Fiji live rock, you sure??

Discussion in 'Biological/Natural Filtration and Deep Sand Beds' started by deadmeat2016, 8 Jul 2013.

  1. deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Wouter

    Joined:
    19 Jul 2009
    Posts:
    1,506
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Gordons bay
    I hope You all are not sick of me yet, dropping doubt and raising hairs!!

    Just thought I would share my insight into the whole 'Fiji live rock' dream or distribution business, whichever term makes you feel better. I am not attacking any live rock from any shop as I have not bought live rock for 5 months and never bought kilos anyways. But I am a geologist so you see a rock with living stuff on, I see a bit more than rock and can distinguish between a rock of actual good quality which is hard coral skeletons of fairly young age, which are aragonite! a form of calcium carbonate, classed as a biosediment.

    Now the rock most desired has the natural porosity of the coral skeletons preserved which serves as perfect home for bacterial colonies as the porosity allows for growth into the depths bla bla bla. The trick here is how to distinguish between young, lightly compacted biosediment, and older more compacted biosediment which contains mudstone and silts, but more importantly the porosity is not preserved at all and the rock is........well, is only good for the life covering it, there is no space for any growth inside the rock so is not very useful, with the increased density would also make a soccer ball sized chunk of rock weigh at least 3 times more than the actual desired rock, making it an awesome scam idea, sell it as fiji but imported as junk basically, big profits!! I do stress, I am not attacking or referring to anyone who sold me 'fiji' as I would never have bought it, but I have seen some places taking amazing chances with 'special' live rock, the worst I've seen is a shop trying to pass a piece of granite off as Kenyan, but rest assured they are long gone and good riddance.

    The geology of Fiji is very complex and any rock from Fiji could be called fiji rock as long as its from fiji. The active volcanism and constant reworking of the cooling rock through more volcanism make the geology fairly active so no rocks are left around long enough for intensive sedimentation, thus is a natural preservation mechanism for young rock, ocasionally reworking it but no compaction. combined with the biodiversity of Fijis sea, the idea is that the fijian rock has the most life variety and density possible in nature. so sets the standard but what makes fiji rock unique from other rock from other beautiful reefs?

    I am taking a chance on this next part but I think its a common association most people seem to develop naturally due to the striking visual appearance and easy recognition, please let me know but for the smart asses, ID it? great.

    Look at the blue coral skeleton like structure and I trust you have seen it before, what does it tell you about the rock? and what words would you associate with the texture of the blue worked into the structure and the well preserved structural appearance which is neatly defined and undeformed?

    heliopora.jpg
     
    carlosdeandrade likes this.
  2. AdS Guest




    to hide all adverts.
  3. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    14 Dec 2008
    Posts:
    16,771
    Likes Received:
    582
    Location:
    Sandton
    great write, i am dying to see the answer
     
  4. deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Thread Starter Wouter

    Joined:
    19 Jul 2009
    Posts:
    1,506
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Gordons bay
    Thankyou for your attention and to my brainstorming threads Dallas, I was expecting some people to disagree with insults lol but you're awesome, thanks and have some thanks

    Gonna let this stew a bit so comment away but no spoilers!!!
     
    Last edited: 8 Jul 2013
  5. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    14 Dec 2008
    Posts:
    16,771
    Likes Received:
    582
    Location:
    Sandton
  6. shan

    shan

    Joined:
    7 Feb 2008
    Posts:
    689
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    centurion
    so just looking at it from the pic, i would not buy that because that outer brown looking calcified layer will stop alot of bacterial action in the rock. How is water supposed to get in and out efficiently and therefore how is the bacteria supposed to work efficiently with a barrier layer between the rock.

    I bought LR that felt lighter when i picked it up compared to others. I ended up with Kenyan - yes there were some very heavy pieces, but because i picked, i chose the lightest and what i thought was the most pourous judging from the amount of water that came off it and what it felt when all the water was out

    Also, i believe that we tend to follow what those Internationally are doing - Exporting and Importing rock is expensive due to weight. Kenya is closer, so the rock should be cheaper then if coming from fiji which is very far away - i may be very wrong though

    thanks for all the interesting write-up - i am enjoying them and learning at the same time
     
  7. deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Thread Starter Wouter

    Joined:
    19 Jul 2009
    Posts:
    1,506
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Gordons bay
    I was kinda hoping the majority of you would recognise the blue and have studied it up close before with the bright colouration giving you a impression of quality, comfortability and just the small part of you saying 'thats Fiji', its got that unique colour, its fiji, the blue makes one confident in opinion that the rock is not just normal grade everyday live rock.

    If this kinda describes what you thought or that you associate the blue with quality of the rock or that you know what the blue looks and feels like which is nice and real, so you like this. Blue coral = thumbs up and proceed with purchase at R150/kg easy.

    Now you are probably expecting me to say ok but theres a catch, or point out something impressive etc but im afraid I am here to inform and not to win favour, here to help and not to whelp...............

