Why did you choose all dry rock to start your reef tank?

Why did you choose all dry rock to start your reef tank?

  • Specific aquascape in mind (i.e. NSA)

    Votes: 52 34.7%
  • Cost

    Votes: 68 45.3%
  • Easy to acquire dry rock

    Votes: 62 41.3%
  • Avoid hitchhikers

    Votes: 79 52.7%
  • Other

    Votes: 14 9.3%

  • Total voters
    150

BriansBrain

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I started both of these tanks with all dry rock. Carib sea and Real Reef Rock. I’ve had great success with both with minimal issues.

My hardest dry rock tank used old pukani and Fiji from years ago. Never set up an “old school” imported live rock tank because that was way to expensive for a broke college kid
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reefruss

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I started my tank with all dry rock and spent years trying to get it under control. I went through, what seemed like, endless problem cycles and wound up breaking down the tank and scrubbing the rock several times. I finally added some (I think it was 30#) of Tampa Bay rock and even though the overnight shipping wound up taking a week, not their fault, it's been an amazing difference. Of course the extended shipping time killed all the goodies I wanted on the rock, it looks great now and I'm finally seeing growth. I did have a reoccurrence of algae as the death on the rocks had to cycle, the urchin I added to the tank took care of that in no time. Note, with an urchin that does a great job, now I have to feed it nori.
 

Gtinnel

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@Gtinnel Where did you get bacteria from? bottle or just add corals slowly? I Started with a Sterile tank I used life rock and still struggle with algea 3 years later. Nutrients have been stable for 2 years. Tried various brightwell products with little success Was thinking I need to start again and seed with some live rock.
I have never used bottled bacteria to start a tank. I always just take it incredibly slowly before adding any corals.
 

Roatan Reef

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Simplicity...

Used Life Rock Shapes, other pieces of Life Rock.

Ease of use/Design/Specific Design in mind.

No Hitchhiker's.

Easy to Aquire/Availability.

Over time I have added 2 flat rocks from Tampa Bay Saltwater and some of their live sand....I found it really helped to seed the tank further.
 

ReefStable

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I like to use dry rock just in case of some hitchhikers/pests/algae/bacteria that may become a much bigger problem later.

I know this doesn't happen to everyone. But the more tanks I have, the harder it is to fix system wide problems. So I try to keep in mind "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" :)
 

reefruss

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While it may have been the delay in shipping, the only hitchhikers I've found, almost a year later, are some sort of slug which comes out at night and cleans the tank and some sort of a tube worms similar to but not as colorful as christmas tree worms.
 

Roatan Reef

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I started my tank with all dry rock and spent years trying to get it under control. I went through, what seemed like, endless problem cycles and wound up breaking down the tank and scrubbing the rock several times. I finally added some (I think it was 30#) of Tampa Bay rock and even though the overnight shipping wound up taking a week, not their fault, it's been an amazing difference. Of course the extended shipping time killed all the goodies I wanted on the rock, it looks great now and I'm finally seeing growth. I did have a reoccurrence of algae as the death on the rocks had to cycle, the urchin I added to the tank took care of that in no time. Note, with an urchin that does a great job, now I have to feed it nori.
Love TBS...same here...once added, huge difference in tank and Rock seeding.

I was fortunate to get a rare cup coral on one of my Live Rocks from TBS.

It's one of my favorites, because, nobody has them for sale...like anywhere...and it's grown and been amazing.
20240109_211137.jpg
 

Gman83

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I voted cost and other. While I would love 100% live rock, economically it isn't feasible. I voted other because of the shipping options. So far large quantities of live rock have to be sent air cargo and I don't want to make the trip to the airport. I can have all the dry rock shipped to my door.
 

reefruss

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There were all sorts of cool things on my rock. Unfortunately it was a mess due to the die off. It took a long time for things to settle down but in the long run it was completely worth it.
 

Reefer Brent

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First saltwater tank so I used whatever the LFS told me which was Carib sea rock tree and pink sand with a bunch of 4 gallon containers of expensive "sea water" and a bag of clownfish.

