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Old 03-27-2006, 04:10 PM   #11
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Here is an example of what I mean...up until recently, I had 150 lbs of very dense gulf rock in a 55 gallon tank, it went 2/3 up to the top of the tank. If I had that same 150 lbs in fiji rock, I couldnt have found the room for it. The tendency lately (just read the numerous posts on gulf rock) is to buy this dense and heavy rock that has (IMO) much less filtration capability than the fiji or similar carribean rock. In which case, you would need more weight to do the same job. Most people wont pay the $'s anymore for the good rock when they can find gulfrock. Nor do people new to the hobby, understand the difference.

edit to add the following: My max would be this...I have all my fish, is my tank healthy with ammonia, nitrite and nitrate at zero? If so, I have enough rock, if not, I need to buy more.

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Old 03-27-2006, 04:43 PM   #12
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you always do well at keeping a level head through various discussions with differeing opinions, so I trust and hope that this is not an exception and nothing I say gets taken as an attack. That's not my intention.

I hear what you are saying, I made mention to the porosity of the LR as well in an earlier post. I realize that many new aquarists are surprised by the additional stuff they need to buy above and beyond what they originally thought. LR is always the biggest kick in the pants upon first hearing about it. "I gotta spend HOW MUCH $ on ROCK?," as we know, is quite commonly overheard.

My concern is that, lets say no one else commented on this post, 110+ lbs of a porous LR may have been purchased to find that there is too much of it and little room left for water. I realize that the odds of that happening are VERY slim, but it still is a possibility. your rationale behind how much LR in total is needed (ie: water parameters), is completely understandable, but who's to say that someones zero readings wouldn't still be zero with less rock? I agree adding more until you get to the "right amount" is the best way, but starting at 1# or 1.5# makes the most sense.

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Old 03-27-2006, 04:59 PM   #13
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You make valid points. I am one that always errs on the side of caution. I would rather see too much than too little. As we all know, there is more than one "right" way to do things in this hobby and I just expressed what my "preferred, right method" is. No offense taken on a difference of opinion.

What we are showing however, whether it is 100, 150 or even just 50 lbs of liverock, is that the expense is there and it isnt cheap. I think that is the ultimate question from the poster anyway, and most people come close to having a coronary when they write the check for 200. or 500 or whatever for a pile of rock.
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Old 03-27-2006, 05:01 PM   #14
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Hara, I have learned tons from you and always highly recommend your site and also do not mean to “personally attack”. Thank you for your more detailed reasoning behind your 2 lbs per gal recommendation.

I completely understand you’re reasoning as well but also had to cringe at the 100% lr comment. Personally I used 60 lbs of base and 30 lbs of quality live rock and feel that it is an excellent way to cut costs without sacrificing bio-filtration once the base rock builds the bacteria. After 9 months now the base is coming along nicely and the “bottom rock” is starting to look more and more like the quality live rock that cost 3 times as much for half. For the last 7 months I have no3 of <2.5 or undetectable.

Granted a SW tank is 10 times the cost to setup and maintain then a FW/Brackish tank but I think recommending 2lbs per gal or getting 100% lr could be better spent by using a mixture of base/lr and/or starting out with 1.5 lbs per gal. That way they could get a quality skimmer which IMO helps keep a health tank by removing DOC more so then just having a ton of quality live rock.
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Old 03-27-2006, 05:22 PM   #15
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Bottom line is this hobby ain't cheap.

We read a lot of posts saying budget is limited, and I do my best to encourage, but keep it realistic with costs. I don't want to see someone turned off the hobby because of costs, but then again, I don't wanna see someone make a half-*** (sorry, couldn't think of a better way to say it) stab at it either.

I cringe when I hear people list what the minimum is, and they leave out WC supplies, ongoing maintenance costs, plumbing costs, electricity costs, etc, the list goes on.

I know we could never get an accurate list of essential supplies, because everyone has a different opinion, but it would be nice to have a sticky formed from a ongoing poll of essential equipment. Items could be added with personal rationale to back it up, to avoid argument
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Old 03-27-2006, 05:32 PM   #16
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This thread has been most informative to say the least. Most people I talk to say that it's easy and isn't much more expensive than having a FW tank. I am definitely one of those who is thinking "You want me to spend how much on rocks?"

I am getting the tank and all the stuff for $100.00 and the value of everything was around $1000.00. That's what really perked me up on thinking about this. I don't really think my wife would go for spending 2-300 bucks on rock. I just can't see it. Heck, I have enough trouble getting her to pony up 10 bucks for fishing lures.

I definetely didn't want to jump into this half-assed either, hence that is why I am here. It looks like FW may be the way to stay for me. Just convert it all over.
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Old 03-27-2006, 07:15 PM   #17
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The expense can get intense...

I chose a 46-gallon aquarium, not because I didn't want a bigger tank, but because I couldn't afford to do a bigger tank right! I've easily got invested almost $1000 into it now, and I haven't even gotten my new lights yet!!! 8O hehe!

All in all, though, once I am finished, I do believe that the investment will be worth it to me. The reason I am so excited about saltwater is the amount of things to look at over freshwater, and so much more "real" of an ecosystem. There is live rock, beautfiul multiple colors of coralline algae, living things coming out of the rock, living in it, snails and crabs and shrimps all over, beautiful shimmering fish swimming around...then you can begin to add corals...I love my aquariums, and I know I'll be fascinated for years to come with it.
38 Gallon (Freshwater): 1 Green Swordtail, 3 Yo-Yo Loaches, 1 Clown Pleco, 1 Blue Gourami, 4 Otocinclus, 7 Cherry Barbs.

46 Gallon (Saltwater): 60 pounds Lalo Live Rock, 60 pounds aragonite sand, 1 Coral Beauty Angelfish, 1 Peppermint Shrimp, 1 Mushroom Coral, 1 Emerald Crab, various snails and hermit crabs.

10 Gallon (Saltwater quarantine):
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Old 03-27-2006, 09:17 PM   #18
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In an ideal world 2lbs/gal is terrific. I always shoot for at least that amount. I have over 25lbs in my 12gal nano and over 160lbs in my 72gal reef. Both share a mix of Fiji and Carribbean. I think we all agree that the more LR the better. You certainly do not need to start with 2lbs/gal but that should be a good goal. Rock varies so much in density that 100lbs of one type will look like it fills up a tank and the same amount of another will barely get you started. My advice...get as mush as you can now. It is okay to mix LR and base rock in the begining, much more economical as well. I still say shoot for an end number somewhere around 110+ pounds. Your tank will love you for it. Trust me, it will not look too crowded.

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