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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just as the title says, I just got done powerwashing my rocks for my new 90g mbuna tank.





Pretty awesome rocks, right? :lol:

Anyway, I'm just looking for any newb tips so that I don't make some awful monstrosity or so that my rocks don't come crashing down in catastrophic fashion. I know I should put my base rocks directly on my egg crate before any sand goes in...other than that... :-?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
By the way, anything you see that looks like "dirty" is not dirty. Trust me. Some stuff just was not going to come off in a million years. :(
 

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Tape off a bench the size of your tank and build/rebuild on the bench until you like it. Take a couple days. Then re-create in the tank.
 

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My first tip is to not try to stack them as it is human nature to make things too orderly to look natural. Try just "dumping" them. You will find with the various sizes you have, there will be a number of different sized spaces. This is what the fish will like rather than what we as humans call nice.
 

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PfunMo said:
My first tip is to not try to stack them as it is human nature to make things too orderly to look natural. Try just "dumping" them. You will find with the various sizes you have, there will be a number of different sized spaces. This is what the fish will like rather than what we as humans call nice.
Exactly, don't think, just put them in. You'll get a more natural looking tank. And you don't need the eggcrate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
prov356 said:
PfunMo said:
My first tip is to not try to stack them as it is human nature to make things too orderly to look natural. Try just "dumping" them. You will find with the various sizes you have, there will be a number of different sized spaces. This is what the fish will like rather than what we as humans call nice.
Exactly, don't think, just put them in. You'll get a more natural looking tank. And you don't need the eggcrate.
I figured as much and wasn't going to, but I already have it and cut it. Can it really hurt?

I did get a little wary when I didn't' see any labels/signs indicating that the bottom glass is tempered, even though it seems like a given that it would be.

I know my best bet is to just start putting rocks in, but I'd imagine things can get pretty sketchy the higher your pile gets up... i just didn't want to set anything up that is doomed to fall
 

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The eggcrate tends to get exposed by the fish and looks pretty bad to me. It can also be a dirt magnet when dirt gets under it and you can't get down to the dirt very handy. I just don't feel it justified the extra work it involved. I converted my eggcrate to tank dividers to help catch fish when needed. I leave an open water space in the middle of the tank and stick the divider down. That way I only destroy half the tank!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Got started with the "just start putting them in and see what happens" method last night. I'm shocked at how little substrate I'll need with all the real estate being taken up by rocks. :lol: :lol:

Going to be a real trick making sure the placement of each rock is stable.

Oh, and I also went sans-UGJ... I started reading some horror stories on here and, really, as I put more rocks in, I realized there's not going to be much of a chance of them pushing waste toward the filter intakes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Also, how high should I be looking to stack?

Preliminary stocking list is a ton of demasoni, 7 or 8 yellow labs, and 6 or 7 acei.

Right now I'm at about a foot high in some areas (just about a foot shy of the top of the tank)... a little worried that if I go higher I'm risking instability, but if that's how it's done, I'll work harder to make sure the stacks are stable enough to go even higher.

When I get home from work, I'll snap a pic of what I have brainstormed up so far.
 

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That would be as far as I would go. It does get scary when higher and I don't find the fish like it as well as they like the ground floor! Mine are more just a jumble at 6-8" off the bottom.

Moori, yellow labs and hap ahli in a 75
 

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I usually achieve 1/3 to 1/2 full.
 

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What I have done in this one and past tanks is I use small sq bricks to build some height then stack rocks on what I build up then hide the bricks with sand or smaller rocks. In this first pic you can see one end of the brick with the rock on top. It works well by giving some height yet the rock stays pretty stable. Takes a bit, well a lot of tweaking but it allows for more hidden passages you can't see but the fish do. And of course the shape of rocks vary with this as well.



The bigger rocks stacked on the left side and center all have some kind of a brick supporting them.



Not saying this will work for you but you might give it a try? Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
some shots of what I came up with so far... If I get the seal of approval here, next step is trying to make that all happen again once I remove the upper rocks to get the substrate in :lol:



 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
DavidH said:
some shots of what I came up with so far... If I get the seal of approval here, next step is trying to make that all happen again once I remove the upper rocks to get the substrate in :lol:



Didn't want this to get missed on the bottom of page one. Hope this bump is ok.
 

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Looks nice. It would not have been missed at the bottom of a page, there is an icon for new posts on a topic.

To remove extra fish, you remove the rocks. May as well get experience now on how to dismantle and reassemble. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks, guys!

My only concern is that there is so much (big) rock work and so little open area that I'm not even going to see the fish.
 
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