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NanoRox

Preferred Live Rock vendors?

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NanoRox

Just getting back into the hobby after 20 years and need to find a good quality live rock source.  My local store has horrible looking stuff.  My tank is small (14 gallons) so not wanting any base rock just premium stuff.  I know everyone has an opinion but would love some recommendations.

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Thrassian Atoll

I prefer dry rock and went with BRS reefsaver.  No need for a bunch of unwanted hitchhikers and algae.  That's just my opinion though and I know a lot of people don't agree with that.  

 

A lot of people like their rock from this place though.

 

http://www.tampabaysaltwater.com/

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GunslingerGirl

gulfliverock

 

HANDS DOWN. Lots of coralline, sponges, coral, algae, critters of all kinds. I had only one aiptasia in my entire 20 pounds I have ordered from them.

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Reeferdave1960

I'm new to a reef tank, being researching for a while now. I will be placing my order from ARC (Atlantic Reef conservation) their product looks great, gets great reviews and for every lb of rock they sell they replace it with 10lbs .

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Subsea

Both Tampa Bay Saltwater and Gulf Live Rock have been in operation since 1992.  TBSW reef is located 6 miles offshore and Gulf Live Rock is 16 miles offshore.  I have purchased from Gulf Live Rock the most.  My last shipment was 90 lbs.  Dale called me at 3PM from the boat ride in from collecting with pictures of the rock.   I had hands on that rock at midnight. 

 

http://www.gulfliverock.com/premium-decorative-rock.html

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brandon429

that's amazing and ideal rock wow

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NanoRox
16 minutes ago, Subsea said:

Both Tampa Bay Saltwater and Gulf Live Rock have been in operation since 1992.  TBSW reef is located 6 miles offshore and Gulf Live Rock is 16 miles offshore.  I have purchased from Gulf Live Rock the most.  My last shipment was 90 lbs.  Dale called me at 3PM from the boat ride in from collecting with pictures of the rock.   I had hands on that rock at midnight. 

 

http://www.gulfliverock.com/premium-decorative-rock.html

That's pretty amazing.  I doubt my little order of 20 lbs will qualify for a call but very impressive! 

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Felicia

KP Aquatics is another great source for premium live rock.  They have a plot in the Florida Keys where they culture and collect live rock.  It arrives with a ton of life and color for a very reasonable price.  They sell 10 lbs of rock with the shipping cost included, which may be about the amount you need for your tank.

 

https://www.kpaquatics.com/product/aquacultured-live-rock/

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Subsea

I can not say with certainty, but I think Dale would do that for a small order.  I have read his FB post and I show nothing but graciousness on his part.  For certain, if you told him what in particular you liked on your rock, he would look for that rock while he was cruising his reef.

 

There are only about 20 live rock permit holders in Florida.  The state legislator, under pressure from enviromentalist, have banned future permit holder.  When these present permit holders die, we will lose this wonderful source of live rock.  I knowe that these permit holders are the real enviromentalist.  Anytime that sustainable practices are achieved, everybody wins.

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NanoRox

Living on the Gulf Coast as I do (Alabama) I really appreciate the aquaculture aspect of the vendors listed.  I must say Gulfliverock sounds like someone I would like to do business with.  Thanks guys!

 

And I will definitely like their facebook page.

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Detritus
2 hours ago, TILTON said:

I prefer dry rock and went with BRS reefsaver.  No need for a bunch of unwanted hitchhikers and algae.  That's just my opinion though and I know a lot of people don't agree with that.  

 

A lot of people like their rock from this place though.

 

http://www.tampabaysaltwater.com/

Anyobe else like to comment on whether or not they use all live rock, all base rock, or a mixture, and why? I'm asking specifically for nano tanks in the 40 gallon and under range.

 

Thanks!

 

-Detritus

 

 

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Rene

I want to second gulfliverock.com. I put in an order for 10 pounds and spoke to them on the phone about having a tiny tank and what I was hoping to get. I was blown away by the quality and life on the rock, to the point that when I took that tank down, I still have that rock in a bucket because I don't want to part with it and I have the corals in my pico because I couldn't part with those either!  Need to figure out what to do there, it's too good to get rid of...

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Subsea

I will be receiving 15lbs (Nano size)  of live rock by standard delivery on Thursday.   I will seed differrent tanks that have been set up for a while, one of which is a 30G mud macro refugium just converted to cryptic zone refugium.  While I am behind schedule on set up for a 120G show display of a macro lagoon, I will purchase uncured live rock and cure in three 150G Rubbermade tank that are buried in the ground for geothermal stability.  Gulf Live Rock uses Bimmini limestone which is pretty dense, depending on how long it has been in the water.

 

Collection during the winter is often discontinued due to weather.

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rcar86

I've had good luck with TBS also.

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NanoRox
1 hour ago, Subsea said:

I will be receiving 15lbs (Nano size)  of live rock by standard delivery on Thursday.   I will seed differrent tanks that have been set up for a while, one of which is a 30G mud macro refugium just converted to cryptic zone refugium.  While I am behind schedule on set up for a 120G show display of a macro lagoon, I will purchase uncured live rock and cure in three 150G Rubbermade tank that are buried in the ground for geothermal stability.  Gulf Live Rock uses Bimmini limestone which is pretty dense, depending on bhow long it has been in the water.

