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View Full Version : Is there an environmentally friendly way of harvesting natural LR?


Marinus
11/27/2015, 04:09 PM
Hi reefers,

We all love marine life, that's why we do what we do. I like seeing more and more artificial and land mined LR choices, but what is the actual situation regarding natural LR? Are there sustainable ways of harvesting it? How does one know where/how the LR comes from?

Cheers.

Dmorty217
11/28/2015, 07:55 AM
Tampa Bay Saltwater (sponsor on here) takes dry rock and puts it in the ocean for a few months before harvesting and selling as live rock. I think this is what your looking for as far a sustainable LR harvesting

Marinus
11/28/2015, 06:25 PM
Ah, cool. Thanks.

jayball
12/01/2015, 03:14 PM
Tampa Bay Saltwater (sponsor on here) takes dry rock and puts it in the ocean for a few months before harvesting and selling as live rock. I think this is what your looking for as far a sustainable LR harvesting

They do that with the manmade walt smith rock at TBS and overseas.

ryeguyy84
12/02/2015, 07:12 AM
there was a post in June about Tampa Bay

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2509664

wayne in norway
12/02/2015, 01:37 PM
Slowly. Live rock hasn't stopped being made, washed off by waves, broken loose and so on. But that requires managed balancing of the rate of 'deposition' against collection rate.

There's also the air freight to consider

zachfishman
12/02/2015, 07:55 PM
KP Aquatics in the FL Keys also cultures live rock. Fun fact, their live rock farm was the origination of the Coral Restoration Foundation!

Marinus
12/02/2015, 08:31 PM
Slowly. Live rock hasn't stopped being made, washed off by waves, broken loose and so on. But that requires managed balancing of the rate of 'deposition' against collection rate.

There's also the air freight to consider

Good point.

Logging in British Columbia Canada has come a long way from the old clear cutting days. I still hate seeing large patches of cleared trees because it's obviously still affects the wildlife. It's also ugly. However, it's sustainable.

I was just wondering what the situation was in the ocean. Using man made rock is sustainable but still not natural, although it has natural life on it, the rock itself is not natural.

Might sound ludicrous, and admittedly ignorant, but wouldn't farming coral for harvesting as live rock be more beneficial in maintaining a health ocean? It would create a more natural habitat for various life forms that can then also be collected in a sustainable way.

atreis
12/04/2015, 04:41 AM
Might sound ludicrous, and admittedly ignorant, but wouldn't farming coral for harvesting as live rock be more beneficial in maintaining a health ocean? It would create a more natural habitat for various life forms that can then also be collected in a sustainable way.

Not ludicrous, but hard to justify from a business standpoint. (Coral sell for more money.) Some stores around here will remove dead coral from their displays and sell them as smaller pieces of live rock.

As a business model though, to use an analogy: A company makes an in-demand cell phone with a nice big screen. The phone costs $50 to manufacture, ship, etc... They sell it as a phone for $200 a unit. There's also a market for small computer pad devices for controlling audio systems, and the same device would work perfectly there too. Not all of the hardware in it would be needed, but it would cost more to make a separate device. Those audio control devices could sell for $75 a unit. Both markets are potentially profitable, but no company that can make $200 a unit is going to sell those same devices for $75.

sde1500
12/04/2015, 01:22 PM
Good point.

Logging in British Columbia Canada has come a long way from the old clear cutting days. I still hate seeing large patches of cleared trees because it's obviously still affects the wildlife. It's also ugly. However, it's sustainable.

I was just wondering what the situation was in the ocean. Using man made rock is sustainable but still not natural, although it has natural life on it, the rock itself is not natural.

Might sound ludicrous, and admittedly ignorant, but wouldn't farming coral for harvesting as live rock be more beneficial in maintaining a health ocean? It would create a more natural habitat for various life forms that can then also be collected in a sustainable way.

Not all aquacultured live rock is man made. Some is mined from ancient reefs inland and put in the water to gather life. So still real live rock. OR at least that is how I've interpreted it. Also, whats wrong with man made not being natural? It is much easier than farming coral to create new live rock, and still good for the reefs.

