Creating a captivating underwater landscape filled with vibrant corals is an art form that goes beyond arranging beautiful organisms—it's about understanding their needs and behaviors to establish a thriving and visually stunning marine ecosystem. In this guide, we'll delve into the intricate world of coral placement and aquascaping, exploring the factors that contribute to optimal growth, aesthetic appeal, and the well-being of your reef inhabitants.
Utilizing Different Heights
Varying the heights of your corals adds depth and dimension to your aquascape. Taller corals placed towards the back create a sense of distance, while shorter ones in the foreground add visual interest.
The Rule of Thirds
Grouping and Spacing
Group corals with similar needs together to ensure consistent lighting and water flow for each group. However, leave enough space between different coral types to prevent overcrowding and territorial conflicts.
Balance and Symmetry
Balance the distribution of corals across your tank to avoid visual clutter and ensure that each coral gets adequate access to light and flow. Aim for symmetry but also incorporate asymmetrical elements for an organic look.
Open Sand Spaces
Leaving areas of open sand within your aquascape offers visual breathing room and prevents corals from encroaching on one another. It also provides ample space for fish and invertebrates to move.
Trial and Observation
Aquascaping is an ongoing process. As your corals grow and adjust to their surroundings, some rearrangement might be necessary. Regularly observe the behavior and interactions of your corals to ensure they are thriving.
*Aquariums pictured above were photographed at the Electric City Aquarium and Reptile Den in Scranton PA.
Brian Hale has enjoyed 25+ years of dedicated involvement in the reefing community. His commitment to research and extensive hands-on experience makes him an invaluable source of expertise within the reefing hobby.