Substrate & Rock

Through the years of operating the reef aquarium, I gained some insight on a variety of subjects. Live sand for one; I had acquired most of my sand prior to the availability of Southdown Play Sand. I spent a significant amount on the substrate which is Aragonite from Carib Sea.

Looking back I would have made much deeper beds in each tank, the aragonite dissolves each year and anything less that 3 inches is really not a functional DSB, but rather a nutrient trap.

I built my rock formations on the back of the aquarium glass upward, so tearing down was necessary. In addition to deeper beds, I should have acquired smaller amounts of live sand from many different sources rather than a large amount from one source.

Live Rock Placement and live rock itself were two areas which I now would need to make other decisions. For starters I paid a handsome amount to have such a variety of source rock. In addition I have some rather large pieces that were overpriced and in conjunction with the theme of the live sand I would now prefer to have purchased a variety to supplement the structure with Tufa (base) rock a less expensive alternative that yields the same look over time.

Placement of the rock was the second error in retrospect. I had felt the structure was fairly large and airy; on the contrary I should have pushed for more. I think I could have constructed the live rock to give the reef aquarium a much more open feel and enjoyable for the marine life. The specific density of poundage to aquarium gallons could always be made up in the sump on a shelf.

Blane Perun

Blane Perun

Diver - Photographer - Traveler

Whale in Ocean