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Old 09-09-2004, 07:44 AM   #1
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Don't want LR, what else can I use?

I want to set up a 55 gallon FO tank. I don't have the cash for live rock, but I want to have some kind of rock in the aquarium for hiding places/caves. Does anyone know of a type of rock I could buy (maybe limestone?) and stack in my aquarium to make it look nice without LR?

Thanks.
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Old 09-09-2004, 08:30 AM   #2
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Most SW stores will carry "base rock". It can also be bought on ebay or hirocks.com. My lfs sells it for $1.50/pound, compared to $8-12/pound for coraline covered rock. Any baserock in your tank will become live rock as it matures. "Live rock" is nothing more than base rock with bacteria growing on it, which becomes part of your filtration system. It's no prettier than any other rock. The expensive stuff is just coraline covered live rock, and if you're lucky, will have other lving stuff hiding in it. You can build up your caves using all base rock then buy 1 piece of coraline covered rock to go with it. With good lighting the coraline will spread to all the other rock over time and you'll save a ton of money.
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Old 09-09-2004, 09:25 AM   #3
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GARF has how-to's to make your own reef safe rock structures out of portland cement, sand and plastic shavings. That would be an economical solution that would look nice too (hopefully).
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Old 09-09-2004, 09:55 AM   #4
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I used "texas holey rock" in my eel tank. It looks nice and they have lots of natural "swim throughs".
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Old 09-09-2004, 09:56 AM   #5
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Tanks for the reply indy!

I may go that route (in the future), but I would still like to know if anyone has ever seen a SW tank without live rock (it seems everyone has a reef setup with LR and coral)? Is there any kind of rock besides live or base thats recommended?

What I would like to have is a fake "reef", with a nice colorful rock (as mentioned in my other post, maybe limestone, but I dont know if there is such a thing as colorful limestone?), some fake coral and a few other decorations.

I already have a 55 gallon aquarium, stand, Rena Filstar XP2 canister filter (300 GPH), and a 200W heater.

To that, I plan to add a CPR Bak Pak protien skimmer, and 2 Maxi-Jet 1200 Powerheads. Im hoping the equipment, along with the sand, rocks and decor wont cost much more than $300. I'm on somthing of a limited budget, so I would prefer not having to purchase LR or BR. Would the equipment listed above be enough to sustain (happily of coarse) a FO tank with 4 small beginner fish in it and no LR or coral?
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Old 09-09-2004, 09:59 AM   #6
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That rock looks pretty neat Hara. I like how it has the holes in it, so it looks a little like the rock found in reefs.
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Old 09-09-2004, 01:53 PM   #7
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I don't understand, do you not want any kind of rock at all? Or just not LR?

Anything that isn't LR is base rock. It's usually extremely cheap and will not only provide the surface area you'll need for filtration (if you don't want to buy a separate filter - I didn't notice one in your plans) but it will also make for a nice aquascape which the fish will feel comfortable with.

The only thing with using dead rock (or an external filtration system) is that it needs a considerably longer time to cycle than LR.. usually atleast 4 weeks before you can add any fish.
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Old 09-09-2004, 02:33 PM   #8
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Oh, OK. So if I were to put say 75lbs. of dead rock in my aquarium (and only dead rock), would it ever become live rock?
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Old 09-09-2004, 02:45 PM   #9
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It will become live in the sense that it will become covered with the bacteria necessary for filtration.. but it won't become live in the sense of crawling with diverse lifeforms.

For that you will need to "seed" it... as indy suggested, for example, using one piece of LR. All the good stuff from that single piece will grow to cover all your dead rock in time. Alternatively, you could get some scrapings of coralline algae from someone and drop them into your tank and let a powerhead disperse them. That way your rock will become that nice purple colour. You could also add a cupfull of LS from another tank to yours and that will help populate your sand with all the critters that would have come from the LR.

Basically you can get all the benefits without spending a lot.. it just takes considerably longer.
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Old 09-09-2004, 02:50 PM   #10
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Thanks Atari! I'm new to SW, so I have a ton of questions to ask before I get moving on this project.

What do you think of this rock:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...322851071&rd=1

$19.98 shipping ain't bad, $60.00 shipped.

Could anyone give me an idea of what 60lbs. of this stuff might look like? He states in his auction that this comes with a couple 7" to 12" rocks, a few medium rocks, and some small rocks. How much do you think the larger pieces weigh?

Thanks.
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