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Old 03-26-2013, 09:54 AM   #1
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BBQ lava rock

I have heard that if you clean the bbq lava rock well, you can add it to your tank and it makes good live rock eventually. Just wondered if anyone has done it and if it works.
Thanks Bill
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:36 PM   #2
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Rock becomes live after the cycle and there is beneficial bacteria growing on it. In terms of using any lava rock, it is possible. I personally stay away from it as some lava rock contains heavy metals that can be toxic in our closed systems.
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:56 PM   #3
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I was wondering if there would be one type of lava rock that would be better than another so the metals don't come into play.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:03 AM   #4
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Hawaiian has iron in it, all I'm aware of.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:18 AM   #5
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I would stay away from any kind of lava, and stick to aragonite. Lava has wildly varying chemical composition depending on where it came from, and saltwater has a nasty habit of oxidizing any metallic compounds it comes in contact with. This isn't a problem if it is the light metals like calcium, magnesium or strontium. Those are necessary for life, and it quite high concentrations. The problem comes when you start getting into the heavier metals like iron, copper, zinc, aluminum or lead. Iron, copper and zinc are all essential for life in small amounts, but if the concentration is too high they can quickly become toxic.

In the ocean this isn't an issue because what ever leaches out of fresh lava that comes out into the sea is diluted by literally trillions of gallons of water. The same cannot be said about your aquarium.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:21 AM   #6
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thanks for the input. I will stay away from the lava rock and try and find a dealer who sells, lr in my area.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bald57 View Post
thanks for the input. I will stay away from the lava rock and try and find a dealer who sells, lr in my area.
You can buy dry rock as well. It is aragonite based rock that is quarried from old reefs that are now on dry land. It looks just like LR, and is calcium based so it won't leach nasty stuff into your tank. If can't find a good source of LR this is a good way to go as well. Many of us will use a large portion of dry rock with a few pieces of LR to seed the dry rock. The dry rock is significantly cheaper.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:12 AM   #8
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You don't even need to seed, rock becomes live through cycling your tank. Live means there is beneficial bacteria living on it for the nitrate cycle.

In terms of finding someone who sells rock, just order it online. You can get live or macro/base rock. I live in the middle off a national forest, there aren't places to buy much of anything around me. My entire tank was shipped to me, it works.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:19 PM   #9
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The only real reason for using live rock to seed your tank is it brings with it tons of multi-cell organisms such as pineapple sponges, and other such things that won't spontaneously seed like the nitrogen cycle bacteria.
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