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Old 12-29-2004, 05:55 PM   #1
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Torn between where to buy LiveRock

It seems every step presents a myriad of options to which there is no definitive answer.

I will be buying some LR from LR.com due to the enormous support of our sponsors, but given its density I thought buying some fiji or other type would also be good.

Calfo's book suggests that LR should be from the pacific, not aquacultured nor any base rock.

It seems there are millions of places to order from:


www.liverocks.com - dense rock with lots of growth & hikers
www.oceanproaquatics.com - massive deals
www.liveaquaria.com - Lack hikers, but great caribbean shelf and deals
www.etropicals.com – haitian rock very light
www.ebay with Jean_Pool for haitian rock
www.reefermadness.us - tons of types (can I buy from a place with this name?)

Whatever I buy I'll let everyone know, but does anyone have bad experiences with the above. I bought 50 lbs 10 years ago, but can't remember the store's name, but it was in florida and the rock was nice eventhough it had a hungry mantis shrimp included.
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Old 12-29-2004, 08:06 PM   #2
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I purchased my rock from LR.com. It was a purchase of keys rock, gulf rock and base rock. I chose this combo for a reason. The keys has the coralline colors, the gulf has the abundance of life and the base rock is cheaper and easily seeded by the other types. In my opinion even the baserock looked great and all the rock now has coralline growth. Contact Zack from the sponsor forum for liverocks.com and he could explain a whole lot more about the benefits of their rock.
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Old 12-29-2004, 09:19 PM   #3
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I'll second LiveRocks.com -- Awesome rock and Awesome customer service!

The base rock was not available when I ordered, so I mixed keys and gulf. Great combo. The keys rock is beautiful and the gulf has tons of life... I find new creatures everyday!
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Old 12-29-2004, 09:24 PM   #4
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I doubt you'll find any LR with the life that you get with LR.com.
Not to mention the quality of the Rock itself.

I have never seen LR at any of my LFS that has the Coraline growth that LR.com has. not saying you cant find it somewhere but LR is top notch for sure. Plus it's just over 5 bucks a lb shipped to your door. I've seen LR that wasnt as good quality for 8 or 9 bucks a lb. Rip off.

Good Luck
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Old 12-29-2004, 09:25 PM   #5
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I definitely will be purchasing from liverocks.com, but I also think some fiji or other rock would be nice to seed with different organisms which I must buy from a different source. Preferably one that also has Live sand, too.

Figured I would buy 20-30 lbs LS to go with my 100 lbs. caribsea fine sand and cc.
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Old 12-29-2004, 09:30 PM   #6
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your tank should look sweet.

Post up some pics when you get it set up.

I have some pics in my gallery from when I first added my LR.com

My Tank looks 100 % different today, I need to post up some recent pics myself.
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Lighting: 48'' Coralife HQI aqualight pro | 2 150 watt MH | 2 96 watt true actinic fluorescents | 3 1 watt blue-moon-glow LEDs

Fish&Inverts: 3-BlueGreen Chromis | Shrimp Goby | Purple Firefish | 6 Line-Wrasse | LawnMower Blenny | Royal Gramma | Coral Beauty | Maxima Clam | 16 Assort. -Snails | LR Hitchers: Crabs, Urchins, Brittle Stars, Feather Dusters, and more

Corals: Assorted Mushrooms | Green Button Polyps | Toadstool Leather | Pulsing Xenia | Clove Polyps | Star Polyps | FrogSpawn | Branching Hammer | Candy Cane | Zoos | Ricordea | Open Brain | Bubble |
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Old 12-29-2004, 10:03 PM   #7
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I got 30 pounds of gulf rock from lr.com and love it and would recomend it over fiji. If i would of known i would never of bought fiji. I highly recomend lr.com!!!! HTH
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Old 12-29-2004, 10:25 PM   #8
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LiveAquaria.com used to be Flying Fish Express (bought out by the Drs.). I got my first batch of rock from them (Fiji) and strongly recommend it.
ReeferMadness was started by ex FlyingFish employees and they re-sell Walt Smith LR so expect quality there too. This is great rock with good coralline growth but without hitchhikers (generally). You'll probably find some sponges, pods and worms. Over time you can expect many other life forms to emerge.

LR.com has the most hikers and is very nice rock. Not all hikers are welcome in a tank (opinions here vary).

