Aquascaping an established tank?


Zoa Addict
As the title says. The tank has been up for 6 years, (about a year with the rock work the way it is) and I am not happy with the rock work/limited space to place stuff.. So I'm wanting to do a remodel. This tank is LPS and zoa/paly dominated so no sps really to worry about. Am I asking for trouble if I change the aquascape? I think I will probably pull about half the 100 lbs out and rework it from there.. Suggestions? Objections? Thanks in advance


Team RC
The one concern is stirring up a lot of the detritus that will be trapped under the rockwork. Be prepared to siphon out as much of it as you can after removing each rock. Dip the old rock in a 5 gallon bucket of salt water and give it a good washing before you reuse it. When I've done this in the past, the tank looks great after the cleaning. If you don't reuse most of the old rock, you will have reduced your biological filtration, so go easy on the feeding for a week or two.


Zoa Addict
I'm still going to use all the rock, just need to repossition it all. Good idea with the syphoning out all the stuff I stir up. Should I just treat it like a big waterchange then?


New member
I wouldn't recommend big water change when you are moving the rocks. already corals would be in shock and then on top of it, water change.
my recommendation would be, move the rock and do the water change next day.


Premium Member
Do you have sand/substrate ? Will you be moving rock that's on/in the sand? At six years if that substrate hasn't been vacuumed it's loaded with detritus.

I recently overhauled two tanks and treated it like a full tank move. First as much water as possible was drained to containers. Second all corals were removed. Third all rock was removed. Then all substrate was removed and replaced with new rinsed sand. Then the tank was filled about 1/3 with a mixture of old/new water. Rock was rinsed and cleaned as recommended above (use a turkey baster to blow out crud in the rock too). Once the rockwork was as I wanted the tank was almost filled with more old /new water and the corals were placed. Once done water level was adjusted as necessary.

Since one tank had a sump I made a temporary closed loop in the sump to maintain flow while working on the tank.

Did this recently with two tanks and never even had a cycle ......


Zoa Addict
most of the larger chunks that are on the substrate are gonna be staying put. im just going to knock some of the height out of the middle and give it more of the island look. i think im going to take your advise Agu and treat it like a move and see how it goes