Donating Live Rock.. Please Read This!

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Forum' started by benningtondt, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. benningtondt

    benningtondt

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    Recently I have had this idea running through my head. First here is some background on how I came to the idea. I went on a cruise to the bahamas this past summer and signed up to do a little snorkeling. I noticed all kinds of people just walking and stepping on the very coral reefs that attracted them there in the first place. I know some people don't know any better, but thats where the cruise line should come in and educate the people instead of just giving them the gear and collecting their money. It was then that I came to the realization that the tourism industry needed to make some changes if they wanted to continue to profit from the beautiful coral reef environment.
    After I got back home I began to look at my effect on the reef, and what I could do to help rehabilitate the natural reef environment. The aquarium industry is bigger now than ever and fish and live rock collection are at an all time high. Though some of us don't like to think about it we are destroying the very thing we love so much. That is why I came up with the idea to have as many people as possible donate some of their live rock to create an artificial reef somewhere off the coast in the florida keys. People could give as little as they like or as much as they like.
    Right now Im just trying to get an impression on how people feel about this project, and enough people show interest I will try and make the arrangement to make this happen.
     
    benningtondt, Feb 26, 2010
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  2. benningtondt

    benningtondt

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    This is something that has been laid on my heart, and I will continue to do more research on how this project could be a reality. Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you think you would be interested let me know, or if not let me know and why. Also if you have any ideas to improve this idea feel free to make suggestions.
     
    benningtondt, Feb 26, 2010
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  3. benningtondt

    d2mini VIP Member

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    It doesn't have to be live rock.
    This is basically what Tampa Bay Saltwater does... he had a barge of rock from a quarry brought in and dumped off the coast of florida, and several years later it's now in my tank with more life on it then anything you get at the LFS.
    Now he just continually dumps rock in as he takes rock out.
     
    d2mini, Feb 26, 2010
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  4. benningtondt

    benningtondt

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    Your right it doesn't have to be live rock. But this artificial reef would be less disturbed because there wouldn't be the constant gathering and replacement of rocks.
     
    benningtondt, Feb 26, 2010
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  5. benningtondt

    d2mini VIP Member

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    Ya, i'm not suggesting to gather and replace it. I was just using TBS as an example that it doesn't need to be live rock. You can get rock from pretty much anywhere. It will all become live rock. Thought it might make your idea a little easier. Even if people send it to you, depending on the shipping it could still end up half or mostly dead by the time you get it into the water anyway.
     
    d2mini, Feb 26, 2010
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  6. benningtondt

    ccCapt Reef Hacker Moderator

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    The thing is you can't just dump it anywhere and hope a reef grows. TBS has a designated area for their rock, just like other have areas designated to them. Someone even "lost" all the rock they put down. A storm covered it all with a couple feet of sand and made the rock useless.
     
    ccCapt, Feb 26, 2010
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  7. benningtondt

    d2mini VIP Member

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    Yup, he leases a specific plot out in the gulf.
     
    d2mini, Feb 27, 2010
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  8. benningtondt

    sen5241b

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    Moving large amounts of rock around can be very, very expensive. For many years they have been sinking ships offshore to create artificial reefs. Personally I'd like to see a massive Lego reef.
     
    sen5241b, Feb 27, 2010
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  9. benningtondt

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    As a biologist, I can say that returning live rock from our tanks to the natural environment (say in Florida) could have disastrous consequences. This would be a perfect way to introduce invasive species to Florida's reefs. Lots of our live rock in this hobby comes from the Pacific -- Fiji, Tonga, Philippines, etc. These rocks come infested with so many animals. Hence why it's called "live rock". But these are totally different animals than the ones that are found in the Caribbean, off the coast of Florida. If you put rock back into the ocean, you risk introducing all these strange species that can easily wipe out native animals. You will also introduce your tank's diseases to the wild populations. Diseases that they have never been exposed to before in their lives. The wild populations will have zero defense against introduced parasites, bacteria and viruses.

    Death via invasive species is the #2 reason for animal extinctions on this planet (the #1 reason is habitat loss). Moving live rock from our tanks, that has come from all over the world, back into the ocean will put coral reefs in danger from so many things.

