Live Rock for your Reef Aquarium.


Live rock is a crucial component in reef aquariums, providing numerous benefits and playing a vital role in creating a thriving marine ecosystem. It serves as a habitat for marine life, contributes to natural filtration, and supports the growth of beneficial microbial life. In this article, we will explore the importance of live rock in reef aquariums and discuss its various benefits and considerations.

What is Live Rock?

Live rock is not actually alive, but it is made up of the skeletal remains of ancient corals and other calcareous organisms. It is harvested from reefs or can be seeded in warm ocean water. Different types of live rock are available at EMA, including Walt Smith Reef Rock and Natural Reef Rock. Each type of live rock has its own unique characteristics and appearance, allowing aquarists to create diverse and visually appealing aquarium landscapes.

One example of live rock is Fiji Live Rock, which is known for its intricate formations and vibrant colors. It is often chosen for its natural beauty and ability to provide a suitable environment for a wide range of marine organisms. Fiji Live Rock is highly sought after by aquarists who want to create a visually stunning reef aquarium.

The Benefits of Live Rock in Reef Aquariums

Live rock provides several benefits that contribute to the overall health and success of a reef aquarium. Firstly, it plays a crucial role in natural filtration. The large surface area of live rock provides ample space for beneficial bacteria to colonize and multiply, aiding in the breakdown of organic waste and the conversion of harmful substances into less toxic forms. This helps to maintain stable water chemistry and reduce the risk of water quality issues.

For example, beneficial bacteria present on live rock help convert ammonia, which is highly toxic to aquatic organisms, into nitrite and then into nitrate, which is less harmful. This natural filtration process helps to keep the water clean and safe for the inhabitants of the aquarium.

Furthermore, live rock serves as a habitat and home for marine life. It offers protection, shade, and a place for marine organisms to hide and seek refuge. Live rock acts as a nursery for various marine species, providing a safe environment for the reproduction and growth of young organisms. It also adds visual interest and complexity to the aquarium, creating a more natural and dynamic environment.

Purchasing Live Rock

EMA Provides both Dry and Live Rock for purchase. Our live rock has been ‘cooking’ for a minimum of 3 months, and comes guaranteed to be pest free. Plus you can purchase pieces in different formations, such as plating rock, arch rock, base rock, nano rock or live rubble rock.

Arranging Live Rock in a Reef Aquarium

Arranging live rock in a reef aquarium is both an art and a science. When designing the layout, it is important to consider both aesthetic appeal and functionality. Some tips for arranging live rock include creating a design on paper before placing it in the aquarium, leaving enough space for coral and plant growth, and altering the shapes and sizes of the rocks to create depth and dimension. Additionally, using fasteners or glues can help ensure the stability of the rock structure.

The arrangement of live rock can mimic natural reef structures or be more artistic and fanciful, depending on the aquarist’s preference. It is an opportunity to create a visually stunning and engaging display that provides suitable habitats for the marine life within the aquarium.

For example, aquarists may choose to arrange live rock in a way that resembles a coral reef. By strategically placing the rocks, they can create caves, arches, and overhangs that mimic the natural structures found in the ocean. This not only enhances the visual appeal of the aquarium but also provides hiding places and shelter for the marine organisms.


Live rock is a valuable and indispensable component of reef aquariums. Its presence provides numerous benefits, including natural filtration, the support of beneficial microbial life, and the creation of a habitat for marine organisms. By properly selecting, curing, and arranging live rock, aquarists can create a visually stunning and biologically diverse aquarium that mimics the beauty and complexity of natural reefs. Consider incorporating live rock into your reef aquarium setup and enjoy the benefits it brings to your underwater world. Purchase your live reef rock from EMA!