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Old 06-25-2012, 12:44 AM   #1
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Fake Corals - Good Idea?

Anybody have any experience with fake corals? I read they are hard to clean, but good to keep with many fish that are not reef safe. I didn't think they would would be hard to clean unless there is some algae problem in the display tank. I read on other forums that some hobbyist would skip fake corals if they had to start all over.


I'm going to Asia this summer for vacation and get some good (but cheap) fake corals. The ones available in the U.S. is pretty expensive. I'm building a large predator FO system with refugium.

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Old 06-25-2012, 01:13 AM   #2
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It really depends on you. Are you ok with the look; are you ok with cleaning them? They need regular wiping/cleaning as they build algae on the surface. I personally can't stand those fake looking things. It really doesn't compare to the real thing. Yes it's cheaper, but I just don't want to have to clean them all the time. Give me the real thing any day.
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:06 AM   #3
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I agree. Whatever floats your boat. I would have real ones, but that's just me. If its big enough, to clean them you have to take the whole tank apart and do it. I've seen a bleach and water mix I think and then overuse of dechlorinator and put water back in. I personally wouldn't, just get some live rock with a few mushrooms and zoas.
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:52 PM   #4
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Just get a reef screensaver and really avoid the hassles
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:26 PM   #5
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Lol that would work!!!!!!
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:26 PM   #6
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Besides fake corals, the options are limited for aquarium decor. I'm definitely not going to buy base and live rocks. They take up too much space for biological filtration and not worth it IMO. I want my predator to have the most tank space as possible, but also wanted interesting tank decor for him to explore. Maybe I can just stick my laptop in front of his tank to explore.
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrance View Post
I'm definitely not going to buy base and live rocks. They take up too much space for biological filtration and not worth it IMO.
I could not disagree more on this.

Live rock is the most important biological filtration in salt water tanks regardless if the tank is FOWLR or Reef. I'd highly suggest to read up on the need for rock in your tank.
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:07 AM   #8
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I did read up on it and my post about this subject on AA led me to this belief. Other than housing anaerobic bacteria, it doesn't do much more than that. Perhaps it creates an environment for fish and critters to live on. NitrAtes alone can be controlled by growing enough macroalgae and not overstocking + overfeeding tanks (which happens frequently when I read through AA).
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:15 AM   #9
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The anaerobic bacteria transforms the nitrate to nitrogen gas. Rock also holds aerobic bacteria that change ammonia into trites and trates. Only BB can turn ammonia into NitrAtes.
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:27 AM   #10
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For a real reef tank, I understand its important to have the extra benefit of having these anaerobic bacteria, but in any other system its not needed. Some good media with a sump, canister, or HOB filter works just as good as LR since the aerobic bacterias are only needed.

IMO there really aren't that much benefit to having a FOWLR over a FO. NitrAtes are the only way we can measure the total pollution (there are usually hundreds of unmeasureable other polluntants) in water. Its the most important reading in this hobby. Skimmers and macroalgae/plants do help with the total pollution, but they also make it harder to have a real judgement for nitrAte level in tanks. This is why determining the required amount and frequency of water changes in SW system is difficult. This being said, one person having a FO system will have to do the same amount/frequency of water change as someone with a FOWLR system (assuming both persons have exact same tank and livestock with no skimmer or macroalgae). The person with a FO has the advantage since he/she knows when and how much water to change at any given time just by testing the nitrAte levels.
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:29 AM   #11
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Let's agree to disagree
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:39 AM   #12
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Let's agree to disagree
good idea
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Old 06-26-2012, 04:41 PM   #13
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Many years ago before live rock hits the LFS. I had a FO tank with skeleton coral. (Blues, Pink, Purples and white). All that coral is stored away and have gone to LR rock. I have not tried the fake coral but the colors are a little too crazy for me. I agree LR is truly beneficial but I a mix may give you what you need both the biological benefits of LR and the colors of fake. Good luck! when you are done, submit some pictures. I would like to see how it turns out.
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Old 06-26-2012, 05:48 PM   #14
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Personally like the laptop in front of tank idea best. But try a portable TV and give ur fish a channel changer. LOL
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:22 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crabs
Personally like the laptop in front of tank idea best. But try a portable TV and give ur fish a channel changer. LOL
Why not throw in the recliner chair in the tank lol
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AquariumAddiction
Many years ago before live rock hits the LFS. I had a FO tank with skeleton coral. (Blues, Pink, Purples and white). All that coral is stored away and have gone to LR rock. I have not tried the fake coral but the colors are a little too crazy for me. I agree LR is truly beneficial but I a mix may give you what you need both the biological benefits of LR and the colors of fake. Good luck! when you are done, submit some pictures. I would like to see how it turns out.
Are there any other benefit besides anaerobic bacteria and good environment for critters and small fish? If i have a 125g tank, would 125lbs (at least if you follow the general rule) justify the cost of hundreds of dollars vs buying some media for less than $50 and throwing it into a sump for biological filtration?

If my logic is flawed then let me know. In any reefless tank, i feel like live rocks are being overhyped and overpaid. Either that or im missing something obvious that everybody knows about.
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:28 AM   #17
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Seriously. I don't think there's any justification for spending tons of money on LR. U can get 90% base rock for practically nothing and just seed it with 10% LR. IMO there is nothing prettier than Coraline Algae growing on the rock. Buying LR is a gamble when it comes to introducing unwanted critters into ur tank, even with the 10% method it's still a crap shoot. But I go along with the general opinion that the more surface area for the bacteria to grow, the better
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Old 06-27-2012, 03:41 AM   #18
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Base rocks are affordable, but its still easy to spend over $200 for them in large tanks. There comes a point in any system that beneficial bacteria stops growing in quantity since its dependent on livestock and feeding. More surface area does not mean more beneficial aerobic bacteria that are grown in tank. Not sure if the same applies to anaerobic bacteria.

Thanks to all that have replied. It got me really thinking and enjoying this hobby!
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Old 06-27-2012, 05:44 PM   #19
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It's not a cheap hobby
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:41 PM   #20
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Wow ,..having a reef tank with fake coral in it would be like going to the zoo to see plastic animals,....the whole idea is TRYING to maintain a semi natural environment in your living room,...and growing coral etc is just part of the game.
I guess the bottom line would be to do whatever makes you happy.... Enjoy the tank regardless.
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