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TaterTot24

VidaRock vs Dry Rock

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I have a PicO III (18x18x16 – 20g) tank on order and I was trying to figure out what I want to do with the “aqua-scaping”.

 

Let me first say that I have ZERO artistic ability and the rock placement in my previous FOWLR tank was horrible. So I started trying to look at other PicO build threads to try to get some ideas, and I stumbled upon this Vida Rock stuff and it seemed to be the solution to my lack of artistic talent. I am wanting to try to do a nice reef tank this time, so coral placement/locations is important and just puts more pressure on me to do this right.

 

Anyway, the reason I started this thread was to figure out how most of the tanks I saw had less than 8lbs of Vida Rock (and nothing else). I know that typically there is a 1-1.5lb per gallon rule for regular live rock (I know this does not always apply) and the tank is about 20 gallons. Is this Vida Rock stuff just that porous or is there something else going on? I have seen similar setups in probably 3 or 4 tanks that look pretty good, so I know it is not just a fluke.

 

I really like the idea of the Vida Rock, but there is no way I can afford/fit even 10lbs of that stuff into my tank. I was thinking of doing just one piece of Vida Rock and the rest BRS Reef Saver Rock (since I already have about 20lbs of it), but I would have no idea how much additional Reef Saver rock I would need (or what to do with it)...

 

I would really hate to spend all this money on this tank/supplies, only to have the “aqua-scape” look like garbage… Thanks in advance for your input...

 

 

TL:DR - How much Vida Rock is necessary for a 20g tank?

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I decided to add a picture just to spice things up...

 

IMAG0510.jpg

 

I am still working on getting everything I need... I still have to make a decision on a skimmer and a light

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I decided to add a picture just to spice things up...

 

IMAG0510.jpg

 

I am still working on getting everything I need... I still have to make a decision on a skimmer and a light

Nice haul! Have to laugh at the shoulder gloves though :)
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hahah....i have almost the same equipments, even the useless aqua gloves =P. Here's my pros and cons of VidaRock:

 

Pros -

Very porous (according to their website and claims)

Cycled fast for me

No need to aquascape or glue or stack rocks

Interesting shapes

Relatively cheap if you buy from the right vendor

Only need 1-2 to fill nano tank

 

Cons -

Creates lots of ledges and shadows if you get the bonsai. This is good and bad...

Limits your creativity

 

 

With aquascaping, I feel less is more. The tanks I like the most have 1-2 islands covered with corals. I don't like tanks where majority of volume is filled with just rocks along the backwall. IMO, that's the old fashion way to aquascape. VidaRocks give multi-dimensional feel to your scape. As for filtering and bacteria, I hid LR rubles behind my VidaRocks.

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I just purchased 3 pieces of the vida rock for my new tank. Not sure how to link to the build thread but its under the AIO forum. I will most likely be getting the tank wet this weekend after my stand arrives on Saturday. So far I love the rock. It's got great shape and I'm actually liking some of the shadowing the bonsai and branch pieces put off. I figure I can put some mushrooms or something that doesn't need a lot of light under there.

 

Bottom line is I wanted to have a minimalist kind of look without the huge stacked rock walls I see a lot. I think the vida rock does a good job and allowing you to accomplish this. I will be places some live rock rubble and smaller pieces around though to help seed the tank. I'll have to keep you posted on the cycling process as I haven't started that yet. Was thinking of getting some Dr. Tims.

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hahah....i have almost the same equipments, even the useless aqua gloves =P. Here's my pros and cons of VidaRock:

 

Pros -

Very porous (according to their website and claims)

Cycled fast for me

No need to aquascape or glue or stack rocks

Interesting shapes

Relatively cheap if you buy from the right vendor

Only need 1-2 to fill nano tank

 

Cons -

Creates lots of ledges and shadows if you get the bonsai. This is good and bad...

Limits your creativity

 

 

With aquascaping, I feel less is more. The tanks I like the most have 1-2 islands covered with corals. I don't like tanks where majority of volume is filled with just rocks along the backwall. IMO, that's the old fashion way to aquascape. VidaRocks give multi-dimensional feel to your scape. As for filtering and bacteria, I hid LR rubles behind my VidaRocks.

 

First off, your tank is one of the main reasons for me picking the PicO aquarium and our "equipment list" looks similar for a reason ;) (in fact my Tunze Nano just showed up from UPS)

 

From my understanding, the Vida Rock sizes that would fit into our aquariums are around 3-4 pounds each. So you are saying that only having around 8 pounds is fine and provides sufficient biological filtration? I just wanted to clear that up before I proceed..

 

Also, do you have any idea the approx. physical size of your 2 Vida rocks?

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IMO the Vidarock's looks like great stuff if you're not into personally aquascaping the bulk of your tank... the Artisan Shapes lets you figure out the bulk of your look before starting and makes it easy to simply focus on stocking.

 

As for the shadows (wrt some of the Bonsai pieces)? Plenty of stuff in the hobby either doesn't like or color shifts unfavorably under direct-bright lighting - the overhangs let you play with these as well! ;-)

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From my understanding, the Vida Rock sizes that would fit into our aquariums are around 3-4 pounds each. So you are saying that only having around 8 pounds is fine and provides sufficient biological filtration? I just wanted to clear that up before I proceed..

 

Also, do you have any idea the approx. physical size of your 2 Vida rocks?

 

I have the Pico Bonsai (8″x8″x6″) and Pico Branch (8″x8″x4″) from aquariumspecialty.com. I actually bought a Small Branch that turned out to be too big for my tank. The dimensions they listed on aquariumspecialty is pretty accurate. I thought it would run small so I bought a bigger piece. Now it's sitting in my closet...