Marinus
12/04/2015, 03:02 PM
Not ludicrous, but hard to justify from a business standpoint. (Coral sell for more money.)

True, coral sells for more money. Just brainstorming.

Not all aquacultured live rock is man made. Some is mined from ancient reefs inland and put in the water to gather life. So still real live rock. OR at least that is how I've interpreted it. Also, whats wrong with man made not being natural? It is much easier than farming coral to create new live rock, and still good for the reefs.

Land mined coral sounds good, but is not really sustainable unless there's an endless supply.

I don't know what's bad about man made live rock, but from what I've read, it's heavier and not as affective (pound for pound) than natural live rock (other than marine pure which is very expensive).

Just brainstorming... all good info you guys are giving.

Cheers

suta4242
12/04/2015, 04:12 PM
Have you ever seen the state of inner reefs after a cyclone? That's perfect for sustainable live rock collection, at least in QLD.

If you feel uneasy about taking LR from the wild, just make sure you're not replacing it with something man made that has had an impact on wild habitat during its production.

JM2c
:wave:

Marinus
12/04/2015, 06:06 PM
Exactly, that's what I want to educated myself on.

I love this hobbie, just want to make sure my choices don't have a negative affect on the ocean and it's reefs.

Thanks for the comments.

Cheers

muttley000
12/06/2015, 09:29 AM
Is it possible that the environmental impact of mining ancient reef rock is worse than removing rock rubble from the ocean?

homer1475
12/06/2015, 02:50 PM
Exactly, that's what I want to educated myself on.

I love this hobbie, just want to make sure my choices don't have a negative affect on the ocean and it's reefs.

Thanks for the comments.

Cheers
This statement is ludicrous. The very nature of the hobby has a negative impact on the ocean.

While the progression of the hobby has brought about a lot of changes in the way things are cultured, your still depleting the ocean of its wild inhabitants, which in essence is having a negative impact.

Unless you can be 100% certain the creatures(fish, corals) your buying did not come from the wild(nearly impossible to tell, your LFS can tell you its aqua cultured, but do you really know?), your having a negative impact on the ocean.

sde1500
12/06/2015, 04:37 PM
This statement is ludicrous. The very nature of the hobby has a negative impact on the ocean.

While the progression of the hobby has brought about a lot of changes in the way things are cultured, your still depleting the ocean of its wild inhabitants, which in essence is having a negative impact.

Unless you can be 100% certain the creatures(fish, corals) your buying did not come from the wild(nearly impossible to tell, your LFS can tell you its aqua cultured, but do you really know?), your having a negative impact on the ocean.


Are you sure about this? I can buy man made or mined rock, dry sand, fill the tank with water and synthetic salt mixes. Then buy some of the many captive bred fish and frags from people's tanks. And in doing so have no negative impact on the oceans. Why is it ludicrous to want that? This section is all about responsible reef keeping.

homer1475
12/07/2015, 01:14 PM
Are you sure about this? I can buy man made or mined rock, dry sand, fill the tank with water and synthetic salt mixes. Then buy some of the many captive bred fish and frags from people's tanks. And in doing so have no negative impact on the oceans. Why is it ludicrous to want that? This section is all about responsible reef keeping.


Think you missed the part where I said, and I quote:
Unless you can be 100% certain the creatures(fish, corals) your buying did not come from the wild.

of course if everything is man made and aquacultured your not harming the ocean one bit. The problem arises when someone goes to their LFS and impulse buy's a coral or fish that is not aquacultured. Which happens more times then not.

muttley000
12/12/2015, 02:31 PM
So if I use all dry man,are materials and buy a lionfish from a collector in the Caribbean did I have a positive impact?
I suspect the tuna sandwiches we eat in our lifetime have hundreds of more times impact on the oceans than our aquariums ever will.

atreis
12/13/2015, 04:46 AM
So if I use all dry man,are materials and buy a lionfish from a collector in the Caribbean did I have a positive impact?

Small, but yes.

I suspect the tuna sandwiches we eat in our lifetime have hundreds of more times impact on the oceans than our aquariums ever will.

