Yet another LR question.....
I've read all of the LR question streams and got a lot of good information from them. Thanks.
But I have another to ask. I'll be setting up a 120 gallon reef tank shortly and need to purchase lots of LR. My LFS doesn't have any of the $6/lb Fiji rock, but has lots of the $10/lb Tonga/Marshall Rock. At that rate, I'll have to sell one of my kidneys (probably more) to get about 180 lbs of rock.
My LFS says if get 150 lbs of base rock with about 30 lbs of good LR, that will be enough to seed, and establish the bio filter in about a month or two. Any thoughts on this?? I'm a little concerned about the aesthetics of having so much bleached white rock for what could be a year (?) before it starts to color up.
I've been considering another alternative.... Getting some base rock from the LFS, and some LR from them as well. But also ordering about 75lb of cured LR from a good online place (if one actually exists....).
My LFS told me there are no online places that sell totally cured, LR ready to put in the tank. But obviously, they are not impartial....
I've looked at several online retailers who claim to sell cured LR, and ship 2nd day (with next day as an option). These include Saltwaterfish.com, Reefhotspot and Aquacon.
Does anyone have any experience with them, or any good experiences with online retailers of cured LR?
I would give some thought to www.Liveaquaria.com. They are a livestock division of Drs Foster & Smith (www.drsfostersmith.com). They are a good business to deal with, and though I have not made any LR purchases from them, They are one of the only businesses I would trust to purchase via internet from.
As for seeding base rock, Yes, it is a common practice. As the life in the live rock grows, it will spread into, and onto, the base rock. the bad thing is, the base rock will provide no benifit to the filtration of the system for several months. As for the color, well with the proper conditions, it should only be a few months before they color up nicely. The key is to seed the tank with coraline. There are a few really easy ways to do this. If you know someone with a reef tank, ask them to scrape the coraline from the glass before they do a water change. Then have them save you the water. another way is to get yourself a piece of coraline covered rock and place it right in front of a powerhead. These are both good ways of spreading the coraline seed throughout the tank.
I just bought from Liveaquaria and got 30 lbs of the Lalo rock and 22 lbs of the select premium fiji rock. The lalo was more expensive at 120 and the fiji was 80 I believe. Those numbers seem pretty cheap, but the shipping is what costs a lot. I paid 80 for the shipping. I still would trust their stuff over a LFS unless you really see nice stuff on it and they are a good size. Out of my Lalo rock I got one huuuge piece at about 16x12. It was an incredible piece of rock that would look great in a big tank. Unfortunately I didn't get any hitchhickers with my purchase. Just some little gnat like bugs that were on the rocks, but they drowned.
Glad to hear you were happy with the rock. How was the Fiji rock?
The reason you didnt, and likely will never get any hitchhikers is that they use a misting process where the rock is kept out of water, but misted regularly to keep it damp. this causes the bristleworms, aiptasia, and other pests to drop off into the water below. unfortunately, it also causes alot of the neat stuff, like fancy brittle stars and snails to drop off as well.
That's good news about live aquaria. Did the rock come fully cured, ready to put in the tank, or did you have to prep it.
Any Mail order Rock should be cured. Even cured rock will have some die off during the shipping process.
I actually believe that the Lalo rock said it was uncured. However since this is the first setup of my tank with no live creatures the LR can cure and help start the cycle of the tank. I actually can't say that I could see too much difference in the smaller pieces of rock between the two different types, but the one huge piece of Lalo I got had a nice amount of red and some pink colors to it that set it apart. I can't wait to see it when it all starts to grow again.
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