View Full Version : fabricated reef insert vs live rock

11/03/2009, 07:08 PM
building an elipse 515 reef, 83 x 33 in center x 48 high ... crazy design i know ... my first question: should i use a fabricated plastic insert and plug sps on it or use live rock as base ... ??? wil the insert sustain an sps environment with minimal other live rock ??? thanks

11/03/2009, 07:30 PM
I don't like the plastic insert idea. I understand filling a 515 with live rock is expensive but when did you think a 515 wouldn't be. Live rock will help so much more to house pods and bacteria. I think the tank would be more stable with live rock.

I'm also not sure how well plastics hold up to the marine environment with things munching on them. Also, you go to all the length to set up a nice reef and you know its built on plastic! Not the same.

Since you ask, live rock all the way.

11/03/2009, 07:40 PM
exactly cost is not really a problem for this project ... but i have to work convince my boss why LR is the way to go ... i totally KNOW LR will make for a more stable environment but why??? does nitrification and denitrification balance eachother out? if there is no anaerobic activity because of the plastic, will years, months down the line, just not support the water for sps ... thanks frogman much appreciated

11/03/2009, 07:50 PM
Live rock has so much surface area. Since I added live rock, my nitrates are near 0. I think there is anaerobic activity especially if you get some large pieces. In a 515 I think you would have mostly large pieces 20 pounds or more.

I assume the plastic is hollow? So you don't have the sites for anaerobic activity. Do you have any pics?

11/03/2009, 08:51 PM
LR over plastic. like frogmanx82 said more surface area with live rock and better biodiversity. you dont find(shouldnt find) plastic on a natural reef so why in a beautiful display reef?

11/03/2009, 09:52 PM
IMO LR all the way. Unless you're going fish only but even then I'd go FOWLR.

11/03/2009, 10:23 PM
Plastic is not going to have an anaerobic area