Live rock in a freshwater tank?


This may be a stupid question, but can you put live rock in a freshwater tank? Or will it become 'dead' rock? lol

Im wondering if the rock would have the same effect and grow all that beneficial bacteria on all that surface area. Also, the rock looks great in a tank with all those holes and caves for the fish to swim in and out of.

If you COULD do it, has anyone done it and have pics?

Take care!!


Well-Known Member
It will become dead rock.
My lfs in NY turned there 600 gallon reef into a chiclid tank. That rock was huge slabs of fiji in there. Waist of LR in my opinion but the tank two years later was beautiful! There was no catching fish out of that tank.


Well-Known Member
No such thing as FW LR. Get a good bio filter. LR has no oxygen zones that house bacteria in SW tanks. It won't live in FW. Nor will much of any bacteria grow in/on the rock in FW...


Well-Known Member
I will respectfully disagree that there is no FW liverock.There are different bacteria which perform the same oxidative and reductive processes on nitrogenous wastes that those found in and on Sw liverock do.Deep sand beds definitely work in FW,so it stands to reason that a rock of suitable porosity would eventually be colonised by the necessary organisms given enough time and flow.


Well-Known Member
Now that i think about it i have to agree with SubRosa.
It might not have the biological filtration benefits to sustain an aquarium by itself but it will colonize bacteria and microorganisms making it LR. This is very similar to a wet dry set up with bio balls.


Well-Known Member
You are both right. LR in FW won't do what it would in SW, but it still helps give bacteria a home. Base rock is the way to go, or Texas Holey Rock is sweet. There is a guy online that sells the Texas Holey rock real cheap, great guy. Got to look him up forgot where he went, if you are interested pm and I will find him for you.


JoePa lives on!!!
Staff member
Rock with bacteria on it is similar. SW rock in a FW tank is not.

Let’s be mindful of the words we are using, no reason to come off as rude.