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To Live Rock or Not to Live Rock? That's a question?

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Bill Plude

Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2003
Messages
15
I need some help. I already have a sucessful 125 Reef going so I'm planning on putting fish in my 170. I thought I was going to put in some Live Rock too but, I was talking to Stu (LFS Guy) my fish Guru yesterday and he "strongly" advised me against using Live Rock in the 170 if I was going to put a lot of fish in it. He said that several people he knows and himself have lost whole tanks of fish due to LR. He says he doesn't know why, but when you use medications for sick fish (I think I have read something about this online) they react with the live rock and create some kind of poison and it kills all the fish. He also said that the LR will continue poisioning fish you put in later.
Should I forego the LR and go with some of the new, nice looking moulded "plastic" LR looking stuff that's in the stores today?
 

Mushroom Boy

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2003
Messages
251
If it were me personally, I would definitely use live rock. The possible problems associated with medicating your tank would be the result of die off of the bacterial colonies in the live rock, which would lead to a re-cycling of the tank. I'm assuming that's what this guy was talking about. I would say that the problem could easily be avoided by not medicating the tank. Make sure your fish are healthy prior to putting them in there (i.e., quarantine them first). If medicating were necessary, I would remove the fish in question and medicate it remotely. There are some great articles on the internet also about the use of hyposalinity and other "safe" methods of treating a tank without decimating the biological filtration. The biological benefit (filtration) of having the live rock in there would far outweigh any potential problems IMO. Good luck with it!

Paul.
 

reedman

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 30, 2003
Messages
3,255
Location
Mukilteo, WA
I have to agree with Paul on this one. The benefits of having the bacteria in the live rock, plus the added benefit of it providing a more natural environment for the fish is too great to ignore. In addition this forces you into the good habits (i.e. quarentine tank, good diagnosys of problems rather than general fixes). If you start out with a clean setup and healthy fish and do regular maintenance, there is no reason you can't have a very successful tank with live rock. No need to medicate the main tank.

My opinion...
-Reed
 

aquariumdebacle

electrolyte addict
Joined
Jul 4, 2003
Messages
613
Location
Seattle
Medicating a tank of that size is expensive at least and dangerous at worst. If you are sticking with just fish you can go with a trickle filter or other type of filtration. A protein skimmer is advised in all cases. I think you will find very few recomendations against using live rock.
 

skylsdale

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 13, 2003
Messages
90
Location
WA
My assumption is that the medications these people used had some element of copper in them...which in turn killed everything that wasn't a fish in the tank: inverts, bacteria, etc. This amount of die-off probably caused huge spikes of ammonia and/or nitrite in the tank...killing everything. Copper NEVER leaves a system once it's been introduced, so it's effects would continue slowly killing whatever was later introduced. Again, this is just a theory, but a pretty likely one.

The fools should have used a quarentine tank instead of blaming the LR for their incompetence.

Buy liverock. If you NEED to medicate, do it in another tank.
 

Bill Plude

Member
Joined
Aug 18, 2003
Messages
15
skylsdale wrote:
The fools should have used a quarentine tank instead of blaming the LR for their incompetence
Who are you to be calling people fools and incompetent? I'm sure you started as an expert. What are your qualifications? Do you have pictures of your tank/s on this site or any others? They must be nice if you are so much better that others that you don't even know. Too nice to be on this site, I guess. I can't find them.
 

skylsdale

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 13, 2003
Messages
90
Location
WA
Even the most basics of reef books suggest a quarentine tank for ANY medications that need to be used. You don't need to be any sort of "expert" to figure that out. By stating that I am aware of this fact, I place myself with the most base of reefkeepers...far from the elite. This is why I claim incompetence and/or ignorance for those who don't do enough or even the slightest bit of research to figure out whether or not a medication might wreak absolute havoc on their system...then blame it on the LR. Of course there's NO WAY something good and helpful like a medication would harm the tank...
 
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