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Thread: Rock Stands

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    Grand Master Reefer Amphibious's Avatar
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    Hi Christi
    Do you have the tubing just standing as individual pieces?
    Yes.

    Are they standing on their end or lying down?
    They are standing on end.

    I think seeing how I do the PVC stands will help clear up your thoughts on yours. I'm not done aquascaping and the tank is a mess from sand clouds but now is the time to see the PVC stands.

    The PVC rock stands are very noticible here. I cut them 5.5" long for a 5" DSB. Sand is still being added and LS will be added later.




    I went with 2" PVC this time and 1" holes in the stands as shown, one on top and two at the bottom. I have more to make tomorrow and will take a pic of them before they go in the tank. Two reasons for the holes, one, the stands will be filled with sand and the holes in the bottom allow DSB worms to crawl into and out of the deeper layer. Remember, my method of raising the rock above the sand is to eliminate the inevitable dead area with the rock directly on the sand. I don't want to create dead spots in the pipe stands. Second, the upper hole, usually only one, besides being there for water flow, is for safety hideouts for little fish like blennies, gobies and such. Besides the rock holes and crevases they can choose these little nooks.

    You mentioned, Christi, in a different thread that you wanted a group of blennies. This is just an easy way to provide many hide-a-ways for them to fight over. They're very agressive at defending their home.

    More pics as I progress. Hope this helped. This gives them many choices.

    Dick
    Amphibious

    Good Luck comes to those who research and prepare.


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    Amblyeleotris randalli commonly, Randall's Goby.

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    Grand Master Reefer Amphibious's Avatar
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    Time for an update.

    Christi
    Once you've stacked up all the rocks, do you have any wobbliness?
    Only in my knees. Seriously, yes, some. As you decorate, turn each rock and try to get it to "settle" in a spot. You're trying to acheave the aesthetics of a reef scene plus stability. It took me two days to pick out the rocks, both LR and dry, set them in so they are stable and look acceptable to me. It has to look "REEF"!

    I'm a collector of rocks and have an extensive collection of dry rocks. Just can't seem to walk away from good looking rocks, especially if it has potential for aquarium decor.

    Here's how silly it gets. Sue and I have been coming to FL for about ten years. Eight years ago we drove down, found the flat rocks that you see on top of my pipe stands. It's called coquina. I was so excited, we collected a bunch, stashed what we could in our all ready crowded pick-up truck, had some left over, couldn't leave them behind so, boxed them and shipped them home. When we moved to FL 6 month's ago we brought them back, of course. Is that compulsive or what? What can I say but, "I love rocks". When I see a rock that I like, I can't leave it alone. Can you? How silly is that??? A grown man, an old man, picking up rocks.

    Your final depth of sand would still allow the top holes to be visible?
    Yes. I put holes near the top and bottom for circulation and the DSB critters to crawl through. The upper holes are for the small fish to find homes and protection. There's plenty of nooks and crannies in the rock but you will be amazed at how many choose the pipe.

    Also...to the DSB...do you always put in the dead sand first and allow it to cure and then add the live sand?
    Yes. The new sand bed that you see in the pictures above and below is a favorite of DSB lovers. It's known under several trade names, Southdown Tropical Play Sand, Yardright, Old Castle, all sold as play sand. It is pure Aragonite sand collected from deep beds in the Caribbean, processed in some way to clean it and barged to FL. It could be bought for 1 cent a pound. However the company that brought it into FL is no longer in business in FL and our source dried up. I have a friend that found some in Miami and bought about 10 ton. Mine, I bought the last available, 22 - 50lb bags, from Home Depot in Madison two years ago because I new it would no longer be readily available. As far as allowing it to cure, I'm just waiting to order my LS. Finding a "good" source for LS can be challanging. The amount of live sand one needs is debatable. It's not cheap. It depends, if you are in a hurry to acheave a completed Nitrogen cycle then more is better. I will order 40 lbs for the 135 which is plenty IMHO. We have the bacteria in the LR multiplying and transfering to the "dead" sand making it live eventually. The addition of LS hurries the process along and gives you additional bio diversity. Lots of neat little critters come with the live sand.

    Thanks Dick!! It's great to learn from you!
    I believe teaching is an obligation we owe to the world. Countless people have tought me the skills I have, it's only fair for me to pass them to anyone who can benefit. Certainly, there are many people much more skilled in reef keeping than me. It's only fair that we exchange knowledge with each other. I do appreciate your acknowledgement, thank you, Christi!

    And finally an updated pic or two.



    I tend not to lean the decor against the back of the aquarium. It is more challanging to "balance" the rock and achieve stability but makes it infinitly easier to retrieve things like dead fish or whatever from behind the rocks.

    When this project was started some weeks ago, I didn't want to wait the 4 to 6 weeks it takes to get a custom sump built so I bought a ready made trickle filter. I think it's well known, but in case there's someone reading this that isn't familiar with my methodology, I'll repeat it. I'm not a fan of trickle filters. However, I had a plan to adapt and make due the TF to my methods. Here's a pic of the TF....



    What you are looking at here is a trickle filter converted to a sump/refugium. In place of the bio balls I used LR. In the sump area I put in a partition so it would seperate the Puka shell substrate from the refugium. This area is for pod production. On the other side of the partition is the sump area with 2" deep sand bed. The deepest layer is actually mud. Having a great respect for Walt Smith and his products, I decided to try his "Fiji Mud". I used 6 containers to achieve a 1" layer. Over that a 1" layer of Aragonite sand and finally 1 container of Walt's "Fiji Gold" Coral and Live Rock Supplement. If you are interested in reading more about these new products from Walt Smith here's a link to - Walt Smith.

    Another update as things happen.

    If you've read all this, you are truly hooked on reefing.
    Amphibious

    Good Luck comes to those who research and prepare.


    Our Talking Reef Forum The Cultured Reef Forum
    My tank journal Amphibious' 135 mixed reef.
    The Cutured Reef toll free number - 888 745-0449




    Amblyeleotris randalli commonly, Randall's Goby.

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