This is my first time setting up a marine tank myself from scratch, should be an adventure.
Pics coming once it's daylight.
Fireaqua 35cm cube tank with back filter and plates
Tunze return pump ~ 700L
Tunze DOC skimmer 9001
Aquaone Thermosafe 50W heater
Tunze Nanostream 6040 stream pump with controller
Zetlight LED Nano 11W
Mixed bag of carbon and phosguard
Real reef rock - 4kg so far
The tank has been set up with all the above equipment. The Fireaqua kit comes with a generous number of sponges and filter media - which I removed from the tank as I have a skimmer and bag going in, instead.
I decided to build the hardscape as one or two solid pieces outside the tank to make it easier to put together, without risking scratching the tank. I marked out on cardboard the interior 'maximum' size I wanted for the hardscape, about 33 x 26cm. The edge protectors made handy freestanding height markers, of 27cm maximum height for the hardscape. This layout gives me room to clean the glass easily, keep good flow in the tank and help ensure plenty of negative space in the scape. I also marked lines at each third to help composition.
Using a few photos as inspiration I started my hardscape by decimating the reef rock into much smaller pieces. I have picked a rough layout as a C curve with an arch and plenty of holes. I'd like to say it has a plan, but to be honest I'm just mixing and matching as I go along.
This evening I started with the two main bases I need and built them both up around 15cm. The section on the right now also has its first porthole about 2 inches in diameter. The watercrete was easy to work with, and after cementing the base pieces and the first arch piece, I've left them to dry and harden overnight. I had a go at embedding some reef chips in the cement to help improve the look, but it's too fiddly to try to do both, so I've resigned myself to leaving the prettying up once it's all done and set.
Tomorrow I will cement the bottom of the base pieces so that they will sit stably in the tank, since there will be an arch above with some weight.
Edited by tunagirll, 15 July 2017 - 11:06 AM.