Trying to modify a new build - questions on when I can change things

PamBrent71

Non-member
Just had a new tank installed (Red Sea 300 XL) and while the plumbing looks great the rock work is not to my taste. In all the pics I gave them I showed lots of cantilevering and exposed sand bed. The rockwork is probably great, just not my style, but the good news is that it is NOT glued or epoxied down. So I can rework it.

Question - it's all live rock. Should I let it settle for a few days or when can I start adjusting things? Obviously there are no livestock present.

I need to get some epoxy and superglue gel so it will be a few days before I can begin, but looking for insight on "if you move it too soon, your live rock becomes dead rock" versus "It has to cycle after it's moved around, so might as well get the moving done ASAP."
 

MrX

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
I'd say you can move it around whenever you want. The only way it would become dead rock again is if you took it out of the tank for an extended period, or the tank water parameters are so far out of whack that it ends up killing everything. Just moving the rock around shouldn't cause any issues.

As far as messing up the cycle I don't think that's really an issue either.

If your tank had been running for quite some time and you were going to stir up a lot of sand then you might cause a new/mini/etc. cycle. Doesn't sound like that's an issue either.

'Scape away!

*** And we need pics!
 

dz6t

Acro Garden, BRS Sponsor
BRS Member
Photo will help a lot.
There is no reason live rocks will become dead rocks by rearranging them, even you take them out of water for half an hour.
 

PamBrent71

Non-member
Two pics of the tank (close up of the tank itself and one of the tank sitting in it's dining room nook). Might seem like an odd place, but the dining room is more like a dining nook off the kitchen, and we spend a lot of time in those two rooms. Plus there was this space that just cried out for something to fill it (between a small pantry closet and a coat closet). It's about 32" deep so a great space for a tank. Only 47" wide so the 36" fit well, you can just peek down the sides.


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Spooky

Non-member
For what it's worth I really enjoy your rockwork as is. Lots of real estate for corals and some nice cave-like areas. Looks like you might have enough room in either or both front corners to maybe add some new rock to make arches to the existing rock work. Also looks like there's enough room to add some new rock on top of the existing rock work.
 

PamBrent71

Non-member
It's not terrible, just not my style. The cave is good, the rocks they selected are awesome ... but the top 2 rocks (the one that looks like a plate coral and the thick one to the right) drive me a little nuts. The thick one especially, it makes the formation look so chunky and heavy. This was the inspiration pic we'd shared with them, and I know this is "crazy for cantilevering" but it leaves a lot of open sand bed and places for fish to swim.

I just wanted something lighter and airier looking (made from rock in an environment with no actual air ... I know).
 

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dz6t

Acro Garden, BRS Sponsor
BRS Member
I think the rock work looks pretty good. A lot of space for mounting different types of coral
 

Badbabyfry

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
I like the rock work in the example photo, but the top parts are a bit too high in my opinion.

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The current rock work doesn’t look like your reference photo but it doesn’t look bad either. The RedSea 300 XL may not have as much room front to back as the reference tank or that middle rock would be close to the front glass. The current rockscape has places for higher light, medium light, and lower light corals.

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The rocks look like cured dry rock. There shouldn’t be too much die off with cured dry rock. In the worst case there will be a cycle and you’ll have to wait for the tank to cycle. Or you could get a large plastic tub with a heater and a powerhead to hold the rocks while you stare at the tank.

There is aquascape cement and acrylic or fiberglass rods that you could use if you want to redo the rock work. I’d recommend “pegging” the rocks while you’re at it.
 

PamBrent71

Non-member
I think the rock work looks pretty good. A lot of space for mounting different types of coral
It doesn't seem kinda flat and blocky to you? I am hoping it grows on me but man, I'm so disappointed right now. I feel like I wasted time searching for all those images and taking notes on what made me like them or not.

I just need to figure out some way to make this look good while I wait to add fish and coral.
 

Badbabyfry

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
Yes. It looks kind of blocky, but the flat top isn’t a bad thing. PAR will be even on the top shelf. For one of my tanks I printed out fish and coral photos and stuck them to the glass to picture what the tank would look like with fish and corals.

There is always a hacksaw and chisel. They won’t hurt the rocks feelings.
 

Cpage101

2019, 2020 BRS BOD
BRS Member
Officer
just remember coral does not grow flat unless you are doing a bunch of encrusting chalices. lost the top with some nice colorful acros and you will be all set also the height is good. 8-10” below the top of the water in my opinion is ideal. less of a chance of forcing anything with light and also for room for corals to grow upward. my 120 was super blocky actually just stacked rock also now you would never know.
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day 1
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now
You can definitely change the look with good coral placement. Good luck and Happy Reefing
 

PamBrent71

Non-member
Even without epoxy, we had to move something. Shifting the "looks like plate coral" piece from upper left to lower right (and turning it over) helped expose some really attractive shape to the rock on the left that was left. It has cool formations reaching for the sky, a bit hard to see in this head-on shot, but there's a neat bowl with fingers. I could see something really enjoying that space (a coral or anemone that needs light to be happy). So the green arrows point to what we moved. The pink arrow points to the other thing we need to modify/swap/break up ... it would have been a fine foundation rock, just not a "top center" rock.

The "after" is on top, "before" is on the bottom.

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PamBrent71

Non-member
Looks better. Is there enough room for an algae scraper on the left and right sides?
The magna float will fit easily, a flat hand will fit easily as well but a clenched hand won't. I think it's right on the edge of being okay, but we could easily get in trouble with a larger coral on either side right there. Probably need to watch that spot to keep it free as things start growing (months from now).
 

PamBrent71

Non-member
Rockwork is resolved!

The new top chunk is about 8" below the water line, so it will likely stay clear of corals (unless we get something that needs a ton of light). Lots of swimmable tunnels now and still has a good expanse of sand exposed. I really like the variation in height of the rocks. I can see a few areas that make "ramps" that will let us figure out how much light a coral prefers - almost like finding the perfect row in a movie theater where you can see everything but aren't craning your neck.

Overall the change was small, in total we had to move 2 rocks that were there and add 2 more. It looked like "crap - start all over only now the tank is full and this will take hours ..." but it wound up being much simpler than that. Phew!
 

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