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The Tools You Need to Build The Perfect Aquascape

  • Brennen Lahn
  • a month ago
The Tools You Need to Build the Perfect Aquascape.
The Tools You Need to Build the Perfect Aquascape.

There are few things as visually striking as a perfectly aquascaped reef aquarium. What you don’t see is the thought and work that goes into designing and executing its creation effectively. Within this article, we are going to discuss some of the best tools to help you create your dream aquascape. While this piece is specifically focused on rockwork for a reef aquarium, these same principles and products can be applied to create aquascapes in freshwater, planted, or saltwater fish-only aquariums. We will be highlighting some of our favorite products that aid in this process but, we simply cannot touch on all of the products that may work well for your needs. If you have any additional questions or you are needing a recommendation, our customer care team would be happy to assist you.

We are going to break down a variety of methods and products that allow you to create a stunning aquascape. We will first touch on the best ways to gain inspiration along with some common mistakes to avoid. Then, we will discuss some of the best rock to build with and the mortar to keep everything together. Finally, we will mention some other products that will help contribute to a perfect reef scape.

Summary:

Learn and get inspired:
Common mistakes to avoid:
Start with the rock: CaribSea LifeRock and AquaMaxx Dry Live Rock
Piece your scape together: MarcoRocks E-Marco-400 Aquascaping Bonding Mortar
The finishing touches: AquaMaxx Reef Welder Epoxy, Seachem Reef Glue, and Maxspect Aquarium Tongs

Learn and get inspired:

Tips & Tricks for Creating an Amazing Aquascape in your Aquarium

Whether you get lost in the beauty of a reef in a large public aquarium or a small local shop. Everytime you set your eyes on a reef tank you are gathering inspiration for a future tank build. Having an idea of what you are looking to create is the first step in building an aquascape and ultimately a system you can be proud of. Beyond just scouting out aquariums in person, browsing social media and reef forums can present you with great ideas to deploy when it comes time to build your aquascape. Another great way to get an idea of what you want to accomplish in your aquarium is to start to break down the types of livestock that you would like to keep. This is important to consider since some corals will need more light and will need to be placed towards the top. Other corals prefer some shad and should be placed under an overhang that can be created within your rockwork. It is also a great idea to make a friend within the hobby to get some of their input on what they enjoy about their aquascape along with perhaps some things they wish they could change about it. Overall, it is crucial to learn and conduct research before building your rockwork as it will help to maximize the overall performance of your system.

Common mistakes to avoid:

AquaMaxx Dry Rock- Product Overview

Moving onto our next topic, we are going to discuss some of the important mistakes to avoid when building out an aquascape. The first of these mistakes is not properly securing your rocks together which can cause collapse and endanger your tank inhabitants as well as the structure of your tank. Later on in this piece, we are going to break down a great tool to make sure that your rocks are safely attached. Another common mistake we see when reefers are building out their scape is that they place rock far too close to the walls of their aquarium. When you complete your aquascape, it is important to make sure you can conduct maintenance and scrape the glass around the rockwork easily. The final common mistake we want our reefers to avoid is not thinking about flow requirements in addition to fish and coral habitats. If you know the types of livestock you want to keep before building, you will want to think about the best ways to position your corals for the best access to light and the proper flow. Avoiding all of these common mistakes will position your reefscape to be the centerpiece of a successful aquarium.

Start with the rock: CaribSea LifeRock and AquaMaxx Dry Live Rock

CaribSea LifeRock
CaribSea LifeRock

A reefscape is nothing without solid base rock to build off of and in this paragraph we are going to discuss two of our favorites. We will first discuss CaribSea’s LifeRock which is a live rock hybrid that is man made and contains dormant bacteria spores that aid in the cycling of your aquarium. Another excellent feature of this rock is its vibrant color that simulates coralline algae without all of the time it takes to create it naturally. This product is also offered in a shelf rock, branch rock, and a 20 pound shapes model that comes with all of the arches and caves you need to create a beautiful setting. When it comes to the amount of rock needed, we usually recommend right around one pound for every gallon of aquarium volume. Moving onto a more standard option, the AquaMaxx Dry Live Rock from Marco Rocks is a great choice to build your system around. This rock is extremely porous and has a surplus of surface area to aid in filtration. Additionally, each piece is completely natural and is harvested in Florida. We offer this variety in 10, 25, and 45 pounds and it is very affordable given its quality. Regardless of what rock you feel works best for you, either of these options will allow you to create the aquascape of your dreams.

Piece your scape together: MarcoRocks E-Marco-400 Aquascaping Bonding Mortar

While aquascaping can be quite the fun activity when building your new aquarium, figuring out a proper way to attach each rock together can be a headache. However, with the Mortar Kit from MarcoRocks this once complicated task has become much easier. Each kit will include everything needed to permanently bond your rockscape together. The mortar powder, liquid with acrylic polymer, mixing spatula, and bucket are included so that you can get started right away. Not all of the mortar needs to be mixed at the same time. Just rinse out the bucket thoroughly and save the ingredients you need for future aquascaping jobs. The mix is 100% non-toxic and can be used in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums. Once it is applied to the rocks, it will set in 20 minutes and fully cure underwater within one to two hours. The bonding mortar is strong enough to create the overhangs, bridges, and ledges you desire. You can easily build out the aquascape of your dreams by using the MarcoRocks Bonding Mortar.

MarcoRocks E-Marco-400 Aquascaping Mortar
MarcoRocks E-Marco-400 Aquascaping Mortar

The finishing touches: AquaMaxx Reef Welder Epoxy, Seachem Reef Glue, and Maxspect Aquarium Tongs

Maxspect Aquarium Coral Tongs
Maxspect Aquarium Coral Tongs

We wanted to take this last paragraph to highlight a couple additional products that will help improve your aquarium aquascaping experience. The first product that will be extremely helpful when aquascaping your system would be some epoxy such as AquaMaxx ReefWelder. This product is very helpful for mounting frag plugs or small pieces of rock to your aquascape. We offer this product in three sizes and in either a white or purple color to perfectly blend in with your rock choice. Pairing this epoxy with a high quality reef glue will allow hobbyists to ensure a solid connection between the frag plug and the rock. Coral glue is also helpful for fragging up your favorite corals. The final product that we feel will be helpful in the aquascaping process is Maxspect’s Aquarium Tongs. We offer these tongs in two sizes and they are a great way to keep your hands out of the tank and avoid making a mess of your system. The tongs have silicone tips for easy gripping and they can pick-up and hold items up to four pounds. Each of these featured products will help to create an ideal and sustainable aquascape.

Final Thoughts:

We hope this article has shed light on some of the best methods and products to allow for the creation of a breathtaking reefscape. Creating the aquascape of your dreams will allow you to view your aquarium in a way that helps you relax, unwind, and enjoy. Allowing an aquarium to become an important part of your environment is truly what this hobby is all about. If you have any additional questions or, you are searching for any recommendation, our customer care team would be more than happy to assist you.

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