Live vs dry rock

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COpathfindin

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Curious on people's thoughts here. I am planning out and accumulating parts for my 90 mixed reef. I have a question in regards to the rock. There is a good amount of dry rock available here but live rock is less common. Curious if anyone can give me a pro/con on the two.
One other question in regards to my sump, I have a 36x18x15 that I can use for a sump, but it's so wide I would need to build a new stand, where as a 55 will fit fine, only filling the entire space. What are your thoughts in that.


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TL1000RSquid

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Main benefit of live rock it will get the tank cycled faster then dry, can also introduce beneficial hitchhikers, nice purple coraline algae growth off the bat. Cons would be price, introducing bad hitchhikers.

I've usually started out tanks with 15-25% live rock with good results.

I'm lazy so I'd just cruise craigslist for a cheap 55g that will fit.
 

tanker

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LR is used for Filtration. The BIO creaturs in the LR help this. LR also has all kinds of facinating creatures that will spread into you tank (mini stars, pods. worms, coraline algae,ect), all good stuff. Dead rock, can and will become LR if there is lots of LR in the tank.

If there is a buget issue, or finding good LR you can have a 60/40 mix mostly LR.
 

Ace25

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For me, dry rock only from now on. Live rock is just a huge waste of $ (just like live sand) and pain in the butt to clean all the pests off. Dry rock can become live rock in a matter of minutes by adding proper bacteria, which is really the beneficial part of live rock.
 

COpathfindin

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I actually enjoy the idea of the hitch hikers. My plan is for a large invert load with a low fish load. I just like looking at the close up and seeing tons of life.


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Ptrick125

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I actually enjoy the idea of the hitch hikers. My plan is for a large invert load with a low fish load. I just like looking at the close up and seeing tons of life.


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There's a risk with getting hitchhikers. They are great if you get a good one, but bad ones can ruin a tank, or make it much more difficult to run a tank.


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greech

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I like the idea of using both with the majority being quality porous dry rock. By using a small percentage of LR, you stand a better chance of adding some diversity (worms, sponges, pods, etc.) to your tank as well as some foundation bacteria. As Ace mentioned, it will become live (bacteria) fairly quickly without the addition of live rock. Granted, you will likely add those things as you add corals but you also stand the chance of adding the bad HHs that way as well. By using a small amount of LR you can take your time to carefully examine the couple of pieces that you add for the more common nasty HH's (aiptasia, mojanos, various nudibranchs, etc.). There is the other alternative of using man made or pre-cured dry rock. That usually involves more $ though.

Sump wise, I would go with the 36X18 without a doubt. Trying to work with an overly high sump in a tight space is no fun! The width (12") of the 55 is also not user friendly for a lot of the equipment that you may want to use with your system.
 
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