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upgrading to a 180 gallon. dry or live rock?

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55 gallon mixed reef, upgrading to a 180 gallon i picked up last friday at LFS. but need a little bit more rock to do what i wish. already have 60-70 pounds of live marshal island, tonga, and fiji live rock, but would like maybe 185lbs. should i buy dry rock and wait for benificial bacteria to grow or should i dump some money into good quality live rock?

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Updated 07-13-2010 at 03:15 AM by melev

Questions - Need some input


  1. dread240's Avatar
    considering how much rock you already currently have, I would just buy some dry rock. You won't have as much filtration so just keep the livestock on the lighter side. As long as you don't add 7 new fish right off the bat I think you should be fine as long as your current tank has been solid as is.
  2. melev's Avatar
    I would add more live rock. I never use dry or base rock in any of my tanks.
  3. Mccoy85's Avatar
    i upgraded from a 55 gallon to 125 gallon tank. when i changed tanks i put about 100 lbs of dry rock from marco rocks in it and then put about 60 lbs of live rock from my old tank and some live rock i bought. as long as you are you are willing to wait for the tank to cycle i think you will be fine and it is much cheaper to buy dry rock. i waited for my tank to finish cycling before i moved all of my fish and coral and i did not have anything die in the transfer and i still have not had anything die and the tanks been up for about 3 months now. its up to you what you want to do but from my experiences i have found that as along as you have patients dry rocks works fine
  4. Russell's Avatar
    I like using dry rock. I've even made it before like GARF does, but you can buy dead reef rock almost anywhere now. You don't have to worry about pest and undesirable life forms and die off. My current reef started out as 40lbs dead rock and 20 pounds live, its been up and running for over 2 years, and once the coralline and critters got going you couldn't tell the difference. And the nice thing about dead rock, is if you get the tank up and full of corals and fish, and you still need a few more pieces, you can drop it in with no worry of having to cure it. And dead rock allows you to build elaborate structures while it is dry. Some folks use minimal live rock to seed the dead rock, but i would use atleast 25% real, but it sounds like you got it covered.
  5. Hat39406's Avatar
    I think dry rock is great in fact most of my rock was dry. But, if I were to have a bigger budget, I would have all live rock. Why, because you don't have to wait till the few critter that are in the seeding live rock to multiply are migrate to the dry rock. Cycle time is a lot faster. On live rock you have living things everywhere on them. Feather dusters pop out every where. You have a lot more good critters the are awesome for you aquarium then not good. That's my opinion. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with dry rock, I have it in mine, but if you can afford live you can enjoy the hobby MORE faster. ;-)
  6. marks69's Avatar
    i got a bunch off of brs and it was nice shapes, light, and they gave me more than i ordered.
    and it's alot cheaper.
  7. T5FL's Avatar
    I just bought 60 lbs from, im fortunate to live near them and picked it up, but let me tell you, you get primo rock smothered in coralline ( purple, yellow, pink, and orange ) really cool looking for $5.00 a pound, and some nice hitchhikers to go with it including sponges, feather dusters, anemone's and i got a porcelane crab. Good stuff and its all aqua cultured in the Keys! So no reefs taken from!
  8. Alaska_Phil's Avatar
    Money vs. time. You can use lots of dry and a little high quality live, then wait several months for the dry to become live. Or buy all live, and be raring to go as soon as it's cured.