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Discussion Starter #1
OK. So I just picked up a used system for free from a woman that didn't want to maintain it anymore. She said it was a 29 Gallon saltwater tank with fish and colored rock things.

The good: It is actually a 30 gallon tank. 36 inch wide variety. There are three healthy looking fish. A Clown, a Damsel (white with 4 black stripes...can't think of name) and a Coral Beauty Angelfish.

The Bad: The Reef is all plastic. No real rocks, corals, anything.

The Ugly: Plastic neon colored plants. Blue gravel.

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All in all it is quite hideous looking. I had my heart set on having a nice little reef in the living room. I've pulled all the funky decorations out. I was afraid of killing the bio colony so I left the gravel in for now.

I want to convert to a reef, but I don't want to spend lots of money. I'm probably going to pull out the gravel and add plain sand with a layer of live sand over it.

Does anyone have any suggestions for cheap Live Rock substitutes? I am thinking limestone, but I'm not set on that choice. I will add a few pounds of live rock to the system and let it mature for several months before adding anything else.

Your suggestions are greatly appreciated.
 

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atleast it was free!!
 

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You can use limestone rock as base rock. It will eventually get overgrown with coralline algae and sponges and all the other stuff typical live rock has. Sometimes they call the limestone base rock "holey rock" because of all the natural holes it has.

As a side note, be very careful if you plan to collect rock and put it in your tank because if it ever were exposed to pesticides, that could pose a problem.
 

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Be carefull collecting live rock... check the laws... Media you know it a crime in the state of FL to collect it and corals. There was a big new story about it last year or it could have been 6 months ago.
 

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well if you go far enough out to sea you can collect it with no worries but you have to go out into international waters i believe lol
 

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If your caught bring it in to the State of Florida with out customs or a licence, you will go to jail for a few years. The coral reefs are under national protection. Best to buy it from a lienced dealer. You pay for it in cash, better than booty
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If your caught bring it in to the State of Florida with out customs or a licence, you will go to jail for a few years. The coral reefs are under national protection. Best to buy it from a lienced dealer. You pay for it in cash, better than booty
I personally don't think any rock is better than booty!
 

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So yaw are saying it is illegal to go out into the ocean and get coral for your tank?Does the same apply for fish?
 

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Best bet would to get on craigslist and look for dead live rock, Its always on there for about 1 dollar a pound. Then go the local Shop and By a small piece of live rock smash it bits and spread it over your dead rock, Run a Blue acintic and 50/50 light above the tank for 14 hours aday, Also dose your system with Calcium, and test till its around 425 on test (use Salifert ) In about 3 to 4 weeks with skimming you will have the start of real nice rock.
 
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