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Old 11-01-2000, 02:06 PM   #1
SJLord
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I will try and answer some of these.

Lava Rock is BAD for your tank because of the things it will leach out into the tank yes! I dont know if anyone will have an answer for if any corals will live on them or not, I believe that anything that you put in there will eventually die because of what the rock.

as for protein skimming, there are different methods for them to create the "foam" that takes the stuff out of the water, and yes, the more expensive ones are that expensive because they work, and they work well.

How old is your tank?
I ask that because some have stated the best practice for adding corals is to wait 6 months to a year before adding them, to make sure the tank has gone through its growing stages. I can say that I have "killed" corals by adding them to soon, so please take it from me that you will only be better off if you allow the tank to mature before adding to much to it.

HTH
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Old 11-01-2000, 03:34 PM   #2
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I will get rid of the Lava Rock Today. Is the Honeycomb bad also? I am not real sure what it is made of but it is the same stuff I saw in an Aquarium store so I thought it was ok.
Thanks for your reply.



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Old 11-01-2000, 05:44 PM   #3
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A good rule to follow is "If you don't know, don't do it". In the end it wouldn't be worth the animal loss. I'd just stick with live rock and a luve sand bed.

What are you planning to do with the fish you have in there already? Or is the tank empty? Some fish are not reef safe.

Raz
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Old 11-02-2000, 12:00 AM   #4
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No Lava Rock In Reef Tank?


I just decided to turn my 70 gal. saltwater tank into a reef tank. I went to the local fish store to see what kind of base rock to buy. They had live rock and lava rock. On the way home I saw an industrial rock shop, so I stopped to look around. They had the same rock that was at the fish store, but it was dirt cheap. I bought some red and black lava rock and some "Honey-comb". Then I found this "Reef Tank" board on the web and I read every message and reply on it. Now I think that I may have screwed up by buying lava rock. Will the lava rock leech stuff into my tank that is bad for corals? Will corals live on it at all?

Next Topic:
About my filtration. I have a wet dry filter and a protien skimmer. These kept my tank real clear with several large fish in the tank. Will this type of setup be ok for a reef tank. Also If a protien skimmer simply causes hamful particles to leave the tank via air bubbles, what makes the "good ones" so much better than the "cheap ones"? Better Bubbles?

When I do get this mess all figured out, What are the criteria for being ready to add corals? If I do some things wrong, but my amonia and nitrates are at 0 is it ok to add corals? Are there other things I should test for?
Thanks for the help.

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Old 11-02-2000, 06:13 AM   #5
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We stuck some lava rock in our fish only tank and it has a bunch of coralline etc all over it. There are also mushrooms/other low light corals in the tank as well with no problems. I too have heard the "Never use Lava Rock", and this was added before hearing these warnings, but yes it is in our tank and it has not as of yet killed anything.
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Old 11-02-2000, 06:39 AM   #6
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If I'm not mistaken, and I frequently am, it really depends on the composition of the lava rock. Some rock has much higher amounts of heavy metals, which would be a bad thing.

I wouldn't assume all lava rock is safe just because it works in some cases.

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Old 11-02-2000, 08:21 AM   #7
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Most Lava rock is gonna be rich in iron and othere metals. How long it takes to leach is the unknown, a few pieces might not hurt but I wouldn't base the reeef dtructure on it,. The honeycomb or lace rock might be OK, its sometimes used as base rock. But ultimatly is it worth the lives of your animals or the $ you've spent to skimp

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Old 11-02-2000, 08:50 AM   #8
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I think your main contaminants would be phosphourous and sulphur,as most lava rock is volcanic in origin.
I would definatly remove it.
Marc.
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Old 11-02-2000, 11:38 AM   #9
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I remember an article about "Lava" rock when I was researching rock for my first tank.

I will see if I can dig it up, but the short version:

There are two types of "lava" rock. The first is volcanic in origin and is very bad for reefs. The second, is light in weight and found at LFS. It is a by-product of smelting. Do to the high temps the "lava" rock impurities the can leach into the water are baked out of this material. This is not to say that all man-made lava rock is the same, however, some can be used as base rock with no ill effects.

