Rock solid aquascape: Does the weight of the rocks in your aquascape matter?

Does the weight of the rocks in your aquascape matter?

  • The weight of the rocks is a key factor.

    Votes: 13 7.7%
  • The weight of the rocks is one of many factors.

    Votes: 61 36.3%
  • The weight of the rocks is a minor factor.

    Votes: 51 30.4%
  • The weight of the rocks is not a factor.

    Votes: 41 24.4%
  • Other.

    Votes: 2 1.2%

  • Total voters
    168

Peace River

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Rock solid aquascape: Does the weight of the rocks in your aquascape matter?

All the different types of reef rocks in the aquarium are not equal. There are different shapes, materials, colors, weights, porosity, and more. This may include real live rock from the ocean, man-made rock that has been made to look live rock, and man-made rock that has all the preferred features but doesn’t especially look like traditional reef rock. However, does the weight of the rock in your aquascape matter? There is a bigger difference in the weight between Quality Marine’s Ecoscape rock and real aquacultured rock that has been pulled from the ocean. Please let us know if the weight of the rock matters to you, both during the time that you are putting the rocks in place as well as during the life of the aquascape.

Takahashi_Aquascape.jpeg

Photo by @Andre_Takahashi

This QOTD is sponsored by Nutramar: https://www.qualitymarine.com/nutramar/

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“Nutramar’s 100% natural food products are used by public aquaria and breeders around the world. They offer superior nutrition to your most finicky and delicate fish and invertebrates.
 

shakacuz

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the weight definitely is one of many factors. in my current aquascape i have few "large" rocks, and then gaps are filled mostly with small golf/soft ball sized rocks. would say i have about 5 large rocks weighing over 5lbs, and the rest are smaller 2-3lb rocks piled onto each other or in small cracks/openings within the 'scape. the heavier/bigger the rock, the more water displacement. i want to maximize as much water volume as possible without compromising aesthetic (subjectively)
 

vetteguy53081

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With the size and thickness of my tank, im not concerned about weight but do consider the reduction of water volume from amount of rock placed within
 

sfin52

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Density matters more than weight.
 

HawkeyeDJ

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Speaking of displacement . . . I was wondering if using PVC pipe for aquascape, covered with rubble and small rocks, with holes drilled in to allow for flow is viable. It comes in a variety of sizes and configurations. It would weigh less as well. Seems one could create virtually any desired shape or platform one wanted.

Any thoughts pro or con?
 

BigAl07

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15 years ago weight was a HUGE factor trying to reach the desired "lb per gallon" ratio. Back then we didn't have nearly the options we do today.

I just scaped my 150g system and only have about 80lbs of LifeRock in it where-as last time I would have used at least 2x that weight.
 

sfin52

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That is a direct relation to one another. The more dense the more weight in a smaller area.
My point being I'm looking for lighter large structures that displace less water. With a dense rock that structure may weigh 3x as much as the punki rock structure.
 

JNalley

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Weight doesn't matter, density matters, the lighter the rock is the better. Back in the early 2000s it was 1lb/gallon of Walt Smith, you could go 2lb/gallon and have a wall of rock. These days the recommendation is 1.5-2lb/gallon, and to get the same surface area it's even more if you recommend something man-made.
 
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X-37B

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Current weight of live rock is alot more than the real live rock of the 90's, imo.
I just put 150lbs of GLR in my 59×30÷21 system. Some of the pieces were difficult to hold with one hand, lol.
With that the 150lbs displaced 9 gallons of water.
Actual water volume before the rock was 135g's. So now around 125ish.
A little over 1lb per gallon got me the scape I wanted.
150lbs of the 90's rock would have given the tank to the old rock wall look.
20240422_114849.jpg
 
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Dburr1014

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Some of these answers I don't really understanding.
Live rock is live rock is live rock. The weight hasn't changed unless you're talking about man-made Rock. The Rock we get is millions of years old and has not changed at all. The only difference is where came from, some is more dense, some is more porous, that is the difference in the weight. But current live rock is the same as '90s live rock is the same as '60s live rock.
 

JNalley

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Some of these answers I don't really understanding.
Live rock is live rock is live rock. The weight hasn't changed unless you're talking about man-made Rock. The Rock we get is millions of years old and has not changed at all. The only difference is where came from, some is more dense, some is more porous, that is the difference in the weight. But current live rock is the same as '90s live rock is the same as '60s live rock.
It is not... The mined rocks (like Marco) are more dense (and as a result heavier) due to geological processes (further calcification, etc) that has occurred over millions of years while it's been buried beneath the earth... There is a measurable weight difference between the two.

It's true that different areas with different formations will get different densities, but if you take a rock mined from an ancient Florida reef (inland and buried), and compare the density to a rock that broke off from a living reef in the keys, there is a difference
 

Dburr1014

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It is not... The mined rocks (like Marco) are more dense (and as a result heavier) due to geological processes (further calcification, etc) that has occurred over millions of years while it's been buried beneath the earth... There is a measurable weight difference between the two.
Um yes, that what I said.
My quotes;

"The only difference is where came from, some is more dense, some is more porous, that is the difference in the weight"
 

JNalley

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"The weight hasn't changed unless you're talking about manmade rock"

The mined Marco rock (Which I Believe comes from an ancient reef in Florida) is a different weight/density than when it was living due to geological processes. Compare actual live rock from The Florida Keys, to Mined Rock from Florida... Same/similar building blocks/formations, but the weight/densities are different by a measurable factor...
 

Joekovar

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Speaking of displacement . . . I was wondering if using PVC pipe for aquascape, covered with rubble and small rocks, with holes drilled in to allow for flow is viable. It comes in a variety of sizes and configurations. It would weigh less as well. Seems one could create virtually any desired shape or platform one wanted.

Any thoughts pro or con?

Having used PVC as a skeleton before, I wont do it again. It has been a nightmare to modify without being able to take it out of the tank. I came pretty close to accepting my PVC cutters were now part of the aquascape one time.
 

JNalley

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Okay, semantics, got it.
Not really... let me see if I can clarify it for you.
Live rock is live rock is live rock.
Functionally, the same thing as saying Rock is Rock is Rock or Wood is Wood is Wood. We all know this is not the case...
The weight hasn't changed unless you're talking about man-made Rock.
The weight has not changed compared to what? As I have explained, a Marco Rock today weighs more than it did when it was on a living reef because of Geologic processes that occurred while it was calcifying over the last couple of million years.
The Rock we get is millions of years old and has not changed at all.
The *mined* rock you get is millions of years old and has not changed at all (except over the course of the millions of years it has been undergoing calcification).
The only difference is where came from, some is more dense, some is more porous, that is the difference in the weight. But current live rock is the same as '90s live rock is the same as '60s live rock.
This is where you've made the biggest mistake though. 90's live rock was not mined marco rock, it was harvested from a living reef, and as a result, never underwent the long period of dry calcification, silicization, and crystalization that the mined rocks went through.

This (Mined "live rock"):
1713891979266.png
1713892001941.png
1713892058879.png


Is not the same as this (Havested Live Rock):
1713892117976.png
1713892221770.png
1713892276924.png


There are more diffrences than just its geographic location (ie Where it came from).
 

Making aqua concoctions: Have you ever tried the Reef Moonshiner Method?

  • I currently use the moonshiner method.

    Votes: 52 20.2%
  • I don’t currently use the moonshiner method, but I have in the past.

    Votes: 5 1.9%
  • I have not used the moonshiner method.

    Votes: 188 73.2%
  • Other.

    Votes: 12 4.7%
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