Live Rock: The Foundation of a Healthy Marine Aquarium

klueless

Small Fish
Mar 7, 2008
11
0
0
hamilton ontario canada
#24
i have about 20 lbs in a bucket with a small filter moving the water around and my house stinks !!!
i was wondering what the answer to the required temperature to cure is ?
is room temp ok ?
can i out it in the cold basement ? or better yet the garage ?
should i have a lid on it ?
 

Lotus

Ultimate Fish
Moderator
Aug 26, 2003
15,115
13
38
Southern California
home.earthlink.net
#25
Temperature is also important; live rock should be kept in water between 75 degrees Fahrenheit and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. While many of the inhabitants of live rock will survive at higher and lower specific gravity, pH, and temperatures it is in the best interest of all living organisms on the rock that those ranges be maintained.
I think you'll need a heater.
 

Aug 17, 2008
42
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0
#26
Do you need to do more water changes with live rock than you would with using a filter and no live rock? I can suffice on one 20% water change per month and I don't have any live rock. No problems with high levels of nitrite/nitrate. How often do you all do water changes?

If I got live rock I'd prob start with about 30 lbs or so, and 20 lbs of base rock. I'd also dump the canister filter (though I don't need the carbon either??), add a powerhead or two, and possibly a protein skimmer. I don't know if my budget will allow the protein skimmer right away.
 

OCCFan023

Superstar Fish
Jul 29, 2004
1,817
5
0
32
New Jersey
#27
Do you need to do more water changes with live rock than you would with using a filter and no live rock? I can suffice on one 20% water change per month and I don't have any live rock. No problems with high levels of nitrite/nitrate. How often do you all do water changes?

If I got live rock I'd prob start with about 30 lbs or so, and 20 lbs of base rock. I'd also dump the canister filter (though I don't need the carbon either??), add a powerhead or two, and possibly a protein skimmer. I don't know if my budget will allow the protein skimmer right away.

Its more of a matter of the parameters staying in check (remember 0 is better than a little) that will necessitate your water change schedule. Personally I liked to go every week on my 20l and every 2 weeks on my 90. This kept my parameters in tune with my liking, and also allowed me to get my bare bottom tank sparkling.

As for the equipment, I would suggest keeping the canister filter and run it empty for added flow, keep the powerhead, and a protein skimmer will make your life easier.
 

Aug 17, 2008
42
0
0
#28
I used tufa as base rock. It is very porous which makes for immense surface area and inexpensive. It is now covered in purple coralline and when I check at night, covered in pods.
Can I ask, how long did it take for your live rock to spread over to the tufa? I was thinking of buying some tufa as well, since they have nice large holes for the fish to swim through.
 

LDSP

New Fish
Aug 25, 2008
5
0
0
#29
Live rock

So let me ask this. If running a brackish water setup which is over time transforming into a marine envoroment for the fish in it should or could one use live rock as part of the tank's aquascape? Also can Holey rock be incorporated into a marine tank? Have this really killer 200lb centerpiece rock with lots of holes and caves in it that I hate not being able to use:)

Leo
 

Jun 29, 2008
490
0
0
PA
#31
Regarding the brackish tank and live rock question, the SG in the brackish tank may be too low for the rock and actaully kill it. i believe a SG below 1.016 will lead to this mass die off.
 

#34
Hum

Not sure I would Add the elements your suggesting, they might work but I would do it right the first time. You could do a few water changes to drop the PH below or to about 8.0 and then buy a PH upper. First things First..When buying a PH upper you need to know what your tank is..(Reef tank, Fish only, or a little of both). This will help, I have found that by having a more natural tank, in the way of a lot of rock and kelp with algae in the refugium you do not have to do as much because the rocks help with the work load.

Anyway let me get to the point. I had a 50 Gal tank and was going through PH buffer (made by Seachem) like crazy to keep my PH up, but it always kept dropping and I was not sure why. Now that I have a 150 Gal tank I started the tank and added in Reef Builder also by Seachem, and I have not had a problem with my PH levels since I started. The Reef Builder focused on raising Carbonate Alkalinity and not just PH. By raising the Alkalinity you also raise the PH.

This is just what I recommend: Do a water change or 2 and replace the old water with new RO water or water from your local Fish store, start with a 25% change and go from there. After the water change wait a day if you can before testing the water or at least a few hours. If you need to drop again then do another water change and so on. After getting the PH at about 7.8-8.0 add some kind of PH builder or buffer depending on the tank set up.

Final note: I currently run my PH at about 8.5 in a full reef tank, and my fish and corals love it. The main Goal is to get your PH to 8.1-8.5 and hold it on the exact number you pick, your fish and corals will adapt to some degree.