 

Collection during the winter is often discontinued due to weather.

So am I understanding correctly that I need to get this set up ASAP or risk not being able to get any rock from them until Spring?

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brandon429

neat thread. getting an instantly aged reef is ideal I never was much for the white rock trend. not downing it, but that clean slate takes so long to become purple and twisted growth of mixed animals. Trying to keep the live rock diversity alive that you guys are getting in shipments is a more fun challenge imo. the more water change CPR you do on the received rocks, the more they come back to life away from ammonia rotting but that's really well covered by these guys already.

THey know how to ship and avoid most benthic loss

 

the best telling sign above all, above any ammonia test kit, is to lightly smell the receiving bag as soon as its opened. our noses beat most test kits for low level ammonia detection.

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NanoRox

While we are on the subject of live rock, I am undecided on whether or not to get "raw" live rock (in this case from Gulfliverock) or the cured version with just the Coralline algae.  The idea of such a potential high die off at the beginning of a new tank cycle concerns me for two reasons:

 

1. would such high levels of ammonia and later nitrite and nitrate completely overwhelm the system and create an overly aggressive algae bloom?

 

2. due to issue one, am I just wasting money when all the extra critters will die anyway?

 

 

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Thrassian Atoll
4 minutes ago, Duane Clark said:

While we are on the subject of live rock, I am undecided on whether or not to get "raw" live rock (in this case from Gulfliverock) or the cured version with just the Coralline algae.  The idea of such a potential high die off at the beginning of a new tank cycle concerns me for two reasons:

 

1. would such high levels of ammonia and later nitrite and nitrate completely overwhelm the system and create an overly aggressive algae bloom?

 

2. due to issue one, am I just wasting money when all the extra critters will die anyway?

 

 

 

I know the tampa bay rock comes in bags of water, and even sucker fish survive so there's barely any die off.

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Reeferdave1960
4 hours ago, Duane Clark said:

So am I understanding correctly that I need to get this set up ASAP or risk not being able to get any rock from them until Spring?

I just talked to Dale this morning as after reading everybody's post I was thinking of changing my mind where I order from. I brought up the question of winter season and he said it was not an issue. If a front comes in they wait until it passes and go back out and harvest another 2000 lbs for the holding tank to fulfill orders.  

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Subsea

Duane,

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  I like natural systems and have two threads on different sites entitiled "Intelligent Design" is Natural Systems.  Gulf Live Rock is the bomb.

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Detritus
4 hours ago, Subsea said:

Gulf Live Rock is the bomb.

I'm sorry, but is that a general statement about live rock from the Gulf region, or for rocks from gulfliverock.com specifically?

 

Thanks for your help!

 

-D

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Rene

Getting fresh, un-cured live rock is the way to go if you want to get a lot of life on your rock. BUT if you want that life to live, you have to soft-cycle the tank, where you do frequent, aggressive water changes to keep the parameters in check while the rock is curing. This will keep your rock alive and good looking. You basically have to treat it similar to a coral, ample water flow, controlled temperatures, and a limited light cycle...but it will still need some. 

 

Throwing uncured gulf/Florida rock in a dark bucket and ignoring it while it "cures" will result in a lot of loss of life and a dissapointing end experience. 

 

This can be a lot of work but it's necessary if you want the life on the rock to live and you want to avoid massive nuisance algae. 

 

If in doubt, be realistic about your time and resource commitment. There is a lot of very nice cured rock in the hobby. It has less life on it, but may be a better choice for someone with less time to baby a tank for the first few weeks, or someone not familiar with cycling a tank. 

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Subsea
1 hour ago, Detritus said:

I'm sorry, but is that a general statement about live rock from the Gulf region, or for rocks from gulfliverock.com specifically?

 

Thanks for your help!

 

-D

It is both. 

 

Because I focus on natural systems, I fixate on ecosystems that are in dynamic equilibrium with multiple food webs to process and recycle by feeding the display tank.  Nutrient export could be done by selling coral or harvesting and eating macro algae like grape caulerpa or red ogo.

 

Thanks for asking.

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Detritus
1 minute ago, Subsea said:

It is both. 

 

Because I focus on natural systems, I fixate on ecosystems that are in dynamic equilibrium with multiple food webs to process and recycle by feeding the display tank.  Nutrient export could be done by selling coral or harvesting and eating macro algae like grape caulerpa or red ogo.

 

Thanks for asking.

Thank you for your help!

 

-D

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NanoRox
1 hour ago, Rene said:

Getting fresh, un-cured live rock is the way to go if you want to get a lot of life on your rock. BUT if you want that life to live, you have to soft-cycle the tank, where you do frequent, aggressive water changes to keep the parameters in check while the rock is curing. This will keep your rock alive and good looking. You basically have to treat it similar to a coral, ample water flow, controlled temperatures, and a limited light cycle...but it will still need some

So instead of weekly 10% water changes you would recommend what?  What would be considered "aggressive"?

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