New Reef question..... live rock vs. dry rock

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by Niterunner77, Aug 22, 2017.

  1. Niterunner77

    Niterunner77 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Hello all fellow reefers! I'm in the process of setting up my 75G reef tank and had a question. Probably a common question though. I'm between buying live rock or just buying dry rock. Should I just start with the dry rock? I just don't want to start off on the wrong foot and get live rock and it be infested with bad hitch hikers but on the other hand I could get live rock with awesome bacteria and other things on it that are good for filtration. What is your opinion? Annnndddd GO!
     
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  2. BigKid4788

    BigKid4788 Well-Known Member

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    I'm a live rock person. Always have, always will be. Better shapes, natural look. If I were to go dry it would be for ceramic bonsai look
     
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  3. Don Lidtke

    Don Lidtke Some Old Guy R2R Supporter Partner Member 2018

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    I am planning on going dry because of the chance of hitch hikers and this being my first reef tank, I would rather not deal with the extra concerns.
     
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  4. jbomb001

    jbomb001 Well-Known Member

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    I started with little knowledge. .. And bad advice. I started with fresh water painted pebles...yea ik. Then live rock after dumpimg the stones. Then 4 months ltr i pulled out the rocks and added agro. And placed the rocks back in.. So with that experience id suggest live sand live rock and top notch salt. I use reef crystals but will be switching to fritz after my bucket of rc is gone.
     
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  5. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Photo of the Month Award

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    I'm a live rock guy. Also a hitchhiker fan.

    Consider this. The live rock you will buy will likely not be from the ocean , it is available and an option, the live rock you'll get is likely from a lfs. So just clean it. Peroxide dip and scrub. Kill the algae and hitch hikers. Keep it in a container with a power head. Test the po4. And treat before you put it in the tank.

    If you go with live wild Florida or Fiji rock. Its a completely different experience. IMO you don't treat it the same way.
    Don't Drop it in the tank and add fish. It's a process. Not a hard one , just different.

    Another though is to start dry and cure it for a long time in buckets. Build the bacteria, remove the po4 and silicates.
     
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  6. crabs_mcjones

    crabs_mcjones I was a drab little crab once. R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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  7. Danny N

    Danny N Well-Known Member

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    I just set up my 300 gallon and used dry rock. I had a few nasty hitch hikers in my last tank. I'd rather take the time curing my own rock than putting who knows what in my tank. Not to mention the cost savings with dry rock.
     
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  8. jpcrash1

    jpcrash1 Well-Known Member

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    +1 on dry rock . Only down side it took 2 months to cycle the tank.
     
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  9. Girthrockwel

    Girthrockwel Well-Known Member

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    I set my tank up with BRS reefsaver rock and one small piece of live rock from the LFS. The idea of curing the live rock sounded like a huge pain. I cruse the hitch hiker section a good bit and I'm glad I did what I did. I like the look of the dry rock. It's also easier to scape, kind of goes together like a puzzle.
     
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  10. keddre

    keddre Well-Known Member

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    Personal choice. My lfs sells live rock for $3/lb so I buy it and embrace the hitchhikers, plus you risk hitchhikers in the future with coral anyway.. May as well embrace them early.

    What would I do on a future build: dry rock with ocean direct (not the brand but the process) rock being the majority
     
  11. Girthrockwel

    Girthrockwel Well-Known Member

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    Oh yeah, forgot to mention the cost savings. Live rock is 6 or 7 bucks a pound, dry is maybe $2 a pound.
     
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  12. lickyricky

    lickyricky Well-Known Member

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    I went with Caribsea Life rock which is dry but seeded with bacteria that re activate in water. Looks nice and cycle is progressing nicely
    [​IMG]
     
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  13. ThunderGoose

    ThunderGoose Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    My first tank I went with dry because I was scared of hitchhikers. My second tank I went with live rock from Florida. My second tank is just so much more full of life! It's been a lot of fun! I'll never go dry again.

    Here's my plan if I ever set up a new tank (again) - get real, live rock and quarantine it until you're confident you have all the hitchhikers out. If you keep an eye on things you can pull out the bad guys before they get into your real tank. Takes time but quicker than "curing" (which I don't understand, why buy live rock and then kill everything on it instead of just starting with dry?).
     
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  14. Lowstorm

    Lowstorm Well-Known Member

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    I've gone both ways in my time reefing. This last time was the first time I went 100% dry rock, and I must say I wish I had gone half and half. I still got hitch-hikers from various corals and stuff, and I don't mind fishing out bigger baddies. When I upgrade, I will be getting live rock to go with what I have now, probably 100 lbs of it.

    The reason I went dry was, simply put, its a ton cheaper. SO SO much cheaper! Half and half seems to be, at least to me, the way to go.

    Editing to add:
    Plus, the dry rock took a lot longer than advertised everywhere to become live, and full of stuff. After a year and a half I FINALLY have coralline. Yeah, it took that long to get ahold. Quite a bummer.
     
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  15. Niterunner77

    Niterunner77 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Thank you for all of your opinions! This is why I like this forum so much! Just a wealth of knowledge! I decided this morning to go half live/ half dry. I went and picked out my rock and set it up in my tank. Before doing so I did a quick freshwater dip and pulled out a few hitch hikers. . And I didn't pull them out with the rusty plyers. One was about 5" long
    IMG_1413.JPG
     
  16. fort wenty

    fort wenty Active Member

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    I like live rock for the interesting hitchhikers you find. Most are beneficial hitchhikers but you do hear the horror stories from bad live rock. I enjoy watching the developing biodiversity in a newly wet tank.
     
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  17. Old Glory

    Old Glory Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I went 100% dry. I cured in a tub for 8 weeks. I added Biospira and ghost fed for 6 weeks. The last 2 weeks I added MB7 and Seachem bacteria. I basically cycled the rock in the big tub.
     
  18. Jizu Puentes

    Jizu Puentes Well-Known Member

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    Why buy liverock if the freshwater dip will kill alot of the microfauna anyway? The bristle wormnuou pulled out is a beneficial hitchiker IMO anyway.
    I'm definitely a dry rock fan. It's much cheaper, you can dry scape without worrying about air exposure or die off, and there's less chance of it leaching. Now if I wanted to do a small tank where I wanted a lot of critters and Id be able to remove unwanted ones easier I'd go the liverock route.
     
  19. Lord Chris

    Lord Chris Well-Known Member

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    Live rock is fun but a pain if full of pests. I dry and cycle it 2 live rock. All rock was dead at one point. In Sarasota where I live. I took a crab catcher filled with a 14g nano rock dead and sat it off he point of rocks and man 2 months later was it alive both with crap and good. A few starter sponges and a lot of kickers. It's a wild only tank and only that rock went on wanted 2 see the 100% natural way. Even water changes. It's way a pain but the science out weighs the water. Haha
     
  20. Krozo

    Krozo Active Member

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    Ive been setting up a 600(586) and im on a tight budget. Im going dry because you do get more pound per pound since theres no water wight. I have time and some live already so i just put my dry in a bin with a sample of live and dose some food to feed the bacteria and it spreads very fast in the right conditions. Within a month i have live rock, i let it cure for at least 3-4 months before i use it.
    With this its easier to work on a budget and no hitchhikers.
    The filtration quality depends on its treatment during cure with is very minor requirements and on the original sample seeded.
     
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