To say I would do it differently this time is an understatement.
 

a.t.t.r

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Where are you located?
South Florida. Went /called 5 LfS. A few tried to tell me live rock was bad and would doom my tank and they don’t carry it…. The rest was selling dry rock they dropped in their tank for a few months as live rock for crazy prices and even the dry rock is price how live rock used to be priced….

I ended up just using my “live rock” that has been dry for about 10 years.
 

jackson6745

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South Florida. Went /called 5 LfS. A few tried to tell me live rock was bad and would doom my tank and they don’t carry it…. The rest was selling dry rock they dropped in their tank for a few months as live rock for crazy prices and even the dry rock is price how live rock used to be priced….

I ended up just using my “live rock” that has been dry for about 10 years.

I went with Australian live rock on my new build. It’s available to be shipped to you. I have no patience to wait for rock to mature. 25 fish and sps in a 3 week old reef . I did cure the rock for 3 months while I was waiting for my tank to be delivered. I did the same with my old 115g cube (with Tonga) and the tank had peak growth and color from the start. The only thing that sucks about Australian rock is the price. You do get a nice volume for the weight though, only need a few pieces to seed base rock, and I haven’t seen any hitchhikers.

Whatever floats guys boats . By year one I want to be a good level of grown out, not still maturing. It’s easier with live rock or establish rock from another system. I would do a blackout and cure rock from another system for a few weeks besides inspect for pests etc.
 

a.t.t.r

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I went with Australian live rock on my new build. It’s available to be shipped to you. I have no patience to wait for rock to mature. 25 fish and sps in a 3 week old reef . I did cure the rock for 3 months while I was waiting for my tank to be delivered. I did the same with my old 115g cube (with Tonga) and the tank had peak growth and color from the start. The only thing that sucks about Australian rock is the price. You do get a nice volume for the weight though, only need a few pieces to seed base rock, and I haven’t seen any hitchhikers.

Whatever floats guys boats . By year one I want to be a good level of grown out, not still maturing. It’s easier with live rock or establish rock from another system. I would do a blackout and cure rock from another system for a few weeks besides inspect for pests etc.
Hard to justify the shipping for a 20 gallon tank worth of love rock. If this was my old 150 heck yes. My best hope now it to slowly gather rubble from seeded tanks or eventually drive out to tbs and beg to buy the sludge off the bottom of their tanks
 

crazyfishmom

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Love TBS...same here...once added, huge difference in tank and Rock seeding.

I was fortunate to get a rare cup coral on one of my Live Rocks from TBS.

It's one of my favorites, because, nobody has them for sale...like anywhere...and it's grown and been amazing.
20240109_211137.jpg
I have one of these in my live rock from TBS… had no idea what it was. Cool!
 

Roatan Reef

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I have one of these in my live rock from TBS… had no idea what it was. Cool!
It's a Hidden Cup Coral...aka Phyllangia Americana...native to the US and Caribbean. Never seen one for sale in LFS or online.

Congratulations! They are awesome...and super rare!
 

tatmanfish

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Spent a lot of years in the hobby and then got out for about 10yrs. Came back and everything available was almost entirely dry. All the "sustainable" "pest free" rhetoric made me give it a shot. I will say I've 10x the problems with dry rock than I ever had with live rock. My evidence is purely anecdotal, but I have had experience and several healthy tanks in the past. I will pay whatever premium for live rock if I ever start another tank from scratch.
 

Belgian Anthias

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@Gtinnel Where did you get bacteria from? bottle or just add corals slowly? I Started with a Sterile tank I used life rock and still struggle with algea 3 years later. Nutrients have been stable for 2 years. Tried various brightwell products with little success Was thinking I need to start again and seed with some live rock.
Each organism introduced comes with its own holobiont of bacterial life. Which viable bacteria could you add that are not yet present?

The Parable of the Bacteria in a Bottle​

 
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