Questions I should ask my LFS before purchasing live rock from them?

mistergray

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I’ve done as much studying as I can for this venture into the saltwater aquarium kingdom but I’m sure I have much more to learn. With that said, I’m wondering....what are some questions I should ask my LFS before buying live rock from them?
 

Jekyl

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I would check out gulfliverock.com if you're considering live rock. I got live rock from 4 different LFS when I started my tank. My opinion is that benefits outweigh the negatives when it comes to diversity. However everyone's opinion is different. I don't run a quarantined system. You'll have to do your research and decide if that is the direction you want to go though. Anything established will have the chance for negative hitchhikers.
 
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KrisReef

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Ask them for a bulk purchase discount!

Then ask them to test their live rock tank for phosphate, nitrate and copper. Copper should be zero, the other two are negotiable. :)
 
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Idoc

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I would definitely ask how long their live rock has been submerged in their tanks in order to get an idea if it has been long enough time for nitrifying bacteria to colonize the rocks. This is mainly for newer looking rock that may have been "dry" and then placed in their systems recently.

Also, find out where the rock came from....if it came from another client's tank recently. Look it over for nuisance algaes such as turf algae, bubble algae, aptasia, etc... Finding some with coralline algae tells you it is more established.

Biggest question....make sure that rock hasn't been in tanks with copper!!!

But, don't over-think it too much...if you see rock and shapes you like, buy it.
 
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mistergray

mistergray

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I would definitely ask how long their live rock has been submerged in their tanks in order to get an idea if it has been long enough time for nitrifying bacteria to colonize the rocks. This is mainly for newer looking rock that may have been "dry" and then placed in their systems recently.

Also, find out where the rock came from....if it came from another client's tank recently. Look it over for nuisance algaes such as turf algae, bubble algae, aptasia, etc... Finding some with coralline algae tells you it is more established.

Biggest question....make sure that rock hasn't been in tanks with copper!!!

But, don't over-think it too much...if you see rock and shapes you like, buy it.
I’m going to have to Google “turf algae, bubble algae, aptasia” and make sure I know what they look like before I go. Thx! Great info!
 
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Azedenkae

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I’ve done as much studying as I can for this venture into the saltwater aquarium kingdom but I’m sure I have much more to learn. With that said, I’m wondering....what are some questions I should ask my LFS before buying live rock from them?
Where they get their live rock from, are there a lot of biodiversity, how long have they stored the live rock.

Where dictates a possibility that you can look it up to see what sort of lifeform you might find on the live rock, be it from actual seawater or from some sort of facility, and there may be discussions on it.

Biodiversity because sometimes LFSes will just completely kill off every macroorganism on live rock they get, so if you want macroorganisms this is important.

How long because sometimes to cheapen shipping costs and stuff LFSes could get live rock that takes a while to be delivered to them, and there could be a lot of die-off. If the live rock is 'fresh' in this case, then you may inherit the issues associated with the die-off.
 
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