Frequently Asked Questions

Coralline Algae in a Bottle FAQ

Is Coralline Algae in a Bottle reef safe?

Yes, it is 100% safe to use in all marine aquariums and reef tanks.  Our product works great in new and mature tanks and is safe with all fish, invertebrates, and corals.  We do not suggest having any urchins in your tank though, as urchins will primarily feed on coralline algae, preventing it from seeding in your tank.

When will you ship my Coralline Algae spores?

Due to the live nature of this product we only ship orders on Mondays, Wednesdays, and to select areas on Thursdays. Every order is filled on the day that it ships and we guarantee that it will arrive alive and as fresh as possible.

How much do I need to dose?

1 bottle is needed for every 50 gallons of water volume (including sump).  You cannot overdose with this product as our product contains only live algae spores and beneficial bacteria.  We do not add calcium or magnesium so no water parameters are affected by use.  If your tank is 9 gallons or less please use 1/2 to 3/4 of a bottle. If your tank is 10-50 gallons use one full bottle and 1 additional bottle for every 50 additional gallons.

If a tank is underdosed it will still seed coralline spores but it will take a significantly longer timeframe to achieve the desired results.

How long does it take to see results?

While many people report seeing results in 2-4 weeks, the average time for coralline spots to show up is in 8 weeks for tanks that run at a temperature of 78-81 degrees. If you are running your tank at a lower temperature than 78 or higher than 81 the spots can take a few additional weeks to show up.  We recommend a PH between 8.1 and 8.4. If your PH is at 7.8 it can also take longer for the spots to show up.  In order to achieve the desired PH range, we recommend using BRS 2 part mixture with Soda Ash. Kalkwasser or a calcium reactor also work but are not suitable for beginners. Using 2 part will also be required if you choose to grow corals.  Having a stable tank is important in successfully growing coralline.

Coralline is one fickle beast!   It is one of the least studied algae due to its tendencies to grow when and how it wants to. We state that it takes 8 weeks for the spots to show up. In our extensive testing, 84% of our beta testers were successful during this period of time.  Some testers had growth in 2 weeks and others in 4 months.    We state 8 weeks because this is the average time that our spores need to settle and then uptake the minerals needed for growth.  Coralline spores use a similar mechanism as mushrooms in a forest, they are from the same evolutionary tree.   They pop up all at once, overnight when environmental conditions are just right.  All our tests were conducted in isolated tanks where nothing else was introduced, and still, nearly 98.4% of tanks had growth after the 4-month mark.  If there were swings in parameters of alkalinity, PH, Ammonia, or Salinity, this would retard the growth of coralline cells from splitting, and large swings lead to the death of the spores.  Light intensity also plays a role.  Medium intensity has the fastest results, low-intensity lighting the next, and high-intensity lighting had the slowest results and the least species that thrive in those areas of the tank.  Other things definitely affect the results also, adequate flow to ensure the spores can pull enough calcium and magnesium from the water column, the flow of water should hit the top of the water column, breaking the surface tension to ensure proper off-gassing.

Salt mixes also played a role, certain salt mixes have higher PHs than others so we recommend never changing more than 20% at any one time until your coralline takes hold. We also recommend that you test your water at least 1x weekly.   In 95% of cases when coralline doesn’t grow the water chemistry was off and the tank owner was under the assumption that their water parameters were all perfect.

Filling your tank with RODI water or premade water from your local Fish Store will help to prevent nuisance algae and diatom blooms, both of which can slow coralline algae growth. Tap water contains higher levels of silicates which diatoms use in order to grow.

Lastly, phosphate levels also have a direct correlation to the speed of growth as well. We recommend using GFO, Phosban, Phosgaurd, or Rowaphos.  They can be used in a media bag for canister filters but we recommend using a separate media reactor such as Bulk Reef’s Deluxe Media Reactor and using a mixture of 1/2 High Capacity GFO and 1/2 ROX 0.8 Carbon. Mixing the 2 helps to prevent the GFO from clumping over time.  Regardless of what the directions state, we always recommend replacing the GFO once a month when doing your monthly tank maintenance.

Can I mix both Purple Helix and Pink Fusion bottles together?

Yes, the best results come from adding in as many different species as possible.  Combining both bottles in your tank will add a total of 13 separate species.  Each species has a different affinity for lighting, temperature, and water parameters. By adding them all together in 1 tank it will guarantee that the conditions of your tank will be just right for at least several species and will result in greater biodiversity.

ARC Aquacultured Live Rock FAQ

How many pounds of Live Rock do I need?

We recommend 1-1.5 lbs. per gallon, or 2 lbs. per gallon, if you are using live rock as your tanks sole means of biological filtration.   The amount needed will differ with each individual tanks setup.  If you plan on overstocking your tank or you know that you are prone to overfeeding your fish, then we suggest having more than less.  The more Live Rock you have the more stable your chemistry will be.  Live Rock provides superior biological filtration and is essential for the long term success of any aquarium. Live Rock will also speed up the cycling process for a newly setup tank as well.

When will you ship my live rock order?

