Live rock is used to create stunning reef aquariums as well as to create a natural environment for saltwater fish only aquariums. As its name suggests live rock is rock with living organisms (animals, plants, algae, bacteria, etc.) attached to and growing on and in it.
In the past live rock was mainly collected from the ocean. Now we have new choice created by FHI Farms called Real Reef live rock. This manmade rock looks realistic and is available in a variety of shapes and sizes. It is made from calcium carbonate rock which gives the ability to buffer the water.
Once the rock is made it is placed in grow out tanks to bring it to life. In these tanks the good bacteria grows on the surface of the rock as well as coralline algae. Coralline algae give the rock a nice purple color. The picture shows a 150 gallon aquarium just set with "Real Reef" rock.
Live rock collected from the ocean can have a variety of live plants and critters. Along with the good critters are the unwanted hitchhikers such as bristleworms, flatworms, aiptasia and crabs. These hitchhikers can cause havoc in a reef and take a lot of work to remove or keep under control. The big advantage of manmade rock is no hitchers.
Next time you setup a saltwater aquarium or reef consider using Real Reef live rock. Here is a 150 gallon reef we recently setup using Real Reef rock.