Lava Rock

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by marsbrat, 4 Jan 2011.

  1. marsbrat

    marsbrat

    Joined:
    4 Jan 2011
    Posts:
    201
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Brakpan
    Hi all,

    I have recently (about a week ago) converted my tropical 4ft tank to a marine tank. I removed the canister (Dolphin 1300) and installed a sump...I didn't do an overflow but have a pump pumping the water out of the tank and into the sump passing firstly through a protein skimmer.

    I put in fine crushed coral, some artificial base rock and about 10kg's of LAVA ROCK. We got the salt levels rights and added a live piece of lava rock to the tank as well.

    My question...is lava rock bad for the tank...should I remove and replace with more artificial rock as a base as Live Rock is just so damn expensive.

    Any thoughts.:)
     
  2. AdS Guest




    to hide all adverts.
  3. SumthingFishy

    SumthingFishy

    Joined:
    7 Jul 2009
    Posts:
    161
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Paarl, WC
    Welcome to MASA!

    One thing I have learned in keeping marines, is to keep things as natural as possible and to take things slowly. Yes live rock is expensive, but it also contains alot of creatures to help seeding your system. Depends what type of live rock you use and how much you place in your tank. But if you are cash strapped, save some money and buy later a few pieces of Live Rock.

    I am not so sure about putting Lava Rock in a marine tank as it may contain metals which could leach into the water and could lead to high phosphate levels.

    Good luck!
    [SIZE=-1]
    [/SIZE]
     
  4. mariusmeyer

    mariusmeyer

    Joined:
    7 Jul 2009
    Posts:
    3,054
    Likes Received:
    210
    Location:
    Jukskei Park, JHB
    Do you have another pump pumping water back up to the main tank as well? Or is the sump higher than the display?
     
  5. SchyffS

    SchyffS Reef Aquarist

    Joined:
    26 Jan 2008
    Posts:
    588
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Your question and thread is related to LAVA ROCK, we need a geologist to answer this question as lava rock has many different compositions depending on how(cooling method) and where they were formed.
    See post no 4 under this thread if you want a quick answer:
    Live Rock- all you need to know - Marine Aquariums of South Africa

    However, im also not convinced as yet that lava rock is bad for marine. My current opinion is that the type sold at LFS is borderline and may contain only high amounts of silicate and the crystaline structure is very sharp and not suitable for bacterial growth and survival rate is low. But im no expert and dont have any lava rock to worry about, so im tagging along hoping that there will be a more scientific pros and cons appraoch to this thread.

    Post some pics of the rock, may i suggest you start a seperate tank thread so the members can assist with your tank build or provide suggestions.
     
  6. Manic

    Manic Moderator

    Joined:
    12 Mar 2009
    Posts:
    3,313
    Likes Received:
    58
    Location:
    Johannesburg, Edenvale
    To be really honest with you I wouldn't worry about the rock to much but rather that you are pumping water out of your tank into the sump and then pumping water from the sump back into the tank. Is this how it is working?
     
  7. SchyffS

    SchyffS Reef Aquarist

    Joined:
    26 Jan 2008
    Posts:
    588
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Cape Town
    And welcome to MASA :thumbup:
    everything here has a pinch of salt in it, if there s no salt then bring yor own :)
     
  8. marsbrat

    marsbrat Thread Starter

    Joined:
    4 Jan 2011
    Posts:
    201
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Brakpan
    Thanks everyone...

    I have removed the Lava rock and added some live rock, artificial live rock and a few pieces of sandstone...quite a variety...

    My filtration works as follows:-

    I have a pump in the tank pumping water out and into a protein skimmer. From the skimmer the water runs into the first area of the sump then gradually overflows into section 2 from the top filled with BIO Balls and ceramics. It flows under and up into section 3 filled with the same before overflowing into section 4. I have a return pump in here pumping the water back to the tank.

    Hope this helps.

    Regards.:biggrin:
     
  9. Manic

    Manic Moderator

    Joined:
    12 Mar 2009
    Posts:
    3,313
    Likes Received:
    58
    Location:
    Johannesburg, Edenvale
    I wont even start to grill you about the BIO balls and ceramic rings because the more serious problem is your 2 pump situation. It is impossible to keep those two pumps in harmony forever, at one stage one will start to work faster than the other, at which point either your sump or your main tank will flood. What you really need to do is have gravity take care of the flow from your tank to your sump. There are two ways of accomplishing this:

    1. Drill the main tank and insert an overflow (Recommended)
    2. Buy a hang on overflow box that utilities a siphon (Easier to do at this stage)

    There really is no way around this, the 2 pump method may work for a while but it will fail at one stage and leave your house flooded and your tank empty. Everyone else on this forum either runs an overflow or a overflow siphon box.
     
