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Old 06-29-2012, 12:41 AM   #11
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Yeah FOWLR systems doen't need the "live" part very much. The rocks just offer biological filtration, just like an HOB filter or canister.

The "live" part is better preserved in tanks with refugiums and skimmer since those two things help the "live" part stay alive. But the "live" part slowly dies in a FOWLR system.
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Old 06-29-2012, 01:21 AM   #12
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How does the live part die in a FOWLR systems? Having corals or not doesn't do anything to bacteria. If the bacteria has ammonia, it's going to live. He was talking about die off during transportation I think. Once it's in the tank if it had food it's going to reproduce.
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Old 06-29-2012, 02:04 AM   #13
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Most people try to prolong the water change in SW systems (we all know why, right?). FOWLR systems end up getting too much dissolved organic waste that skimmers take out. This suffucates live rocks and kills many of the "live" stuff that lives on the rock. The refugium also exports a lot stuff to protect the life of the rock in the long-run. All aquatic life does need clean water.

FW systems have far superior water quality than SW systems since the water changes are cheaper.

edit: not all life on the rock die, but a big majority of it will die over time. The rock will still have plenty of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria though.
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Old 06-30-2012, 02:26 AM   #14
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Die off is very individualized. Some tanks will lose everything but the bacteria, while others will find more and more life developing over time. I have one rock in particular that has exploded with variety in the last couple of months. Various algaes, coralline, sponges, tiny feather dusters, etc.
But yeah, Terrance is right that in most cases, biodiversity in SW tanks decreases over time.
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Old 06-30-2012, 04:54 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrance

edit: not all life on the rock die, but a big majority of it will die over time. The rock will still have plenty of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria though.
The bacteria is what makes live rock "live" and no they do not die off in a FOWLR system compared to a reef. There is no other purpose to live rock besides biological filtration and hiding spots for fish. Any of the other life you see on live rock is just a hitchhiker organism and has nothing to do with making the rock "live"
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Old 06-30-2012, 05:03 AM   #16
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The bacteria is what makes live rock "live" and no they do not die off in a FOWLR system compared to a reef. There is no other purpose to live rock besides biological filtration and hiding spots for fish. Any of the other life you see on live rock is just a hitchhiker organism and has nothing to do with making the rock "live"
Hmm... though technically correct that the primary purpose of LR is filtration, I have to disagree with the assertation that there is no other function, or that the biodiversity of various organisms has nothing to do with making it "live" rock.
Quality live rock will contain many useful organisms besides the bacteria. Copepods, amphipods, micro brittle stars, tiny feather duster worms, various algae species including coralline algae, sponges, bristleworms, and more. If the bacteria was literally the only thing we wanted, we wouldn't bother buying live rock at all.
Biodiversity in a reef tank helps to create a more stable system. Each organism fills a very specific ecological niche, and having as many of those filled as possible means more effective nutrient recycling and waste disposal.
Yes, Live Rock is mostly filtration and structure, but that is not *all* that it is. It is a piece of the sea that we bring into our little glass boxes to make it more real for the animals we house there.
Is Live Rock "essential" to a Fish Only system? No. But the death of all other organisms in/on the rock is a bad thing, and should be avoided if possible. Live Rock is more than simply surface area. It's a miniature zoo where every exhibit serves a useful function.
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Old 06-30-2012, 05:17 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacDracor

Hmm... though technically correct that the primary purpose of LR is filtration, I have to disagree with the assertation that there is no other function, or that the biodiversity of various organisms has nothing to do with making it "live" rock.
Quality live rock will contain many useful organisms besides the bacteria. Copepods, amphipods, micro brittle stars, tiny feather duster worms, various algae species including coralline algae, sponges, bristleworms, and more. If the bacteria was literally the only thing we wanted, we wouldn't bother buying live rock at all.
Biodiversity in a reef tank helps to create a more stable system. Each organism fills a very specific ecological niche, and having as many of those filled as possible means more effective nutrient recycling and waste disposal.
Yes, Live Rock is mostly filtration and structure, but that is not *all* that it is. It is a piece of the sea that we bring into our little glass boxes to make it more real for the animals we house there.
Is Live Rock "essential" to a Fish Only system? No. But the death of all other organisms in/on the rock is a bad thing, and should be avoided if possible. Live Rock is more than simply surface area. It's a miniature zoo where every exhibit serves a useful function.
I agree with most of that however you dont need to buy "live rock" to establish biological filtration. There are ways to make dead rock live etc.

Also the entire issue of built up detritus in a fowlr system can completely be blamed on poor maintenance habits. The issue should never arise in the first place. Proper maintenance beats any detritus problem...
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Old 06-30-2012, 02:07 PM   #18
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Where did you get your black lava rock? I have base rock, rubble, live sand and live rock, but want to add rock to fill in a few spots. Can't afford any more live rock, and dont need any more anyway.
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Old 06-30-2012, 03:29 PM   #19
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I live out in the Palm Springs area. We have a few places out here that have materials for landscaping (boulders, flagstone, etc). They typically sell by the ton, but will sell smaller pieces that I am sure they see as useless (they call it rubble). I've basically gone back to their lava rock piles that are big boulders and rummaged around for smaller pieces. Ive seen it sold in fish stores, but they jack the price way up. Obviously it looks different than most of the stuff they sell live, but it is porous with lots of surface area. I probably filled my 75 gallon tank for less than what it would have cost for twoi pounds of live rock. I happen to like the "plainness" of it, but I'm guessing a lot of people would prefer the usual look. I like the focus to be on my fish, not so much the rock. For reefs, I see it more as a of both.
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Old 06-30-2012, 04:23 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Schism View Post
The bacteria is what makes live rock "live" and no they do not die off in a FOWLR system compared to a reef. There is no other purpose to live rock besides biological filtration and hiding spots for fish. Any of the other life you see on live rock is just a hitchhiker organism and has nothing to do with making the rock "live"
Its true that LR is only used for biological filtration and fish environment.
By your meaning of "live", we could just use all base rock and cycle it with ammonia. Then the base rock would become live since it has aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. This would also make HOB, canister, and other media "live" with aerobic bacteria. "Live" would be available in freshwater systems as well since we can just put porous rocks into those system and cycle it with ammonia.

"Live" is when you bring all the other critters and organisms that come from the ocean or sea.

I think we are all on the same page with the concept, but we just have different views of the word "live" lol.
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