why is it that we have to have live rock?


New member
we use the sand, sump, and other filtering devices. why is it that we still have to use all of the live rock? is it just for homes for some of the critters, or do we still need the benefits of more filtering in our tanks.


New member
"Have to have" is not a do or die thing. But more of a natural way of doing filtering instead of machanical means.

There seems to be alot of success useing Live rock via other methods but there were saltwater tanks before a widespread use of live rock.

wayne in norway

New member
For more complete filtration with a grater variety of orgs. A sump is just a glass box, and a sand is still sand - without bacteria they are not going to do anything. Live rock is a good source of a variety of bacteria (and don't be fooled into thinking that all the bacteria used in filtration are understood and id'ed correctly and can thus be bought in a bottle), plus the rock itself is an excellent medium for the mechanics of biofiltration.

Plus it looks good, and at scales larger than bacterial, the more diversity in our tanks, the better (generally)

It is not at all essential to have live rock, but it makes for much easier life than pre live rock


New member
Its mostly that mother nature is by far the best filtration method we have. Also if you read aquarium books before wide spread use of live rock you'll see that keeping corals was considered extreme and trying to keep hard corals was just killing off reefs.


Premium Member
Though 10-15 years ago we didn't use much if any live rock - most people's creatures didn't survive all that well. With live rock being the main bio-filter that has changed dramatically, especially being able to keep corals (due to lighting as well).