    Last edited: 4 Jan 2011
  10. marsbrat

    marsbrat Thread Starter

    Joined:
    4 Jan 2011
    Posts:
    201
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Brakpan
    Thanks...I agree with you without arguing. Drilling the tank is not an option at this stage. Could you give me more info, maybe threads about the alternative overflow?:(
     
  11. Manic

    Manic Moderator

    Joined:
    12 Mar 2009
    Posts:
    3,313
    Likes Received:
    58
    Location:
    Johannesburg, Edenvale
    I'm just trying to find the link, you will have to buy/order this at a pet shop that keeps stock of aquarium depot products. Here we go:

    Aquarium Depot - Siphon Overflow Box
     
  12. Manic

    Manic Moderator

    Joined:
    12 Mar 2009
    Posts:
    3,313
    Likes Received:
    58
    Location:
    Johannesburg, Edenvale
    Why is drilling not an option?
     
  13. SchyffS

    SchyffS Reef Aquarist

    Joined:
    26 Jan 2008
    Posts:
    588
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Cape Town
    post us some pics...we enjoy the torture of seeing bio balls and ceramic rings :)
     
  14. Munky82

    Munky82

    Joined:
    11 Oct 2008
    Posts:
    397
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Port Elizabeth
    If I had to choose again i'd get my tank drilled and get it over with. Would've saved myself a lot of hassles.
     
  15. SchyffS

    SchyffS Reef Aquarist

    Joined:
    26 Jan 2008
    Posts:
    588
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Best advised so far - confessions of a driller

    I second this, get it drilled for the overflow only, send the fishies to a buddy for safekeeping.
     
  16. marsbrat

    marsbrat Thread Starter

    Joined:
    4 Jan 2011
    Posts:
    201
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Brakpan
    Getting it drilled is probably the best, but what to do with 400L of water that cost a fortune in salt to get going? So far there are no fish in yet. Only rock, sand and water.
     
  17. Slagter

    Slagter MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    27 Jan 2010
    Posts:
    1,734
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Randburg
    Get a 500L storage bin. Pump the water into that and keep it circulating and it will stay fresh. Pop the Live Rock into the drum as well...
     
  18. marsbrat

    marsbrat Thread Starter

    Joined:
    4 Jan 2011
    Posts:
    201
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Brakpan
    What about an electric valve on the pipe. With power it is open. When power goes off it closes?
     
  19. Manic

    Manic Moderator

    Joined:
    12 Mar 2009
    Posts:
    3,313
    Likes Received:
    58
    Location:
    Johannesburg, Edenvale
    Most valves contain metal and the others that are all plastic are too expensive. I've drilled tanks that are full. Just drain a bit of water out and drill a side pane. Then you can add an overflow easily. An overflow doesn't have to be drilled on the bottom panel.
     
  20. robertkukla

    robertkukla

    Joined:
    23 Mar 2010
    Posts:
    969
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Minnabron , JHB
    Hi and Welcome to MASA

    send me your number via pm and i will gladly come give you a hand , im sure we can help you in some way
     
  21. cswhitehead

    cswhitehead

    Joined:
    25 Jul 2010
    Posts:
    285
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    richards bay
    welcome to masa

    rather drill the tank now it will be worth it. the problem is that even if you can get the pumps to balanced and the power goes out the top pump will create a siphon from the initial flow and you will still end up with one tank being emptied onto the floor. just remember if something is going to go wrong it will probably go wrong when you are not at home.
     
Recent Posts

Loading...
Similar Threads - Lava Rock Forum Date
Lava rock any good? Beginner Discussions 4 Apr 2016
Lava Rock in reef tank?? Help please General Discussions and Advice 18 Sep 2014
Lava Rock General Discussions and Advice 8 Feb 2011
Hawaiin lava rock wanted - any idea's General Discussions and Advice 16 Jun 2010
Growing behind rock ID Needed Today at 06:13
[wtd] Long / flat rock ( live or dry) Wanted Monday at 17:14
[wtd] Liverock needed for this week saturday - 25 kg Wanted 24 Nov 2016