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LittleMatt

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I'm fairly new to the hobby, but I try to read as many books and articles as I can each day. My family and friends have started to hate me because all I talk about are Octopuses. Well anyway, here's my question:

I have a 75 gallon tank, and if I put in some regular rock for decoration and hiding spots, and then I put in about 20 lbs of live rock, over time, will the organisms that live on the live rock, transfer over to the other rock as well? I am really on a budget like B25, and I'd like to get things done well, but inexpensively. I don't have the money for 60 lbs of live rock or anything, but I will have around $100 to spend.
 

Colin

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Hi Matt

Yeah that will work. To be honest some people say that the best thing about live rock is actually the bacteria within the rock as it helps break down nitrates etc. So if you used base rock or tufa or similar then added a few bits of LR to 'seed' the tank then it will soon sread to other rocks.

This includes coraline algaes and all sorts of life.

C
 

rrtanton

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How's the rest of your supplies and equipment? Is $100 your entire budget, or do you mean you can spare $100 for live rock?

I believe you will ultimately turn your "dead rock" into live rock this way...but I dunno how long that takes, maybe even years? What kind of rock you use is important...there's special manmade porous rock that's good (and safe--not all rock is chemically inert) for this, I've been told...but I've also heard it isn't that much cheaper.

If you're ONLY after the bacteriological effects, I wonder if you could just get some live sand and use only "dead" porous rock, with a lot of time for it to get colonized. :?

rusty
 

LittleMatt

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I have about $100 for live rock. Around here, LR is $6 a lb. at the cheapest! Only one place I know of sold live sand, and they were no help at all. I tried to get pricing and they said they didn't know and hung up on me. Right now I have some Desert Red stone set up for a little cave. Thats not porous, so I was figuring maybe some Lava Rock. But I'm having some problems finding any places that have good Lava Rock that isn't so expensive. I don't want to order online because I can't see what I'm getting before hand.

I really like the bacteriological effect, because the way my tank is located will make it somewhat hard for water changes.
 

Nancy

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Hi LittleMatt,

You live near Boston, so there should be some better aquarium stores not too far from you that would sell several kinds of live rock, cured and uncured, and in various states in between. Some of the uncured or semi-cured should be less expensive, if you want to undertake the curing process yourself. A good store should also have a big selection of live sand (I was just looking at a lot of different sands this morning in a small aquarium store), base rock, and other solutions.

Also, I have read reports of people being quite satisfied ordering live rock online.

Nancy
 

LittleMatt

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Does anyone know of any good places to order LR online? I'd like to be able to find some at a LFS, but if that doesn't really work then online would be a good backup.
 

rrtanton

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That's another problem, I'm afraid...shipping is very expensive. Probably the cheapest shipping you can get away with would be a minimum of $50, with $100 being more typical. Usually cheaper shipping is 2nd day air, and that's usually not good. Reportedly too many things die in the rock even in overnight shipping let alone 2nd day. That's why my supplier (Harbor Aquatics) pretty much won't ship unless it's overnight...so for shipping, they'd probably be way overpriced for you.

Honestly, your best bet (I think) is to try like heck to find an quality supplier even REMOTELY in your area that you can drive to...think neighboring states, even! I drove ~5 hours to HA in Valparaiso, IN, because it still saved me a lot of money in shipping costs vs. gasoline (plus I had friends in the area to visit anyway!) :wink: So I'd do some serious web-searching.

Sorry it's such a pain...I went through this too when exploring live rock ("It costs HOW much?!?! :shock: :x Well...okay...I guess...I'll order some...wait...shipping costs HOW much?!?!?! :shock: :x :cry: ")

rusty
 

LittleMatt

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Yeah, RR this has been quite a journey for LR. I've been trying quite hard lately, and I just need to find a good fair-priced LFS. Everyone is just insanely expensive. I realized that shipping would be tough, but I was hoping maybe a place would be nearby. I'm going to keep trying though. I just want to find some type of directory for fish stores.

On an added note, what do you think of arag-alive and other similar products? I was thinking of maybe adding a bag to the rest of the substrate. But I don't know if it's what it's cracked up to be.
 

rrtanton

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I dunno much about live sand. I did use some though. I set up my tank as follows: Added aragonite sand (about 30 pounds? I wrote it down somewhere...) and saltwater, hooked up all filters and equipment, ran for a few days. Then I added (this is a 55 gal tank) an off-the-shelf 20lb bag of live sand, I don't think it was specifically arag-alive. I ran this for some time too, maybe a week or so. Then I added my live rock.

This may have been helpful in accelerating cycling, or maybe not...I'm honestly not sure! Live rock does most of the grunt work there, I'm sure, but the sand may have eased the transition a bit too, by getting some bacteria settling into the tank and filtration system early. That's why I suspect someone could even just use some live sand and lava rock and ultimately get the same effects as live rock, though it'd take longer, and not be nearly as cool as critter-encrusted live rock!

THe only prices I've seen in LFS for live rock is very steep, between $6 and $8 a pound, because that includes their shipping cost, their overhead, their profit, and possible curing time. But did someone mention you're in Boston? I've GOTTA think there's a live rock distributor somewhere remotely near you. Perhaps there's a local aquarium you could ask, or maybe try ReefCentral--there's a good chance you could find some regional live rock info there, since they're all about reefs.

Heh. Listen to me...the newbie offering advice...well, take that advice with a 50-pound bucket of Instant Ocean 'cause I'm no expert! :oops: :P

rusty
 

Nancy

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Another place you might ask about good aquarium stores for live rock in your area is someone who belongs to the Marine Aquarium Society
www.masna.org
There must be a chapter in the Boston area.

Nancy
 
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