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KMHREEFER

Re-aquascaping Established 75 Gallon Reef

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AAE5B224-B44D-440F-8460-133505268DBF.thumb.png.316b99b95377d3bc0ae86eee75af0f9c.pngDue to a list of reasons I have decided to try and re-aquascape my 75 gallon mixed reef sometime in the near future.  

1. I’ve been wanting to go more toward an sps dominant reed and have been having a lot of issues with them just not growing so well and periods where their flesh seems to just peel off the tips.  There haven’t been any changes to my water parameters and all is where I’ve wanted them.  I have noticed a trend though that involves a large yellow Fiji leather.  Only the sps within about a foot of it seem to be effected and even more so when it’s fully inflated with all polyps out.  I now believe allelopathy to be the culprit.  The leather I will soon post on livestock sales in case anyone may be interested.

2. Too much rock, just a large, cluttered pile.  Beginning to get detritus build up in hard to reach areas and hair algae beginning to pop up.

3. Want a more open aquascape with arches and more options for corals.

4. It’d be a good time for me to finally catch and relocate an aggressive pistol shrimp I haven’t been able to get in years.  Also have a large zebra moray ell that would be possible to catch as well during this time.

 My idea of procedure for this would be to:

First remove rock with attached corals to one Rubbermaid tote full of tank water, and all other live rock to my sump.  I plan to do this very carefully, to disturb the sand bed as least as possible.

Second, put all corals and clams into my frag tank for temporary holding.

Third, using a drill, masonry bit, fiberglass rods and reef epoxy, create the scape I like with my rocks.

Lastly add my corals and clams back to the tank slowly to selected locations followed by a large water change. 

Sorry about the long write up, but any suggestions, ideas or input?  

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sounds like a good plan. after adding all the corals back i would run some fresh carbon to help. also plan on doing a decent water change soon after as rescaping will cause some die off. maybe consider splitting it into 3. like remove a third of the rocks and rescape, wait a day or two and do another third etc. this way there is not a huge die off

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Doing it in sections may make it safer in the long run and I’ll have to see what rocks I can pull to make the scape I’m looking for. I have 80-100lbs of live rock that are all sizes and shapes with random encrusted corals sponges and coralline so I’m going to do my best to keep them submerged or wet at all times. I expect some corals to have some die off and as long as it’s not the majority of them I am prepared.  Everything is starting to grow too close and looks like a clustered mess so a happy scape minus a few coral will count as a win to me. 

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My biggest fear is that the rocks will break apart while being drilled.  I’ve read mixed reviews about drilling the rock wet so all I can do is try and see.  It’s caribsea real reef rock so that may make a big difference too.

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I have a carbon reactor that I change out 2 cups of carbon usually bi-weekly.  I think the leather was fine the last few years until reached its current size.  Measured it today at 12 inches across and in a 4 foot tank it simply needs more room.  Almost fragged off some of it but couldn’t bring myself to risk killing it.  Heard the yellow leathers had a poorer success rate after fragging.  I’m interested to see what happens to my sps once the leather is gone and I can open up more flow.

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