Fiji live rock - care and origin
Live rock does not refer to a rock that is alive. The term "Live" refers to the large number of macroscopic and microscopic life forms that live inside and on the rock. The rock as such is made of skeletons of dead corals and basically contains only calcium carbonate. There are various kinds of rocks available. Reef rock refers to pieces of corals that have actually fallen off the reef to the bottom of the sea. Various microorganisms attach themselves to the rock as time goes by. These reef rocks are otherwise referred to as live rock, rubble rock or live rock. The Fiji live rock comes from the various coastal villages in Fiji. A good part of the village population here depend on "Live Rock harvesting" to make a livelihood. Fiji being a major exporter of live aquarium products into the international market, Fiji live rock trade has gone up by 12-35 percent in just 5 years.
Fiji live rock is usually a light pink in color. This is due to the algae that grow in the deep ocean. The Fiji rock is best used in aquariums as a reef base. It comes handy when housing tropical fish, invertebrates or even corals. In a saltwater aquarium, Fiji live rock is the main biological nitrification agent used. Using Fiji live rock, or any live rock for that matter, instantly introduces a large variety of bacteria, invertebrates and algae that will change the quality and chemistry of the water. This is mainly because these microorganisms will directly influence the nitrate and nitrite concentration in the water. Only a cured live rock can be used directly in an aquarium. Cured Fiji live rocks have been stripped of any harmful bacteria and algal growth. Live rocks will start smelling badly if they are not stored properly and if they are not cured well.
Fiji live rocks are usually collected from Fiji, Indonesia, Tonga and Nambu. These kinds of rocks will have the best collection of coralline algae in them. Small colonies of animal and beneficial plant life also stick to these live rocks. The Fiji live rocks are not "dense". They have various nooks and crannies, branches and pores. They are lighter and are more porous. The myriad collection of tiny creatures that usually ship in with Fiji live rocks make them a hot favorite among aquarists. Though they are a bit costlier than many other varieties found, they also take up more space thus reducing the quantity of rocks that are needed.
Fiji live rocks differ in quality depending upon how they were handled during shipping and how they were harvested. Even the quality of water used by the importer can affect the live rocks. Freezing tarmacs, hot sun - these are some factors that can greatly damage the quality of the live rocks by completely killing all life forms in it. Positioning the Fiji live rocks in the aquarium also decides its effectiveness. A rock's natural orientation should be taken into account while placing it in the tank. If the invertebrates in the rock have been placed in a particular manner or have been sitting on it sideways, these natural positions need to be maintained for optimal growth. Precleaning the Fiji live rocks whether they have been cured or not will greatly increase the effectiveness of the rock and also reduce the amount of die off. This can be achieved by simply rinsing the rock in salt water. After introducing the Fiji live rock, care must be taken to clean out any blackish areas that may form on it. These are dying microorganisms and they need to be removed immediately. Stacking the rocks with little rooms for circulation and ventilation will defeat the purpose of the rock. Soon, black patches will appear and your water may turn turgid. Place the rocks so that there is enough space in between for water and other small organisms to pass through. All filtration must be ready when it is time to introduce the Fiji live rocks into your tank. A protein skimmer is a welcome addition. It is better to cycle the live rock for a period of 2-3 weeks before introducing fish into it.
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