Calcrete rock for marine tanks?

Discussion in 'Aquascaping' started by jana, 26 Mar 2018.

  1. jana

    jana

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    Hi there, I'm currently living in Cape Town and am about to set up a marine tank. I've found some amazing 'Calcrete Rock', I believe also called: 'Caliche or hardpan or duricrust, a form of limestone. I'm trying to google this particular rock to make sure it is ok to use but can't find anything.
    Can someone advise perhaps?
    Thanks heaps, Jana
     
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  3. BrentSA

    BrentSA

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    High Jana , have you found any answer , had the same question .
     
  4. OP
    jana

    jana

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    Hi Brent, didn't get any replies on this site. But I did contact Dr Robert Fenner from www.wetwebmedia.com about this question. He is brilliant and has got a wealth of knowledge on almost everything relating to marine. Find our conversation below, my questions with Dr. Fenners answers in <>

    Hi there,
    <Jana>
    I’m currently living in Cape Town, South Africa, and am about to set up another marine tank.
    I have come across some really nice looking pieces of ‘CALCRETE ROCK’ on the beach on the Westcoast. This type of rock is also called ‘Caliche’ or ‘Duricrust’.
    <Oh yeah; a bit of review here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caliche>
    I read up on it a bit and it is apparently a calcium carbonate rock, a form of limestone?!
    <Well, mostly CaCO3... with impurities. Even 80-95% pure might prove problematical>
    I would like to use it in my new tank but cannot find any information stating in particular of whether it would be suitable for a reef tank.
    Could you please advise.
    Many thanks,
    Kind regards,
    jana maddock
    <I too am curious here. But, also cautious. Were it me/mine, I'd experiment with this rock, in a small system for a few months, before risking it in a large, reef system. Bob Fenner>

    Hi Bob,
    <Jana>
    Coming back to your above comment, when you mention ‘impurities’, what are we talking about?
    <Many other minerals; some are nutrients like nitrates, others involve metals, e.g. iron. Google Caliche and other names and the word impurities.>
    What would they be and what impact would they have on the set-up?
    <Could fuel algal growth to poison all>
    And lastly, what would I test for after a few months and how?
    <I'd boil some of the rock, use the water and rock in a small tank, add some hardier, small fish, non fish livestock and see if they live for a month or two>
    Thanks in advance again,
    Kind regards,
    jana maddock
    <Welcome. Bob Fenner>
     
  5. BrentSA

    BrentSA

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    Thanks Jana, well I suppose it is up to an experiment to find out . Fyi , I have these rocks in a tank that's been running for about 2 months now and Mr Molly has been living perfectly healthy for just over a month in that water and is thriving in this water , after the others I bought died in planted freshwater tank . Will be monitoring my Ph and phosphates a lot closer to see for any fluctuations for the lime part and impurity part . A buddy of mine had a fit when he saw my rocks and said it not for coral , I'm setting my tank up to fail and I'm hoping that it not true , these rocks I have looks really good and in the wild they don't grow on reef rock only , they grow on harbour walls , anywhere they can attach too ! So I'm hoping what has been said about rocks was all just about cornering a market and making money, anyhoo , enough of my ranting , thanks again for the response .
     
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    jana

    jana

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    Cool Brent, I'm sure it's fine. I have also used some of the rock I found and so far so good. I'm mixing mine up a bit, as I do want all the 'nooks and cravises' for my fish to go through. But using it as base rock so long.
     
  7. 459b

    459b Moderator

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    I wouldnt touch the rock found along the west coast. Many have tried it before and all the rock does is fuel algae growth. Although it looks similar to some types of liverock, it isnt nearly as porous, and will cause you endless issues.
     
  8. BrentSA

    BrentSA

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    Thank you sir , I took it all out of my tank when I got home already , my bro told me he doesn't trust it, so we put it in the garden. Just going to buy some base rock if I can find it for a decent price, there are many online places that has it listed for a decent price , cheapest is saw was 1500 for 18kg but for some reason , when I contact them , there is no Stock. And all pet shops is out or heavily overpriced and dry rock that they do have it soooo heavy but they still want to charge R145 per kg .... are they mad !? With R1000 you can walk away with one or two rocks if it's two small ones .
     
  9. 459b

    459b Moderator

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    Odd thing is liverock is cheaper now than when i started the hobby, i recall paying in the region of R250/kg (and i wont say what tonga branch set me back). Problem with liverock is its shipping cost. But thankfully liveock is a once off purchase.
    Have you tried @RBM Aquatics ? I recall they had some of the caribsea dry rock (or whatever its equivalent is called) at a decent price. Else youll need to be patient and hope a good deal pops up in the fro sale section.
     
  10. BrentSA

    BrentSA

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    I have not heard of RBM Aquarics to be honest , will look them up now and yeah live rock has been a decent price , saw some for 125 kg except for one place that is always heavily overpriced , fish always sick and live rock that has had ich on it in the past .... Sam's Aquarium ! They wanted to charge me 334 per kg of live rock ... And it was run of the mill stuff , nothing fancy !
     
  11. SFlow

    SFlow

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    I was at RBM Aquatics the other day and they have a bunch of liverock for sale. I bought my dry rock from them some time ago too. The owner, Gary, is always helpful. They're very active on WhatsApp. PM me if you want their number.
     

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