Most people are confused when they first hear the words “live rock”. Certainly rocks and sand aren’t alive, are they?
But aquarium owners know that live rock is essential for a healthy ecosystem within an aquarium, and without it, their other living aquatic pets and organisms won’t last for long.
“Live rock” is rock that has been harvested from the ocean, and is placed in a saltwater aquarium environment without being sterilized. These rocks are often not rocks at all, but skeletons of long-dead aquatic organisms. They are host and home to various corals, algae, sponges, invertebrates, and bacteria and microorganisms that are required to keep a closed-loop saltwater ecosystem healthy.

Primary Purpose of Live Rock

The primary purpose of using live rock in an aquarium is to create a healthy nitrogen cycle. The nitrogen cycle works like this:
This process, in which fish and aquarium pets produce toxic waste, which beneficial bacteria then convert into a harmless gas, is a cycle necessary to sustain life in the aquarium. In this way, due to the presence of a variety of helpful bacteria and microorganisms, live rock acts as a natural biological water filter, helping the aquarium stay clean and healthy.

Other Benefits Live Rock Brings

However, while fixing the nitrogen cycle in a saltwater aquarium is the primary role of live rock, that’s not all it can do. Live rock brings many other healthy and beneficial properties to an aquarium. Live rock also:
For all these reasons and more, live rock is both necessary and desirable in a saltwater aquarium. Because it is alive and natural, no two specimens are exactly alike, and no two specimens have the exact same composition of micro- and macro-organisms. Each one is unique, and plays a special role in the chemical and visual composition of an aquarium. Contact us to learn more about the special properties of live rock, and how it can make your aquarium healthier and happier.