Creating a rockscape for your aquarium is one of the most important steps in the setup of your tank and sets the vision for your tank’s future look. Can you envision what your aquarium will look like a couple of months after your corals have begun to grow onto the rock, and fish have found their perfect cave, hole, or powerhead current? The rockscape in your tank really creates the entire aqua-sphere, vibe, and flow that your tank gives off. It’s not difficult to DIY this project but customers come to us for custom projects all the time because they aren’t confident in their scaping abilities. Well, we are here to give you a simple tutorial so that you can DIY your very own beautiful rockscape that your fish, corals, and YOU will love!
First, you need a few base pieces that will provide the foundation for what you will build on. We recommend pieces cut flat on one side such as our Ancient Reef Cuts. These one-sided cuts come in varied shapes, sizes, widths, and weights, and provide a solid, sturdy foundation for you to build upon. Another way to get creative with rocks cut flat on one side is to flip them upside down to create a flat surface, placing the rock in a wedge or nook of other base cuts. This elevated, flat surface you’ve just created is a base for a beautiful piece of shelf rock, and adds height to your scape. You can use this technique in multiple places throughout your rockscape to create more height and prepare your scape for the final pieces of shelf rock that you will place on top.
Look, Ma! I’m doin’ it…
Next, grab those layered looking shelf rocks and place them from one base or pillar to another, creating bridges, ledges, and cliffs. If you start with the biggest piece of shelf rock and place it in the largest gap between base pieces, you will easily form a bridge that allows fish to hide or corals to grow. The great thing about shelf rock is it’s slim profile and layered look make it easy to place and balance on top of the base cuts you already have in place. We recommend our Ancient Shelf Rock, natural shelf rock that is 100% oolite limestone dry rock, known for its porosity and increased surface area in which beneficial bacteria and algae are able to grow.
Once you have your rock in place and step back to admire your creative work, you may want to make any last tweaks, adjustments, and gently attempt to wiggle each rock in place to ensure they are all interlocked with one another. When you have finished adjusting and you are happy with your creation then viola! You have just DIY ‘scaped your tank! If you aren’t happy with what you have put together, it’s totally ok (and simple) to unbuild and start from scratch. And guaranteed you’ll get something new each time you try, so keep on ‘scaping.
**The rockscape built in the photo guide is our recommended 25# Mixed Pack. It is a total 25 pounds of rock, mixed shelf and cuts, about half of each in weight. We also offer 50 pound mixed packs, also containing about half shelf and half cuts. Also, built in 10 minutes by The Rockmaster’s Wife. You can do it!