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Old 02-12-2010, 09:33 PM   #1
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Live Rock/Sand

So I go into a LFS (Local Fish Shop LFS seems to be the general acronym on these sites) and this place is super knowlegable on salt tanks. So I go in and ask a few questions, granted I am asking way ahead of me needing it since I am building my aquarium. I am close to being able to water leak test the main part of the aquarium (Monday at the latest), and not to far along from doing a basic set up of my first salt tank (mainly reef).

Anyway on to my question as I spoke to the salesperson she told me to use live sand and live rock over the live coral pieces (everyone that works there has a salt tank and have been doing it for years). All the websites I have researched have not mentioned amounts of either of these to use. She also told me I would need a pound of sand per gallon as well as a pound of live rock per gallon. Is this right?

I am building a 26 gallon tank, 12 inches deep x about 19 inches tall x about 24 inches long, ans the rock would I would think fill the tank up fast and not leave much room for the reef much less any small cleaners and fish (looking at a couple shrimp, a starfish, and of course a clown). I am thinking 52 pounds of extra stuff would fill this thing up really fast. As always thanks for your help.
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:29 PM   #2
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that's a good starting point that many people use. 26 lbs of rock isnt going to be very large. 26 pounds of water is just over three gallons. So you are probably looking at one to two gallons of rock out of 26.
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Old 02-14-2010, 04:37 PM   #3
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The sand depends on what you want in your tank. What looks good to you. I know some that dont have any sand in their tank so that`s not as important as the LR. Live sand is IMO not really live. It`s been sitting too long to be really live. Just get dry sand IMO. LR on the other hand is important. I usually try to suggest 1.5-2 lbs per gallon. That will allow you to have proper amount to house you nitrifying bacteria.Good luck with your tank.
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Old 02-15-2010, 01:20 AM   #4
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Thanks for the input guys. I am looking to do mostly a reef style tank. Maybe one or 2 fish, a star fish and a shrimp or 2. I was thinking 26 lbs of rock would have filled the tank up to the point I wouldn't have room for anything else. I am building the aquarium from scratch so if you check my pics I have a few up of the progress. I will continue to ask questions on here until I have it completed. Thanks again.
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Old 02-15-2010, 04:58 PM   #5
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IT depends on where teh rock comes from. Carribean rock is quite dense so 25# doesn't take up too much room. Some Indo-Pacfic rock is very porous and you need much less weight to take up the same volume in your tank. Hence the recomendation for 1˝ - 2 pounds per gallon of tank capacity. That porous LR holds a ton of water in it too. It also has more surface area for nitrifying bacteria.
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Old 04-09-2010, 12:41 AM   #6
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Well I am working on getting a bigger tank already. The DIY build failed so I bought a 5 Gal and have been told sonce I am new to go bigger. Looking at a couple of 55 gal deals now. But for the 5 I got some Fiji rock. I expected 5 lbs of rock to look bigger. Has any one tried to make your own base rock? I have seen some videos on youtube and the rocks come out looking nice but not sure how long it would take to become live rock after the 2 to 3 week weathering and salt removal process or if it is worth doing.
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:15 PM   #7
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I've seen the YouTube and Garf videos. Someone on this forum made some a while back. Live rock just means that beneficial bacterai are living on it. As it's made of concrete it doesn't have the porousity of natural rock, so it can't support anywhere near the number of bacteria as true coral rock can.
SomethingFishy has some cheap base rock. I bought some from ThatPetPlace a few years ago for about $1/pound.
Do a search for "Caribsea South Seas Base Rock"
and you should be able to find it for a little over a $1/pound
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:27 PM   #8
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Yeah I found a video that shows how to get some porousity in it but would like to talk to someone who has done it to see if its worth it. I have also looked at some base rock but I keep going back to DIY rock for some reason. Thanks for the link though.
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Old 04-10-2010, 11:50 AM   #9
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Have a look at this DIY Live Rock thread. Thincat is now a community mentor on this site.
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Old 04-12-2010, 08:49 PM   #10
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Yea I read this one. I found a few videos as well that tell how to make the live rock. I have about 5 lbs now in a 5 gallon (upgrading size soon) and I will be making more then. Thanks for the help though.
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