Think I Was Wrong…It HAS TO Be Live Rock

LilElroyJetson

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
1,153
Reaction score
2,110
Location
Charlotte, NC
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I’ve been under the impression since returning to the hobby that we’ve made strides in knowing how to successfully start a tank with dry rock and have it be just as solid as a live rock based tank with some extra leg work on the front end (i.e. tub cycling the rock to get it seeded, months long rock only in tank cycle before eventually turning the lights on, continuing to cycle before slowly adding coral and eventually fish to allow the dry rock to gain the amount of bacteria live rock would have).

After reading a bunch, it sounds like while it works for SOME people SOMETIMES, it’s not the preferred route. I keep hearing about how much longer the ugly stages are lasting, problems popping up non stop over the first 2-3+ years even with people who took the prudent approach with dry rock. And I’m not talking about problems that are just part of the hobby that the right stocking list and care will quickly get in check for good. I’m talking potentially chronic tank issues and just really slow progress…more headache than is necessary.

My thought process was if I take the safe patient approach with dry rock, I’ll never have the miserable aptasia my first tank had that my filefish couldn’t keep up with, or that bubble algae and Dinos, or the excessive amounts of bristle worms that just generally creep me out. Although, I also wouldn’t get all that cool random biodiversity and random hitchhikers like the sponges, star fish, green star polyp and anemone I was surprised by.

Now I’m becoming more and more convinced that the random unwelcome hitchhikers are much easier to deal with than a tank that never fully stabilizes before it comes down or you need to move. That the benefits of immense biodiversity of live rock from the ocean grossly outweighs any other considerations. After all, I’m always going to be risking hitchhikers with additions of new coral to my tank, new clean up crew, etc.

I think I’m now in the camp of real live rock from the ocean is the only way to go…
 
OP
OP
LilElroyJetson

LilElroyJetson

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
1,153
Reaction score
2,110
Location
Charlotte, NC
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Welcome to the live rock camp! Our numbers grow every day. The whole dead rock trend is starting to die down, thank goodness. Dry-rockers are still the majority, but not for long I reckon!
I’m really thankful I don’t have my tank up and running yet, although I have had the dry rock cooking for a couple weeks already. Somebody will be getting a free donation. A lucky epiphany right in time. KP Aquatics will be getting an order from me pretty soon here!
 

Gundy

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 8, 2021
Messages
221
Reaction score
283
Location
Utah
Rating - 100%
1   0   0
This is actually a very interesting topic. It seems nearly every new build thread I see is started with dry rock or dry rock they have cured for a few months. I see countless threads with people complaining, seeking advice or starting their tank over because of uncontrolled algae problems. I would never start a tank with dry rock! I could care less about a few hitchhikers and love the fact with live rock, my tank is cycled instantly and have an ecosystem that is bio diverse and mature.

Yes, the downside is cost but I would argue that the amount it costs to control the algae and possible fish and coral loss could be substantial. Now in very large tanks, the cost increases dramatically but in my 380 gallon I am setting up, I’m purchasing all live rock of varying types to help offset the cost.
 

blaxsun

10K Club member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 15, 2020
Messages
26,709
Reaction score
31,145
Location
The Abyss
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Welcome to the live rock camp! Our numbers grow every day. The whole dead rock trend is starting to die down, thank goodness. Dry-rockers are still the majority, but not for long I reckon!
Perish the thought... some of us land-locked reefers still need dry rock because we're not paying $30/lb for live rock...
 

Anemone_Fanatic

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 8, 2022
Messages
2,270
Reaction score
10,014
Location
Vermont
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
OP
OP
LilElroyJetson

LilElroyJetson

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
1,153
Reaction score
2,110
Location
Charlotte, NC
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
This is actually a very interesting topic. It seems nearly every new build thread I see is started with dry rock or dry rock they have cured for a few months. I see countless threads with people complaining, seeking advice or starting their tank over because of uncontrolled algae problems. I would never start a tank with dry rock! I could care less about a few hitchhikers and love the fact with live rock, my tank is cycled instantly and have an ecosystem that is bio diverse and mature.

Yes, the downside is cost but I would argue that the amount it costs to control the algae and possible fish and coral loss could be substantial. Now in very large tanks, the cost increases dramatically but in my 380 gallon I am setting up, I’m purchasing all live rock of varying types to help offset the cost.
These are my thoughts exactly. All signs point to this being the way to go, if not cost prohibitive for someone of course.
 
