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Minimalist Aquascaping

Posted on Friday, May 13th, 2011 at 12:08 pm by
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It seems as if there are trends in the hobby when it comes to aquascaping. Well, as skimmers get better, and hobbyists begin to use various chemical, and or biological, methods for improving water parameters, the requirement for a desired amount of live rock in a system is reduced. The result of this, we believe, has led to a new, minimalistic aquascaping style. Since the reef tank can maintain proper water parameters, without requiring so much live rock, hobbyists are moving aways from simply piling a stack of rocks, and towards a simple, open design, with plenty of negative space. And although this may not be appropriate for every system, let’s take a look at some nice examples.

First let’s look at MedRed’s 60 Gallon Solana XL. Using dry rock, MedRed created several spires, and achieved a really nice, simple result. Here is a photo of the tank when it was just set up, and then one of it as it has matured. Truly beautiful work MedRed!



The next tank is by Xtm, a 120 gallon SPS tank (48x24x24). xtm utilized a 2 island approach to his aquascaping, which created a very nice balance in this tank. As the corals grew in, the tank has a very mature feel to it, which still providing ample swimming room.

Here is another take on the island approach. Michael B chose to go ahead with 3 islands in his 150cm x 50cm x 50cm. This tank has a corner overflow, draining down to a sump that is roughly the same size as the tank. Michael B uses a Deltec skimmer, a couple of Sunsun’s for flow, and 4 T5’s for lighting over his beautiful “Piece of the Ocean”. Again, the simplicity is just inspiring.

This example is simply one of my favorites of all time. André Silvestre’s masterpiece is just so well done. A large island surrounded by a smaller “island-chain” gives this tank a very unique look. With many nooks for fish to swim through and hide in, this reef tank just puts a smile on my face. I love how the sand covers just enough of the rock to give it a very natural look. The tank is 100cm x 60cm x 50cm, and is illuminated by a 6 bulb T5 fixture. André uses 2 tunze 6055’s controlled by a 7095. A Deltec MCE600 takes care of filtration, while CA, Alk, and MAG are dosed with a Grotech NG III.

Please tell us in the comment section if you have other minimalistic tanks you think we should feature.

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