Having said all that... I agree that if you don't know 100%, don't do it.

HTH,
NC
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Old 10-30-2011, 09:36 PM   #10
wolf the rock guru
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All right i am a rock collector i would like to set things straight, I am also a lover of fish.

Lava rock the kind you get are obsidian, pumas, and Scoria, these three rocks are very common Lava rock.

Obsidian is yes a rock but due to its cooling and forming process can not dissolve into your tank because its a form of glass, the same your tank is made out of, or fish bowls, drinking glasses inc which are all safe to drink out of as well as put fish in.

Pumas is not good for your fish tank only because yes its the only rock that floats.

scoria is good for your tank its a light rock, but it can be sharp, as can be obsidian.

ALL three rocks are made of glass.

Further more if you look at the hawian islands, you see amazing coral reefs i hate to brake it all to you, but that is all formed on the same rock that formed the island and its all lava rock....lava rock does not dissove into your tank can not alter the ph of your tank and can not harm your fish since most of it is GLASS, or a form of glass.

There are yes Lava rocks that can harm your fish, only if they are iron dis posits.......not glass.

Sand has metal in it by the way....its what makes glass and i would check to see if your fish tank was made with lead ( stay away from glass from mexico, and crystal for it may contain lead) lead is also harmful for your fish.... if your wondering about what to use in your fishy tanks and are wondering what not to use here is a link that will help and kill all your questions and the comments of those who just assume.

fishforums.net/index.php?/topic/55806-rocks-for-use-in-the-aquarium/

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Last edited by wolf the rock guru; 10-30-2011 at 09:43 PM.. Reason: Missed a few things
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Old 10-30-2011, 09:53 PM   #11
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I second that on lava being safe. I've used it in biofilters for years...great stuff!
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Old 10-30-2011, 10:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf the rock guru View Post
All right i am a rock collector i would like to set things straight, I am also a lover of fish.

Lava rock the kind you get are obsidian, pumas, and Scoria, these three rocks are very common Lava rock.

Obsidian is yes a rock but due to its cooling and forming process can not dissolve into your tank because its a form of glass, the same your tank is made out of, or fish bowls, drinking glasses inc which are all safe to drink out of as well as put fish in.

Pumas is not good for your fish tank only because yes its the only rock that floats.

scoria is good for your tank its a light rock, but it can be sharp, as can be obsidian.

ALL three rocks are made of glass.

Further more if you look at the hawian islands, you see amazing coral reefs i hate to brake it all to you, but that is all formed on the same rock that formed the island and its all lava rock....lava rock does not dissove into your tank can not alter the ph of your tank and can not harm your fish since most of it is GLASS, or a form of glass.

There are yes Lava rocks that can harm your fish, only if they are iron dis posits.......not glass.

Sand has metal in it by the way....its what makes glass and i would check to see if your fish tank was made with lead ( stay away from glass from mexico, and crystal for it may contain lead) lead is also harmful for your fish.... if your wondering about what to use in your fishy tanks and are wondering what not to use here is a link that will help and kill all your questions and the comments of those who just assume.

