"Live Rock Per Gallon Rule" - Under, Over or Just Right?

BRS

Is this "Live Rock Per Gallon" rule relevant anymore?

  • YES

    Votes: 82 17.9%
  • NO

    Votes: 300 65.6%
  • Yes and No (please explain in the thread)

    Votes: 59 12.9%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 16 3.5%

  • Total voters
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GoReefin

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Around 1 pound per gallon has served me well. Can always go higher but I wouldn't go lower.
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Greybeard

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You trimmed my quote :D
Happily, the days of the Berlin method, or the Rock Wall reef are pretty much over.

The Rock Wall look has pretty much gone byebye. And happily so. More modern aquascaping is so much more interesting. As for the remaining components of a Berlin style reef... well... I'm still quite happily using most of them!
 

Ludders

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Advances in alternative filtration and bio bricks or spheres for the sump makes it very subjective.

I just setup on approx 100 gallon, with 50lbs rock, supplementing with 2 quarts of MarinePure bio spheres for the sump.
 

Freenow54

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I just started a new tank. I put in rocks, Ammonia, and Algae. I used the 1lb per gallon rule. I was not happy with the ascetics, so added 20 more lbs. My feeling is more surface area for both bacteria and for coral growth, as well as more avenues and caves. You can see my progress as I posted it all on the new tank thread. I do not feel that there is anything negative using this approach.
 

Greybeard

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I would like to put forward a new rule in this day of NSA rockwork and Bio Media's

The HSPF rule Hiding Space Per Fish Rule for their mental health
Great idea... but very much species specific. My cardinals rarely hide. Clowns? As long as their Anemone is available, no need for rocks. Got an eel? Ok, so you need some caves... or how about a bit of pvc pipe? Corris wrasse? He's not going to care much about rock, but probably won't survive without a couple of inches of sand.

Wouldn't be much more of a 'rule' than the old 2lb/Gallon thing.
 

Dburr1014

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I have a 75 gallons play in a 50 gallon Rubbermaid tub in the basement. I don't have very much Rock in the tank however half that sump is filled with live rock and the other half is my equipment. So in total I probably fall somewhere in between the 1-2 pounds per gallon.
I always think the more is better I just don't like it in the display. More will only help with the diversity and I always try to pick up some pieces here and there, different stores, Etc.
 

paul barker

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so does anyone think of mass to lose of water if you put 200 lbs of rock in a 100 gallon tank you may only have 50 gallon of water and are you putting sand in the tank Randy from BRS just put sand in the 360 when I show how much rock rock in his tank didn't think it would be Enough I thank sand and how deep it makes a difference and people don't think people think about coral and the Bacteria that lives on them and in them my 29 has 30 lbs the 180 will have a 2 to 3 in sand bed around 180 in the tank i probably put marine pier blocks in the sump to
 

SeahawkMom

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It's amazing the advances in reef keeping, and we're lucky that there's more options, so it's up to personal choice on the aesthetics and cost. I'm old school, and still have my Fiji Live rock from almost 20 years ago when I downsized to my 35 gal. I kept my favorite, most interesting looking pieces. That stuff is heavy, but I love it. I'd probably have 50 to 60 pounds, spread out over the 6 smallish pieces. I have a sloping wall setup with space around the sides/front with a cave in the middle for depth. Lot's of hiding places for my fish.
 

paul barker

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It's amazing the advances in reef keeping, and we're lucky that there's more options, so it's up to personal choice on the aesthetics and cost. I'm old school, and still have my Fiji Live rock from almost 20 years ago when I downsized to my 35 gal. I kept my favorite, most interesting looking pieces. That stuff is heavy, but I love it. I'd probably have 50 to 60 pounds, spread out over the 6 smallish pieces. I have a sloping wall setup with space around the sides/front with a cave in the middle for depth. Lot's of hiding places for my fish.
mine 29 is all Fiji I still have about 40 lbs in a 75 gal tank for a year now seeding 180 of dry rock with 6 tangs and 10 other fish I have not changed the water in 3 months no3 10 ppm lol
 

rwreef

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I chose other because because I think it is more about surface area than lbs of rock. I feel that it is still a good starting point, but not a hard rule. With things like Marinepure and Brightwell Xport bricks, we can now have less live rock with MORE surface area for bacteria.
This, think surface area, not weight imo.
 

ApoIsland

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Happily, the days of the Berlin method, or the Rock Wall reef are pretty much over.
I hope not. It's a great simple method for beginners. I also think a really well done rock scape is almost just as beautiful as a tank full of coral so I guess I am a little biased toward that end. Definitely much prefer the look of wall to wall, top to bottom coral as opposed to the tiny piles of coral scraps that are all the rage now.
 

Jax15

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With all of the advances in filtration technology over the years, I think it’s more of an aesthetic thing than anything else. In my opinion, it’s all about what you want to see when you look at your tank.
Yes, live rock plays a role in how a tank functions but there are many “ minimalist“ scapes in tanks that function very well.
I have a 13.5 Evo with over 20lbs of live rock in it. The tank is packed full of scape and corals. That’s what I like to see when I view my tank.
629E3421-AB7F-4D08-9926-07896F397BB0.jpeg
wow, dope lil evo!
 

Lionfish hunter

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Today is our QOTD where we feature saltwater aquarium methods, ideas, tricks, equipment, livestock etc. where YOU the viewer will decide if the subject of the topic is deserving of the Underrated, Overrated or Just Right rating! f you have ideas for topics please message me!

Today we are going to talk about the "Live Rock Per Gallon" rule. For many, many years, before all the new filtration technology was available, we had a Live Rock Per Gallon rule and the rule was you needed 2lbs of rock per gallon in your saltwater aquarium. Later is was revised to 1lb per gallon and today it's even less maybe? I've seen successful reef tanks with very little live rock at all. So let's talk about this thing as a whole. Not just how many pounds you should have but is the "pound per gallon" rule relevant at all anymore.

Please rate the following statement as Underrated, Overrated or Just Right.

You should have 1-2lbs of Live Rock per gallon in your saltwater aquarium. Underrated, Overrated or Just Right?

Bonus: How many pounds of LR do you currently have in how many gallons of water?

image via @jgvergo
unnamed (60).jpg
You don't actually need any liverock if you have bricks and balls and it works just as good. I don't like the look of a tank filled to the top with rock. If you have large fish it can really take up room to swim. My tanks usually have less than 1lb per gallon.
 

DeniseAndy

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Personally, I think live rock is extremely important to the health of the system. However, quantity/lbs you put in can vary a lot. Quality is also important. Are talking about in the display or both display and sump.

My display is much less than the "1lb per gallon". However, I keep a lot in my sump for added filtration and pod populations.
 

JLynn

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I think 1 lb per gallon is way more than you need these days. Firstly, we no longer rely so heavily on biological filtration - it's still extremely important, but our chemical filtration and physical filtration (skimmers, particularly) have improved a lot and can easily pick up any slack. But most of all, I think the introduction of biomedia (bioballs and ceramic filter blocks and whatnot) has taken the place that live rock once held. Live rock now is really only needed as a physical structure to place the corals on and to provide habitat for the fish, while biomedia is a more compact and efficient way of doing the heavy lifting of biological filtration. You certainly don't need a pound of bioballs per gallon! Not even close!
 
BRS

If Reefing was a school what letter grade do you think you would be making?

  • A

    Votes: 63 11.2%
  • B

    Votes: 249 44.4%
  • C

    Votes: 184 32.8%
  • D

    Votes: 41 7.3%
  • F

    Votes: 22 3.9%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 2 0.4%
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