Live rock is rock that has been in the ocean, composed of limestone and decomposing coral skeleton, usually around a coral reef such as those around Fiji, and is usually covered with beneficial algae, coralline and tiny invertebrates and bacteria that are desirable in the aquarium. Some examples of the microfauna commonly found on live rock are crabs, snails, feather dusters, brittle stars, starfish, limpets, abalones, and an occasional sea urchin, sea anemone, coral, and sea sponge. Also, if the aquarist is unlucky, a mantis shrimp.
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That said, tragedies do occur when ordering livestock online. Over the years I have had fishes and corals arrive with busted bags, water that is freezing cold, overly stressed and in worst case scenarios dead. When ordering fish online I always watch the forecast and have the fish shipped on days that are not likely to be ice cold or blazing hot. Typically if you are prudent about looking at weather conditions when your fish will be in transit you can really increase your level of success. At the end of the day, ordering fish online should be a supplement to making purchases at a local fish store. The best way to get aquatic life is to get it directly from a fish outlet. That way you can inspect your purchase and make a good decision on whether or not the animal is healthy and likely to survive in your aquarium.
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The most common type of saltwater fish tank, the tropical marine tank, houses marine animals from tropical climates. Usually kept between 24 to 28 °C (75 to 82 °F), these tanks include tropical reef tanks, as well as fish-only tanks. These tanks tend to have a low concentrations of microscopic plankton and other foods eaten by filter feeders. Most livestock for these aquariums are acquired through commercial means.
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