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Why You Should Use Live Rock

Discussion in 'Rock' started by jda123, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. jahmic

    jahmic Shark M.A.S.C Club Member

    You are spot on about the smell being noticeable...I grew up 10 minutes away from the ocean, and cracking open a piece of mature live rock hits you with the same scent you get in the air after a big storm rolls through and stirs up the sediment in the ocean.

    I think another point worth mentioning is the definition of what "porous" rock really is. Having dry or aquacultured rock with a bunch of nooks, indentations, and even branching coral skeleton fused together by calcareous algae growth is great for increasing the surface area of the rock...but even then, that rock isn't necessarily "porous".

    That lesson was one I learned after struggling with the tank that housed the rock in the picture. My tank prior to that one had used live rock that had been aged for a long, long time. There were pieces of rock that you could remove from the tank, and if you gave it a good shake you could still hear water sloshing around inside the rock somewhere. On close inspection that rock had uncountable amounts of tiny pores all along the surface...and those typically are the built by microfauna living inside the rock which actually facilitate the movement of water in and out of the rock.

    Here's a good, related article I came across a while back:


    The main point I would take home from that article is:

  2. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    Perhaps my supposition that 2 years to recolonize might be WAY off.

    Porous is kinda hard to the untrained eye. I go by weight-to-size and just by feel. Marshall Island is the best - or if you go back far enough, Great Barrier Reef Rock. Perhaps I can bring/loan some if somebody wants to have a demo at a meeting sometime (more like loan since I coach on Saturdays).

    You can also tell about porous about how much water will drip out if you let it sit for a while. The more water that leaks out, the better.

    I have ocean rock that is recent coral skeleton that is not all that porous at all either. It is, however, more porous than quarried rock. I knew that it was heavy when I bought it, but I really liked the shape... and what is 30-40 pounds in 300-400?
  3. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    I would wonder how able the micro fauna are to do their job if the water runs through it too fast... kinda like GAC. I don't know. The inside of the rock needs to be somewhat anoxic for the denitrification to occur. It is a good question...
  4. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    The reason that the deeper water stuff is better is that the aragonite is older and the microfauna has had more time to make it more porous and "age" it more. It used to be high on the reef, but makes the way downward after it dies or no longer has a hold.

    ...man... 3 posts in a row... anybody want to turn on post editing?
  5. Gonefishin

    Gonefishin Prawn

  6. powdermonkey

    powdermonkey Prawn

    I cant say about the live rock, but I would HIGHLY recommend you do your research before using aquaCON.
  7. powdermonkey

    powdermonkey Prawn

    Well two 8x8x4 blocks shipped yesterday. Not sure how I will ever prove or otherwise the benefits but being ceramic I dont see it hurting. Not sure if the blocks are actually large enough to create a oxygen deficient environment. Because I am using all rock that has been in acid, bleach and LC for the new tank I will be using these to seed. All of the old rock will be recured before going back online.
  8. FinsUp

    FinsUp According to my watch, the time is now. M.A.S.C Club Member

    It's easy to edit your posts. Become a member. That's one of the benefits!
  9. Gonefishin

    Gonefishin Prawn

    who has the best live rock in colorado for sale?
  10. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    The ceramic blocks might need to be in/around some light too. The best micro fauna growth is the rock in the tank. Sump live rock pretty much keeps alive plenty alive IME, but not to the level that it does in the tank. I have no doubts, and others might not agree, that bacterial and de-nitirfication benefits of rock in the sump is just as good. Perhaps this is also a proximity issue being closer to the detritus and algae for food. In any case, I am sure that bacteria can populate the ceramic just fine. I am not sure if the microfauna could manipulate the ceramic by dissolving it to create larger holes and make the ceramic more porous over time - this can take years anyway. Perhaps the hole size is big enough to support most micro fauna growth. I would be really interested to see how this plays out over the next few years - that was just a thought dump since I have never used them.

    I have seen good rock in Boulder down south, up north and the like. Look around. Since I have been in town, I have bought awesome rock at Aqua Import and at Aquatic Art, but I have seen nice rock in more places than this. Ask about buying it a box or two at a time and it should be cheaper - if not, find a different store who will do it. If you buy it by the box, you will need to cure it, but this is good.

    One of my friends on the national board said that he cannot get water to penetrate the purple epoxy that coats the man made rock. I cannot verify this claim, but it could make sense - I won't likely ever know because I don't own any. If this is right, then add this to the penetration and porosity concerns of the man-made rock with the fake-coralline.
  11. neogenix

    neogenix Copepod

    good post, following along.
  12. Dr.DiSilicate

    Dr.DiSilicate Kraken M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    Here's a piece of 2 year old brs reef saver rock from my fuge. No color on the inside. I may break a piece of live rock open to see what it looks like as well as some live rock I had and dried out before I added it back to the system. Does this lack of color really mean that no or little bacteria exists? I don't know. I do know that systems that are all or mostly started with dry rock seem to take more time to establish. This would make a great experiment for someone.
  13. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    The white is void of life. Even ocean rock will have varying degrees of this, but the more brown the better. The really good rock is brown all the way through with tunnels and pores that you can easily see if you crack it in half.
  14. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    I thought that this might be helpful to weigh against other types of rock:
    I got 3 boxes of rock from the ocean. Tonga Branch, Tonga Fusion and Pukani. All just finished cycling with just a heater and protein skimmer. There is no N or P in the water. This means that not only was there no bonded P on the rock nor was it full of dead organics, the rock was also able to process the N and P from the curing process. Price was about $3.75 a pound. It took about 4 weeks to cycle.
  15. jahmic

    jahmic Shark M.A.S.C Club Member

    Where do order rock from? I have 40lbs of cycled rock that I've been sitting on...but would like to re-seed my tank with some more microfauna since I started the tank with about 80% dry rock.
  16. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    Local store. I will send you a PM.
  17. High Plains Reefer

    High Plains Reefer Sardine Platinum Sponsor M.A.S.C Club Member

    I would be interested too I want to cure my blue clove problem so I may be redoing the whole tank
  18. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

  19. Haddonisreef

    Haddonisreef Kraken M.A.S.C Club Member

    @jda123 Ok so here’s my deal setting up a 210 in the next 4 mths and have a bunch of dead real rock. And want to cure it how long till I can use it I hear like 6-8 mths Have a 100 gallon trough to do this lI have rock in my current 180 but has hydroids and not sure how much of it I want to use, although been alive for 15 yrs plus so has has tons of critters.
  20. Dr.DiSilicate

    Dr.DiSilicate Kraken M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    When I upgraded tanks a few years ago I added about half dry rock... it took a year before things really started lookin good. If you cook your rock starting now and use a lot of your old rock you should be ok. I wonder if you can kill the hydroids while pulling the rock out of the tank.

    I didn’t have any of the major algae issues that some people talk about but the tank was never really stable until the rock aged. Start cooking the stuff ASAP!

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