Besides choosing the type of fish you want and your tank size, there are lots of other essentials you'll need to purchase when setting up a saltwater aquarium at home. You'll need to get a heater/thermometer, a power-head to churn the water, filtration equipment, etc. You'll also want to look for aquascaping materials. Aquascaping includes plants, rocks, stones, driftwood, and other objects that add beauty to the tank and provide a habitat for your fish. One aquascaping material you'll want to research is live rock. Read on to more about live rock and how it can benefit your fish.
What is Live Rock?
The term "live rock" is a bit of a misnomer because these objects aren't alive, rather they host algae and other micro marine life, like invertebrates and sponges, on them. Live rocks can be made from rock from the ocean or from coral branches. Live rock can be large and porous or more dense and smooth depending on where it is harvested.
Why is Live Rock Beneficial for Your At-Home Aquarium?
The most obvious benefit of live rocks is their beauty, as they add color, personality, and life to an otherwise empty tank. However, live rock has a lot of other benefits besides improved aesthetics.
For example, live rocks can help to stabilize the pH of your tank since they release calcium carbonate. Because live rock contains algae, bacteria, and other organisms, it will be easier for your tank to stay clean because these creatures break down excrement and filter waste.
Besides making the tank easier to clean, the live rocks can help keep your fish healthy since the microscopic organisms help mimic natural conditions of the ocean. Without live rock and other aquascaping, fish can become skittish, so these objects provide hideaways for your pets so that they feel more comfortable and safer in their environment.
Where Can You Get Live Rock?
You can get live rock from online vendors or from local pet store suppliers. The live rock is often harvested from skeletons of dead coral branches that have broken off from a main reef. Some agriculturalists create live rock by seeding sea rocks with microscopic lifeforms before selling these objects. To mitigate costs, some pet owners can purchase a base rock (dry rock) without microorganisms and then seed the structure themselves with microorganisms.
How Do You Arrange them in Your Tank?
You really have free rein when it comes to arranging the live rock. The main rule of thumb is that you shouldn't stack the rocks too tightly since that defeats the purpose of hideaways and areas for fish to swim through. Another tip is to make sure that the rocks have a firm base as you don't want teetering elements once you have fish and the power-head moving the water.
Contact a pet supplier in your area to learn more about live rocks for sale and aquascaping.