Buying live rock online
I'll be starting a saltwater aquarium (fowlr) soon, and I'm looking around for good deals on live rock. It's pretty expensive at my lfs, so I've looked at a couple of online dealers. Has anyone ever ordered their live rock online, and what were the results? It's a lot cheaper online, but I don't want to waste my money on a box of junk.
Also, there are so many different kinds! I'm looking for about 60-75 lbs. What kind is best, and nicest looking?
I found this website that sells it for very cheap, with "free shipping". Does this look like a good deal, or a way to waste a lot of cash? http://www.intmarinefish.com/
I would be skeptical. I took a look at their website and the add for the live rock and sand... the prices they have listed are about average wholesale prices. He's the thing... not knowing anything about this company, I would question the quality of the rock. Not knowing anyone who has ordered from them in the past would make me wonder if it's any good.
I have had friends and customers order live rock online from various places, and the reports I got were always about the same. It tends to be 'scrap rock" and very dense, which adds to the weight and makes it less beneficial to your tank. What you want is rock that is light in weight, very porous and a good aid in your biological filtration. With rock that is very heavy and dense, this allows less surface area for bacteria to colinize. The fewer bacteria the harder it will be to keep the tank stable and healthy, and the fewer animals it will be capable of supporting.
My best advice is to shop around, don't buy all of your rock in the same place, and find out the weight before you decide to buy. If a small rock weighs 3 lbs, and then a larger rock ways 2.5 lbs, you know which piece is better... and a better buy. The reason for varying the places you purchase is to help introduce as much life into the tank as possible. Rock coming from different places and being handled in different ways is going to contain different types of life both on and inside of it. This makes for a healthier and prettier, and more fun environment for you and your fish.
Good types of rock to look for...Fiji Rock and Marshall Island Rock are usually pretty good quality and shapes, and not usually real dense. I am fond of tonga branch rock, but I never put that alone in any tank. I shop for unique pieces, look for coraline algae growth already started, and check weight on anything before I buy it.
If you decide to give this online company a try, I would suggest not buying your entire stock of rock from them. If you buy a lesser amount you still have room to add rock from other places, and if this turns out to be good, then you'll end up with all good rock. If this turns out to be bad, you won't have to replace all of it or worry about the effects it may have on your tank.
Thanks for the quick reply, it was very helpful! I guess I'll check out the lfs again, despite the higher price, and keep the weight of the rock in mind.
I would not buy from them again..
like a moron, I was searching for live rock online without being able to see it.. He shows all these pretty pictures of "premium caribbean live rock" well, being that moron, I ordered 30lbs of "cured" live rock from him.. 1st of all, if there was anything on the rock, it would probably died in the 6 days of shipping, thank god I had purchased 11 lbs of live rock from my LFS that was tearing their reef tank down, cause thats about all the premium rock I got was the rock from my Local Fish Store.. he did meet my request to have 4-7" pieces since I have a 30 gallon tank.. it looked like base rock that had been put in a tank for a few weeks, no coraline algae anywhere that I could find.. was super white.. go figure, however there was a dead clam in a pore in a rock that I had to scrap out.. found him by a horrible smell after I picked a piece of rock up out of my tank after a week. there was also some sponges and bristle worms.. I guess that made it "LIVE ROCK!" IT WAS SO BAD, THERE WERE NOT EVEN ANY ROCK ANEMONES ANYWHERE ON IT.. and do you know how fast they reproduce.. GO TO YOUR LOCAL FISH STORE.. IF you see a piece of rock you like.. get it.. I went back and got some more Live rock from my LFS with good coraline algae, some tube worms and other life forms on it to spread in my tank... It is about 2 months old now and finally forms of life forms are just starting to spread out to the rock I ordered from International Marine... I would never order any rock from them again..
HOPE THIS HELP ANYONE TRYING TO MAKE A DECISION!!!
Re: I would not buy from them again..
And that is precisly why i wont trust online ordering for LR. You just never know.
PICS OF INTERNATIONAL MARINE'S LIVE ROCK..
This will not allow me to post pics.. if you wanna see how "premium" their live rock is, let me know and i iwll send you pictures..
BEWARE!! I WILL NEVER ORDER ANYTHING ELSE FROM THEM!!
I am not trying to damange any business for anyone, but just letting you know about an experience.. I did not complain about the rock to him, just chalked it up for an experience. I take responsibility for the loss due to my stupidity of ordering LR that was not seen by my own eyes
Thanks you Lupin, here are some links to some pics..
Some rock from LFS and most from International marine.. Im sure you can tell the difference.. you be the judge.. and remember this is after a while in my tank.. My tank has cycled, algae bloom, controlled algae and coraline algae from LFS rock has finally started to spread.. you be the judge
Thanx chriscolumbus for posting those pictures and sharing your experience. Yours is about the same as what I have heard from others, different places online but end result is about the same.
I wonder, could you tell us, is the rock from online heavier and denser than the rock you purchased from your LFS?
those rocks themselves look like they worked for a really nice setup however. Hope they catch on and become "live" again
the rocks were about the same for what I could tell.. I did recieve some larger rocks and some flat rocks.. Like I stated he did match my request for smaller rocks rather than one 30lbs rock.. but there was not much growth on the rocks.. In the end the rocks did make a nice setup *THANKS ALTOHOMBRE* cant wait for full life to return to them, but not sure how long it will take for worms, and stuff to reproduce on the rocks..
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