Our Live Rock Specials are a mixed box of some really nice pieces and some fairly plain pieces. The reason is when setting up a new tank you will have the base rock and then top rock, these specials allow you to maximise your money and not paying for all amazing rock when it is not needed. All rock in the package has been Aquacultured on our lease sites and is fully live, some of the pieces might have been deeper in the pile or possibly covered in sand.
Our Aquacultured Live Rock started out as upland dry rock of the Bryozoan facies (Commonly sold as Reef Saver or South Seas rock) in 1997, we selected two sites in the Gulf of Mexico approximately 13 miles from land in 30 feet of water. We dropped this hand selected rock on these sites that were previously just barren sandy bottom, creating our very own reefs. After more than 15 years these reefs are just teeming with LIFE including: Corals, Sponges, Coralline Algae, Truncates, Oysters, Barnacles, Worms, Crabs, Shrimp, Micro and Macro Algae, Starfish and much much more!
Frequently Asked Questions about our rock.
What makes your rock different than the rock in my Local Fish Store?
The short answer is LIFE! Most Local Fish Stores either order from Live Rock suppliers in the Pacific, where the rock is collected then packed in wax coated boxes and shipped by boat to the US. This long shipping time causes most of the life on the rock to die off and leads to extensive curing time. Or make their own Live Rock by placing Dry Rock in their tanks, this does give them the bacteria, but little to no other hitchhikers.
Our rock is handled much differently, we own the reef and we do all our own diving and distribution so you get the freshest Live Rock available.
How should I get my Aquacultured Live Rock Shipped?
We HIGHLY suggest Airlines shipping, this is by far the fastest way and usually the cheapest (for orders of 40lbs or more). but it does mean you would have to pick the rock up at the airport. This is usually a very simple thing to do as the cargo facility at most airports is not the same place that you would go as a passenger, and it is quick in and out. If you have any questions on this process, please contact us we will be more than happy to explain the whole process in detail and give you the address and phone number of the cargo facility near you.
Ground shipping should only be used if you are within the one or two day area, the thing to keep in mind when choosing shipping is that this is Really Live Rock, and the longer it is in shipping the more die off you will have.
Does this Rock need to be Cured?Yes and no. It really depends on how you get it shipped along with a plethora of other things, but basically the shorter the time the rock is out of the water the less "curing" needs to be done.
What is curing?
Curing Live Rock is simply acclimating the rock to your tank. Anytime a piece of live rock is exposed to air, or even just moved there will be some die off. The amount of die off depends on how long the rock is exposed, any temperature fluctuations and what is on the rock. To minimize curing time we remove any sponges that we know are harmful when they die off, we also keep the rock submerged as soon as possible after harvest including on the boat and during all transport.
Again, we also highly suggest using the airlines shipping option, it is usually the cost of ground but you normally receive your rock on the same day, saving a lot of die off and saving a bunch of the biodiversity.
How curing is it done?
Curing can be done in a few different ways, the easiest is if your setting up a new system you can cure it right in the tank. The die off from shipping should begin the cycle and the established bacteria colonies should remove the ammonia quickly resulting in a very quick cycle.
Another method is in a bucket or clean trashcan, simply place the rock in the container with a power head or wave maker giving plenty of flow. Keep testing the water, doing changes as necessary and monitor the parameters, when the ammonia and nitrites are at zero your new rock is cured.Tips on the Care of Live Rock
Live Rock needs plenty of flow, many of the organisms that live in and on the rock are filter feeding, so water flow is important. Low water water flow is not ideal for the long term survival of most of the biodiversity on the rock. You also need to have adequate lighting, this is a bit trickier as not all of the organisms on the rock like bright light, so it may take some trial and error to get this correct.Feeding, as stayed most of the hitchhikers on the rock are filter feeders, so they will need food of some type as most aquariums used today try to filter out all organics in the water, feeding can be accomplished by dosing your tank with Phytoplankton or Marine Snow.