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Thoughts/experiences on coral replicas?

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skylsdale

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 13, 2003
Messages
90
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WA
Alright, I've been getting more and more anxious about not having a tank over the last few weeks. The only problem is, I'm just not in a position to put together a decent reef right now (light, Ca or kalk, etc.), and I just wouldn't be happy with a fowlr--I need the look of a nice, complete ecosystem, not just rock and fish.

So I've been thinking how I could pull this together. I would like a nice little display that would be fairly minimal in upkeep, and have figured on something mimicking a little coral head with nothing but chromis and maybe a damsel or two. That's it. But as I said, I still want some corals in there. I was thinking of a coral skeleton or two...but man, I I just don't want that look of sterility in the tank. I have been looking at some of the replicas from www.livingcolor.com as they seem to be some of the most realistic looking (not the neon and jewel tone colors that you see a lot of other places). I was thinking of going this way, and then maybe trying to encourage other organsisms such as sponge growth, halimeda, etc. to fill in the gaps.

I was curious if anyone has seen or had experience with some of these coral replicas? I'm sure they attract algae...but how often do they require cleaning? Any info or opinions would be greatly appreciated on this.

Thanks!
 

jlehigh

Hermit D Crab
Joined
Nov 20, 2003
Messages
1,208
Location
Kirkland/Juanita
hey Skysdale

In the last 2 weeks I have been in Vegas and Orlando. Both places had Massive FO tanks (mirage hotel, various stores/restraunts ect..) They all had the coral replicas and to be honest I didn't care for them.. Yes they were discolored by green algae but for the most part I thought the tanks would have looked better with regular Rock.

I had my 46 gal for 5 months without anything but LR and a cleanup crew and I to this day still stair at the rock far longer than my coral life :) but that's me..

There are quite a few soft corals you can keep with lower light levels and less flow than SPS require that are cool.

either way, good luck!
 

skylsdale

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 13, 2003
Messages
90
Location
WA
Yes they were discolored by green algae but for the most part I thought the tanks would have looked better with regular Rock.

Yeah, I've seen them in places like Rainforest Cafe, etc. I was planning on using actual LR and baserock, not those plug-n-play mounts they sell. I would then position a few coral replicas in the rock.

There are quite a few soft corals you can keep with lower light levels and less flow than SPS require that are cool.

Yeah, but I'm not a big softy person. Lighting on this tank would be minimal (a few NO's), and I don't really care for shrooms and zoos. I prefer the structure an presence a few decent-sized SPS, and would compliment the nature of the chromis much better, giving them a chance to just hover above the colonies and hide within the branches.
 

szidls

Gaitor Wrestler
Joined
Nov 27, 2003
Messages
794
Location
Lynnwood
jlehigh said:
hey Skysdale

In the last 2 weeks I have been in Vegas and Orlando. Both places had Massive FO tanks (mirage hotel, various stores/restraunts ect..) They all had the coral replicas and to be honest I didn't care for them.. Yes they were discolored by green algae but for the most part I thought the tanks would have looked better with regular Rock.

I had my 46 gal for 5 months without anything but LR and a cleanup crew and I to this day still stair at the rock far longer than my coral life :) but that's me..

There are quite a few soft corals you can keep with lower light levels and less flow than SPS require that are cool.

either way, good luck!
Skysdale,
I agree with jlehigh. Spend your $ on good quality live rock that will help in filtration. Check out our sposnors for rock. Shark Reef has some awesome looking stuff. I have heard that florida aquacultured is very good also. Some reefers even complain there is so much life on the rock that it's hard to find room for frags. Look at your tank as a long term project and build slowely. I have been working for 6 months on a 150 gal and don't have a drop of saltwarter in it yet.:( But very soon I hope!:D
Take Care, Scott
 

skylsdale

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 13, 2003
Messages
90
Location
WA
Just to let you guys know, I'm not a newbie to the hobby. I'm not offended or anything, I just don't people to waste their time in typing out a bunch of introductory or explanatory info on the basics of reefkeeping--it would be time better spent on someone else. ;) I understand the benefits of good quality LR, Atlantic vs. Pacific, etc. I'm also a pretty biotope specific person, and it would probably bug me to see a bunch of Gulf and Caribbean life on rocks that were used to mimic an area in the Indo-Pacific. Splitting hairs, I know...

I'm amazing myself that I would even consider coral replicas and the like in a tank, but budget constraints are budget constraints, and I'm trying to find a way to come up with a decent looking display that is fairly simple, and yet affordable. A tank full of rock and a few stray polyps will just flat out BORE me. I want structure and association in the tank.

However, I appreciate your concerns and comments. The reason I put this out there was to see if it was just a horrible idea or not, or actually doable within a reasonable degree of "good taste."
 

szidls

Gaitor Wrestler
Joined
Nov 27, 2003
Messages
794
Location
Lynnwood
Hey Skylsdale, Glad your not offended. There certainly wasn't any intended man. I was just thinking of the bucks spent. This is not a cheap hobby for sure. As to taste? That is totally up to you. Whatever pleases you. :cool:
Take Care, Scott
 

skylsdale

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 13, 2003
Messages
90
Location
WA
That's true. For any decent specimen-sized replica, it's quite a bit of cash...which could be used for another crucial aspect of the system to get it more"authentic," so to speak.

Man, this plan is just crumbling.
 

szidls

Gaitor Wrestler
Joined
Nov 27, 2003
Messages
794
Location
Lynnwood
Josh, Just click on the paypal icon on the homepage of RF. You can donate till your hearts content. I figured I am getting lots of great info here and it only helps build an even greater site.:D
Scott
 

jlehigh

Hermit D Crab
Joined
Nov 20, 2003
Messages
1,208
Location
Kirkland/Juanita
No worries I appreciate your experience. Others on the forum may learn from the uneccesary guidence too ;)

Have you thought about using allot of branch LR?? It adds allot of that interesting structure for sure. Just a thought
 

reefsupply

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2004
Messages
120
Location
Maple Park IL
If your buying rock be carefull there is a lot of junk out there right now. I got a really bad can from WSI just a month ago. Now I have to color it up. Also It seems you get more bang for your buck on fiji because it seems to be lighter than most. Fl Aqua C seems to be a ton more in the weight department so you get less for your buck.
 

skylsdale

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 13, 2003
Messages
90
Location
WA
I really don't like branch rock--just looks like the result of a hurricane, IMO. I have bought gulf rock in the past--the shape is terrible, and not matter what I did with it, it just looked like a pile of softballs.
 
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