View Full Version : Does coral need live rock to live on?

01-22-2012, 01:35 AM
Well, I decided to change from starting out with all live rock and corals, instead I am going to start by buying an artifical rock/with fake coral. It is the perfect size for my tank.

I want to add a Long Tentacle Anemone, for my clown fish! Could it survive on a fake piece of rock. I could put it in my substrate if I need too! But I would like it to be on the rock.

Here is the piece of coral/rock I will be buying.

01-22-2012, 02:43 AM
I can survive on fake rock no problem. However for SW setups. Tour sand and LR are your filters. So for you to keep a healthy system, I'd recommend you add LR and ditch the fake stuff.

01-22-2012, 03:15 PM
Hey Wild, a question for you on the LR. Would you suggest using Live Rock or Dead Rock? The way I look at it is Live Rock can bring in all types of nasties where as Dead Rock has nothing living on it, but in time it turns back into Live Rock. So would DR be the best way when starting up a new SW tank?

01-22-2012, 04:14 PM
the fake stuff will be the same as live rock in about three months as far as my knowledge goes i kud be wrong though but if that is true all fake with a few peices of live rock would word not to mention its way cheaper

01-22-2012, 04:34 PM
The Rock is a buffer. It does alot of your filtering using the rock itself and the coaling algae aswell.

Yes fake rock will gain coralline algae and help filter, however it will not be a buffer. It helps keep chemicals balanced as well as buffers your PH up as SW keeps a higher PH then fresh. You can use a PH buffer dosing, however this is only a temp fix and you will have to continue dosing every other week or so. This also means water chemistry will swing alot more.

Yes you can use Dry Rock. However you will need to add at least 1 piece of LR to "seed it". Same as sand. You can use dead sand as long as you add some live sand to it.

This method helps keep any type of unwanted outbreaks under control, just takes longer for the initial cycle to happen.

Also starting with a little rock and fake stuff, then adding more LR later will either have to be fully established Rock, canceling out the whole idea of not adding any unwanted things, or if adding dry rock make sure it is completely dead.

Some places sell dry rock as dead rock and visa versa. There are differences. Dry rock is okay, dead rock means it was LR and had died. This means u will have a ammonia and nitrite spike (mini cycle) while the old bacteria continues to die off and re grow a new layer.

01-22-2012, 05:02 PM
Interesting. I didn't know there was a difference between Dry Rock and Dead Rock.

If one added all Dry Rock and Dead Sand, would it not develop the required bacteria etc over time?

As you know, you have forced me to get a SW setup :clap: , so am just doing all research on setting it up first.

Sorry for the small threadjack C&Rman, just thought this information would be usefull for you as well.

01-22-2012, 05:37 PM
It would take months.

To cycle a SW setup, u want to add dead sand and dry rock. Then add a cup of Live sand and at least 1 good size LR.

Add 24 hr lighting, 84 degree water and good circulation. This will have u cycled within a few weeks. Then cut ur lighting down to a few hrs a day and cut your water temp to 78 or so.

For a FOWLR you want 1.022-1.024 salinity. For Coral you want to go 1.025-1.026.

Make sure if ur using good lighting which is needed for most corals (T5/MH) you acclimate them. This means Drip them, then add like 3 layers of window screen between the tank and the lights. Then every few days remove 1 layer.

If you go straight from a fellow reefers well lit tank, take home an drip the. You don't need to acclimate lighting. But if you order online and they have spent 24hrs plus in a dark box, then acclimate lighting as well.

01-26-2012, 07:13 PM
Wilde, I know this is a little off topic, but have you seen the videos for making your own base rock that can become liverock? I was interested in this as you can make rocks that look like you want.

01-27-2012, 01:29 AM
There are quite a few rocks that work for SW. But Fake Rocks and plastic/rubber rocks won't work. You need the natural rock to buffer the waters ph up.

Many also use lace rock. As its easy to chisel and aquascape.

01-27-2012, 02:08 AM
i think that natural live rock is better because live rock is made from lava and fake rock is not

01-30-2012, 01:36 AM
Live rock isn't always necessarily better.


There is always man made live rock like fish heads live rock. They make rocks out of some concrete mix, and they dump it in the ocean for a period of time, and then pull it out, covered in coraline and life.

01-30-2012, 06:50 AM
Agreed! Aquacultured rock is amazing. Most actually looks better, is more pores, and saves the reefs.

Especially here in the states. We buy 80% of corals and 95% of Live Rock that has been harvested from the oceans world wide. The more we can make so we leave the reefs alone the better.

01-30-2012, 10:06 PM
Yea some of the best pieces I ever had were aqua cultured. And leaving the reef alone is the goal. I read somewhere once, and this person made a good point, one day we may have to give our frags and coral to help rebuild the reef's we've harvested from.

01-30-2012, 10:15 PM
That sounds entirely possible to me

01-30-2012, 10:22 PM
Being on the same subject, check this out:


01-31-2012, 01:58 AM
That's part of our goal with the coral store. We're looking into Aquaculture grants. Wed like to get big enough to eventually have suppliers buy from us rather then import. Or at some point, be able to donate to reef rebuilding projects to help out the reef.

02-01-2012, 11:09 PM
Thats pretty cool, I'm sure you'll get there. Good luck anyway, and once your up and running I'll have to order a few coral myself!

02-17-2012, 08:02 PM
That's what we do at foster and smith as well. We have an upstairs dedicating to only growing corals there's probably almost 1,000 gallons we use for them