Probably, so don't eat Tuna, then you will have not outweighed your previous positive impact with a larger negative one.

Subsea
12/26/2015, 09:05 AM
The collection of live rock and fish has little effect on the health of our oceans compared to elevated CO2 in the athmosphere and in some cases declining pH in the water.

The conversation is more academic than pragmatic. If you want to impact the ocean in a positive way: quit flying in airplanes, turn off the electricity to your home, become a vegan and grow your own food,

Subsea
12/26/2015, 09:40 AM
Hi reefers,

We all love marine life, that's why we do what we do. I like seeing more and more artificial and land mined LR choices, but what is the actual situation regarding natural LR? Are there sustainable ways of harvesting it? How does one know where/how the LR comes from?

Cheers.

Marinus,

As a cultivator of live rock in the Texas Hill Country and because you asked, I have provided a link and a discourse on where the limestone comes from for diver collected live rock in the Gulf of Mexico.

Tampa Bay Saltwater and Gulf Coast Live Rock have offshore leases 10 miles west of Tampa Bay. Florida Live Rock is 30 miles west of Tampa Bay in a water depth of 50'. All threer diver owners have been in the business for 25+ years. I consider these men enviromental pioneers. They add to the enviromental diversity of the ocean bottom of what used to be flat sandy bottom. I have done business with all three men with tremendous satisfaction. Contrary to what one post on this thread said, the rock is on bottom for years. I prefer uncured live rock for the extreme diversity that it carries on it.

Here in follows the history of one vendors live rock.

About Us

Gulf Live Rock.com is one of the leaders in the aquacultered Florida live rock industry. We offer invertebrates from the Gulf of Mexico, live sand, and the finest quality live rock available in the industry. Gulf Live Rock is unquestionably the most beautiful of the live rocks in the world. Our live rock can be found in public displays, live fish shops, tropical fish wholesalers, public aquariums, research facilities, universities and private aquariums all around the country. We are one of the few aquaculturalists permitted by the federal government and the state of Florida to grow and harvest live rock specifically for marine aquariums in the gulf of mexico.

We have around half a million pounds of live rock under production on our federal live rock lease site located 10 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico's EEZ zone. We use a natural calcium carbonate rock called Bryozoan facies to build our lease site. This rock is basically prehistoric coral and reefs that are dug up in south Florida by construction sites, farmers, pool makers and rock quarries. Remember that most of Florida was under water thousands of years ago. If you look closely many rocks contain visible prehistoric marine fossils and shells. This rock is extremely porous with many nooks and crannies for fish and inverts to seek refuge in.

We hand pick every piece of rock to ensure that it will make a beautiful piece of live rock. Most of our rock was dumped several tons at a time by a crane off of a large barge on our lease site in the summer of 1996. So you can image how much marine life has grown on it over the last 15 years. We also have a newer section on our lease site that we add rock to periodically. This ensures that we will have quality live rock for the years to come. The rules for depositing rock have changed science 1996. We now have to deposit the rock 100 pounds at a time in baskets which have to be lowered with a rope to the ocean bottom by hand. A diver then arranges the rock by hand for the best possible growth on the bottom of the ocean. These new rules require a lot more hard work, boat gas and man hours.

We own and operate two boats that we use to deposit and harvest our live rock with. A 22 foot famous craft (The Blue Bullet) and a 25 foot pro line (A Little Bigger). Once we harvest the live rock it is brought to our main facility located in Tampa, Florida and it is stored in our 1500 gallon system. In 2012 we acquired a Marine Life Divers License for the state of Florida (1 of 50 available). It is kind of like a liquor license. You cant simply get one from the state. No new MLD licenses will ever be issued by the state. You have to buy it from someone that already has one and they are not cheap. This license allows us to collect live tropical fish, eels, inverts, live marine plants, soft corals, sponges and tons of other cool things for the saltwater aquarium. We set up a large collecting and holding facility located in Marathon key, in the Florida keys. We also added a 25 foot parker and a 17 foot cat to our collecting fleet. We have helped set up thousands of salt water aquariums, so if you need help with yours please contact us. Thank you for choosing our company for your live rock and other aquarium needs.