves • Pros-swimming paths, natural homes/protection • Cons-detritus buildup, limit circulation/flow • Methods- stack rock to make caves, zip ties, acrylic rod
Spires • Mini island of stacked rock. • Pros-swimming paths, filled look with less rock, not touching aquarium walls, 360 degree coral placement • Cons-heavy, stability issues • Methods- drill hole and stack rock on pvc or acrylic rod
Shelves/Overhangs • Pros- hide outs, natural cleaning stations, natural location for non-photosynthetic coral placement • Cons- heavy, stability issues, shaded area • Methods- drill hole and stack rock on pvc or acrylic rod, zip ties
Other- be creative, bonsai styles • Just be creative
Methods/techniques • Stacking • Rock Shelves • Drilling, rods, zip ties • Foam
Stacking • Self explanatory
Rock Shelves • Made of egg crate and pvc pipe • Stake rock on top or ziptie rock to structure • Pros: Supports rock from falling, allows better flow and swimming paths • Cons: Can be hard to hide all pvc pipe from all angles
Drilling, rods, zip ties • Show how to drill rock • Materials to be used as rods can be pvc pipe or rod and acrylic rod. • Stack in a pyramid shape from heaviest/largest to smallest/lightest • Show how to drill small holes and use zip ties
Foam • Various uses • Spray directly on aquarium walls, permanent background • Fill in gaps • Pros: Can get away with less rock, easy to use • Cons: Must be covered in epoxy to protect from uv rays (unless you are using the black pond version), not yet proven to be stable with the use of ozone. • Show how to make foam structures
Putting it all together • Layout before you begin • Tip: To help with layout cut out cardboard sheet the size of area to be aquascaped. Draw several different layouts before you decide on the final layout. • Tip: Try to hide power heads and other equipment in your aquascaping. This will give a more finished look.