    I know you have good intentions, but this is never something that a conservation biologist (like myself) or an advocate of corals reefs (also like myself) could get behind. What you're proposing is actually very dangerous, and we've seen it happen hundreds of times before (when non-native species have been introduced both on purpose and accidentally) -- and the outcome is usually not happy for the local animals. For this reason, you should NEVER put an animal back into the wild that has been in your tank, and if you are going to dump rock back, it must be dry and dead.
     
    Bifferwine, Feb 27, 2010
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  10. benningtondt

    benningtondt

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    You all make valid and concerning points. Would the idea be more attractive if we dried the donated rock out first before introducing it, or to use donated money to purchase dry rock from a quarry? As far as where the rock would be dumped I would have to contact the right people to figure out where the best possible location would be for success.
    There are alot of angles and concerns to look at and I can't think of them all so all of your comments are greatly valued.
     
    benningtondt, Feb 27, 2010
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  11. benningtondt

    dcantucson

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    This is a very interesting idea. No telling how much "live rock" has just been dumped in our land fill dumps by people getting out of the hobby.
     
    dcantucson, Feb 27, 2010
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  12. benningtondt

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    I think using dried rock would be a great idea. I've also seen artificial reefs made from discarded tires. Now that's a good idea!
     
    Bifferwine, Feb 27, 2010
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  13. benningtondt

    Tristan Detritus

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    Sen is right. a lego reef would be awesome
     
    Tristan, Feb 27, 2010
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  14. benningtondt

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    But I also read that the delimma was trying to get the tires to stay put in the strong current. I think they did a massive effort in this, but 10-15 years later or something, the tires ended up all over the ocean because they couldn't get them to stay put. I think they used chains, but don't quote me on that.
     
    wontonflip, Feb 28, 2010
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  15. benningtondt

    Rcpilot

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    You'd be better off starting a non-profit and getting donations to pay for truckloads of newly mined rocks. Have it transported to barges and dump it in the designated area.

    The amount of rock you'd collect from reefers in the aquarium hobby wouldn't amount to spit in 50yrs. Just not enough people willing to donate - you'd never build much more than a house-sized reef - at best.

    Not to mention the dangers that Biff already pointed out. I shudder to think that good intentions by reefers could actually be the thing that caused the demised of our reefs in say......... 20yrs. Non-native predators could wipe out the whole Florida coast.
     
    Rcpilot, Feb 28, 2010
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  16. benningtondt

    benningtondt

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    Rcpilot its been decided that all the live rock will be dried out so any chance of introduction of invasive species is avoided. Also im not trying to build a huge reef just something we could be proud of and know that I and everyone who would donate made a small but maybe important difference.
     
    benningtondt, Mar 1, 2010
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  17. benningtondt

    sen5241b

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    I've collect and cured a lot of LR on my own --I ALWAYS LET IT TURN BONE DRY before even curing it.
     
    sen5241b, Mar 4, 2010
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  18. benningtondt

    VAreef

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    Just an idea on the logistics. If once a year a boat was chartered to go out to the same place in the gulf, off the keys, where ever. On this boat were some reefers with some dried rock and they throw it overboard. They of course also party, fish, drink, dance, and etc to celebrate....How many years and how many reefers would it take to build a reef?
     
    VAreef, Mar 5, 2010
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  19. benningtondt

    SeattleDarko REEFER

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    Last edited: Mar 10, 2010
    SeattleDarko, Mar 10, 2010
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  20. benningtondt

    Cathic Fish Wrangler

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    Try to think of this hobby as a preservation of what is being lost, we may be the means of preservation through the very few bits of research we all do through keeping aquariums someone here may discover how to get a pair of fish on the breeding cycle in captivity and not even realize it, think about how ,any people keep logs and journals of their reefs. On the plus side cultured products can be bought instead of LC.

    The bigger plus side, is that this is a great idea, one that a lot of conservationists would get behind. Think about starting a website and taking donations. This way the organization you would form could buy the materials to make it possible. Tons of people would donate in preserving something that is highly captivating such as a living reef. You could also sell nameplates for the reef. People tend to like recognition of their good deeds and no better way than having their name on a shiny plate under water attached to the reef (send them a photo lulz). Eventually they would be taken over by corals etc and the people who donated would essentially become part of the reef.
     
    Cathic, Mar 19, 2010
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