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Hey everyone,

My tank has been cycling for a few weeks now and I'm finally ready to order some live rock. I was wondering if anyone has any pictures of live rock from www.premiumaquatics.com or www.tampabaysaltwater.com. TBS is a bit more expensive, but I hear their rock is outstanding, not to mention they have great customer service. Plus, they ship their rock submerged in water so there is literally no die off. Premium aquatics on the other hand, is a bit cheaper and supposedly their rock is pretty good as well. Plus, I can get it shipped ups ground in 2 days, but I heard their packaging isn't the greatest and there's a lot of die off. Any recommendations??


Thanks for your help.

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Hey man, definetly go with Premium Aquatics. read the post I made about it not too long ago, when I set my 7g minibow up.



Florida aquacultured rock - been colonized by marine organisms for a couple years.

Pacific rock - light rock with superior filtration capabilities, lots of holes and not nearly as dense and has been in the water colonized with bacteria and marine organisms for millions of years. You will need less of this stuff, and it is WAY better IMO. You mnight not get the tons of cool hitchhikers you get on the florida LR, but you will get some, and the rock will filter your water far better than the atlantic stuff. (examples, fiji, marshall, kaelini, tonga)

If your setting up a 10 gallon tank or less, the nano live rock from Premium Aquatics is great....perfect sizes with breaking bigger LR, and $3.49 a pound, come on, you can't go wrong.

I got 2 day shipping also. I thought the packaging was fine, it was cold out so there were heat packs, and there was a little die off, but be patient and wait until the bacteria break it down and you have a much better system with better filtration.


I am by no means an expert, but thats my 2 cents.

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Oh and another thing, why are you cycling your tank without LR? You should buy your LR first and do it all at once, now the die off on the rock will cause another cycle you will need to wait longer.

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Thanks for the info. My tank has been cycling for almost 2 weeks now. I used the cocktail shrimp method to start the cycle. I just emailed Jay at premium aquatics and orderd some live sand and a few pounds of live rock rubble to put in the back of the nano cube for filtration. Should I order the live rock as well? I just didn't want to fry the hell out of it because my ammonia is still pretty high (2.5-3.0). Jay said something about if my tank is already cycled, then there won't be as much die off when i add the LR because the bacteria present in my tank will take care of it within a few days. I'm just a newbie, so any info is greatly appreciated.


Thanks again.

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yea, that could be....but with your ammonia being at 2.5-3.0, that tells me that there isn't much beneficial bacteria in your tank, because the bacteria would eat up that ammonia before it got a chance to get that high...just to be safe, if you have the patience, you may want to wait for the ammonia to subside. shouldnt take too long. my 2c im not an expert


and that LR rubble from premium aquatics is incredible stuff, especially at 1.50/pound. I think all tanks under 2.5g should use it as there main LR.


Oh if you decide to order the nano LR (good move IMO) make sure to ask what kind of rock it is, because it varies. I called and they told me it has been a mix of marshall and kaelini when I ordered, which I like (especially the marshall). i think marshall and kaelini and tonga is preferable over fiji, however they are all great rocks.

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Thanks again man, I appreciate it. I think I'll put the live sand and live rock rubble in....hopefully they'll provide enough bacteria to kill the ammonia. Then I'll order some nano live rock.

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oo, i didn't realize you didnt have live sand in there. Is there anything in there besides saltwater and equipment?? bacteria need a surface to grow on, live rock and live sand being the best. but with just glass, there isn't going to be nearly enough bacteria to do away with 3ppm ammonia. if you added the shrimp with a good surface for the bacteria to grow on, it would form and make quick work out of the ammonia.

heres what I would do assuming nothings in there. empty that tank all the way. order your LR and LS. get that in the tank, then fill it up again. now you've got a good cycle going. the die-off will produce ammonia, and bacteria will develop on the LR and LS and eat up the ammonia, turning it into nitrites and then the less harmful nitrates. then when you have everything 0ppm but nitrates, do a couple water changes. now just wait for your tank to mature so its aboiut a month or so old and all levels at 0. whola. ready to add cleanup crew and eventually fish/corals.

