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Old 11-29-2009, 10:08 PM   #1
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Rock question...

Hello everybody,
As of right now I am still reading about setting up a reef tank. I am working my way through Saltwater aquariums for dummies lol. Anyways, I have access to a lot of river rock. I was wondering if I could clean the rock properly, and put it in the aquarium, then seed it with LR. Would the river rock become live? or does the live rock need to be either live rock or dead live rock? Thanks everybody!
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Old 11-29-2009, 10:11 PM   #2
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the word "live" only refers to the bacteria that are living on the rock... one of those funny looking statues from petsmart can be considered live once the bacteria has established on it. the only problem i would see with adding river rock would be that its not all that porous (usually) and depending on what type of rock it is, it could leach things in to the tank that you dont want... if you dont want to use live rock, marco rocks are a good base rock and are fairly cheap, especially when compared to the cost of fiji lr. imo it would be worth the peace of mind knowing you have something safe for your tank, rather than always worrying it might be leaching harmful things in to your water... jmo
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Old 11-29-2009, 10:36 PM   #3
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ok that makes sense, I just wasn't sure if there were minerals (calcium, etc.) in the dead live rock that permited special bacteria to live on it...
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Old 11-29-2009, 10:57 PM   #4
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I have used many of the riverstones in my freshwater tanks, and they haven't leeched anything into those tanks. Would I have to worry about them leeching different chemicals in saltwater even if they don't in freshwater?
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Old 11-29-2009, 11:06 PM   #5
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One of the biggest advantages of "live rock" or "base rock" is that we're usually referring to aragonite based rock which helps to buffer the pH, GH, Kh. River rock in a SW setup could work, but personally I wouldn't try it nor does the imagined look of it appeal to me. You can run a SW tank without rock of any kind. I'd suggest you keep reading a bit longer.
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Old 11-29-2009, 11:18 PM   #6
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lol point taken. I am only on chapter 4 discussing different inverts lol. I am most likely not going to set this up until the summer, and I was amazed at how hard it is to find live rock, so I thought since I have a stream in my backyard, I had access to many rocks. I will prolly just take the drive and get the live rock that will look nicer as you said HN1. What size do you guys recommend for somebody who is starting out a reef tank, but is fairly experienced with freshwater/brackish (5+ years). I am looking for something that would break the budget, (i.e not 150g) I was kind of thinking of picking up another 20 gallon, and having only a few small fish, like clowns, and then probably some corals too. Anyways thanks for all your help!
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Old 11-29-2009, 11:24 PM   #7
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A good starter size IMO would be 40 or more gallons. The larger the water volume the more stable it will be and that stability is much more important in marine than FW. Check out the Contientious Marine Aquarist by Bob Fenner. It's a great read and will really put you on the right track. Other than that, the stickies and articles here and on other sites are a great resource.
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Old 11-29-2009, 11:33 PM   #8
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alright sounds good, i'll keep reading and hopefully find space for another 55 in my house lol.
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Old 11-29-2009, 11:58 PM   #9
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if you decide to go 55, might as well go 75... they provide a much better footprint for aquascaping. lots of people start with a 55, then figure out its too narrow to do much with
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Old 11-30-2009, 12:25 AM   #10
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I wouldn't recommend Saltwater Aquariums for Dummies seeing as it is out of date IMO. I skimmed through it after I got it and it suggests crushed coral and gravel as the best substrates. Also says PC lighting is best if I remember correctly, both of which are incorrect now. Better using the articles and threads on this and other sites, or just go grab an in-date book such as the one HN1 suggested or Reef Secrets. JMO though.
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