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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went to the local landscape store and picked up 60lbs of Blue Marble rock. Not bad for $10 @ .15/lbs. I decided to go w/ this rock instead of Texas Holey rock due to the cost. Any way, I did a test run to see how it'll look in my 55 gal. I don't think it's bad. But do you guys think there's enough tunnels and hiding places?



 

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there's plenty of spots for mbuna and the like to defend. Looks good with it all being the same rock.

For purely aesthetic reasons, I don't like the three rocks at the right up against the glass. I'd put them in the center but that's just my specific tastes.
 

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Looks fine. What are you going to keep in it? The nice thing about cheap rock is that you can always go out and get more and stack it up some more.

When I add rock like what you have I go for the 'tumbled' look. Make it look like some rocks just sort of tumbled into place. Try not to make it look like someone stacked the rocks. Hard to explain, but I do this by grabbing a rock and adding it in some way that seems counter to how I'd stack it if thinking about it. In other words, lean them and stack them in what you think will be an odd looking way and just keep doing the same quickly until done. In our minds we seem to go for symmetry, and you want the opposite of that. So, don't think about it, just put them in. You'll get a much more natural look.
 

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I agree with going for a more natural look. I also think you may find the fish will feel better if they can hide fully rather than as it is. When you look in and can see front to back all the way, the fish will not be hidden and just pass on through. It is amazing how small the space needs to be for many fish. Just try tilting some of the rocks and see how it looks to you. I might move the rocks off the glass also. One is to save scratches as at some point they will slide down and scratch but it also will be a bit of an algae magnet when they are against the glass. Just my thoughts but I would go stack on each side and leave an open spot in the middle for most fish.
 

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If you don't have enough hiding places the fish will dig their own. For that reason look into putting down plastic "lighting egg crate" below your rocks to stabilize them. One of my fish has dug out a couple pounds of sand in the last 24 hours behind his rock of choice.
 

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I like the color,and also being all the same color,I would add to leave some space from the rocks to the glass to make it easier to vaccuum(if youre going to use something like a python)
 

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Any home improvement type store in the drop ceiling area. It is a light diffuser panel. You can also find styrene sheets that make really nice tank tops there.
 

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As #6 suggests mebbe do not let the stones get too close to the glass. If you use magnetic glass cleaners you will be thankful later.

We go to Panel Supply Centers for light diffuser when we install drop ceilings. They have a heavier grade diffuser panel than what the big box stores carry.
 

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The rocks look good, but I'd like to echo what Number6 said, except I would move them to the left to raise the height of that pile. I also like the "fell into place" look that Prov is talking about. Just quickly place them into the tank. When you put them into place, hold onto them in case it isn't stable, then adjust it so it is.

Regarding "egg crate" - I think it's unnecessary. I tried it in a tank at one time and found it made stirring up the sand a real PITA. You can't get into the gridwork. If you set your rocks directly on the glass (trust me, your tank will hold it) and THEN put your sand around the rocks the fish won't be able to disrupt the rocks and topple them.

I really like that rock, though...
 

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That is not what most use. It will be in the same section but what most call "eggcrate" will be plastic formed into sheets like you have but spaces of 1/2 inch. Look at commercial lighting in restaurants and such and you will see it. The kind that leaves the bulbs open to view. But then I also don't find any need for the eggcrate, for me. The idea is that it protects the bottom of the tank but then scratches on the bottom glass are not a problem to me as I never want to see the bottom anyway! What does bother me is seeing the eggcrate pattern showing when my fish dig down and expose it! I leave the eggcrate out, lay the rock directly on the bottom and accept that at some point I may scratch the tank in spots I never see anyway. Different thoughts for different people but to me the eggcrate creates a spot which collects debris and makes it hard to clean as the eggcrate is in the way.
 

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Just for info-- in case the price is what is making you not want it. It is most often available as single pieces as well as the 5 sheet pack. But for me, I now find myself using it to build dividers, covers, and such rather than at the bottom.
 

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The sheets you posted in the first view, not the eggcrate, is what I have used to make inexpensive, light weight custom fit tank covers.
 
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