First SW tank and Aquascape, Opinions?


New member
Hello just wanted to introduce myself to the RC community I have kept cichlids for most of my childhood through my teenage years. I now can finally afford a SW tank and it is a dream com true. Here is the scape on my 55 gal. I feel like something is missing. Tank has been running for about a month now. Only have one blue damsel in there now. Planning on adding a :fish1: sometime this week.


Team RC
Welcome to Reef Central, you are in good company living in OC some real good stores. More details of your setup, do you have a sump? do you have a skimmer?Do you have a RO/DI machine I do not but I buy by RO water from a good store.


New member
Tank looks great. Though one thing concerns me.. Your rock looks simply stacked on one another. The thing that concerns me is, they look like they can easily fall over.. This can cause things like cracked glass, which would let water run freely into your room.

While I like the idea of the scape, I would make sure you make it where it was much safer. Glue rock to one another, or even mold it with some epoxy of some sort.

Ron Reefman

New member
I'd say it's way too vertical. Tough to attach corals and get good growth with them on a vertical wall. Unless you are planing for a lot of things to put on the sand?


New member
I'd remove the damsel now while you can.
They are just not a pleasant long term fish.
They actually quite suck.
+1 on the left side rocks are too high.
Too much emptiness on the right.
I know a 55 is limited for depth, but you can always try islands approach.
But, in the end, don't sweat it too much, if you are going reef, everything will be covered in corals anyways.

for example...


New member
Thank you everyone for your input, yes I definitely want to rearrange the scape. Just want things to settle down with the cycle process. I actually just picked up a nice looking good sized maroon clown at my lfs today. BTW all I have is an eshopps hob skimmer and a fluval 206 canister filter with carbon and filter floss which I rinse weekly. My local store owner gave me a temp light while I've been waiting on him to get me the current usa orbit marine pro led at wholesale price and that should be in soon. I used tap initially and during water changes but top off with RO.


New member
At the end of the day the scape is yours, you will be looking at it everyday, you will spend hours with it. If it feels right to you, if it looks good to you, go ahead and keep it
For my input, I think it's too tall on the left side.
As for the damsel and maroon clown, keep an eye on them, they can be mean


New member
I had yellowtail damselfish, pretty mean guy. Had a go at firefish, clown goby, purple firefish, watchman goby.....

If you do wanna try what the guys above have said, you could always just remove the top rock on left then it's pretty much on rule of thirds.

Apparently it's what beginner photographer use to the take shots.
Divide tank using thin tape on front glass into thirds....horizontally and vertically....

Bit hard to explain but if you google it, it's easier. If you want to try it...
Your peak of your left rocks should be on 1st vertical line and top line.
Right side....2nd vertical line and bottom line


New member
Okay just just an update, changed the scape today, and running smoothly coming on 2 months. Wanting to start adding my first coral, but still waiting on a permanent light fixture. Maroon clown and blue damsel are still doing great planning on adding a new fish this Friday. Also recently added a few hermits and astrea snails. Doing my best to fight algae without a sump. Also planning on getting a peppermint shrimp to battle aptasia. Sorry about the pics still figuring out the forum specs.


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Active member
Welcome. IMO your aquascape is a little crowded for me but I will say that your redo is much improved over the first pic.

How is your flow near the bottom? It appears all your powerheads are facing up...

Welcome and happy reefing!


New member
Thanks Ivan, and yes Rob flow is something I've been thinking about either removing the middle powerhead and putting it on one side aiming level/downward, or just aiming the big one on the right side downward. I just like a lot of surface agitation.


New member


Just an update. Tank has been running for about 8 months now. Finally added a DIY 10 gallon sump. It was all I could fit under the stand, eshopps overflow box. Also got the Current USA orbit IC led light. Recently added a few corals. I am not dosing anything. Doing about 10% water change weekly. Only have a maroon clown with a few damsels, peppermint shrimp. I know everyone hates damsels but I like them for now. Planning on adding a flame angel soon. Cyano is starting to show, I may try a blackout soon. Here are some pics:
Input welcome.



New member
I think your scape looks great! Was that a DIY job on the sump? I am thinking of adding one to my 70, non-drilled reef tank someday..


New member
looks great so far!! its a learning hobby thats for sure, its always changing and you will just have to learn and grow with it... I've been through about 5,837,725 tanks since my first set up and still trying to get the hang of it, but you're in good hands here


New member
:lolspin:Haha thanks evokid, and yea i probably would have been through about 5,837,725 tanks too if it weren't for this site


New member
Update: Tank is doing well. Added a Coral beauty and bicolor dottyback, had to get rid of the yellow tail damsel b/c he was picking on the dottyback. However I have confession to make, I am not getting great coral growth. They are opening up and appear healthy but e.g. my green star polyp frag as not even expanded an inch since it got it 6 months ago. I know it is because I still don't use RODI. Will it make a significant difference in growth if I do get an RODI system?