For this system, for the first time ever, I'm using manmade rock. This is not because I dislike live rock, I really don't. I'm actually one of those rare reefers that loves live rock and all the lovely hitchhikers that come with it (with some exceptions naturally). I found two mantis shrimp in my 7ft tank, awesome critters, anyway I digress. When searching for live rock (in stock or due in stock within a couple of months time) there was none available at all. I agonised about what to do but decided I didn't want to wait an indeterminate amount of time before live rock finally became available again. I decided to try TMC EcoReef rock instead, it looked to be the nicest of the artificial rock choices. I ordered a box of that and will add some of the live rock I already have in the Reefer 170. Of course when Indonesian live rock became available again it was two months too late for me, typical!
This is what you get in box A of TMC EcoReef rock. A few bits had been broken off in transit. In person this stuff is actually quite nice and natural looking. It did smell quite faintly of something chemical, from the paint maybe? More on this subject later.
I must admit it was really rather refreshing to be able to take some time with the rock and glue it together securely, no hastily shoving live rock in to preserve as much of the bacteria/critters as possible. No more worries about falling rocks in this tank either (falling frags yes but not falling rocks, lol). I honestly had very little to do with the aquascape except for mixing of the cement (we used Nyos reef cement and it really was excellent stuff). My eldest son wanted to be involved here and I just let him get on with it. I just stipulated for as many caves/swim throughs for the fish as possible. I'm not keen on super minimalistic rockwork where there is no place for the fish to hide/sleep. I like to think fish are happier with caves and this makes me a happier reefer. There are two separate structures and these were a little higher than I'd like. This tank is not as deep as the reefer so coral placement at the top will need to be thought about quite carefully.
Since I have was going to be transferring over my Yellow wrasse and pistol shrimp/goby pair I needed some sand. I went with Caribsea Seaflor special grade again as I already had some left over from setting up the Reefer. I used a 40lb bag plus the remainder of the old bag. My eldest was very useful here again as he helped to rinse the sand before it went in.
The long slow fill....
Hi, my name is Lisa and I live in Derby, UK. I am a self-confessed reefaholic!