Hope this helps a bit.*SUNSMILE*
 

Nov 11, 2011
1
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0
#36
Ok thanks, just an idea that came to me during the reading.
I used tufa as base rock. It is very porous which makes for immense surface area and inexpensive. The LFS had many cool shapes and sizes. I got some nice pieces with large (4") holes in the sides that the fish swim through. It is now covered in purple coralline and when I check at night, covered in pods. I hear you can get special "reef safe" tufa. I don't know what is done to make it reef safe (removing minerals or something) but I have had no probs with my tufa and I have corals.
 

robynz

Small Fish
Jun 14, 2012
11
0
0
#38
Live rocks are simply debris from coral reef structure by natural means like storms and hurricane. Live rocks are broken off rubble which have living organism that is why it is called live rocks. It is really good for my aquarium.
 

#39
This applies to LR as well:

What is Periphyton?

Periphyton is what turns your rocks different colors. You know... the white rocks you started with in SW, or the grey rocks (or brown wood) you started with in FW. After several months or years, the rocks become a variety of different colors and textures. Why? Because the periphyton that has grown on it is a mix of different living things, of different colors, and thicknesses. And the important part is: It is LIVING.

That's right: The colored stuff that has coated your rocks is all living organisms. Sponges, microbes, algae, cyano, biofilms, and of course coralline. After all, "peri" means "around the outside", and "phyto" means "plant". Ever slipped in a slippery puddle? That's probably periphyton that made it slippery. It's a very thin coating on the rocks, sometimes paper thin.

There is a lot of photosynthetic organisms in periphyton, and this of course means that they need light; but they need nutrients too (ammonia, nitrate, phosphate). And as you might figure, they will be on the lighted portions of the rocks. And they will grow to intercept food particles in the water, based on the water flow. Just think about how sponges orient their holes for water flow; the micro sponges in periphyton do it too but on a tiny scale.

What about under the rocks, in the dark areas? Well these periphyton don't get light, so they are primarily filter feeders. So they REALLY grow and position themselves to be able to intercept food particles. And they don't really need to fight off algae, because algae does not grow in the dark, so they have no need for anti-algae tactics like plants in illuminated areas have.

Reef studies have shown that at certain depths, more of the filtering of the water comes from periphyton and benthic algae than comes from the phytoplankton which filters the deeper water. And in streams, almost all the filtering is done by periphyton. So, what you have on rocks that are "mature" or "established" is a well-developed layer of periphyton; and all the things that comes from it.

This is why mandarin fish can eat directly off the rocks of an "established" tank (tons of pods grow in the periphyton), but not on the rocks of a new tank. Or why some animals can lay their eggs on established rocks, but not new ones. Or why established tanks seem to "yo-yo" less than new ones. Even tangs can eat periphyton directly when it's thick enough. Yes periphyton can also develop on the sand, but since the sand is moved around so much, the periphyton does not get visible like it does on rocks. So thick periphyton on established rocks is your friend. And totally natural too. Keep in mind though I'm not referring to nuisance algae on rocks; I'm only referring to the very-thin layer of coloring that coats the rocks.

But what happens when you "scrape the stuff off your rocks"? Well you remove some of the periphyton, which means you remove some of your natural filter and food producer. What if you take the rocks out and scrub them? Well now you not only remove more of your natural filter and food producer, but the air is going to kill even more of the microscopic sponges in it. And what if you bleach the rocks? Well, goodbye all filtering and food producing for another year. It's an instant reduction of the natural filtering that the periphyton was providing.

However, what if you just re-arrange the rocks? Well, some of the periphyton that was in the light, now will be in the dark; so this part will die. And some of the periphyton that was in the dark will now be in the light, so it will not be able to out-compete photosynthetic growth and thus will be covered and die too. And even if the light stays the same, the direction and amount of water flow (and food particles) will change; sponges that were oriented to get food particles from one direction will now starve. So since the light and food supply is cut off, the filtering that the periphyton was providing stops almost immediately, due only to the re-arranging of the rocks.

Starvation takes a little longer. The periphyton organisms won't die immediately, since they have some energy saved up; but instead, they will wither away over several weeks. So on top of the instant reduction in filtering that you get by just moving the rocks, you get a somewhat stretched-out period of nutrients going back into the water. And after all this, it takes another long period of time for the periphyton to build up to the levels it was at before: 1 to 2 years. Even changing the direction of a powerhead will affect the food particle supply in the area it used to be pointed at.

So a good idea is to try to keep everything the same. Pick your lighting, flow, layout, and try to never move or change anything. It's a different way of thinking, but you should have a stronger natural filter and food producer because of it.