Discussion in 'Resources' started by Jeff Rehling, Aug 9, 2016.

  1. Jeff Rehling

    Jeff Rehling Guest

    Hello, hope this is where this goes...

    One of a million questions to there a process to selecting live rock from an LFS? I'm researching the various ways to reefscape and have no idea how to pick out my rock. hope to be setting up a 55-gallon FOWLR and later move to a few corals. Want a striking and aesthetically pleasing scape.

    Any help is appreciated. I hope to get to where I'm paying it forward.
  2. jestersix

    jestersix Sponsor

    For what it is worth...

    Picking live rock from a LFS is really a matter of personal opinion - I've found rocks that I love , built a structure that I think is awesome...and then take six months to sell. On the other hand, I've grabbed "scrap" rock out of one of my bins and tossed together a 'scape just for fun and have 10 requests to buy 10 minutes after I post a pic. Moral of the story? Look for rock that appeals to you.

    Have an idea of what you want your 'scape to look like. Caves take different rock than bonsai, bonsai takes different rock than overhangs. I prefer to get rock form a single source on a build if possible, it adds continuity to the 'scape. Make sure to know your tank's measurements. Most people overestimate how much rock they need, then since they have it on hand will force it into the 'scape so they don't waste it. The old 1.5 pounds per gallon is the perfect recipe for a rock wall - which is great if that is what you are looking for...otherwise shoot for trying to figure out how the rock will go together in your tank before you buy.

    Make sure to find out if the rock is cured - sometimes the LFS gets in a fresh batch of rock which will take longer to cure. Not a problem, just be prepared. I am a huge fan of Real Reef, it is man made so doesn't impact the wild reefs and is pest free and ready to start a tank. I have grown to prefer using dry rock over live as well, no pests and products like Marco Rock are also not impacting the reefs - you can do amazing stuff with that rock! As for seeding a dry rock build? I recommend Dr. Tim's One and Only. I've been in the hobby a long time and this is the only seeding product I recommend - I've 'scaped dozens of tanks that were then started & seeded with Dr. Tim's - they work every time.

    Look around to see what you like and if possible ask the tank owner what type of rock they used...

    I'm obviously a fan of assembling structures using Emaco over stacking, but that is another question....
    Geneva, Vhuang168 and Coral reefer like this.
  3. Jeff Rehling

    Jeff Rehling Guest

    wow, direct from the jester? You are renown here. Thanks so the real reef is manufactured then you put in the Tims for the bio?
  4. Jeff --
    For my first tank I used hand-picked rocks from the LFS -- and I was never happy with it for a couple of reasons First, I could never get the look I wanted and kept picking up new rocks here and there trying to get "the look." Second, too many pests.

    So when I decided to start over with more of a "dream" set-up I did a lot of research and ended up using Real Reef Rock (as Jester 6 mentioned.) It's clean, easy to use and depending on the size of your tank you can buy it sized properly by the case. The LFS store I work with allowed me to buy the cases I needed and then return any unused rocks as well. Doing it that way I could do a little mixing with what they had in stock from the other types (ie shelf rock, )

    As to set-up using it I filled the tank, dumped in Dr. Tim's plus a smallish live rock with Coralline from their sump. It cycled and was ready to go in 14 days.
  5. Jeff Rehling

    Jeff Rehling Guest

    thanks Bruce! i'm likely setting up a 55 you agree 1.5 lbs per gallon? That's 82.5 pounds. what will the real reef rock likely cost?

    another member said I could have fish in in two days using the Tim stuff...
  6. tankguy

    tankguy BOD

    For me ( and I've said it a million times ) I do what appeals to you. Make your tank the way you like it. Right now I'm not following the trend of more open space. Not to say I don't like it cause I actually do. My fish have a ton of hiding places.
  7. Jeff Rehling

    Jeff Rehling Guest

    what appeals to me so far are the two columns on either side of the tank with some open space in the middle. i do like shelves as well. i just really can't wait to get started.
  8. mediumrare

    mediumrare Guest

    I would also recommend using Marine Pure block or spheres if you have a sump. I have this product in my tank and it's a great safety net in terms of biomedia, providing excellent porous material for biological filtration while not taking up a ton of space. This way you wont have to worry about X number of pounds of rock or sand per gallon, and instead focus on the aesthetics of your scape.
  9. Jeff Rehling

    Jeff Rehling Guest

    does that go into the sump?
  10. I used a lot less that 1.5 per gallon, but I like a lot more open space and "negative" space. Mine's a 120 and it has about 90 pounds in it. As to the two days with Dr. Tim's -- the cycle is much quicker using Dr. Tim's, but there still is a cycle. Two days is probably too quick. I could have started adding corals, etc after a week, but frankly I wanted everything stable before I did. The number one thing I learned on my first tank was patience pays off. If you put stuff in too early it will probably survive, but you'll increase the severity of the cycle and then battle that for the next few months in the form of algae, etc.

    I used all sorts of short-cuts and did things on the cheap on the first tank and learned a valuable lesson. It pays to take your time and do it right. In the end the cheap gets expensive -- very.
  11. mediumrare

    mediumrare Guest

    Yes, it comes in two sizes of blocks and also 1.5" spheres.
  12. jestersix

    jestersix Sponsor


    Yes, Sir - this is a sample of a Real Reef build I did a while back - you can see it has a purple tint to look like coralline algae...a nice touch on a new tank.
    mediumrare likes this.

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