How much live rock and sand do I need for my tank?
When you are setting up your tank you will need around two pound of rock per a gallon of tank space. So if you had a 55 gallon tank, you would need around 100 pounds of live rock. You will need around 1.5 to 2 pounds of live sand per a gallon of tank space.
What size live rock should I get?
We carrie several different sizes of live rock. The size you should pick depends on the size of your tank and what kind of reef you want to build in it. I recommend small rocks for nano tanks, small and medium for 20 to 55 gallons, medium and large for 55 to 120 gallons, large and xl for any thing bigger. You can also request a mix of sizes or just tell us your tank size and we will pick out the rock for you.
How do I care for my live rock?
When you are setting up your tank you should use RO/Dl water. It is not a must but if you can get it, it is really good for your tank and reduces alga growth. You will need to get your self a hydrometer. Anyone with a saltwater tank should have one. I keep my water between 1.021 and 1.023. You can go a little higher if you have a reef tank with lots of corals. You will need to add some sort of calcium to your tank on a regular basis. I prefer liquid calcium. I add it to my reef tanks every day. You should do a 20% water change every month. Twice a month if you have an tank overcrowded with fish or corals.
Water flow is extremely important for your live rock and you reef tank. The more flow the better. You should spend a little more and get the bigger pump when you are selecting the pump for your tank. Power heads are also a must. They will help provide the high water flow you need to support a reef tank. You don't have to have a protein skimmer, but it is highly recommend. They remove the toxic waste from your water. It will reduce the amount of water changes you will have to do. I would say it is a must if you are thinking about doing a coral tank.
Lighting is another key element for a reef tank. If you are doing a fish only tank, you will not need very much light to support your live rock. You can use florescent light bulbs. Make sure you have some bulbs in the blue spectrum. They sell actinic bulbs in most fish shops. If you plan to set up a reef tank with corals you will need a little better lighting. We recommend at least 2 watts of light per a gallon of tank space. So if you have a 30 gallon tank, you would need at least 60 watts of light to support corals. You can achieve this intense lighting with VHO fluorescents, T5s, power compacts, and medal halides. I like to keep my lights on for 8 to 10 hours a day. If you stat to see your alga get out of control reduce the time your lights are on. A timer is a very useful tool for aquarium lighting. You should also keep a critter clean up crew in your tank. They keep the tank clean and they eat alga. Check out our critter packs on our specials page.
What do I do when I receive my live rock?
When you receive your live rock from us it will be in a bag in a insulated box. Remove the rock from the bag and the box. Each rock will be wrapped in moist paper towels. Remove the paper towels. Inspect the rock. Remove any thing on it that did not make the trip. Pay special attention to the large clams. We try to remove all the stuff that wont make the trip, but sometimes things can slide by us. If you are starting you tank from scratch you can just throw the rock directly into the tank. If you have a lot of fish and corals in your tank already, you should rinse off the rock with salt water. Scrubbing the rock with a soft brush and soaking it in salt water with an air stone or power head for a couple of days would be even better and is recommended. If you are worried about unwanted hitchhikers you can soak the rock in extra extra extra salty water for 5 to 10 minutes. This will kill the hitchhikers but it won't harm the rock. I would only do this if i saw something hiding in the rock that I did not want. Please call us if you need any help setting up your tank.