Ready for Rock - Help making a decision please.

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Live Rock or Dry Rock?


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Bellamy803

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Not sure if it matters what my setup is to decide what kind of rock to use but there is a link below if you need those answers to help answer my rock question.


Live Rock -

I checked my local store and found some aquacultured rock. I'm 100% in the idea of it but was not happy with the very flat non porous make up of it. The other rock they had (I do no remember the name but shapes were variable and quite pours. Still didn't look like great pieces in my opinion. Lastly I resorted to looking online and found KP Aquatics - They Live Rock that has been aquacultured down near the Florida keys for 2 years. This is by far my favorite rock (based off of customer testimonial pictures and their pics on the website) but the price is as you probably already know - very expensive. In water shipping to your front door is $199 per 15 lbs. You can get it a little bit less packed at 50 lbs and we paper towels draped over them. You also have to go pick up at your local airport fright office.

I was leaning live rock simply to establish the tank quicker. In conjunction with Live sand and the possibility of NutriSea water (100 gallon system I would most likely do 50-60 gallons of Nutri sea and 40-50 gallons of RODI Salt mix.......With all three of those options you would hope one could skip at least some of the early on cycle issues.


Dry Rock -

I don't know a lot about the dry rock but I've read some about Marco rock - then some others that are colored to look mature and embedded or injected with the bacterias that will grow following the cycle period. The thing I like about Marco is I can scape it just about anyway I want - Don't love the white color of it but I guess that is only for a short time.


My question for you guys is what works the best? Is the extra investment worth it to go with Live rock shipped in........

I don't want to say money isn't going to stop me from doing one or the other I really just want to make sure Its worth it.
 

Spare time

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Quality live rock is hard to get. The closest thing I would recommend in most cases would be real reef rock's rock as it is already partially alive. You shoudl also check out walt smith rock or carib sea moani or life rock. Most LFS live rock is just concentrated pests with nitrifyers. If the LFS guarentees no pests in the live rock then you could do that but all rock becomes live overtime. The difference is that dry rock gets there a little slower but you control what crawls out of it.


For me, I only use dry rock, with various strands of bacteria to seed it. I dip all corals and QT them for a week. I am not going to spend thousands of dollars on a tank to have aiptasia, bubble algae, etc. all pop up .
 
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Bellamy803

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Quality live rock is hard to get. The closest thing I would recommend in most cases would be real reef rock's rock as it is already partially alive. You shoudl also check out walt smith rock or carib sea moani or life rock. Most LFS live rock is just concentrated pests with nitrifyers. If the LFS guarentees no pests in the live rock then you could do that but all rock becomes live overtime. The difference is that dry rock gets there a little slower but you control what crawls out of it.


For me, I only use dry rock, with various strands of bacteria to seed it. I dip all corals and QT them for a week. I am not going to spend thousands of dollars on a tank to have aiptasia, bubble algae, etc. all pop up .

Great feedback, thank you!
 

Hugh Mann

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I started my tank with some dry rock I bought on Amazon. Nature's Ocean. 40lbs for $80CAD. Totally dry, zero bacteria. Rinsed it off and it made an excellent foundation though, zero risk of introducing pests/hitchhikers into the tank. Meanwhile the one 4lb piece of true live rock I bought came with bryopsis, Aiptasia, a small crab of some sort and a tiny pistol shrimp.

Due to the silicates, I did have a month long period of diatoms, but it cleared up. That was in April, set up the tank February, and now everything is nice and green, starting coralline growth.
 
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Bellamy803

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I started my tank with some dry rock I bought on Amazon. Nature's Ocean. 40lbs for $80CAD. Totally dry, zero bacteria. Rinsed it off and it made an excellent foundation though, zero risk of introducing pests/hitchhikers into the tank. Meanwhile the one 4lb piece of true live rock I bought came with bryopsis, Aiptasia, a small crab of some sort and a tiny pistol shrimp.

