Dry Rock Question

Sophie"s mom

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That's simply not true. There are numerous disadvantages to live rock, primarily pests and unwanted algaes.
Okay, I should have stated " when done correctly" :rolleyes:. When proper procedure is followed, there is no rock out there better than live rock. Just my opinion, I know. Sorry for not including the prerequisite of prepping live rock for ones tank. :cool:
 

Cell

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Pros and cons to both dry and live rock. It really depends on your personal preference. Opinions on this have ebbed and flowed over the years. On this forum, a couple years ago NSA aquascapes were all the rage, these require dry rock to make elaborate seemingly gravity defying structures. Now the pendulum has swung and people are obsessed with live rock from the ocean. Even LFS or hobbyist mature live rock is all of the sudden insufficient if you believe some of the rhetoric.
 
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JWHITESP88

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Any guidance on what should happen when I receive the rock? Sounds like there may be more to it than just putting it in the tank? Am I reading this right?
 

stewy14

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I'd buy live rock to skip the ugly stage. Don't listen to all the hitchhiker fear mongering.
ik this is off topic, but how long should the ugly stage start? cuz im 2-3 months in and its starting now for me, I already have coral, they fine tho, but still, this normal?
 

Cell

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For live rock the best practice is to isolate it somehow to allow time to remove any undesirable critters but while maintaining desired, beneficial life on and within.
 
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JWHITESP88

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For live rock the best practice is to isolate it somehow to allow time to remove any undesirable critters but while maintaining desired, beneficial life on and within.
My tank right now is sitting empty, no sand or water, waiting on rock. When the rock arrives should I just put it in the tank, add water and turn pump and heater on and remove it this way? or should I do it outside of the display tank?
 

Sophie"s mom

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For live rock the best practice is to isolate it somehow to allow time to remove any undesirable critters but while maintaining desired, beneficial life on and within.
exactly! If you use hypersalinity, they will leave the rock, trying to get away from the salinity. Then remove the rock, see what all you have, so you can pick and choose what to keep.
 

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Tampa Bay Saltwater sells the best live rock. But it will cost more than your LFS.
I disagree with this statement for two reasons...

1) Their rock is mariculture, mined dry rock that has sat at the bottom of the ocean for a few years (sometimes a decade or more). It's great, but it may not be "the best" even within its own category (KP Aquatics and others offer similar products, and which one is "The best" among them is subjective)

2) Actual live rock is "the best" as it's been growing as part of an actual reef for thousands of years, has never been through the geologic processes that the mined rock has, is lighter weight, more porous, and is more natural than the maricultured rock.

You can actually get Australian reef harvested live rock from these places, albeit at $25+/lb in most cases

https://uniquecorals.com/collections/live-rock (currently sold out)
 

Sophie"s mom

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Can I do this in my display tank before I add sand?
You could, and then just do water change to tone down the salinity, BUT, you will need to remove the rocks once hitchhikers are out, otherwise they will just go back in when you attempt to catch them. That is why it would be best in buckets or totes.
 

Rjukan

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My tank right now is sitting empty, no sand or water, waiting on rock. When the rock arrives should I just put it in the tank, add water and turn pump and heater on and remove it this way? or should I do it outside of the display tank?
Just to be clear.. you want to have your water mixed and ready to go before the LR arrives. Do not add water and salt to live rock otherwise you will kill everything on/in it.

If it was me, I would pick up the sand I want to use and get through the long arduous task of rinsing it in tap water until it runs clear, get that in the tank first. Mix up your saltwater and put that in, get your pumps running etc to make sure everything is operating properly. Have the heater on, and water at the right temp. If you're worried about pests, it will be easier to examine the rock in your tank for a few days. Move the rock around and see what you want to remove, if anything. Then once you're happy you can start aquascaping.
 

tzabor10

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I disagree with this statement for two reasons...

1) Their rock is mariculture, mined dry rock that has sat at the bottom of the ocean for a few years (sometimes a decade or more). It's great, but it may not be "the best" even within its own category (KP Aquatics and others offer similar products, and which one is "The best" among them is subjective)

2) Actual live rock is "the best" as it's been growing as part of an actual reef for thousands of years, has never been through the geologic processes that the mined rock has, is lighter weight, more porous, and is more natural than the maricultured rock.