OP
OP
LilElroyJetson

LilElroyJetson

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
1,153
Reaction score
2,110
Location
Charlotte, NC
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Perish the thought... some of us land-locked reefers still need dry rock because we're not paying $30/lb for live rock...
Totally understand that this can be cost prohibitive for some folks, especially those who need/want a ton of live rock. Definitely a cost-benefit analysis that needs to be done for each situation.
 
OP
OP
LilElroyJetson

LilElroyJetson

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
1,153
Reaction score
2,110
Location
Charlotte, NC
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I started with dry rock, it was cost friendly , did I have problems with algae and stuff … yeah but I think personally it made me better at maintaining my reef but that’s me personally
That’s a positive! Pressure creates diamonds! How long has your tank been up now?
 

shadow_k

I have a kickable face
View Badges
Joined
Jan 21, 2021
Messages
4,783
Reaction score
13,004
Location
bridgeport
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Yeah, I'll take Marco dry rock @$5/lb for $200 Alex...
I feel like for people who are in a rush to cycle there tank live rock is the way to go, but the also run the risk of pests ,hitchhikers etc…
 

Anemone_Fanatic

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 8, 2022
Messages
2,270
Reaction score
10,014
Location
Vermont
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Yeah, I'll take Marco dry rock @$5/lb for $200 Alex...

1$/lb less, and a year of constant consternation as you try to solve the inherent problems of filling your tank with cement. I wouldn't call it a good trade-off. Especially when you can use 1/3 - 1/2 live rock and the rest dry to achieve similar results.
 

vetteguy53081

Well known Member and monster tank lover
View Badges
Joined
Aug 11, 2013
Messages
91,739
Reaction score
202,532
Location
Wisconsin -
Rating - 100%
13   0   0
Ive used both with no issues. Sure there are advantages to live rock and cycling but to insist one will fail or have issues is both discouraging and costly to some trying to get into and enjoy the hobby
 
OP
OP
LilElroyJetson

LilElroyJetson

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
1,153
Reaction score
2,110
Location
Charlotte, NC
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I feel like for people who are in a rush to cycle there tank live rock is the way to go, but the also run the risk of pests ,hitchhikers etc…
Yeah I touched on that but any time you add something to your tank, you run the risk of hitchhikers. If you’re never gonna add anything, maybe you’re super safe, but personally I know I’m going to randomly add things to my tank and QT or not you run some risk.
 

blaxsun

10K Club member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 15, 2020
Messages
26,709
Reaction score
31,145
Location
The Abyss
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I feel like for people who are in a rush to cycle there tank live rock is the way to go, but the also run the risk of pests ,hitchhikers etc…
Marco dry rock + Bio-Spira = insta-cycle (still way cheaper than live rock even on the coast).
 

shadow_k

I have a kickable face
View Badges
Joined
Jan 21, 2021
Messages
4,783
Reaction score
13,004
Location
bridgeport
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Yeah I touched on that but any time you add something to your tank, you run the risk of hitchhikers. If you’re never gonna add anything, maybe you’re super safe, but personally I know I’m going to randomly add things to my tank and QT or not you run some risk.
That’s also true , but I think it’s personal preference as well as finance issue. I personally think if you can afford live rock go for it ! If you can’t get the dry and be patient lol
 

blaxsun

10K Club member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 15, 2020
Messages
26,709
Reaction score
31,145
Location
The Abyss
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
1$/lb less, and a year of constant consternation as you try to solve the inherent problems of filling your tank with cement. I wouldn't call it a good trade-off. Especially when you can use 1/3 - 1/2 live rock and the rest dry to achieve similar results.
Hey, if I was a stone's throw away from the ocean it would be a moot point. As it happens, however - I'm 1500km+ away from the nearest pond.
 

Caring for your picky eaters: What do you feed your finicky fish?

  • Live foods

    Votes: 46 29.5%
  • Frozen meaty foods

    Votes: 119 76.3%
  • Soft pellets

    Votes: 33 21.2%
  • Masstick (or comparable)

    Votes: 13 8.3%
  • Other

    Votes: 13 8.3%
Back
Top