Dan Everton's guide to keeping a successful and beautiful marine aquarium, including everything you need to know about setting up your aquarium, making your own saltwater, fishkeeping and live rock.
If you have a saltwater aquarium or plan to set one up then Live Rock will most likely be a big part in that set up, this guide will help you to understand what it is and how important it will be for your marine aquarium.
Live Rock is the foundation of most great Marine aquariums. It is harvested from the ocean around the world from collections near reefs, where parts have become detached from the main body of corals due to storm damage.
It is highly valued in the Marine Aquarium trade and this is due to the fact that it brings a huge diversity of life to a closed marine environment.
It will also function as a superior and main biological filter system in your saltwater aquarium rather than using a traditional fish tank filter. Hosting nitrifying bacteria required for the nitrogen cycle that processes waste.
Live Rock also has a stabilizing effect on the water chemistry too, keeping a constant pH level by releasing calcium carbonate into the water.
If you are using it as your main biological filter then we normally advise to use a quantity of 1 kilogram of live rock for every 9 litres of water. You can add extra into the tank though if you would like but you must make sure that you have a sufficient flow around the rock to prevent "dead spots" which could cause a water quality problem.
When you add corals to your tank they will become attached to the live rock becoming their base, and it is also frequently used as a shelter for marine inhabitants giving them a better quality of life.
With your live rock you can build caves, overhangs, arches and other areas which can give your aquarium an awesome effect, this practice is known as aquascaping.
Before installation in the tank live rock should always be cured, this is because a lot of the organisms which enjoyed living on the rock in the ocean will have died off during the transportation process. Failure to cure your rock properly can lead to a spike in your ammonia levels which can be fatal for your aquarium.
You can cure your rock by leaving it in salted water isolated from the main tank for several weeks, however most aquatic stores will have already done this for you.
If you’d like Live Rock for your marine aquarium then please view our Live rock page, which has plenty of quantities available from 1 kilogram all the way up to 50 kilograms and they're all available for home delivery too.
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