    Dallas, thanks for the read and can still poke holes, rocks tell amazing truths and they are making my point, i just wanna also clear up myths which snagged me.

    Shan - Dude! thats good observation and really having a look but have you studied the blue coral skeleton up close? The ideal porosity for live rock though is not the type of porosity you can see with the naked eye but microscopically porous so that fluid easily saturates and diffuses through it but does not allow pure flow through the internal structure which is why the bacteria thrive and reach such massive densities to make the live rock as 'potent' as possible without risking the loss of bacterial colonies through any type of flow. that make sense? can start a new thread but later as my fingers hurt and need to get down what i can while i have time to!!
     
    Last edited: 8 Jul 2013
  8. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

    Joined:
    24 Dec 2010
    Posts:
    8,230
    Likes Received:
    228
    Location:
    North Riding, Jozi
    Personally rock is rock, as long as it has porosity, I am happy with it. Yes, some looks better and for scaping needs we tend to go for the better looking ones, making it more expensive. Then again, isn't Louis Vittone better than no name brand?
     
  9. Gummi Bear

    Gummi Bear

    Joined:
    14 May 2010
    Posts:
    383
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    South Africa, JHB, Mayfair West
    If not mistaken I did read a post from you a few years ago that you mentioned that the blue stuff is actually dead Heliopora or something of that sort
     
  10. shan

    shan

    Joined:
    7 Feb 2008
    Posts:
    689
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    centurion
    see the -problem is that we do not take microscopes to the lfs when we buy - so those of us with a bit of experience look at the rock, feel the rock, see the amount of water that drips off it when you pull it out of the water and then make a judgement call. Now there are a lot of people that specifically look for corraline on the rock - for me, i do not want it as it reduces the porosity (my opinion).

    the other thing i was thinking of the other day is that we tend to use too little dead rock. There are many reefers that close down and later sell they dead rock evry cheap. If this rock is given a good acid bath, most of the crap is taken off and you will have some very nice, clean rock that will get life if you add some bacteria in a bottle and over time offcourse form other LR in your system- but thats a whole other debate.
     
  11. Irma

    Irma

    Joined:
    9 Feb 2011
    Posts:
    440
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Midrand
    Now I am looking stupid as I was going to say that that peice of rock looks fake and I would not buy it :))
     
  12. Gummi Bear

    Gummi Bear

    Joined:
    14 May 2010
    Posts:
    383
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    South Africa, JHB, Mayfair West
    I thinks it a heliopora skeleton
     
  13. deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Thread Starter Wouter

    Joined:
    19 Jul 2009
    Posts:
    1,506
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Gordons bay
    Carlos - I completely understand your opinion and agree that live rock is live rock, the bacterias which brreakdown ammo and nitrites, pseudomonas and nitrobacter I think, are just bacterias which exist regardless its in fiji or in the arctic so Fiji will not produce miracles filtration wise but if I could show you some proper quality rock under a microscope, i could show you what i mean, porosity is a tricky subject as it is not related to permiability. Taking a piece of good quality rock out of water will not dry out until like 4 days as the permiabilities are so fine and many that the water is trapped inside.

    So porosity is important, lots of little spaces inside the rock which have low permiability, so water gets there but doesnt flow freely to hurt the bacteria, allowing them to live happily in the little pores doing their job. Thats our goal and don't mean to offend or sound patronising, but recognising porosity is not easy as it refers to a scale to the microscope level, a sponge is very porous but very permiable so water in and out easy and stored well in pores. a pore useful for marine bacteria is not visible to the naked eye and the pores all the way into the center of the rock should be slightly permiable allowing the whole volume of rock to be used as bacterial foothold instead of just the surface of the rock where just the pits or small cavaties are slightly useful. Does that help?

    Gummibear!! naughty, I said no spoilers! gonna provide an answer now
     
  14. Gummi Bear

    Gummi Bear

    Joined:
    14 May 2010
    Posts:
    383
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    South Africa, JHB, Mayfair West
    Sorry deadmeat2016 Never see that no spoilers post oops
     
  15. yuma girl

    yuma girl

    Joined:
    18 Apr 2013
    Posts:
    591
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Forcalquier France
    well now i know why my live rock has these small white polyps coming out of it... its a heliopora skeleton and a small piece of it has "come back to life"

    Thx @deadmeat2016 .. mystery solved!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  16. deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Thread Starter Wouter

    Joined:
    19 Jul 2009
    Posts:
    1,506
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Gordons bay
    Right - yes the blue coral you usually find on pieces of live rock is the skeleton of a coral called Heliopora and yes it looks stunning, the vivid blue with the fine aragonite texture with the furry feeling under your fingers as you feel all the delicate and incredibly complex structure.

    The coral which left the skeleton is in fact a softie in the same family as gorgonians and sea pens. The skeleton i feel is more attractive than the actual live coral but thats opinion. Do not ask me why a soft coral would leave such a striking skeleton or why it is so dull when alive. I dunno, nature can be funny.