Due to the silicates, I did have a month long period of diatoms, but it cleared up. That was in April, set up the tank February, and now everything is nice and green, starting coralline growth.

I'de love to see a dry rock setup at 3 month 6 month 1 yr intervals. Did you take pics?
 

hotdrop

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Either get live rock that’s air freighted from Florida/Fiji or don’t bother with live and just get dead rock. The lfs stuff is a scam
 

Rjukan

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If I was to do it over again I would get live rock from Gulfliverock, KP or TBS.

If you go the route of non air freight direct to your house with the rock wrapped in wet newspaper or towels, you get most of the micro life still living (ie pods, some worms, bacteria) and most of the bad macro life (ie gorilla crabs and mantis shrimp) dead on arrival.
 

Hugh Mann

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The progress of my rock, from out of the box to today. Don't mind the different setups, my tank has gone through several overhauls due to velvet and moving the tank. Started with 40lbs of dry, 4lbs live then added an additional 40lbs dry.

DSC_1927.JPG DSC_0159.JPG DSC_1172.JPG DSC_0337.JPG DSC_1235.JPG DSC_1355.JPG DSC_0999.JPG DSC_0218.JPG DSC_0032.JPG
 
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Bellamy803

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Where is the both option?

Considering this as well. A couple base Live rock pieces and then scape out the shelves with Marco, Carib Sea Life Rock or something similar. As I have been reading all day about this I am starting to lean heavily on just doing dry rock. I'd invest the money in the Nutrisea and Live Sand to get it moving a little quicker.
 
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Bellamy803

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If I was to do it over again I would get live rock from Gulfliverock, KP or TBS.

If you go the route of non air freight direct to your house with the rock wrapped in wet newspaper or towels, you get most of the micro life still living (ie pods, some worms, bacteria) and most of the bad macro life (ie gorilla crabs and mantis shrimp) dead on arrival.

KP was what I was going to go with originally and have started to lean away. Would cost me about $1,100 to get what I need shipped to me. Then you have to cycle it and kill the bad stiff for 3-5 days. If I had been in this hobby for 10-20 years and know what I am looking for or looking at I would def invest the money. But I could easily f something up not knowing exactly how to get that stuff ready for a new tank.
 

Pistondog

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Not sure if it matters what my setup is to decide what kind of rock to use but there is a link below if you need those answers to help answer my rock question.


Live Rock -

I checked my local store and found some aquacultured rock. I'm 100% in the idea of it but was not happy with the very flat non porous make up of it. The other rock they had (I do no remember the name but shapes were variable and quite pours. Still didn't look like great pieces in my opinion. Lastly I resorted to looking online and found KP Aquatics - They Live Rock that has been aquacultured down near the Florida keys for 2 years. This is by far my favorite rock (based off of customer testimonial pictures and their pics on the website) but the price is as you probably already know - very expensive. In water shipping to your front door is $199 per 15 lbs. You can get it a little bit less packed at 50 lbs and we paper towels draped over them. You also have to go pick up at your local airport fright office.

I was leaning live rock simply to establish the tank quicker. In conjunction with Live sand and the possibility of NutriSea water (100 gallon system I would most likely do 50-60 gallons of Nutri sea and 40-50 gallons of RODI Salt mix.......With all three of those options you would hope one could skip at least some of the early on cycle issues.


Dry Rock -

I don't know a lot about the dry rock but I've read some about Marco rock - then some others that are colored to look mature and embedded or injected with the bacterias that will grow following the cycle period. The thing I like about Marco is I can scape it just about anyway I want - Don't love the white color of it but I guess that is only for a short time.


My question for you guys is what works the best? Is the extra investment worth it to go with Live rock shipped in........

I don't want to say money isn't going to stop me from doing one or the other I really just want to make sure Its worth it.
Had good luck with gulfliverock.com
 
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So what do you think about running carbon as a filter for your aquariums?

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