How to Make Your Own Live Rock

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Quick and easy aquascaping columns fior a saltwater tank. The last year, many questions about our reef pillars reached us and that is why we want to focuse in this article on that.

There are many. I have a column of rocks and to the side of that I have a pile tha is you just have to get the foam in all the holes connecting and let it dry for. Since I have live rock I cannot do that method. Arranging the live rock in your saltwater aquarium can be frustrating. I'm trying to add this up in my head and with everything I'd have to buy I'd be better off just buying the rock straight out. You can buy cheaper alternatives, I think the florida crushed coral brand is even cheaper.


With one bag I made over a pounds of rocks. I've looked up guides on this before because I was interested in making the shapes I'd like in my tank. Buying that much crushed coral would jack the price waaaay up there if I were to buy it local. But, I do live in a farming area so I could look around for the oyster shell. I might do that tomorrow if the heat isn't crazy like it's been. I found that White Portland cement is not available everywhere and the Grout tends to fully cure faster than the cement.

The PH spikes are less too. Not sure if there's anything special on grout mixes but I really like how you can select from different color mixes. Also the smallest White Portland cement bag I found was like 93 pounds, way too much unless you are planning on making a huge amount or rocks.

I think I'll keep an eye on this thread to see if there are any negative effects from the grout. Sounds like something I'd like to try though.

If the stuff really is that cheap to make overall I could actually make money off of this by selling the rock off. Nobody would know the difference around here.

How to Make Your own Live Rock

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Prev 1 2 3 Next Page 1 of 3. Recommended Posts. Posted August 3, Crushed Coral Sand or Oyster Shell from your local feed store. If one parameter is off then just add more or less of that part for a day or two to adjust the tank's overall levels. From the day your reef tank is set up you should strive for a calcium level of , magnesium level of about or higher, and alkalinity of 3.

To check pH you should use an electronic pH monitor such as the Pinpoint brand monitor and it should be calibrated at least monthly, pH test kits are very unreliable and should not be used. If you use the 2-part supplements and have proper alkalinity and calcium levels then your pH will fall into place at about 8. If you have a larger tank or one that you plan on keeping large amounts of clams and hard corals you may need to use a calcium reactor because the number of 2-part supplements may become cost prohibitive in large tanks. For a new hobbyist and someone with a tank of about 75 gallons or less the 2-part supplements are the best at easily and inexpensively keeping all water parameters correct.

The worse way of keeping these parameters in line would be to try to use separate supplements for each parameter such as different buffers, strontium, iodine, and other such additives. Adding all these separate supplements is a sure way to get everything out of whack, spend tons of money, be thoroughly confused, and then have a tank totally out of balance.

Also, other miracle in-the-bottle supplements do not work, do not waste your money on any so-called "DNA" products or such other hype, it is not needed, resist the urge to think that a miracle in a bottle potion will help your tank despite what the labels say. Remember, good things take some time to develop and they will if you have patience with your reef tank. Do not add anything to your tank that does not have a clear and complete label of ingredients and for which you do not have a specific reason to add.

Resist the natural human urge of thinking there is a short cut to success and it comes in a bottle with a fancy name or label. As the rock cures you should have minimal to moderate light on the rock. Too much light at the beginning will cause more ugly nuisance algae to grow in this nutrient rich environment and will also cause the coralline algae to fade and die, coralline algae do not like intense light.

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During curing, it is recommended that you use only LED lighting, preferably only blue light, with a daily duration of hours during the first couple of weeks of curing and then slowly ramp up to the full photoperiod of about hours a day with all lights. Do not cure the rock with metal halides, this may result in lots of nuisance algae and a rapid die off of the coralline algae. We once had a customer call that their rock was almost completely bare within 2 weeks even though he had a good skimmer and lots of water flow and proper calcium and alkalinity levels, well it turned out he had used several metal halide lamps to illuminate his tank from day one to cure the rock.

Coralline algae grow best in lower light areas. After being transported from the South Pacific dry and then exposed to intense light the coralline algae will fade and die. So, again, use only low light levels for the first couple, you must have some light for the coralline algae to survive, but not too much.

DIY live rock from scratch.

Inevitably in this nutrient rich environment during the curing of your rock you will have some nuisance algae blooms. This is normal and natural and can be managed before you develop an algae nightmare. Follow the instructions in this guide and the algae blooms will be minimal and short lived.

Within the first few days through the first 2 weeks you may see brown diatoms grow on the rock that look like a brown fuzz. This will normally die off within a week or so and may be followed by growth of some green algae. This will also die off soon and if you do not add a bunch of other life to the tank during this time then the curing process should be completed within 4 weeks.

It is best to wait until the initial ammonia is gone before adding any invertebrates such as a "clean up" crew. It is best to add these animals after weeks of curing because many will not survive in the high nutrient environment present in the water during the first couple of weeks of curing. When adding inverts keep them to a minimum at first and use mostly snails to help control algae.

Adding a lot of inverts early may result in many dead inverts when the food supply in the form of algae naturally dies back later in the curing process. After weeks your rock should be cured and you will then see more coralline algae growing on the rock and elsewhere in your tank. Soon you will have multicolored coralline algae growing everywhere and once you begin to add fish and corals you will have a fantastic reef tank.

The Risks of Choosing to Buy Live Rocks

Once the ammonia and other nutrients are lower in the tank as the bacteria population establishes you may add some invertebrates to assist in nuisance algae control and to scavenge for leftover food. Slowly begin to add fish to the system to further complete the cycling process. Once all diatoms and nuisance algae blooms are finished and you have a good growth of desirable coralline algae then add some corals.

If you are patient and follow these basic guidelines you should have a great reef tank within a few months. If you cured your rock in a separate container from your main tank then you will need to arrange the rock in what is called your aquascape. This can be done on the floor covered with a drop cloth of course or in the tank itself. You will note that as you examine the rock that some pieces will have more coralline algae color than others and that one side may have more than another.

Reef Saver Dry Aquarium Live Rock - Bulk Reef Supply

This is normal and over the next months in your tank, with proper conditions, all the coralline algae will grow and cover all the rock, so don't be too concerned with color at this point. As you set up the rocks into a reef structure you like, move the pieces around a bit. It takes a bit of time and experience to aquascape well, but there are no right ways or wrong ways, it is all about what you think looks good and if you are satisfied then it is right. Try to leave some open spaces for fish to swim through and allow for good water flow through the rock.

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If you decide to use sand in your tank I prefer to place the rock directly on the sand, this gives the most stable structure.