Are you interested in setting up a reef aquarium? Do you know what aquarium set-up you want? Do you have your corals and saltwater fish already picked out? Do you know you need Live Rock in order to start a reef aquarium?
What is Live Rock?
Live Rock is rock that is made from aragonite skeletons. has naturally detached from the main body of corals, and harvested from the ocean. It can also be “seeded” in two different ways: a) from taking small coralline rocks and putting them in warm ocean water with the pupose of being harvested later or b) adding base rock to an active reef aquarium that contains live rock.
The rock itself is not live, but it is encrusted with coralline algae and is the home for a multitude of saltwater organisms.The “live” part of “live rock” refers to the hitchhikers that may be found in your aquarium after curing your life rock, such as the many forms of macro and microscopic marine life on and inside the rock.
What are Benefits of Adding Live Rock?
One of the benefits of live rock is bringing a diversity of life to a home reef aquarium. As discussed earlier, hitchhikers of live rock help bring inhabitants to your reef aquarium that you might not otherwise have considered. Live rock also harbors algae, corals, saltwater invertebrates, sponges,and anything else you may decide to add to your saltwater collection. In fact, corals that are added to your reef aquarium will most likely become attached to the live rock.
Live rock also provides superior biological filtration in a closed marine environment. In fact, it will become the main biological filter of a reef aquarium. Both aerobic and anaerobic nitrifying bacteria are hosted on live rocks, and this bacteria is needed for the nitrogen cycle that processes waste in your aquarium.
Helping to maintain a contstant pH in the reef aquarium is another benefit of live rock. Live rocks release calcium carbonate in order to do this. It is just one way live rocks help to naturally stablize the water chemistry in a reef aquarium.
Finally, live rocks can become one of the biggest decorative features of a reef aquarium. When encrusted with multiple colors of coralline algae, it can be absolutely breathtaking. Live rock is often used in aquascaping, as well, to build arches, caves, or other structures within the reef tank. Not only are these features pleasing to the eye, they also provide your tank inhabitants a place to play and hide.
Now that you know about live rock and some of its benefits, are you going to add it to your saltwater aquarium? If so, make sure to check out the PetSolutions Live Rock Acclimation Guide to ensure a smooth curing and acclimation process!
A Tip for Purchasing Live Rock
As with many live saltwater items, live rock is imported into the United States every year. There is a yearly limit on how much of it can be brought in the states to be sold. These limits are strictly monitored.
If you plan to add Live Rock to your aquarium, you will have a better chance of obtaining a piece you like from the location you want if the rock is purchased earlier in the year. Towards the end of the year, when the import limit has been reached, many retailers will be out of Live Rock. When the new year rolls around, supplies will be replenished again.
**Live Rock Ships 2nd Day Air for Free from PetSolutions – no minimum order! Transform your saltwater aquarium into a reef aquarium for less!**