The Reef Tank banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Summer and Alyssa's Daddy
Joined
·
2,679 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
More and More I have been looking at setups That seems to not meet the 1.5 pounds per gallon. What I mean is that contrary to everything I have been taught, people are using sumps with refugiums with plenty of live rock but are now favoring a more open type of reef with tons of swimming room. Would anyone have an idea if they are just misplacing the live rock in refugiums or sumps or is the 1.5 pounds really just a high end scale of biological filteratioin. The reason I ask is that I saw a 125 gallon long picture with three islands. Each one had a different types of corals due to the lights directly above each rock pile and looked too cool. But definatly did not have 1.5 pounds per gallon. More like 50 pounds at best.

Ray
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
184 Posts
I have noticed the same and have been wondering as well. I like the look, seems like they would be easy to clean and more room for the stuff we want in the tanks :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
143 Posts
I think it all comes down to balance. Whatever your liverock, livesand cannot process (because not enough live rock, etc.) some other device is making up. Maybe live rock in sump, larger protein skimmer with less feeding and not heavily stocked, an algae scrubber, etc...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
921 Posts
rock layout

A lot of literature is promoting the spaced out rock "boomies" of the shallow water reef where acropora and elkhorn coral thrive. The irony is that our corals are then deeper in the water column and less light penetrates for these light absorbing species. Usually this lesser amount of rock is complimented by the 4" deep sand bed for nitrate conversion. Leaving more swim space for your fish could help with small schools, another natural aspect of the design.

In the end, what looks best to you and causes you to spend hours observing, is the best personal choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,186 Posts
Actually Ray, read some of the threads in the Think Tank on DSB's and phosphates and such. We really tend to over do the amounts of LR we used compared to what we really need. Although on the other hand, we also tend to over stock and opver feed our systems and in turn requiring that we need more biological filtration/mechanical filtration.
 

·
Summer and Alyssa's Daddy
Joined
·
2,679 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I guess, since I am upgrading to a larger tank, I am wanting to create a more open look. But there never seems to be enough space to mount corals. So it turns into a slight dilema. I stopped going by weight just a wee bit since I have about 60 or so pounds in my 40 gal br but I am shifting some of the rubble towards my once defunct BioTower in my sump. (It has the piping I want for my sump). So Instead of bioballs or air it will be full of "base" and/or live rock. I am adding about 5 pounds every other week to see the results on my nitrates and I am shifting just a rock or two out of the display tank.

Ray
 

·
Little fish in a big pond
Joined
·
5,916 Posts
That old 1-1.5 lb/gallon ratio was based on really dense, heavy rock, such as Caribbean rock. With so many kinds of rock to choose from some are much lighter and more porous but fill the same volume, so IMO the ratio is useless.

If you crammed 150 lbs of Marshall, or Manono (if you could find somebody reselling some - they don't collect there anymore) or some of the more lacy rock into a 100 gallon tank, there would be no room to swim. If you put 150 lbs of Caribbean rock in the same tank, you could make 2 or 3 bommies and have lots of room.

I used to have 2 pieces of rock that were physically the same size (volume) - one was Fiji and weighed 20 lbs., the other was Marshall and weighed 13 lbs., just to illustrate the difference.

Amount of rock you "need" varies with the amount of bio-load as well.

As for the deep sand bed - never did think they were a good idea - and several people who used them have got rid of them. IMO you can get all the denitrification you need, in a properly stocked tank with adequate live rock.

JMHO
Jenn
 

·
http://atlanta-smas.org/
Joined
·
1,688 Posts
the amount of live rock is all up to you. i have less a pound per gallon in both my reefs and sometimes i think i could use less.(more room for corals to grow). with a deep sand bed you can go with out any more biological filtration, it will do the job of denitrification on it's own. i am still a big proponent of a deep sand bed and put no stock into any of the hype that has formed over using one. i know to many reefers that have had them set up for many years with excellent results.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
143 Posts
Wasabi,
How long is many years? Doesn't it sound logical that in a closed system, eventually the dsb will become full and lose it's beneficial abilities. I've heard of people having thriving tanks with dsbs for up to 8-10 years, avg 3-5 years, before they either remove their dsb, have a dsb crash, or recharge their dsb with a change out. Do you think a tank could do just as good with live rock?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
266 Posts
Ray1214
I can relate to what your saying. I have seen a number of tanks that appear to not have the recommended live rock amount in thier tanks. I think that "rule of thumb" is a lot like the lighting one of 4 watts per a gallon for corals. There are a lot of variables in live rock weight wise to be considered too. We wont go into how much it cost as well since this is undoubtedly a factor as well.

Personally, I have 140 lbs of live rock in my 125. I have another 35-40 lbs in my mangrove refugium thats piped into my tank as well. Using simple math, thats about 175-180 pounds altogether. That works out to about 1.40 pounds per a gallon. 95% of that rock is Kaelini with a couple of small fiji rocks. The suggested ratio of Kaelini rock is .75-1.25 lbs per a gallon. I am planning to add about 40 more pounds. I also have 160 lbs of Indo-Pacific live sand in my tank as well. The results...
I still have a lot of room for fish to swim and water circulation. I have mostly corals and there is plenty of room. The water turn over in my sump is about 300gph, my skimmer is rated for a 75 gallon tank(and its not pulling too much from the water). The sump consist of 5 mangroves live rock and live sand, no bio balls, no sponges or other gimmicks. Water quality is excellent! I attribute this to the 5 mangroves in my sump and all of the live rock and sand.
Thats my set up. It has worked great for me. I like the reliability too since there is not much to break or go wrong. It looks too cool too with all of the rock and awesome coralline coverage thats on it. But...this is just my opinion. Dont want to push it off on anyone else, just throw it out there as something to think about, thats all.
 

·
Summer and Alyssa's Daddy
Joined
·
2,679 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Imaexpat2,

No worries. Actually I am really, really appreciating some of the info. I guess a lot of what got me thinking as well, is that My son has a nano tank. All he has is a 20 gal refuguium with a skimmer and pump and a powerhead in his nano and the water quality is pristine. I guess I am wanting to take my tank a step further with more swimming room. Keep most of thelive sand and rock in the sump/refuguium .

Ray
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,355 Posts
If you have a true DSB, you can reduce or eliminate the LIVE ROCK if the DSB is mature and well established. Visa Versa, if you want to remove the DSB in an existing system, well-cured LR that has been in place for at least 4 to 6 months will do fine without any sand. 1 to 1.5 lbs of live rock (based on its surface area/density/source) will be all that is needed in a system without any other biological filtration, and experiences are that such systems will have some (5-10 ppm) nitrates, but no big problems per se. The live rock does not have to be in the actual display tank, it may be in a sump or in a refugium, so long as adequate circulation can be maintained in order that the rock effectively remains in the same water column as the display.

You could have a display tank (with a rockfilled sump) devoid of any visible sand or rock if you wanted to, and some eurosystems are established in this manner without anything but corals and macroalgae in the display. These systems have large rates of flow to move the water from the display into a tank of live rock (could be a sump or refugium, doesn't really matter). So long as adequate circulation between the rock tank and the display can be maintained, there is no need to keep the rock in the same tank as the display materials/specimens.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top