Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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wesminsmith 11-09-2007 06:14 AM

Live rock from the ocean
 
Hey guys,

I am currently living in Okinawa, so I am obviously surrounded by ocean, and I was wondering if I can just go into the ocean and pick out my own live rocks. Is there anything specifically I should look for or just grab and go? And can I just use ocean water as well? Thanks!


Wes.

bettababy 11-09-2007 02:30 PM

Re: Live rock from the ocean
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by wesminsmith
Hey guys,

I am currently living in Okinawa, so I am obviously surrounded by ocean, and I was wondering if I can just go into the ocean and pick out my own live rocks. Is there anything specifically I should look for or just grab and go? And can I just use ocean water as well? Thanks!


Wes.

I would not advise the use of ocean rock or water. In order to find rock that would be "safe" to use, free of pollution and such, you'd have to go pretty far out into open water (at least 10 - 20 miles away from shore). Also, if buying fish from a LFS, the exposure to illnesses, parasites in particular, and exposure to possible pollution issues could be deadly. Also, it should be known that there are laws about collecting live rock from the ocean, and without the proper permits, there are huge consequences if you get caught.

caferacermike 11-11-2007 07:14 PM

Live rock is the skeletons left behind from corals that have been battered by storms and such. The mineral content is usually different than rocks near the shore, unless you live on a reef.

bettababy 11-11-2007 11:13 PM

Live rock is any rock with micro and macro organisms living on or in it, in a marine (saltwater) environment, not limited to just dead corals. Wikpedia has a good complete definition here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_rock
Lava rock and tufa rock are easily cured to create live rock over a period of time.

The mineral content will vary according to location, temperature, and density of the rock.

caferacermike 11-12-2007 06:17 PM

Yes and no. True live rock is that which is mainly made from calcium, this is derived from a true coral reef. Yes you can use other materials as live rock once covered in organisms. This may be a nuance in the definition. Would you pay $8 a pound for "cured Tufta", no way. Leading people to believe that could easily part them with their hard earned money and a misleading vendor.

It is very important to pick the right rock as cheap rock could easily be the defining characteristic that can prevent a tank from being an easy to maintain tank or one that cannot host life. Many volcanic rock contains metal traces that are picked up when being exerted from the inner core of the earth. Heavy metals will poison a reef environment. Dense rock gathered near a reef or beach is garbage. It's the very light, fluffy, and porous rock that demands the high $$. With the 2 opinions being stated I'll leave it to the readers to decide what to part their money with. Would I fill my tank with volcanic deposits made from terrestrial minerals? I'll bet you already know the answer.


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