What’s Your Aquascaping Rock of Choice?

There are a number of choices when it comes to the rock you use for aquascaping, my personal favorite is live rockToday’s marine aquarists have more options than ever before when it comes to the types of rock used to aquascape their tanks—from live rocks, whether aquacultured or wild-harvested, to all manner of dry rocks and even natural-looking man-made rocks. Each type has its advantages and drawbacks, and the choice that’s best for any given hobbyist depends on, among other factors, his or her aquascaping goals, budget, risk tolerance, and desired level of control over the system’s biodiversity. Call me old-school (or Lord Admiral Jeff of the Universe—whichever you prefer), but my aquascaping material of choice has always been live rock, whether comprising the rockwork entirely or at least a major portion of it. Here’s why:Fascinating biodiversity Live rocks come loaded with organisms that emerge or hatch out for many weeks and months—even years—after they’re added to a tank. Various “pods,” fan worms, sponges, tunicates, mollusks, worms, coral colonies, macroalgae, and coralline algae are just a sampling of what might appear. And this process/progression is truly amazing to observe. I’ve never tried it, but I think it would be fascinating to set up a live-rock-only (LRO?) tank, with no fish or intentionally introduced invertebrates, and just sit back and watch what pops out of the rocks over time