fishforums.net/index.php?/topic/55806-rocks-for-use-in-the-aquarium/

I am the guy who reads everything that has a Science tagged to it or fish.
If you don't know don't for a fact and have basis to back you don't say it, if you don't know don't do it. words to live by.
With all due respect, it's is spelled PUMICE, and while obsidian is volcanic glass, their are a lot of different igneous rocks that do not share those glass like charactoristics with obsidean. Thanks for dredging up a thread from the begining, I miss them folks .
Back to the original question and debate, Rock of igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic origins are mostly going to be too dense and solid to be of much use in the anerobic phase of the biological nitrogen process, that is the reason that live rock which is coral skeletons is used as foundation for reef tanks.
Your example about Hawaii being formed by volcanos is correct and there are reefs that have grown up around the Islands, but keep in mind that this happens in the open ocean which would dilute potential harmful leachingallowing the first hardy layers of coral to settle and provide a base for subsequent generations of coral. Not the same as using something suspect in a confined environment like an aquarium.
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Old 10-30-2011, 11:19 PM   #13
wolf the rock guru
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Originally Posted by Doug1 View Post
With all due respect, it's is spelled PUMICE, and while obsidian is volcanic glass, their are a lot of different igneous rocks that do not share those glass like charactoristics with obsidean. Thanks for dredging up a thread from the begining, I miss them folks .
Back to the original question and debate, Rock of igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic origins are mostly going to be too dense and solid to be of much use in the anerobic phase of the biological nitrogen process, that is the reason that live rock which is coral skeletons is used as foundation for reef tanks.
Your example about Hawaii being formed by volcanos is correct and there are reefs that have grown up around the Islands, but keep in mind that this happens in the open ocean which would dilute potential harmful leachingallowing the first hardy layers of coral to settle and provide a base for subsequent generations of coral. Not the same as using something suspect in a confined environment like an aquarium.
Welcome to TRT
I know how to spell pumis, my computer how ever doesn't and likes to auto correct everything i do.

sedimentary rock is formed by.... little pieces of our earth have been eroded--broken down and worn away
by wind and water. These little bits of our earth are washed downstream where they settle to the bottom of the rivers, lakes, and oceans. Layer after layer of eroded earth is deposited on top of each. These layers are pressed down more and more through time, until the bottom layers slowly turn into rock.
that is the only way that is formed....

Igneous rocks are called fire rocks and are formed either underground or above ground. Underground, they are formed when the melted rock, called magma, deep within the earth becomes trapped in small pockets. As these pockets of magma cool slowly underground, the magma becomes igneous rocks.

Igneous rocks are also formed when volcanoes erupt, causing the magma to rise above the earth's surface. When magma appears above the earth, it is called lava. Igneous rocks are formed as the lava cools above ground.

The islands Volcano mount hardly ever does that, due to the lack of it keeping under pressure, the only rock that gets dumped into the ocean is by lava flow... it cools as it hits the water rather quickly causing a different form of rock all together. This is rock formed from lava tubes....known as pillow LAVA
, lava tubes below continue to move the remaining liquid for long periods of time. The size of the tubes range from only a few inches to many feet in diameter. When the source of lava stops, the liquid continues to drain, leaving lava tubes or caves. Spatter cones are steep sided, conical hills built from the spatter of lava fountains. Underwater flows produce pillow lava which are ellipsoidal, sacklike blocks about a meter in dimension budding off of lava tongues or tubes. Lavas can have many features depending on the rate in which they cool.

This makes Basalt
Types



Large masses must cool slowly to form a polygonal joint pattern.
Tholeiitic basalt is relatively rich in silica and poor in sodium. Included in this category are most basalts of the ocean floor, most large oceanic islands, and continental flood basalts such as the Columbia River Plateau.

MORB (Mid Ocean Ridge Basalt), is characteristically low in incompatible elements. MORB is commonly erupted only at ocean ridges. MORB itself has been subdivided into varieties such as NMORB and EMORB (slightly more enriched in incompatible elements).[4][5]

High alumina basalt may be silica-undersaturated or -oversaturated (see normative mineralogy). It has greater than 17% alumina (Al2O3) and is intermediate in composition between tholeiite and alkali basalt; the relatively alumina-rich composition is based on rocks without phenocrysts of plagioclase.

Alkali basalt is relatively poor in silica and rich in sodium. It is silica-undersaturated and may contain feldspathoids, alkali feldspar and phlogopite.
Boninite is a high-magnesium form of basalt that is erupted generally in back-arc basins, distinguished by its low titanium content and trace element composition.

So as you can see you have not done your research.
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf the rock guru View Post
I know how to spell pumis, my computer how ever doesn't and likes to auto correct everything i do.

sedimentary rock is formed by.... little pieces of our earth have been eroded--broken down and worn away
by wind and water. These little bits of our earth are washed downstream where they settle to the bottom of the rivers, lakes, and oceans. Layer after layer of eroded earth is deposited on top of each. These layers are pressed down more and more through time, until the bottom layers slowly turn into rock.
that is the only way that is formed....