 

Since you have a way taller tank than mine, you can probably do a single Bonsai and then a small island with your BRS rocks.

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I just purchased 3 pieces of the vida rock for my new tank. Not sure how to link to the build thread but its under the AIO forum. I will most likely be getting the tank wet this weekend after my stand arrives on Saturday. So far I love the rock. It's got great shape and I'm actually liking some of the shadowing the bonsai and branch pieces put off. I figure I can put some mushrooms or something that doesn't need a lot of light under there.

 

Bottom line is I wanted to have a minimalist kind of look without the huge stacked rock walls I see a lot. I think the vida rock does a good job and allowing you to accomplish this. I will be places some live rock rubble and smaller pieces around though to help seed the tank. I'll have to keep you posted on the cycling process as I haven't started that yet. Was thinking of getting some Dr. Tims.

 

What size VidaRock did you use in your build?

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I know you're gonna call BS but I was the one who came up with the idea for Vida rock. I was working an LFS here in SLC and on of thier guys came over to see what type of aquarium decorations he build for us using ceramics (wood logs, pirate ships and such). Got to talking w/him and brought the idea of using it in place of LR.... Long story short. They owe me royalties.

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What size VidaRock did you use in your build?

 

I used mainly the pico sized pieces. The branch is about 10 inches long and 6 inches high. The bonsai is about 9 inches high. The arch piece is about 7 inches high and 10 inches long. The bonsai and branch pieces take up just about the entire width if the display area of my nuvo tank. I think I'll be able to barely get a two fishes nano cleaner by to clean the glass in some spots.

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I don't get why people buy vidarock, it's more expensive than liverock, go with dry rock and chip it with a hammer to shape it how you want

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I don't get why people buy vidarock, it's more expensive than liverock, go with dry rock and chip it with a hammer to shape it how you want

 

I don't know what there is to "not get"... Looks awesome, easy to do, no tools necessary, no artisctic talent required, and a lot less "rock" is necessary so the tanks are not as crowded...

 

And the part about it being more expensive, that may not be necessairly true... I am going to get 2 peices of VidaRock which is about $26 (2 x $18) and for 20lbs of dry rock is is about $50 (20 x $2.5) -- and apparently the VidaRock is 3x more porous and half as cheap...

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So I purchased 2 VidaRock pieces that I thought would fit into the tank....

 

However, I had to cram them together as close as possible to get them to fit.

 

I can barely get my magfloat past them on the front & sides -- but they are touching the back panel. Is that ok?

 

IMAG0533.jpg

 

Anyway, what do you guys think? I am not sure I like them overlapping in the middle. What do you guys think?

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I know you're gonna call BS but I was the one who came up with the idea for Vida rock. I was working an LFS here in SLC and on of thier guys came over to see what type of aquarium decorations he build for us using ceramics (wood logs, pirate ships and such). Got to talking w/him and brought the idea of using it in place of LR.... Long story short. They owe me royalties.
I believe you! Ever heard of Island Oasis machines? Those are the machines that crush up the ice that have the mixer at bars. My wifes uncle invented that and the Italians stole his name and idea before he got it patended.

 

Get one of those tiny tlf nano mags.
I sure like your avatar! :P
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So I purchased 2 VidaRock pieces that I thought would fit into the tank....

 

However, I had to cram them together as close as possible to get them to fit.

 

I can barely get my magfloat past them on the front & sides -- but they are touching the back panel. Is that ok?

 

IMAG0533.jpg

 

Anyway, what do you guys think? I am not sure I like them overlapping in the middle. What do you guys think?

 

HAHA. What size did you get? Didn't I tell you to get the smallest possible =P. I made the same mistake and had to rebuy a smaller branch. But your branch now looks niiiiiiiiiiice. I love that extra wide surface to put corals.

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HAHA. What size did you get? Didn't I tell you to get the smallest possible =P. I made the same mistake and had to rebuy a smaller branch. But your branch now looks niiiiiiiiiiice. I love that extra wide surface to put corals.

I know... I know... But I got the smallest pieces they had at the time. That stuff is getting harder and harder to get a hold of.

 

Honestly, I thought they would fit BUT I forgot how much room the back filter area takes up in the tank (oops)

 

So are you saying that I should re-order some smaller pieces?

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I know... I know... But I got the smallest pieces they had at the time. That stuff is getting harder and harder to get a hold of.Honestly, I thought they would fit BUT I forgot how much room the back filter area takes up in the tank (oops)So are you saying that I should re-order some smaller pieces?
heck no! Do you have a angle grinder? Just take a angle grinder and grind the pieces that touch the glass back. You could use a file to.
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heck no! Do you have a angle grinder? Just take a angle grinder and grind the pieces that touch the glass back. You could use a file to.

Yeah I thought about that, but I just wanted a 2nd opinion on how it looks now before I go hacking it up.

 

I also have 20lbs of reefsaver dry rock just sitting in a box too, but I would much rather just stick with the VidaRock.

 

So the opinion so far is that it looks too cramped?

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heck no! Do you have a angle grinder? Just take a angle grinder and grind the pieces that touch the glass back. You could use a file to.

 

that's a great idea!

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Yeah I thought about that, but I just wanted a 2nd opinion on how it looks now before I go hacking it up.I also have 20lbs of reefsaver dry rock just sitting in a box too, but I would much rather just stick with the VidaRock.So the opinion so far is that it looks too cramped?
No I think it looks perfect. I would get the pieces back off the glass and call it AWESOME. Keep those 2 pieces and forget about the dry rock ;)
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also, once you get some sand in there, you can kind of tilt the branch a little to make a little more room.

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