I went hog wild when it came to LR
. I live in Alaska so choices are limited due to shipping options. If you look at the first pic, all the white rock in that photo is Key Largo dry rock from Marco Rocks
the small darker rocks is just cherry picked rubble from my LFS
. I bought two 50lb boxes because I was worried about getting just broken rubble after shipping. The rock actually arrived in great shape, each piece was bubble wrapped. After doing that first scape, i think i probably had about 20-30lbs left over that i actually made a centerpiece for my living room with. I think the total price on it came out to about $300-350ish after shipping costs (nothing that heavy is cheap to ship up here). Sadly its mostly been religated to base rock. One last note about the dry rock, it attacts hair algae like you wouldn't believe.
The extra rock that is in the newer photos is just a straight up 50lb box of Fiji Standard from Quality Marine that I got my LFS
to order for me. They ordered two boxes and let me pick and offered to let me cherry pick from each. I found one box was mostly solid shelf like pieces while the other was a better assortment with a little more holes and texture. I made one swap out for a cool piece made of a bunch of large bivalve shells that had become cemented together to form an odd little rock formation and took that box. From what the LFS
tells me i got lucky with the quality of this rock though. Even though it's directly shipped same day air to Alaska from their facilities in LA my LFS
says it normally shows up almost dry. One trick I tried was to take the bag that the rock came in and pour some tank water in it, then flush all the little grit and gravel into a cup that i then sprinkled over the dry rock as a way to try and seed it.
I love how my tank looks now, but I still think that if i had it all to do over again, i would have just used all dry rock and seeded it with something like GARF grunge cause i LOVE how holely and lacy the dry stuff is. I was a little disappointed with just standard Fiji, but i didn't want to wait for the planetary alignment of my LFS
not ordering for another 2+ months and hoping QM will have what i want at that time. I have to admit too that the last time I saw "fresh" live rock it was uncured wild Florida back way back in the day. Oh, and from what I've heard, Tonga and Marshall Island rocks have pretty much been off the market for about a year or so now.
Thanks again for all the kind words of encouragement!