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Old 03-11-2010, 12:27 AM   #1
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Live rock question

So I am guessing I am doing a Nano reef tank. I have a 5 gallon tank and am being told I need at least 5 lbs of live rock. The LFS sells it for about $9 a lb and every place I have looked online sells large quantities of it. I had someone ask if Lava rock would work so I am wondering if anyone has used Lava rock, know where I can find small amounts of live rock, or if anyone has a DIY site to make liverock. Thanks for the help.
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:04 AM   #2
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Not 100% sure, but i believe i've heard that Tufa and Lava rock leach chemicals in to the tank over time, so i don't think that would be a good candidate for a substitute of live rock. Anyone correct me if im wrong.

I know that thincat has made DIY live rock before, and he was very successful at doing so. I would give you the link to where i've seen it, but i can't seem to find it so you may want to private message him, or post a question on his profile to see if he will help you. Unless he comes across this thread.. :P

You can ask him here:

Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community - View Profile: thincat
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:18 AM   #3
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check ebay. I was able to get small quantities there.
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:43 PM   #4
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I checked Ebay and the only one I saw there required a 10 LB purchase that or with shipping would have been as expensive as my LFS.

I found a guy on Craig's List but haven't heard back from him yet.

Thanks for the help guys.
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:50 PM   #5
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hmmm.. .for that small of an amount... I'd go with the lfs...
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Old 03-11-2010, 07:13 PM   #6
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Yeah I was thinking about that. If I order it by the time it gets here it will be pretty much dead anyway. I even looked at, dare I say it, Petco for live rock. I really don't trust Petco for live rock though. The LFS isn't to bad on thier pricing I just thought for 5 lbs of rock $9 a lb ($45 total) was a bit much. After looking around I think its actually pretty good. Thanks everyone for your inputs, this being my first SW tank it is all a learning experience.
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Old 03-11-2010, 07:30 PM   #7
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You could grab about 4lbs. of dry base rock and seed it with bits of live rock rubble or a small piece of live rock to save money.
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Old 03-11-2010, 07:30 PM   #8
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Honestly, i don't think that's a good price at all, but if it's all you've got, then it's all you've got, ya know? My LFS sells fiji premium live rock for 3.99$/lb and i know it's premium. They're exploding with corraline. Impressive for an LFS i know.

I wouldn't trust Petco for live rock either. If it was the only other choice, i would go with the 9$/lb LFS.


But actually, thom brings up a good point. Base rock is cheap and it will become live over time. For such a small tank, come to think of it, that's what i would do. Thom to the rescue! :P
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Old 03-11-2010, 07:32 PM   #9
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you think five pounds is bad i gotta buy 30 haha good luck on your tank though
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Old 03-11-2010, 07:49 PM   #10
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I was looking at making some dead rock and trying to seed it but for the legnth of time needed to do that I would be ready to put my large tank together. So maybe I will look into that later. The LFS offers discounts on larger orders of rock, 10+ lbs = $5.99, 20+ lbs I think is $3.99. Again thanks for the inputs.
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