Originally Posted by keenfish
i want to know if what is so speical about live rock from my lfs
excluding the live part could i not use ocean rock or any other rock and live that? reason i ask as live rock is about £10 a kg but i can get ocean for less than £2 a kg i know i would have to cure it and then live it but i rather save cost than time as im looking at 100kg
In theory you could use any rock but there are things to consider. Your normal river rocks won't work well as they are solid and not very porous, not to mention they likely will contain contaminants you don't want in your system. That being said they can still become "live" as the term refers mainly to the bacterial cultures on the rock, though also includes the various worms, pods
etc. using a dry "base" rock is the better option as it is dried out "live" rock, it is no longer live in anyway but can become live just like any other rock. This rock is also porous so has more area for bacteria aswell as hiding spots for other critters. There is also man made live rock, in north America I believe the name used is reef rock and in Europe I believe it's ocean rock. This is simply a rock made from a mold that is tossed in the ocean for six months to become live. It prevents harvesting rock from the reef which is true live rock. Any of the rocks listed above can be used but best bet is to stay with porous rock. Lots of people get dry base rock and then put some live rock with it in the tank to seed it and speed up the process of it becoming live. I personally went with all live rock which costs way more but I wanted all the hitchhikers whether good or bad. One final note is that if you do get dry rock you need to rinse it well, if you get ocean/reef rock or live rock you risk introducing bad organisms to your system. Aiptasia, parasites, harmful predatory inverts such as crabs. On the plus side you have the chance of adding coral, good inverts like snails and good crabs, worms and pods
. It's up to you the risk you want to take, with more live/reef/ocean rock your chances increase for both good and bad.