Igneous rocks are called fire rocks and are formed either underground or above ground. Underground, they are formed when the melted rock, called magma, deep within the earth becomes trapped in small pockets. As these pockets of magma cool slowly underground, the magma becomes igneous rocks.

Igneous rocks are also formed when volcanoes erupt, causing the magma to rise above the earth's surface. When magma appears above the earth, it is called lava. Igneous rocks are formed as the lava cools above ground.

The islands Volcano mount hardly ever does that, due to the lack of it keeping under pressure, the only rock that gets dumped into the ocean is by lava flow... it cools as it hits the water rather quickly causing a different form of rock all together. This is rock formed from lava tubes....known as pillow LAVA
, lava tubes below continue to move the remaining liquid for long periods of time. The size of the tubes range from only a few inches to many feet in diameter. When the source of lava stops, the liquid continues to drain, leaving lava tubes or caves. Spatter cones are steep sided, conical hills built from the spatter of lava fountains. Underwater flows produce pillow lava which are ellipsoidal, sacklike blocks about a meter in dimension budding off of lava tongues or tubes. Lavas can have many features depending on the rate in which they cool.

This makes Basalt
Types



Large masses must cool slowly to form a polygonal joint pattern.
Tholeiitic basalt is relatively rich in silica and poor in sodium. Included in this category are most basalts of the ocean floor, most large oceanic islands, and continental flood basalts such as the Columbia River Plateau.

MORB (Mid Ocean Ridge Basalt), is characteristically low in incompatible elements. MORB is commonly erupted only at ocean ridges. MORB itself has been subdivided into varieties such as NMORB and EMORB (slightly more enriched in incompatible elements).[4][5]

High alumina basalt may be silica-undersaturated or -oversaturated (see normative mineralogy). It has greater than 17% alumina (Al2O3) and is intermediate in composition between tholeiite and alkali basalt; the relatively alumina-rich composition is based on rocks without phenocrysts of plagioclase.

Alkali basalt is relatively poor in silica and rich in sodium. It is silica-undersaturated and may contain feldspathoids, alkali feldspar and phlogopite.
Boninite is a high-magnesium form of basalt that is erupted generally in back-arc basins, distinguished by its low titanium content and trace element composition.

So as you can see you have not done your research.
Thank You for the lesson in geology, you have impressed me with your knowledge ., but you are missing the whole point For your first post you dug up an 11 yr old thread and and expunded as why it was incorrect totally missing the point that it is not live rock and really contributes little to a reef tank other than to provide a place for a few aerobic bacteria to live and a base for a few coral to grow on. Like many other theories in the hobby we have moved on, so please stop beating a dead horse
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Old 10-31-2011, 05:05 AM   #15
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All I know is that I've used the same lava rock the whole time I've been in the hobby. I've had it in many different systems with many different critters, and have never had a problem I could associate with it. YMMV

Here it is with a tang peeking through it, from about five years ago.


In this pic, it is the dark rock in front of the left overflow. It's been cleaned, but you can still see all the white calcium carbonate from tube worms and coraline algae that has grown on it in the past. The rock itself is solid brown.


And here's a video of a S. gigantea, (one of the most sensitive animals we keep in this hobby) with its foot anchored in the lava rock, and a pair of clowns actually spawning on it. http://youtu.be/ugVktUZV-bE

I'm not saying all lava rock is safe, or that you should build the whole reef structure out of it. All I can say is that this one rock has worked well for me and obviously, my critters. I'm no geologist, but I know enough to know that lava from different locations, can be composed of different material. With this unknown factor, it seems a little risky to introduce these rocks, known only as "lava" rock. If I had it to do all over again, I probably wouldn't have added this rock. I added it long before I had a clue what I was doing. Did I just get lucky????? Could it have gone terribly wrong???? IDK It's obvious that all lava rock is not detrimental. The question is, are you willing to take that risk?
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