You can actually get Australian reef harvested live rock from these places, albeit at $25+/lb in most cases

https://uniquecorals.com/collections/live-rock (currently sold out)
How did your Australian live rock come out? Looks very nice
 

JNalley

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How did your Australian live rock come out? Looks very nice
Unfortunately, I bought my rock for my current tank before the Australian market opened up and started doing Aussie live rock. However, I have helped two people locally set up decent-sized tanks; one has 200 lbs of the stuff, and the other has around 125 lbs. It came out fantastic, and both of them loved it. It's only slightly different from the Tonga Branch rock that Walt Smith and co were shipping in the early 2000s.

My tank is a mix of old Walt Smith Fiji rock reclaimed from previous tank teardowns (Sadly, they were skeletons of their former selves by the time I got my hands on them) and a couple of pieces of CaribSea Moani (Mined dry rock).
 

Midrats

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Fear mongering? Sounds like someone who hasn't had enough experience with live rock.
Do you live under a dry rock? Everyone on these forums acts like Rutger Hauer is going to pop out of live rock, so yes, fear mongering. As far as experience goes is 37 years long enough for you?
 
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JWHITESP88

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Just to be clear.. you want to have your water mixed and ready to go before the LR arrives. Do not add water and salt to live rock otherwise you will kill everything on/in it.

If it was me, I would pick up the sand I want to use and get through the long arduous task of rinsing it in tap water until it runs clear, get that in the tank first. Mix up your saltwater and put that in, get your pumps running etc to make sure everything is operating properly. Have the heater on, and water at the right temp. If you're worried about pests, it will be easier to examine the rock in your tank for a few days. Move the rock around and see what you want to remove, if anything. Then once you're happy you can start aquascaping.
Thanks for the advice. I have my water mixed in a tote in the garage with a heater and pump running. I have Carib Sea fiji pink waiting to be added. I guess my thought process was, when the rock arrives fill the tank with water only, turn on pumps and heater and just watch it. Once I have everything out that I dont want, remove rock and water, add sand, fresh saltwater and rock back to the tank and see what happens? Is this out of line?
 

Sophie"s mom

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Just to be clear.. you want to have your water mixed and ready to go before the LR arrives. Do not add water and salt to live rock otherwise you will kill everything on/in it.

If it was me, I would pick up the sand I want to use and get through the long arduous task of rinsing it in tap water until it runs clear, get that in the tank first. Mix up your saltwater and put that in, get your pumps running etc to make sure everything is operating properly. Have the heater on, and water at the right temp. If you're worried about pests, it will be easier to examine the rock in your tank for a few days. Move the rock around and see what you want to remove, if anything. Then once you're happy you can start aquascaping.
I agree for the most part, the only thing I would do different (and this is just a personal preference) is, once critters are cleared from the rock, put rock in first, then sand, then water (have it pre mixed and ready). The reason I like this better is it gives the rock some good stability to sit straight on the bottom, rather than in the sand.
 

Midrats

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ik this is off topic, but how long should the ugly stage start? cuz im 2-3 months in and its starting now for me, I already have coral, they fine tho, but still, this normal?
The time line varies, but in 2-3 months it's usually looking ugly. Loading the tank with lots of coral from the beginning really helps out compete unwanted guests. Also having multiple varieties of consumers is a must.
 

Midrats

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Can I do this in my display tank before I add sand?
Yes. You might get a crab or two you don't want, but they're easy to catch. Seeing all the life come out on the rock is the best part of setting up a tank! You'll need to remove very little, if anything.
 

Sophie"s mom

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Yes. You might get a crab or two you don't want, but they're easy to catch. Seeing all the life come out on the rock is the best part of setting up a tank! You'll need to remove very little, if anything.
I can agree with this! The precaution of hypersalinity is for those who might be nervous ( and rightly so) of hitchhikers. BUT, depending on where you acquired your live rock, you can get some really awesome critters.
 

Figuring out the why: Has your primary reason(s) for keeping a saltwater aquarium changed over time?

  • My reasons for reef keeping have changed dramatically.

    Votes: 3 7.9%
  • My reasons for reef keeping have somewhat evolved.

    Votes: 13 34.2%
  • My reasons for reef keeping have no changed.

    Votes: 21 55.3%
  • Other.

    Votes: 1 2.6%
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