    What does this mean though? lets consider you thought, oh oh that blue is fiji. That would be ideal such a nice thought but I'm afraid Heliopora is not rare as a coral species but rather one of the fairly common fast growers so I'm afriad even though it looks nice, do not be fooled into thinking its special and unique worthy of wearing the 'Louis Vittone' label as carlos jested.

    The coral is found in several locations around the world so is definitely not a isolated and species. Again I'm not trying to slam anyone as I love coral, no matter what type or how common, theyre all special but in the case of Helio, can be easily used to trick reefers into spending that extra penny or 400 which I will not really morally allow if I can help.

    How easy is it to receive a LR shipment from indonesia bursting with this blue and label it fiji grade. Fiji grade or Fiji rock does not definitely mean rocks from the islands around Fiji which is where my anger and frustration comes in and my final question which is bothering me and has bothered me for long now.

    Do you actually know or are 100% times 100 degrees times 100 seconds sure and positive that you have actually seen or held rock which is actually fijian in origin and the real real deal?

    I have worked with many reef rock types from all over the worlds reefs including australias great barrier and japans reefs which is rock like I have not seen for sale as base or live, its not actually a rock, its a fusion of various coral skeletons and as mentioned, the textures of the fused skeletons does not feel hard but fluffy in a rigid way. weighing practically nothing it seems to be amazing.

    I just hope after this thread, readers will not be fooled or lured into the 'fiji blue trap'. Remember that when thinking of Fiji, the colour desired is purple!! for coralline power
     
  17. shan

    shan

    Joined:
    7 Feb 2008
    Posts:
    689
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    centurion
    damn, i learned something - always thought that the blue rock came from Fiji
     
  18. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    14 Dec 2008
    Posts:
    16,771
    Likes Received:
    582
    Location:
    Sandton
    would this apply to Tonga Branch Rock which is now no longer traded
     
  19. Snoek

    Snoek

    Joined:
    12 May 2013
    Posts:
    926
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Edgemead
    So let me get this straight:

    The lighter the rock and the longer the water takes to run out the better.

    This brings me to the following question:
    Is Kenya LR any different to the blue LR we all have bought?
     
  20. shan

    shan

    Joined:
    7 Feb 2008
    Posts:
    689
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    centurion
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  21. deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Thread Starter Wouter

    Joined:
    19 Jul 2009
    Posts:
    1,506
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Gordons bay
    Nearly dude but on the right track. Remember what I mean by density which just to clear up.

    Density is the weight per volume. Example two pieces of LR are taken, one good, one shit. If somehow, you could get a volume of each rock type, a volume the size of a shoebox which we will imagine is 100% pure rock from heaven. the shit rock is higher density than the good rock as the shit rock has undergone greater compaction, usually as a result of age and burial, resulting in the destruction of any porosity, like sponge that is squeezed so long it doesn't expand again, its ability to hold water is destroyed.

    Whereas the good rock has been reworked but not undergone significant burial and sedimentation/compaction, preserving the porosity of the original mineral which is the coral skeletons, aragnoite. And almost the original coral structure is visible, just mashed together like 2 cakes. the unsqueezed sponge for example, lots of spaces inside to create the porosity, you can cut the sponge into pieces, mix the pieces and whatever but you will still have the porosity in tact.

    I mentioned the water running out, this is a factor of the permeability of the rock, how easily fluid permeates and evacuates a media without obstruction and is the degree to which the porosities in the rock are interconnected. We are talking rocks here so how many rocks have you seen that can allow water through like a sieve? hahaha I'm a geologist and i can only think.......o wait, 5 types of rock do. anywho

    Any permeability in a rock is going to be unusual and is a key property proper live rock should have. As the permeability is there, the porosity can be exploited and filled with water. imagine well connected pores and delicate bacterial colonies deposited on the walls, high permiability will allow water to easily infiltrate and ex filtrate flowing casually through. too much water volume will flush the poor colonies away so a low permiability is needed preventing this, thus live rock needs alot of porosity but with low permiability to allow water to be absorbed into pores but not significant mass transfer of said water. This provides a very steady and low energy home for bacteria's and the nutrients diffuse to them slowly throughout the whole rock structure

    Permeability is not porosity, so do not confuse them and learn the difference, using a sponge to remind yourself of the concepts.

    Sorry not well organised, shout wht doesnt make sense
     
Recent Posts

Loading...
Similar Threads - Fiji live rock Forum Date
[wtd] Fiji Live rock Wanted 5 Jul 2016
[wtd] Indo or Fiji Live rock Wanted 17 Aug 2015
Fiji live rock needed General Discussions and Advice 20 Sep 2012
Fiji live rock Wanted 16 Dec 2010
Fiji Live Rock and corals in shop from today Livestock from Dorry Pets 26 Nov 2010
Fiji locals grow “live rock” for aquarium trade Diving, Collecting and Environmental Discussions 27 Jan 2008
[wtd] LR Fiji Wanted 26 Aug 2016