Dry Rock vs Live Rock

Shawn7854

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Anyone used aquaforest dry rock only barebottom tank? I did and its been 3 years start was really tough had dinos, cyano etc. I think the lack of biodiversity makes it really tough, the only pro is that till this day I dose phosphate and nitrate so no algae issues but when something pops up it takes over because lack of biodiversity. Has your experience been similar with dry rock only? Back in the days when I had live rock from the ocean it was so easy no issues whatsoever but obviously hitchhikers but that is nothing compared to these issues. Starting a 2nd tank and looking for opinion, TIA

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SpSDrew

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1000% Liverock. I've ordered from Gulf Liverock and KP Aquatics. Quality liverock loaded with life every time. Do not be afraid of "pest". Do a high salt dip for a few minutes and it will flush out a lot of critters you can sort through.

IMO you get a years head start to your tank when starting with liverock.
 
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Shawn7854

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1000% Liverock. I've ordered from Gulf Liverock and KP Aquatics. Quality liverock loaded with life every time. Do not be afraid of "pest". Do a high salt dip for a few minutes and it will flush out a lot of critters you can sort through.

IMO you get a years head start to your tank when starting with liverock.
Thanks so much how much of a high salinity dip? What about dipping in hydrogen peroxide for 1 min? Hydrogen peroxide always has bristle worms coming out on corals when I dipped
 

SpSDrew

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Thanks so much how much of a high salinity dip? What about dipping in hydrogen peroxide for 1 min? Hydrogen peroxide always has bristle worms coming out on corals when I dipped
I just filled up a bucket with 1.035 salinity and put the rock into that. All the crabs and pistol shrimp climbed out of the rock and ended up in the bottom of the bucket to escape the high salt. Once they reached the bottom I netted them out to sort out the good ones to return to the tank and the ones that would stay in my rock sump. Only took a few minutes in the high salt for them to leave it.
 

Reefer911

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100% dry rock.
I want to know who is in my tank.
With bottled bacteria these days, I’m still going in a few days.
If I use carbi-sea rock, it looks 2 years old day 1.
My understanding is that bottled bacteria accounts for only 2% of what’s in the sea. If that’s true, I’d like to get the other 98% as well
 

tharbin

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Live-rock certainly brings a tank online with fewer problems and much better diversity but if you are unknown-critter adverse a very nice tank can be built with today's bacterial solutions and/or live sand. That said, I personally would avoid the manufactured dry-rock and go with the quarried dry-rock or pre-owned base-rock. I have yet to see a manufactured rock that can match the porosity of natural rock.
 

bushdoc

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60% Live Rock from 2 sources for my 140 gal main tank.
I have small frag tank with some biomedia only, but there are no fish there and tank is doing good.
 

PotatoPig

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My understanding is that bottled bacteria accounts for only 2% of what’s in the sea. If that’s true, I’d like to get the other 98% as well
Though, you’re going to get a lot microbial biodiversity, along with pods, worms, etc when you add snails, crabs, and other CUC.
 

Sophie"s mom

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Anyone used aquaforest dry rock only barebottom tank? I did and its been 3 years start was really tough had dinos, cyano etc. I think the lack of biodiversity makes it really tough, the only pro is that till this day I dose phosphate and nitrate so no algae issues but when something pops up it takes over because lack of biodiversity. Has your experience been similar with dry rock only? Back in the days when I had live rock from the ocean it was so easy no issues whatsoever but obviously hitchhikers but that is nothing compared to these issues. Starting a 2nd tank and looking for opinion, TIA

IMG_6181.jpeg
I set up my 90 g a couple months ago with 50/50 quarried base rock, and live rock, with about 2 1/2" of live sand. So far so good. I did that to get the best of both worlds, plenty of live rock, but built up on top of the base rock, which will of course eventually also become live rock.
 

kevgib67

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I’ve never started a tank without live rock. My current tank is just over 2 years old and although I’ve had some of the usual algae, no dinos. Excuse me while I go and knock on wood.
 

swampcruiser

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I'm going to start a build when I win the Cade tank lol:grinning-face-with-sweat:..anywho...I am starting a SPS tank for acros the first of the year. I want to do it right and build a scape but I am 1000% sold that dryrock wont get me there and i dont want to wait a year. Any good solutions out there for scaping/ fast epoxy job or superglue without letting the base rock dry out? I can get baserock/liverock from my LFS at a decent price or order from Tampa - I'll deal with critters and feel the LFS route looks free of aiptasia but I want to scape right and not just have a pile of rocks.
I dont mean to hijack but this is a great subject and I recently read a great article a member did on here from 2019- Live rock is just so much more diverse. I am also thinking of building my scape and then running it in a storage bin with some quality base live rock to seed but I still dont think 45 days gets me the diversity.
 

slingfox

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You can do a mix of dry and live rock. That helps with biodiversity while also saving cost. I started my tank with 100% dry Marco Rock but ended up adding some live rock from KP Aquatics when dinos decided to take over.
 

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