An Epic Reef Part 2 – Live rocks

This post is part 2 of the epic reef series.

Rocks that are “alive”? In fact, the rocks referred to under this term are in fact inert rocks, but which are covered with a bacterial life beneficial to the reef ecosystem.

Our Live Rocks

We were lucky to get our hands on fresh live rocks and sand from Mexico. Who knows what lives on/in those? In order to get things started a little faster, we also bought a few rocks from our local Animalerie Dyno petshop.

Temporary Tank for Live Rocks
Temporary Tank for Live Rocks

Note that the jellyfish in the picture is a fake one. The tank with rocks only felt too boring for me. I wanted a little more life!

After a week of patience, we decided to get more going on and bought additional live rocks that we mixed with our dry rocks reefscaping to start to colonize them with beneficial bacterial life (see Part 3).

Full of Rocks
Full of Rocks

Living Creatures

A great characteristic of live rocks is that you get many surprises. There may be small creatures hiding in them or even eggs that will later hatch in your aquarium. Here are a few of our discoveries:

  • Small snails from the Mexican sand and and unidentified little invertebrate
  • Nice Sabella worms on the Mexican rocks and an unidentified plant
  • Starfishes directly on the live rocks from the petstore
Small Snails
Small Snails
Nice Sabella Worms
Nice Sabella Worms
Starfish
Starfish
Unidentified Small Living Organism
Unidentified Small Living Organism
Unidentified Plant
Unidentified Plant

Cleaning the Rocks

Unfortunately, some surprises are not so good. On the rocks that we bought from the petstore, there were vermetid snails and bristle/fireworms. We were told that everyone eventually face these pests and they may be unavoidable. We decided to remove them as best as we can because we read that they may hurt corals and we just don’t want them in our aquarium (they are ugly). We scraped the rocks and set them asided for a few days to scrap again if we see new snails appearing. So far, the problem seems solved.

This way, we also learned a good lesson about bringing new rocks in a tank: always have a close look at them and put them in your adaptation tank first to make sure you are not introducing undesirable life in your main tank.

Vermetid Snails
Vermetid Snails
Cleaning Undesirable Vermetid Snails
Cleaning Undesirable Vermetid Snails
Quarantine
Quarantine
Bristleworm or Fireworm
Bristleworm or Fireworm

Leave a Reply