When it comes to aquascaping a reef tank, there is plenty of discussion on advanced rock arrangement, the golden ratio, and getting an asymmetrical layout in three dimensions. Sometimes keeping it simple can be equally effective at producing a visually striking aesthetic, especially when the corals are in the peak of health.
There’s something about this simple presentation of beautiful looking SPS corals, mostly Acros, which really resonates with us. The colonies are not that large, and most are probably rather young, but even at this early stage in the aquarium’s life the effect of a simple arch of stony corals with a mostly empty sand bed really draws your eyes in to appreciate the colonies, as well as out to appreciate their arrangement.
Having a simplified aquascape can lead to healthier corals by making it easier on the reef builder to anticipate the physical environment his aquarium has provided for the corals. This basic arch aquascape is also really effective at providing the corals with a homogenous light field and similarly predictable flow patterns.
Next time you’re setting up a reef tank and have grand aspirations of doing a really trick aquascape, consider how it might complicate your lighting and flow environment and perhaps there’s room to strike a balance between the aesthetic and the needs of the corals.