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All information on the choice, introduction and management of live rocks in marine aquarium. How to recolonize dead rocks, live Fijian rocks and advice on the quantity to be introduced in the tank.
Dead live rocks: how to reactivate them. Advantages and disadvantages of dead rocks and live rocks in the aquarium
As the first paragraph of an article he talks aboutlive rocks in marine aquarium it's a bit strange ... but it's also important to talk about dead rocks, that is rocks completely dehydrated and devoid of any microorganism. I want to let you know one thing: in many areas of the world live rocks are no longer used!
Thelive rockshave great potential, they are rich in microorganisms and benthic fauna useful for creating a balance in themarine aquarium, but at the same time they can become carriers of pests.
It is not uncommon to introduce rocks into the aquarium and then end up with infestations of planarians and aiptasias, not to mention the eunice or other parasites that can feed on corals. In short, while live rocks can speed up the formation of an equilibrium, on the other, they can represent a real threat.
Before introducing any live rock in the aquarium, I suggest you immerse them for a few minutes in osmosis water, in this way the planarians and other pathogenic organisms could detach in order to reduce the risk of infestations. Bathing live rocks in osmosis water also undermines the "good fauna" and is not a guarantee ... For this reason, in Germany, Portugal and many other countries, they have started to use sterile substrates ordead rocks. In this way the repopulation process of the rocks can be controlled. Certainly the waiting period to reach a balance in the tank will be longer but the result will be "safer".
If you have purchasedlive rocksand you want to "deactivate" them, that is to break down any biological charge present in it, you can dry them in the sun by placing them, in the height of summer, in a black bag like the one you use for garbage. Alternatively you can also boil them ... of course boiling in water is faster but also more cumbersome, especially if you want to set up a very large aquarium.
With this paragraph you have surely already understood what theadvantageshedisadvantagesto uselive rocks in the aquarium. In practice, the advantages lie in the inclusion of benthic fauna and microorganisms useful for maintaining a good balance ... the disadvantages are those of a lack of control: when you introduce alive rock, in fact, you don't really know what you are putting in your aquarium! At best you may end up with some coral eating crabs and at worst, with really hard to manage parasites.
Personally for my aquariums I have always used live rocks, only for a 60 liter nanoreef I preferred to use dead rocks to reactivate. How are dead rocks activated? By adding nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria, complements that can help in thecoralline algae growthand substrates useful for "good" microorganisms.
Live Rocks of Fiji
Live rocks are rich in limestone organisms, benthic fauna of various kinds and other forms of life naturally present in coral reefs.
Thelive rocks of Fijithey are certainly the most expensive because they naturally have a large number of calcareous algae ready to explode in your small aquarium offering colors with very warm tones. The problem is that much of thelive rocks of Fijithat you find on the market are actually "fished" in neighboring areas. True Fijian rocks were only on the market until 2012: speaking with many importers, I found that those currently sold as Fijian live rocks are imported from neighboring locations, undoubtedly they have similar characteristics to Fijian rocks but sometimes the price so high it is not justified.
Why does everyone want Fijian rocks? Not for the colors but because they are particularly porous! Rocks caught in the Tonga and Marshall region can also be particularly interesting due to their high density.
Live rocks: quantity per liter
How many live rocks to insert in the aquarium? Live rocks are home to algae, sponges, invertebrates and a large variety of microorganisms. Live rocks work fromnatural biological filterin the aquarium, introducing a diversified range of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, necessary to complete thenitrogen cycle which processes waste (nitrogen compounds).
Until recently, thelive rockit was the main nitrification base of the marine aquarium. Today it is possible to exploit many resins to be added to the sump to reduce nitrogen compounds. A fundamental role oflive rockslies in keeping the pH constant through the release of calcium carbonate, for this reason it could be useful to keep the skeleton ofdead corals.
Colored live rocks
If you are in a hurry to color your live rocks, you can use a complement that can promote the growth of coral algae. Among the various products, from direct experience, I would like to point out the nourishment for coral algae from the Red Sea, the product in question is called "Coralline Gro", unfortunately it is not easily found even in specialized stores, so I recommend buying and selling online on the ecommerce of aquariology or on Amazon: on “this Amazon page” the large package, 500 ml can be bought at a price of 23.50 euros. You will notice that it increases the kH, but unlike the other buffers that you find on the market it does not contain only carbonates, it is also enriched with other trace elements essential for thegrowth of coral algae in the marine aquarium.
The product acts on kH and adds useful microelements to coralline algae. To intensify the growth of bacteria, in case ofdead live rocks, you can add products such as “Stability”, “Nitro Bact”, “Start Bact” and similar.
Artificial live rocks
As stated, in some locations around the globe, artificial live rocks called "aragocrete" are being adopted to avoid infestations, in reality it is a combination of aragonite, sand and Portland cement.