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Old 11-17-2005, 08:38 PM   #1
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Different kinds of Live Rock

My local fish stores have amongst them several interesting yet perplexing kinds of live rock for me to choose from when I set up my reef tank this weekend:

Marshall Island
Blue Coral

All are quite fine looking specimens and everything but I'm having a really hard time understanding the difference between them. They all have the obvious difference of either price, weight, and porousness (actually I have no idea if porousness is even a word, I think I just made it up). Anyways, is there a difference or advantage of having different types other than the individual critters you can see on each rock? I understand the importance of having live rock and it was a no brainer as far as I was concerned. Some of the more expensive stuff has the most amazing shades of red to them (much like the familiar coraline purple) and ideally I'm hoping to have a healthy amount of each kind.

On the other hand...they're just bloody rocks! What gives? Won't the cheapest ones work just fine? What makes one kind of rock better than the next?

Inquiring minds want to know...

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Old 11-17-2005, 10:21 PM   #2
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You might get a bit of them all. This will give you a very diverse range of life that will be beneficial to your tank.

Good luck this weekend!


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Old 11-20-2005, 04:04 AM   #3
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Pourous rock is good since more critters and bacteria can live within the rock, and it also weighs less for the same filtering level (and hence is priced higher ). I'd mix and match pieces that you like personally. They will have different life forms in them as well.
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Old 11-20-2005, 11:10 AM   #4
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Yeah I figured I'd use the cheaper ones as the base of my reef, and the more expensive yet colourful and attractive pieces as the top layer. I'll try and aim to have different rocks in each corner or section of the tank. This should be fun, I had no idea we had such a wide variety locally.
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Old 11-20-2005, 11:45 PM   #5
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I personally have fiji rock. Marshal Island is the best that I have personally seen but it is quite expensive.

It all really boils down to how much money you have, and how much money you want to spend on rocks.

If you're tight for money, you may consider some of the cheaper stuff like using half base rock and half fiji rock and saving a few bucks to buy a better skimmer for example. The choice is really up to you.
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Old 11-21-2005, 10:35 AM   #6
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I have gotten some great looking pieces of Marshall Island rock in my tank. Kaelini is another nice looking rock I have. Both are quite porous. The fiji and gulf coast rock is more dense. Go for the Marshall Island IMO.
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Old 11-22-2005, 07:23 PM   #7
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The Marshall Island isn't that bad actually, considering that it's lighter than the Fiji. It's the Meiofauna that's really pricey, and isn't porous at all, so it's all solid weight. It costs most per pound and thus you only get about a quarter as much per dollar than you do the next most expensive kind. But the colours you can get on them are amazing, so I'll pick out a few smaller stones for sure.

But all rock is just that right? I mean will the "living" part of each rock be different amongst different types? Are you just as likely to encounter different feather dusters and sponges on two types of Fiji than you are on one Fiji and one Kaelini? So far it's all coming down to how porous it is, what kind of structure it has, and how much weight there is.
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Old 11-22-2005, 07:37 PM   #8
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Some live rock is known to contain more of some critter or different types of critters.

To me it's all the same, just different colors. Like a lot of fiji live rock is purple or something like that.

Im getting some more live rock from liveaquaria.net in a while. they have a special on fiji live rock, 80 dollars plus shipping for 45 pounds of it.
Around here it's really expensive. They had some at petco and I only wanted one little piece. It was 7.60 apound and that onelittle rock was 5 pounds. Im not made of money....
I'm tired of getting pointless messages. If your going to start a conversation or ask me something, keep up with it.
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Old 11-22-2005, 09:24 PM   #9
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I recommend looking into aqua-cultured LR. There are several places that cultivate Lr. Check out www.liverocks.com for options. I do know the recent hurricanes have slowed things a bit so call ahead. It is most likely cheaper then the LFS and a ton better rock.

Some people are like slinkies...they serve no real purpose yet can still bring a smile to your face when you push them down the stairs!:p
Have a great day! Brian
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