      1. UPS Ground: – If you select our Ground Shipping option we ship every Monday and Tuesday. This ensures that your package does not sit over the weekend and will arrive in the best possible condition.
      2. 3 Day Select: – If you choose our 3 Day Select Shipping option, we ship out every Monday and Tuesday. This ensures that your package does not sit over the weekend and will arrive in the best possible condition. 
      3. 2nd Day Air: – If you select our 2nd Day Air option, we ship your order Monday – Wednesday.
      4. Next Day Air:– If you select this option we ship your order Monday-Thursday. (Orders are processed in 1-3 business days after being received)
      5. Dry Rock and Live Sand: – Orders of Dry Rock and Live Sand ship out Monday through Friday.

Orders are processed on average within in 1-3 business days after being received.  You will receive a tracking email once your order is shipped.  If you need to inquire about the status of your order please email us at [email protected]

Due to the nature of our product occasionally there may be a delay of several days if local weather conditions do not permit for a harvest.

For more info on our shipping process please visit our ARC Reef Shipping Page

Are your Live Rocks precured or will I need to cure them?

Curing is a term usually used to describe Live Rock that originates from another country such as from Fiji.  All our Live Rock is fresh, and properly shipped so there is no need for curing. We highly suggest that you select a shipping method that is less than 4 days as that seams to be the limit for not having to cure them.  Our Live Rock comes straight out of the ocean and are kept underwater during their transport from the ocean to our aquaculture facility.  Once there they are kept in large high flow holding tanks that keep them healthy and happy until they are shipped directly to your door.  Your Live Rocks will endure some stress from the shipping process, but we add water and a large wet towel to every package to ensure this stress is minimized. Seldom is there a delay in shipping or a cold front/heat wave that will impact your shipment.  Remember, Live Rocks are quite resilient and do just fine in the wild when they are exposed during low tide. For more information on the curing process in general go to our  Guide to Curing Live Rock

How do I choose where to purchase my Live Rocks?

We know there are many different options of Live Rock available to you as a buyer. Knowing what you don’t want is just as important as knowing what you do. If you purchase from a private seller or LFS (Local Fish Store), avoid live rocks taken from tanks that contain hair algae, Aiptasia Anemones, and Majano Anemones as you will not want to start off having to battle such things. It is also a good idea to test the water for phosphates. If the phosphate levels are high, the rock will absorb it and you will likely have issues with keeping your own phosphate levels down. Ask if the source tank has ever been treated with copper medications? If so your Live Rock will absorb the copper and it may make it impossible to keep or grow coral in your own tank. You will need to know if the Live Rock is cured or not. Let your nose be the judge, if they smell like the ocean, smell sweet, or like nothing at all you are good to go, if they smell rotten then there is some die-off present and the Live Rock will need to be cured. If purchasing from online buy only from reputable established companies that are here to stay.  Next you will need to decide between purchasing Live Rock that was taken from a reef in another country or ones that were sustainably aquacultured. Aquacultured Live Rock is a growing practice and one that does not destroy existing coral reefs.  Please carefully weigh the moral implications between both options.  We all got into this hobby from our love and fascination with marine-life and by choosing aquacultured Live Rock you are preserving the opportunity for future generations to also enjoy this great hobby.

Are your Live Rocks covered by any warranty?

      1. ARC Reef is so confident in it’s products that we give you a free 100% unconditional lifetime warranty, we are the only producer that offers this exclusive unconditional lifetime warranty on Live Rock. If you are unhappy with your selection in any way, even if you accidentally poison or crash your tank, no matter what the circumstances, we will replace your past order of Live Rock absolutely free of charge, just pay shipping cost and we will send you out a replacement order the very next day. Having an aquarium should be a relaxing and stress free hobby and we strive to give you peace of mind to help make that possible.
      2. To receive a replacement order simply email us at [email protected] and we will email you back with instructions.

Are your Live Rocks a certified Aquacultured product?

ARC Reef- Atlantic Reef Conservation LLC is a federally and state certified aquaculture facility. Every product that we offer is 100% Aquacultured right here in the USA. We are licensed under the Department of Agriculture – permit# AQ0223588, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) permit# AQU-069, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission – permit#WD190448. Every order we receive helps our local and global marine ecosystems by eliminating the need for wild harvested products and is helping to rebuild our very own reefs here in the US so that they may be enjoyed for generations to come. Every order with us helps get one step closer to ending the destruction of our reefs. Our reefs are not a renewable resource and once they are gone, they are gone forever. We know you have many choices available to you for where to buy Live Rock, and we thank you for saying no to importing wild collected Live Rock and Reef.

What is your return and exchange policy?

All ARC Reef products are covered by an unlimited lifetime guarantee.  If you are unsatisfied with your selection at any time, you may ship them back to us and we will ship out a new order to you free of charge (simply pay the shipping cost 1 way).

We offer a 30 day return policy with water sample. Ship your rocks + a sample of your tanks water back to us in the same manner that they were shipped to you.  Once we receive them we will weigh your return, conduct a workup of your tanks water, and issue you a refund within 3 – 5 business days.  We do not pay for the shipping cost of shipping them back to us. If the water sample shows negligence on your part or a severe chemical imbalance we will not issue a refund, but will approve an exchange regardless of test results..  By purchasing Live Rock products you are expected to be able to properly care for and maintain proper water chemistry, and be running the correct equipment and lighting.