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Old 12-10-2012, 03:16 PM   #1
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Live Rock Debate...

So at a local reef club meeting, a guy said he believes that less rock is better. In his 75 gallon he has one big piece of LR and a small LR island on each side. the big piece he sais he uses for alot of coral placement and the islands he uses for misc corals such *** gree star polyps. He says it allows for better water flow and more fish space to swim and any other coral he wants on his sand bed. Anyone agree with this theory that less rock is better?
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:19 PM   #2
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I have a 90 gal tank with 85 lbs of live rock it just depends on your aqua scapeing
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:34 PM   #3
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Good question. I think the old rule of thumb on the amount of Live Rock needed was created by retailers looking to sell live rock.

I like less is more. When I had a reef, I liked large corals with a minimum amount of rock to serve as an anchor. It just looks great and gives swimming room for fish. Beneficial bacteria and such are going to live on all surfaces of the aquarium from the walls, to the filter inlets, to you name it. Right now I have a 180 with 100lbs of rock and it's more than enough for me, the fish, and swimming room.
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:51 PM   #4
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I always like a good amount of live rock. I think it looks nice give the fish plenty of hiding spots, gives the fish a natural looking environment, they love to pick at it and it gives a good biological filter. I've never heard anyone say that less rock was better.
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:56 PM   #5
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The pounds per gallon rule applies mostly to the Berlin method of filtration. If you are using a different filtration method, less rock does provide benefits such as swimming area and sand bed availability. I would use that sort of setup for a shark (assuming the massive minimum tank size is used) or ray, or other such animals that require large sand bed area.
However, I rely largely on my rock for filtration, so the 1-2 pounds per gallon rule applies.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:02 PM   #6
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I have a 90 gallon with 120 pounds of live rock. I have never had any problems with water quality and I don't have a sump, refugium, or protein slimmer. The fish have plenty of swimming room and hiding spots also.

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Old 12-10-2012, 08:45 PM   #7
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I think it's more to your liking, like was stated bb will grow any where.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:49 PM   #8
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Good examples are lfs little rock or fake coral to display fish or corals. They keep more in there sumps then in display.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:49 PM   #9
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They won't grow anywhere. Lol. They have specific requirements like any other life form. In an issue if TFH, there was a fascinating study of different types of filtration media including images from a scanning electron microscope to identify bacteria species. Rock is so valuable because it provides massive surface area of varying textures to allow for great bacterial biodiversity.
But again, if you are not relying on the rock as your primary filtration, then the amount becomes largely cosmetic, and for specific animals.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:51 PM   #10
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Very good point on the sump! I have roughly three pounds of rubble in my sump along with a remote deep sand bed. If you don't want a lot in the display but have room in the sump, it's a best if both worlds situation.
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