I recently converted my 125 gallon tank from
mbuna to an all male peacock and hap setup with mostly juveniles. When I did that, I
removed most of the hardscape and kept only a few large pieces because peacocks and haps
don’t require the extensive rockwork and hiding spaces that mbuna do. But the more I looked at it, the more boring
and empty it looked. I don’t have a 3D background in my tank and the back is painted black,
so the hardscape is the only decoration I have other than the fish. I decided to add some of my previous rock
back in, and I stacked it up against the back of the tank to see if I would like it better.
Ultimately, I didn’t. It looked ok, but I had to sacrifice the circular flow from my
3 filters that I’ve come to really like. I also grew tired of the hodgepodge of different
rock types and colors. I decided to take it all out and get some
new rock. Now I would never buy rocks from a local fish store due to the inflated prices.
Instead I headed to a local landscaping wholesaler and found some for 19 cents a pound that were
exactly what I wanted. I bought 250 pounds for around $50 US. Here you can see me prepping the tank and
removing all of the old rockwork. I then did a quick pass with the python water
changer to clean the waste from the substate while I had everything out of there. Once
that was done I hooked up my 400 gallon per hour pump to the python tube to drain the
tank to around the halfway mark. Then comes the fun part. I had already laid
out the rocks in groups of large, medium, and small on the floor but I hadn’t really
done any planning of the layout. I knew I wanted them piled in one long row, with room
in front and behind them for water flow. I started with the large rocks and placed them
into the tank, making sure to move the substrate out from underneath. It’s important that these
big rocks lay flat on the bottom with no wiggling, as they serve as the foundation for the upper
layers. I went through all of the large rocks, then the medium, then the small, each time
making sure I was happy with the way they looked but also making sure they weren’t easy
to topple. I then dosed the tank with Seachem Prime and
refilled it just as I would after any normal water change. If only it went this fast. The last step was to turn the filters back
on, add some Seachem Clarity, replace the canopy, and wait for the water to clear up.
Again, this is sped up considerably. This is the end result, a day later. There
are a couple of things I will need to tweak, but overall I’m really happy with how it turned
out. I love the color of the rock and it’s uniformity. It almost makes the tank look
like it’s in greyscale except for the fish. Please let me know what you think in the comments,
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