Saltwater Fish

live rock, aquariums, reef

 Why Aquariums Need Live Rock ?

Live rock is of absolute paramount importance in either fish only or coral reef eco-systems. Live rock becomes the main biological nitrification base or biological filter of a saltwater aquarium. In both instances, live rock provides the beneficial organisms for proper water management and for the longevity of delicate live stock species.

To better understand what purpose live rock serves in an aquarium, There was a great article titled "Your First Reef Aquarium", published in Aquarium USA Magazine in 1994 by Charles Delbeek. In this article he explains it beautifully: "The use of live rock immediately introduces into the aquarium numerous algae, bacteria and small invertebrates all of which contribute to the overall quality of the aquarium water. Live rock has just as much, if not more, surface area for bacteria than a trickle filter. Since live rock in the aquarium contains various types of bacteria, algae and corals, waste products such as ammonia, nitrate and phosphate can have a number of fates. Ammonia, nitrate and phosphate are readily assimilated by algae and photosynthetic corals growing on and in the rock. Ammonia can also be quickly converted into nitrate by the bacteria on and in the rock. This nitrate can be either absorbed by the algae and corals, or it can be denitrified by bacteria in close proximity to the nitrate producing bacteria."

A second important point in understanding the need for live rock in saltwater aquariums has to do with looking at the natural habitat of saltwater fish. In doing so, we see that since it is there natural home, it is of major importance to incorporate live rock into the saltwater aquarium. When we duplicate the saltwater fish natural environment they will adjust far better to their new foreign environment, which will mean less stress, less disease, and longer life.

If you have further questions concerning the need for live rock, do not hesitate to send us a question: