Saltwater Live Rock

Live rocks are the pieces of rock or fragments of dead coral on which many forms of micro and macroscopic marine life live outside or within it. Live rocks harbors lot of organisms like sponge, bacteria, algae and many others. This is the reason “live rock” is considered as living peace than dead fragment.They’re extremely porous and a natural biological filter function that makes them suitable for saltwater aquarium setup so you can buy them if you live nearby coastal area. But if you’re away from coastal area then charges for the shipping and taxes will be more so it could be costly for the region away from coastal area.

Types of live rock:

  • Aqua cultured rock
    This rock is prepared artificially by placing rock in the ocean for several years and allowed to grow bacteria, algae on it. For aquarium setup this is the perfect rock.
  • Pacific rock
    These rocks come from pacific ocean and cost a lot of shipping fees. They’re quite suitable for almost any type of marine aquarium setup. It has more caves and holes on it so it is suitable for fishes like royal gramma and yellowhead jawfish.
  • Tonga Breaching Live Rock & Tonga SlabTonga Breaching is a live rock is quite famous in aquarium trade. You’ll find most of the aquarium shops selling this live rock. It’s also easily available because of the huge import of this rock.

    Tonga Slab is a variant of tonga breaching live rock. If you want flat type of rocks in your aquarium then tonga slab is perfect live rock for your tank.

  • Fiji Live Rock
    Fiji live rock comes in various shapes and grades. You’ll find price of this live rock varying as per their grades accordingly. It is usually preferred by aquarist who wants to keep “boulder” look of their tank.
  • Base Rock
    Base rock is usually cheaper than any other rock types. So if you unable to get any other live rock this is your best bet.
  • Atlantic Rock, Gulf Rock and Caribbean Rock
    They’re quite costly and are less porus so usually not preferred for small aquarium setups.

Why Use live rock in Aquarium?

  • You can stick corals with live rock and later let bacteria and algae stick with it.
  • Live rock can be a can be a source of food for your saltwater fish and invertebrates.
  • Some fishes can be use it for breeding and hiding place.
  • Multiple color algae growth on live rock can be a good natural looking show for saltwater tank.
  • Live rock can be a good biological filter.


Cured or un-cured rock ?

It depends on the availability and the amount of money you can spend on it. If you’re on tight budget then uncured rock is perfect for you. If you want fresh cured rock then you can order from aquarium shops or aquarium near your place. Cured rock costs more and it is also rare to find in area away from coastal region.

Where to buy ?

First place to buy from is aquarium shop in your city. If you unable to get it then you can order from another city (quite expensive way). Another place is aquarium gardens in your city where you can get in contact with dealers who provide those rocks for gardens. Internet is also one good place to order live rocks, but you’ll have to pay for shipping and handling, taxes etc. When ordering online make sure you know the type and purpose of live rock that you get from the supplier. Make sure the supplier ships for your country or region. If you can’t get uncured then you need to spend some bucks for the cured one.

Live rocks are perfect natural biological filter, though they do require some time to settle the cycle for aquarium. Once settled you’ll find lot of surprises like growth of pink and purple Coraline algae on the surface of live rock. It takes to for live rock to settle in aquarium tank so be patient with it.

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