Why I Involuntarily Re-did My Aquascaping


Sunday morning after my bike ride is my time I set aside every week for tank maintenance – water changes, gluing frags. etc. Yesterday, I decided I was going to remove a piece of rock to scrape off some bubble algae and I removed it, and here’s what happened:

The after math

My whole top center of my tank came tumbling down. By removing the piece of rock (yellow arrow in pic below), the arch in the center of my tank rotated forward, sending the rock on top of it (pink arrow) tumbling to the bottom of my tank. Next thing I know, my 30 minutes of tank maintenance becomes 2 hrs and I’ve got several frags on plugs to show for it! (See all the small pieces on my sand bed in the pic above…yeah, coral carnage)

Tank Before the Fall

The #1 rule of aquascaping is that if you change anything – move a rock, rotate a rock, move your tank – you’ll never get the aquascaping back to how it was before. I was rudely reminded of this rule yesterday as I tried to get my rock back to EXACTLY how was before with no luck.

In the end, I rotated the large piece on top (pink arrow in the above pic) and stuck a piece of rock behind it to hold it up (see below). I’m still warming up to the new aquascaping as I really miss my old setup, but the new setup is stronger and less likely to shift as now I have epoxy on my side.

Moral of the story:

#1: Don’t mess with your rock work unless absolutely necessary.

#2: Epoxy is your friend. UPDATE:  I now use and recommend EcoTech Marine’s Coral Glue instead of epoxy.  I’ve found the coral glue holds as good as epoxy and it is way easier to use.  Here’s a link for more info.

Epoxy on the rock that caused the fall

More Epoxy for backup

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Comments for this article (2)

  • Chris Bovia says:

    I’ve noticed that epoxy doesn’t adhear well to smoother coralline covered surfaces. the rock on the bottom appears to be smooth as well. Thanks! I just found your blog via reefbuilders. I’ve linked your reefbuilider video about baby vs. tank to our Chico Reef Club forum.

  • Chris-
    Epoxy and me really don’t get along. The only way I’ve found to have epoxy stick is to put super glue on the bottom side of the rock/frag you are epoxy’ing, then stick the epoxy to that glue, then add super glue to the bottom side of the epoxy. Basically you are forming a super glue sandwich that holds the epoxy in place until it can set up (usually about 45 mins)

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