Aquarium Basics 101: What you Need to Know about Dry Rock for Fish Tanks

Aquarium Basics 101: What you Need to Know about Dry Rock for Fish Tanks

Hmm … How can something immersed in water be considered dry rock? It’s all somewhat confusing if you’re new to owning an aquarium or thinking about starting one. What you need to know about dry rock for fish tanks is that it started out dry.

OK, wait. No. It was actually wet before that.

Well, before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s start from the beginning. …

What you Need to Know about Dry Rock for Fish Tanks

What is Dry Rock?

Dry rock is live rock that has been cleaned before it is used.

Live rock is a piece of coral reef that has broken off and made its way to shallower water, where a variety of invertebrates make it their home. Cleaning and drying the rock before use rids it of these hitchhikers – both the good and the bad variety. Having this now “dry rock” offers aquarium owners the opportunity to start with a clean slate, no pun intended.

Over time, algae and other species will grow on even dry rock in your tank, but it will take longer before that happens. Some of this growth will be beneficial to your tank’s ecosystem, while some other forms you will want to clear out of it.

5 Benefits of Using Dry Rock in your Aquarium

1. Dry rock is less expensive.

The big thing you need to know about dry rock for fish tanks is that it is less expensive than live rock. Live rock is heavier because of its wetness and density, which increases shipping costs.

2. It’s cleared of impurities.

While it’s true that some types of growth on live rock is beneficial to an aquarium, other types are not. Having it cleaned beforehand ensures that you are in control of what is in your tank.

You Need to Know about Dry Rock for Fish Tanks3. Dry rock acts as a filter.

Any rocks in an aquarium improve the health of the aquarium by doing such things as getting rid of or trapping waste. However, you will still need a manmade filter as well.

4. It contributes to fishes’ enjoyment in the tank.

Most fish enjoy swimming around or in the grooves in the rock, as well as plants and gravel. Some of the more private fish like to hide behind or in them.

5. It beautifies the tank.

Dry rock adds visual appeal to an aquarium. It turns the aquarium into a playground for the fish, which makes them more fun to watch.

The Drawbacks of Dry Rock

One drawback that you need to know about dry rock for fish tanks is that you do not get the good species that can be found on live rock.

There’s also the possibility of dry rock releasing an unhealthy amount of phosphates back into the water. Because it is not in a completely natural state, its filtering abilities are not as powerful.

Another drawback is that over time, it will become “alive,” forcing you to treat it as live rock, but with fewer of the benefits.

With proper maintenance, however, your tank should be fine with dry rock.

Contact Seatech Aquariums for More Information

If what you need to know about dry rock for fish tanks was not answered here or in our past blogs, let us know! We will be happy to fill in the blanks and help you create a beautiful, vibrant and healthy aquarium.

Otherwise, if you’re ready to start an aquarium, or if you need help beautifying or maintaining your existing one, we are here to help. You can reach us through our Seatech Aquariums website or by phone at 602-628-7270.

You Need to Know about Dry Rock for Fish Tanks


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