The bad old days are on the way out and we know better than to simply snatch corals and rocks from the ocean; the practice of harvesting live rocks is thought to be detrimental to the ocean bed and although there’s a market for it, most people who love marine life enough to keep an aquarium, will also hopefully have enough respect for the delicate balance which the ocean needs all the help it can get to maintain.
Once upon a time people thought nothing of taking all kinds of treasure from reefs, whether that was plant life or rocks…today we know how important it is to protect the life in our oceans and luckily, manufacturers are onto methods of production which will make it even easier to protect the planet and all who inhabit it.
What is eco live rock?
It’s no different to traditional live rock other than the fact that it’s been created by man…hand “seeded” in a way with the life necessary to improve your aquarium. Usually, live rock is the rock which has through natural process become infested with various forms of bacteria whilst in the ocean and then collected for re-sale. Eco rock is rock which has been deliberately placed in the sea in order that it may become rich with good algae, bacteria and small invertebrates and then collected at a later date and preserved in this state for addition to an aquarium.
Eco live rock is usually extremely porous; this is to maximise the chances of it being rich with beneficial bacteria and algae.
Is it safe to use?
Eco live rock is usually safe to use as long as you buy from a reputable vendor. Some of the “created” live rocks today are so well cycled that by the time they come to you, they’re ready to just put straight into your tank. Manufacturers use natural rocks of varying types and the best are calcium based just like the real thing. Manufacturers sometimes add natural dyes to their eco rocks to improve their appearance and then the rocks are cured for a number of days to ensure that they are free of any life or any substances which could harm the inhabitants of your tank. After curing the rocks are placed in saltwater in order that they may become host to plenty of life which will eventually benefit your aquarium.
Using eco live rock
Usually, eco live rock will be delivered to you in a damp state…this is to help preserve the life which is on it and within it. You may then either place it right in your tank, or you can alter it with a hammer and chisel. Some people like to re-size their rocks to best fit their set-ups. Bear in mind though that some manufacturers will be happy to provide you with “bespoke” eco live rock…this is very useful for larger tanks.
Whether you choose natural or dyed eco live rock, you can be sure that as long as you source it from a trustworthy vendor, your aquarium will only benefit from its addition…and without cost to the ocean!
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