Live rock is the basis for most aquaria today. It has for years been associated with reef tanks but we know now that every marine aquarium will benefit from the addition of live rock. Most live rock is sold in two basic categories: base live rock and display quality live rock. Fiji live rock in all of its infinite forms has been the staple in the industry for use as base rock. The uniform consistency of the rock, combined with the low price, has allowed people to build stable structures on which to place their display rock.
The display rock of choice has changed over the years. Marshall Island was the traditional go-to place for the best quality live rock available in the Pacific. It is created from ancient coral skeletons which gives it extreme porosity as well as keep the actual weight low. You could, for example, buy a 50 pound box of Marshall Island live rock and it would take up the same volume in your tank as 80 pounds of much more dense Fiji live rock. Marshall Island live rock also was some of the freshest rock available due to the short travel time and limited cargo space available. It never sat around and collected flies.
After the collection of all reef substrate (including live rock) was banned in the Marshall Islands (the ban had nothing to do with the aquarium industry, it was due to over collection of reef substrate for use in roads and runways), people turned to the Kingdom of Tonga for high quality live rock. Tonga live rock shared many of the qualities of Marshall Island live rock but was still dense and heavy. The best part about it was the variety of shapes. Tonga live rock was once banned for similar reasons to Marshall Island live rock, but is now back on the market.
That is where our Bima Direct Live Rock comes in. After searching for almost two years, we have found this rock in Indonesia collected by a small company specializing in high end live rock for the aquarium industry. It shares all of the same characteristics which made Marshall Island live rock so popular and the price is less than some of the other high end display rock being imported from Vanuatu and other regions. The rock itself is purchased in Bima and then transported via barge to the city of Jakarta where it is stored in huge concrete bins especially designed for the curing of live rock. It is stored there for three weeks continually being fed with fresh sea water to wash away as much excess nutrients and decaying matter as possible. The concrete bins are kept in green house conditions with open skylights in the roof to allow sun light to reach the rock. This causes the coralline algae to explode and cover the surface of the rock. The team in Jakarta scrubs each rock of all macro and micro algae (leaving the coralline of course) as well as any sponge matter which may be present.
This pre-curing process takes much of the work out of curing the rock once you get it (the rock will still need to be cured once received but for a much shorter period of time). Once the rock is sufficiently cured in Jakarta, it is packaged on an order-by-order basis, which is an important part of the process. Most base rock is packed well in advance of sale, adding to the time out of water. With Bima Direct Live Rock, each rock is individually wrapped in wet newspaper for its journey so you never have dry spots in the boxes. We are extremely excited to be able to bring this rock to market.Characteristics:
- Porous internal structure because it is made of ancient coral skeletons
- Very light weight compared to other live rock on the market
- Pre-cured under green house conditions
- Extreme coralline algae growth right out of the box
- Variety of shapes and sizes second to none
- Larger shipping boxes mean larger pieces of rock are shipped