Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Saltwater and Reef > Saltwater Reef Aquaria
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
Old 11-30-2009, 03:43 AM   #1
Aquarium Advice Addict
thincat's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,330
The need for Live Rock in a reef AQ.

I have a few questions for the group.
1) Is Live Rock really necessary in a reef Aquarium?
2) Can we get away from liverock and if so what should be used instead?
3) Are there other means of getting a cycled reef tank without LR and
still have the amount of good bacteria needed?
4) With the amount of coral I see in most reef tanks, would the plugs be enough area for bacteria to benifet the tank?
5) Is 1.5 lbs of LR per gallon as outdated as a rule as 3-4 watts per gallon lights are?

Happy Reefing,
thincat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2009, 07:49 AM   #2
SW 20 & Over Club
ccCapt's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Northeast PA
Posts: 5,365
Send a message via ICQ to ccCapt
1- no
2- yes, bio balls
3- fresh shrimp and bio balls
4- no
5- not really. You need some type of biological filtration whether it be lr or bioballs or media in a HOB filter or in a canister filter.

125g reef
See My Tank Info
Check out The build project
ccCapt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2009, 07:55 AM   #3
AA Team Emeritus
austinsdad's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Accokeek, Maryland
Posts: 7,694
I guess it all depends on what you're looking for ... or not looking for. The bacteria to sustain the tank with fish and inverts is likely needed on some kind of substance. Without LR, that leaves you with sand, sponges, bioballs, or other synthetic bio mass IMO. That leaves my mind with more problems hiding all that stuff so it doesn't take away from your main display. So you'd have to have a large sump or wet/dry to hide it all.

As far as enuf bacteria living on plugs... that seems to require more "shelving" in the tank to place the plugs on. That picture doesn't look as good either to me.

Now, if you're NOT looking for aesthetics, and just want a tank that "functions", I'd guess any combination of shelving and plugs, or bio-media won't be a problem for you.

It's just that in my mind, it ain't natural so I'm biased there anyway. Aside from my personal bias, the plugs and (likely) light grid constructed shelvng that holds the plugs don't seem to be enuf surface area for the bacteria to establish in enuf of a quantitiy to provide any real reef tank support in my mind.

Maybe I haven't given much real scientific proof to support my answer, but I'm sticking with it.

"Life may not be the party we hoped for but while we are here we might as well dance!"

austinsdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2009, 02:39 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
thincat's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,330
Thanks for the answers so far. See what happens to the mind on a slow Sunday.
Happy Reefing,
thincat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2009, 05:06 PM   #5
Community Admin
melosu58's Avatar

Tank of the Month Award
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Virginia
Posts: 38,340
1) You dont have to have it but if you want good biological filtration and good hiding and grazing places in your tank for your livestock then you`ll want to have it. It is also good for placing your corals on. There are many reasons for having LR. It also provides a natural reef look.
2)There is DIY and BR. As mentioned above there are some places that sell aquacultured rock. Tampabaysaltwater.com is one of them.
3) Bioballs, Wet dry system and canisters.
4)I doubt it
5)Yes that formula is outdated IMO. There are many types of rock out there. There is light rock out there and heavy rock out there. The key is to get good pourus rock that has more surface area and can house more beneficial nitrifying bacteria. if you have 1.5 lbs per gallon of tonga rock you`ll have more LR then if you had 1.5 lbs per gallon of Fiji LR. I would rather have the fiji LR as it`s more pourus and has more surface area.

Some good links

Live Rock As A Biological Filter: Hit or Myth? by Ronald L. Shimek, Ph.D.. - Reefkeeping.com

Live Rock

FAQ's Regarding Live Rock


You can view many of my fish and corals in my photo albums in my profile.

View my tank

AA Community Rules|AA TOS

Forums 101 - posting, accounts, basics
melosu58 is offline   Reply With Quote

live, live rock, reef, rock

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
90G reef, live rock, corals, fish, got to go. Erok7620 Archive 0 09-18-2009 07:39 PM
Dead rock - Live rock - Cured rock - Uncured rock Charlie Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 5 07-08-2006 07:44 AM
White thread looking worm on live rock? In a reef what is it xxnonamexx Saltwater & Reef - Sick Fish or Coral 3 02-13-2006 05:26 PM
What do you feed live rock and reef mike333 Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 6 04-05-2005 05:37 PM
live rock v.s. reef? NEWTOSALT Saltwater & Reef - Getting Started 1 01-25-2005 10:28 PM

» Photo Contest Winners

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:38 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.