Live rock

valley

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 10, 2024
Messages
95
Reaction score
18
Location
New York
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Hello, I’m in the process of setting up my 60 gallon breeder tank. I’m starting it off with the very basic equipment. I’ll only have a power head, sand, heater, and the rock. After the cycle I’ll add lighting and then later on I’ll add a sump. Right now I’m looking at my rock options. For my first reef tank which was a Fluval Evo, I bought live rock from my lfs and it didn’t turn out so great. It took about a month to cycle and didn’t even have any of the good stuff live rock has.

For this 60 gallon tank I’m debating between buying dry Marco rock or the starter live rock from kpaquatics since it doesn’t have a lot of photosynthetic things. The photosynthetic hitchhikers would probably die during the cycle since there won’t be any light during that time.

My question here is if it’s worth getting the live rock? I am on a budget and spending a lot of money on live rock would only set me back on buying other things like the lighting and sump. If the only benefit from live rock is a faster cycle then I’m willing to wait a month or so using just dry rock since I’m not in a rush to get fish.
 

Steve and his Animals

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 2, 2020
Messages
694
Reaction score
780
Location
New Hampshire
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
There are other benefits to real live rock besides the faster cycle, chiefly greater biodiversity from the start. It is by no means necessary. Granted, some mini ocean critters you'd likely only get direct from rocks as there isn't a huge amount of microfauna available to hobbyists from cultures and hitchhiking on corals, but again, not really relevant, especially with a tank this new and with such a basic life support system.

Sure, you might get the coolest hitchhikers ever from the real live rock, but if the tank can't keep them alive, what does it matter?
 

Reefing_addiction

It’s my TANK and I want it NOW!
View Badges
Joined
Jun 14, 2020
Messages
14,088
Reaction score
46,916
Location
Westminster
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I didn’t add live rock (real live rock through KP aquatics) until my tank had been running for a while.

Live rock from the LFS is probably just rock that has been cycled so it contains things your rocks would in the future. Technically- from what I understand- if you take rock from a tank that’s established and put it in a “new” tank…there is no cycle. The rock contains all the stuff you need to process ammonia - in other words it contains all the bacteria the established tank did.

But the rock has to stay wet, preferably submerged in water while moving tanks.

Rocks are expensive wet or dry
 

EricR

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 9, 2021
Messages
2,396
Reaction score
2,532
Location
California USA
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
There will be tons of varying opinions on this so I'll just offer my perspective:
- Ocean live rock seems ideal (to me) but, as you mentioned, it's expensive
- My local PetCo actually has pretty nice aquacultured live rock (fully/thickly coralline covered, etc) and is relatively inexpensive

I went with half dry and half aquacultured (PetCo) rock and will just say this:
Every nuisance algae/dino/etc I've had to deal with was on my rock that started as dry rock,,, never any on my aquacultured rock.
 

liddojunior

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 3, 2022
Messages
816
Reaction score
681
Location
Los Angeles
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
One of the best ways to add diversity is on coral plugs and rocks.

They will seed your tank, can even just buy an Aussie leather coral. The rock it is attached to is a legit Aussie live rock that doesn’t need to be cured.
 

UMALUM

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 7, 2023
Messages
524
Reaction score
630
Location
Fl.
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Ask yourself if you'd rather return home after your daily routine to scrub algae and spend countless hours on here trying to figure out what's wrong with your tank and when will it get better, or sit on the couch and enjoy what you're looking at? Dry rock introduced the hobby to the phrase " ugly phase ". Goggle it, the hobby has now taken over puberty as the # 1 ugliest phase researched. I've seen some nice dry builds, mostly by hobbyists who already either know what to expect and avoid or have plenty of time and experience. If you decide to go live I can't recommend KP enough. IMG_20240417_180812.jpg Watch out for the big bad crabs and worms!
 
OP
OP
V

valley

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 10, 2024
Messages
95
Reaction score
18
Location
New York
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Alright thank you all for the help. I think I’ll buy the live rock. Since it’s a 60 gallon breeder should I buy the 60lb or 40 lb package? I’ll be getting the lighting in about a month, I’m assuming the rock will be fine though. I’d also like to ask if the hitchhikers will survive the cycle? I’m not sure if I’ll get some die off because it’s a new tank or if I’ll get an instant cycle and no die off.
 

steveschuerger

I love Gonis and Euphyllia. Maybe too much
View Badges
Joined
Dec 11, 2021
Messages
16,836
Reaction score
40,156
Location
Newton
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Alright thank you all for the help. I think I’ll buy the live rock. Since it’s a 60 gallon breeder should I buy the 60lb or 40 lb package? I’ll be getting the lighting in about a month, I’m assuming the rock will be fine though. I’d also like to ask if the hitchhikers will survive the cycle? I’m not sure if I’ll get some die off because it’s a new tank or if I’ll get an instant cycle and no die off.
Go with 60. And no matter how you’re doing it there would always be some die off. KP has some of the better rock and the couple of times I bought from them was not disappointed
 

Reefing_addiction

It’s my TANK and I want it NOW!
View Badges
Joined
Jun 14, 2020
Messages
14,088
Reaction score
46,916
Location
Westminster
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Go with 60. And no matter how you’re doing it there would always be some die off. KP has some of the better rock and the couple of times I bought from them was not disappointed
How long should the cycle take with the live rock?
 