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na not a troll....just a newbie taht needs guidance...i am too, just a slightly more experienced noob :) scott, try doing what I said and redo it....then you shuld be all set.

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Bacteria do need a surface to colonize, so it is true that you should put some sand in your tank.


It's also true that uncured live rock into a cycled tank will keep a lot more cool organisms on it than live rock into an uncycled tank. This is because the already-existing bacteria in the cycled tank will quickly take care of the ammonia spike resulting from rock die-off (bacteria double very quickly under ideal conditions, so if you start with an already-large population, you can create a much much larger population much much more quickly. Exponential/sigmoid growth curves, etc, as mentioned above).


Thus I think what you've been doing is probably good.


And yes, jackass, you can cycle a tank without LR. You put in something else that will decay and create ammonia for the bacteria to eat. A cocktail shrimp from the grocery store works well.



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no, he is wrong. a shrimp will, of course, CAUSE a cycle but it will do NOTHING beneficial to your tank. once the LR goes in you start all over again. and it does not matter if your rock is already totally cured.


these discussions about the 'shrimp method' show a total and complete misunderstanding about what LR is and what it does to your tank. LR is the filter for your water. it filters your water by hosting bacteria that breaks down ammonia/nitrite/nitrate (think of that trio as food). the population of bacteria is determined by how much 'food' you have to feed it. not much food, not much bacteria. there is NEVER no food because the bacteria themselves put out 'food' for each other, but when that happens there is not much bacteria.


when you add a shrimp you get a spike of 'food' but all the bacteria created die out once the food is consumed, leaving no gain (except an ammonia spike that killed any vulnerable animals). the idea is to create an 'equalibrium'. a shrimp creates a 'spike'. rock is what creates the equalibrium.


the myth of dead animals being helpful additions to a tank has been busted on this site at least 20 times, yet it persists. it is a total and complete myth. it adds NOTHING to your system except stress. the idea of a reef tank is to REMOVE ammonia at a steady and consistant rate. adding a LOT of ammonia at once is NOT the way to remove it.





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Excellent info, guys, I appreciate it. Some guys at the Aquaria Central forums had me put in a cocktail shrimp to cause an ammonia spike and then add the like rock AFTER the ammonia subsides. Some people recommend cycling the tank and then adding the LR, but other people recommend cycling the thank WITH the LR. I'm in the process of ordering the LR and LS from Premium Aquatics, so I'll cycle the tank with them.


And Yes, I already do have sand in the tank. I 've had 10lbs of argonite sand in the tank since day one.


Thanks again for the info and helpin a newbie out. Try to remember to take it easy on us newbies...you were all newbies at one point in time. And at least by going to the forums and researching and asking questions, I'm making a valiant effort to learn and want to get it right before I just start throwing fish in the tank (like some people do).


With that said, do you recommend I put the LR and LS in the tanks as is, or dump it and start over when I get the LR and LS.


Thanks again guys.

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sorry for the ''Troll'' incident because i had a stressful day.....



as other guys said you cant cycle a tank with water only, oyu need rock.Youll see that when u will put your rock, its gonna cycle again for 2-3 weeks.


patience my friend.






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Well, I ordered some live sand and live rock from premium aquatics today as everyone suggested, but they called me back and had to cancel my order due to something being wrong with the live sand. bummer.... anyway, I might have to try out tampa bay saltwater, but it'll cost me a fortune for shipping. anyone have any suggestions?

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oh and I forgot to mention...the guys at premium aquatics are really cool and actually called me at work to apologize about the order. so maybe i should hold out until they get the problem fixed. if anyone has any pics of their premium aquatic LR or LS, I'd like to check them out.



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