aquascaping live rocks to be stable

AquaWave523

New member
All - I have about 200lbs of live rock and I will be putting the black egg crate under it. I wanted ot make sure that its stable...is it safe to lean it up against the back glass? I was thinking just putting it in the center so I can see the behind the rocks and take the pressure off the back glass

I'll try to tie some of the rocks together with plastic ties
 

ken55

A wing and a prayer
Leaning a few pieces is probably ok. I wouldn't get carried away with it.

One thing that you may find problematic: If they are leaned against the back glass you won't be able to clean algae off that area of the glass. Some folks don't care about algae on the back, some do. It more of a personal preference.

Along the same thought: If you get a hair algae outbreak, which is common in new tanks, it will make physical removal that much harder.

Good luck. Hope all goes well.
 

derekjmd

New member
Hmm.. i dunno.. i only used a tiny bit probably about the size of my thumb nail divided up into little balls pressed between pieces.. seemed to be enough.. As far as it being safe i guess i ll find out.. lol
 

thegrun

Team RC
Leaning the rock against the back wall isn't a problem (assuming you are not going to try and keep the back wall clean). The putty will over a LONG period of time start to break down, but if you are not placing a large load on the putty it should be fine. A better long term solution is to drill and dowel the rock with fiberglass driveway markers, acrylic rods or even plastic coat hangers. It is a good idea to have some voids and open channels behind the rock even if you lean it against the glass to allow water flow.
 

thegrun

Team RC
I've never had issues with egg crate and phosphates (to the best of my knowledge) and have been using it for the past 8 years on multiple tanks. I have never run a test however where I submerged egg crate in salt water and tested a week later for phosphates to see if there was in fact any leaching going on. Has anyone out there conducted testing?
 

AquaWave523

New member
i did a search and it came up numerous times so I went and paid extra to get the black egg crates from bulk reef supply
 

Tmoriarty

New member
Aqua, another option is to use Emaco 400 and acryl 60, and glue the rocks together with it, It drys fairly quick and bonds the rocks very well. May not be a perfect option with liverock, but if you keep the rock wet with newspape while the emaco dries you would be fine. Thorite (emaco 400 substrate) is not detrimental to a reef.
 

thegrun

Team RC
i did a search and it came up numerous times so I went and paid extra to get the black egg crates from bulk reef supply

Sorry, I missed the "white" part of your question. I've always used black so I can't comment on the pros or cons of the white egg crate.
 

AquaWave523

New member
thanks, will look into it!

I was wondering, for the 180 gallon tank I have...it will be filled with 220lbs of live rock, 300lbs of sand, and then 200lbs of salt................thats very heavy!!!! Should there be any concern that this is going to be a structural issue for the tank/stand?!

The tank is in the basement.
 

jwolcott

New member
welcome to the art of rock stacking. i think everone here has spent hours and hours trying to stack, chiesel, tie and glue their rocks to make the perfect arrangement. i personally have to use the back glass for stability. ive had no problem with the black tie straps or the epoxy. my advise ( figure on spending the magority of a day )
 

AquaWave523

New member
i would do the acrylic rod method as thegrin suggested but i rather do a quicker easier approach.

Can someone recommend reef safe epoxy or something I can just put on the rocks to keep them from falling down? I plan to have large fish with the hope of them not knocking down the rock structures
 

Raibaru

New member
Look up a video on youtube featuring Mike Paletta setting up a new tank as he goes over the acrylic/fiber glass rod scenario pretty well.

I also wouldn't worry too much about the structural integrity of the tank. The water itself is something like 10lbs a gallon, which is much heavier than the rock or sand that you're adding.

As for the stand, so long as it's the one sold with the tank you'll be fine. If you built your stand with nothing but a 4x4 in each corner with a 2x6 wrapping it would probably support the tank as the weight is spread out over a large area. If you goto the DIY forum you'll find plans for stands and the ones provided could hold 2 or 3 times the weight they're being designed for.
 

forextrader

New member
I used the MarcoRock.com binding material for my aquascaping. It works quickly and does not break down over time. Loved it! Also, I used the white egg crate for stability and have not noticed a phosphate issue.
 

RyanSweatt2004

New member
Instant ocean epoxy is totally reef safe and has worked well for me over the years. I prefer to drill holes with a masonry bit and use rods or even 1/2 cpvc tube. Works great to stack and support rock, Not Gluing it makes it so I can take it apart if I want something different.
 

coralsnaked

New member
The problem with bonding w/ any type of epoxy or glue is that it forms a surface bond and a surface bond on live rock is easily broken, because the rock itself fractures as the surface of the rock decays. Think about all the frags you easily pried off when you decided after a few days you did not like the placement. So if these bonded surfaces are bearing weight, it will come apart. Better stacking is the solution. I frequently use a geo hammer to help form better surface mates and stack rocks in a stable pattern. Another reason why i stay away froim the Fiji and prefer the deepwater Tonga and Takata. Also placing rock against the back glass presents far less weight than stacking the rock on the bottom and is usually not a problem as far as weight goes.
 
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