UMALUM

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 7, 2023
Messages
524
Reaction score
630
Location
Fl.
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
How long should the cycle take with the live rock?
It's not the cycle you need to worry about it's the excess ammonia that you'll want to be prepared for. Have some extra salt on hand for water changes after receiving it. The idea is to save as much life as possible. Amquel also works wonders with this process. If Phillip still ships the same way it's 30lbs of rock and roughly 20 pounds of water per box. So it's in your best interest to go with the 60.
 

EeyoreIsMySpiritAnimal

Just another girl who likes fish
View Badges
Joined
May 14, 2019
Messages
13,681
Reaction score
20,339
Location
Spring, Texas
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
It's not the cycle you need to worry about it's the excess ammonia that you'll want to be prepared for.
?
Worrying about the cycle means worrying about excess ammonia... What am I missing?
 

X-37B

Fight The Good Fight
View Badges
Joined
Sep 10, 2018
Messages
9,403
Reaction score
16,324
Location
The Outer Limits
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Take a look at Gulf Live Rock.
I just had 150lbs delivered to my door. 4 boxes deliverd, for a total cost of just under $10 per lb.
Out of the ocean into a box and in your system within 24hrs via UPS.
The amount needed is based on the type of scape you want. 1lb per gal is enough. You cant go wrong with live rock.
Here is a pic. Its only been in my system 4 days.
This pic is day one so still cloudy, lol.
20240416_130101.jpg
20240416_130055.jpg
 

tharbin

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 22, 2021
Messages
4,770
Reaction score
33,208
Location
Arizona
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
To me there are two huge advantages to live rock; the bio-diversity, mainly because you will get inhabitants that you cannot normally purchase, and the bio-film. Live rock has a live bio-film that greatly reduces the tendency for algae to form on them. Dry rock, even seed dry rock, has no bio-film initially and algae love to grow where nothing else is currently growing, and once established, the algae will happily overgrow almost anything else in the tank. Wet rock from an LFS will also usually have a bio-film but as they tend to have a much higher rock to waste ratio the film will probably be a little thinner and less diverse than wild or farmed rock.

Don't think that a dark period will necessarily kill off all photosynthetic pests. I've taken old base rock from 15 years in dark storage that had an algae film when stored, rinsed it in freshwater for 24 hours, power-washed it with more freshwater, peroxided the surface and then soaked in RODI for 7 days and put it in a tank. Within three weeks it had algae mats forming. Many simple photosynthetics need light to grow but can survive for long periods in seemingly impossible habitats.

How much rock you need depends on many factors but the old advice was 1-1.5 lbs./gal. Depending on what other bio or chemical filtration you use will help you decide but I tend toward the lower side of the advice today. That said more rock means more choices. You could always buy a little more than you need to help with getting an aquascape you like and then sell on the excess to someone else in your area. That is one of the ways that a local club can be helpful.
 
OP
OP
V

valley

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 10, 2024
Messages
95
Reaction score
18
Location
New York
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Take a look at Gulf Live Rock.
I just had 150lbs delivered to my door. 4 boxes deliverd, for a total cost of just under $10 per lb.
Out of the ocean into a box and in your system within 24hrs via UPS.
The amount needed is based on the type of scape you want. 1lb per gal is enough. You cant go wrong with live rock.
Here is a pic. Its only been in my system 4 days.
This pic is day one so still cloudy, lol.
20240416_130101.jpg
Is this the ‘Premium deco live rock’ or the ‘Coraline base’ rock they sell? I might end up buying from this site since their prices are cheaper. Thanks for the recommendation!
 

UMALUM

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 7, 2023
Messages
524
Reaction score
630
Location
Fl.
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
?
Worrying about the cycle means worrying about excess ammonia... What am I missing?
Agreed, but the amount of ammonia produced by the decay will only continue to kill and delay the cycle. Thus be prepared to manually remove them to levels acceptable to let the tank flip and avoid as much die off as possible. I don't think you were missing anything. I think my language was insufficient.
 
Last edited:

How much do you care about having a display FREE of wires, pumps and equipment?

  • Want it squeaky clean! Wires be danged!

    Votes: 159 39.4%
  • A few things are ok with me!

    Votes: 207 51.2%
  • No care at all! Bring it on!

    Votes: 38 9.4%
Back
Top