There's no reason NOT to use Base rock. I got 50 pounds of CaribSea base rock from thatfishplace.com to use under my LR. The parts that are visible are indistinguishable from the rest. It's on sale now for $39.99 for a 50 pound box.
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Old 12-29-2004, 11:11 PM   #9
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Thanks. If you look at reefermadness website it is impressive once you get over the name. The tonga kaelini looks great. Liveaquaria seems good also.

I just flushed oceanproaquatics off my list because I emailed them with a question and arrived at their FAQ page which is full of complaining customers wanting their money back and saying the rock arrived as rubble and quickly lost color, etc.

I am planning on having a channel between two LR mounds, so I need more showy rock and that is why I am avoiding base rock. I figure I'd buy the longer curing stuff first and top it off with LR.com and their hikers later.
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Old 12-29-2004, 11:12 PM   #10
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I would take lr.com keys rock over Fiji anyday.
If you want a little diversity though, find some Carribean shelf rock. I have about 150lbs of it in my system and it is great for the animals. It is less dense and has a ton of little caves, and little rooms inside of it.
You can see it in my gallery, look for the pictures of my tank, it is the rock on the left and the right side of the tank on the bottom.
LR.com is the best stuff though.
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Old 12-29-2004, 11:24 PM   #11
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Great aquascape!!
Yeah the shelf rock looks perfect.

I'll let everyone know what I am doing next week. Setting up the tank this weekend and hopefully adding rock next week. I'll drop some photos for you.
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Old 12-30-2004, 09:01 AM   #12
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I bought my LR in two shipments. I started with 90 lbs of LR from www.premiumaquatics.com. I got a mix of Marshall Island and Tonga rock. This rock had great shapes and a lot of coralline growth. After that, I bought 30 lbs of Gulf Rock from www.liverocks.com.

The Premium Aquatics rock had very few hitchikers but looked great. The Gulf Rock was not quite as interesting, but the hitchikers were amazing. I find new stuff every day.

I was very happy with both purchases and think that a good combo like this is the way to go.

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Old 12-30-2004, 01:29 PM   #13
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tripper, thats my plan too, but I might try reefermadness
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Old 12-30-2004, 01:59 PM   #14
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Have fun with it.
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Old 12-30-2004, 04:58 PM   #15
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Well I am going to be a bit different and suggest you buy all your rock from LiveRocks.com :P

I purchased 40 lbs of Keys rock there and the quality is increadible. Unlike many aquacultured Liverocks, this rock truely looks natural. Plus, by supporting the use of aquacultured products, you are encouraging the responsible care of our environment.

I will be purchasing another 20 lbs of keys rock very soon.

check out my gallery to see just how awsome this stuff really is.
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Old 12-30-2004, 06:20 PM   #16
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I was worried about the "density" of LR.com, too, but when I got the rock (120 lbs) I was very pleasantly surprised. I would say that about half of it is sort of ordinary shaped--fairly regular all around. But the other half has really interesting formations, including a couple of almost branching pieces. All of it has numerous nooks and crannies. It looks way better, in all aspects, than any of the Pacific rock sold locally.

I'm trying to get some pics of the rock in my gallery, but I haven't had any luck for some reason.
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Old 12-30-2004, 11:12 PM   #17
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I want to stress this the this point on density. Our rock in many studies has been proven to be just as or a tiny amount more then fiji rock. Numbers that have been seen are 99.2 pounds of keys to 100 pounds of fiji. There are countless posts of people talking how their Fiji rock had such little life, it may have looked good, but the life was very poor. I hope this helps to clear up some confusion and but it into perspective.
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Old 12-31-2004, 12:28 AM   #18
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I'm sorry to hear that you didn't give OceanProAquatics a shot. I have purchased rocks from both OceanPro and Liverocks.com. I'm glad I went with both. Granted the rocks from lr.com is by far the nicest I've seen, the gulf rock from OceanPro is a deal that I couldn't pass over. I live in California and drove out to Chino to pick up the rock. It was the 2nd to the last box left, and I still got great rock; lots of hitch-hikers and not much die-off. The guy was extremely helpful and friendly.

If you have the $$, then go for a variety from lr.com. But if you want to save a buck or two and diversify, go with both. I bought rock from 4 different places and I'm happy I did. My tank looks like a kaleidascope with the many colors and shapes of the different rocks. JMHO.
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Old 12-31-2004, 09:40 AM   #19
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Here's a shot of my LR.com rock just after cycling and being added on top if some Fiji that was in the tank for about a year. Right now they look about the same.
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Old 12-31-2004, 10:26 AM   #20
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I just ordered 30 lbs of gulf rock from liverock.com. I can't wait until is comes. WOHOO!
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