Despite its name, live rock isn’t alive, but it is essential in aquariums and reef tanks. If you are planning to buy pet fish and you wish to offer them a great environment to live in, you should definitely think about buying some live rock.
The main difference between a reef tank and a regular aquarium is that the reef tank is visually more attractive and it offers, at the same time, a more attractive living environment for the fish. When having live rock in their tank, fish and other water pets can hide, seek and play hunting. Another important difference is that reef tanks must be filled with saltwater, which is suitable for a limited number of fish.
If you are planning on decorating a fish tank with live rock, you should know that too much of it is not healthy or comfortable for the living beings inside the tank. Therefore, it is important to know the basic stuff about this kind of decorative rocks.
Does the number of live rock matter?
There is a simple answer to this question: yes! Although live rock, along with live sand bring a lot of benefits to a tank, the quantity is always important. Too much of this décor rock could prevent the fish from swimming enough, chasing each other and could even increase or decrease their life expectancy.
Live rock is made of skeletons of dead corals. To be more precise, it is made of aragonite skeletons and other similar organisms that are calcareous. It is usually filled with marine organisms, fish, sea turtles and much more. The live rock name is actually based on its ability to host plenty of living beings and to offer them a good habitat.
In nature, as well as in reef tanks, live rocks have a biological function that few people know about. It functions as a filter for nitrifying bacteria, which is essential in saltwater.
Fish that originate from salt waters enjoy living in reef tanks that simulate their natural habitat. However, when organizing it, you should choose the fish that you place inside carefully, as they should be as compatible as possible.
There is a simple rule that anyone can follow when deciding on the number of live rocks that will be placed inside a reef tank: between one and one and a half pounds of rock per gallon of water.
When following this rule, there are some factors that must be taken into consideration:
- The density of the rocks
- The livestock objectives
- The water change system
Experts recommend starting with about 10 or 20 pounds of live rock, no matter the volume of the tank and then add some more if necessary, depending on the above factors. If you are looking for a more affordable option, you can go for dry rock that looks and feels similar to the live rock.
A reef tank will not only help your pet fish and other invertebrates feel comfortable and live actively, but it will also beautify the space you live or work in.