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Old 12/06/2018, 01:35 PM   #1
horseystripe
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Why clean rock?

So Iíve been looking for a couple days now...and I canít find an answer:

Why clean dead live rock?

Wouldnít the decaying organic matter be the start of your cycle (ie: provide the ammonia to get the ball rolling)?

I have 3 5gallon buckets full of rock that have been out of the water for anywhere from 6 months to 2 weeks...

I have a trash can full of rock thatís cycling/curing...(50# established live and 40# clean dead that I hope is getting ďseededĒ)

Why does everyone seem to find it necessary to clean rock thatís dead? So you can throw a grocery store shrimp piece in there to start your cycle? Wonít the dead stuff on the rock have the same effect?

I donít mind waiting for the cycle to run its course however long it takes. It just seems silly to me and Iím hoping someone here can shed some light on it to help me understand.


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Old 12/06/2018, 01:50 PM   #2
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Why put on clean socks or clean underwear since you are going to dirty them anyways? Point being that people who are using dead rock (as well as live rock) should want to start with a clean system to avoid nutrient problems down the line. A piece of dead shrimp will add a little bit of nutrients to start a cycle but some dead rock can have all kinds of dead organics in it that could create nutrient problems in a system before the system has the biological capacity to handle the load. There can also be high levels of phosphates in dead rock and even live rock. Both the nutrients and phosphates can result in prolonged algae blooms and other issues that could be avoided by exporting what ever dead organics and nutrients are in the rock before putting the rock into a new system.


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Old 12/06/2018, 02:06 PM   #3
reefgeezer
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It's simply a matter of risk management. You really don't know how much dried organic matter is contained in the rock. Additionally, you don't know how much phosphate is loosely bound to it and the rock that will cause trouble later. You risk contributing too much to the dissolved organic levels and unacceptable phosphate levels in the tank if you don't treat the dead/dried rock.

I would "cook" the rock a long time before I used it. That means a long soak in salt water... in something other than your display tank... with a power head running, some water changes, and possibly using lanthanum chloride to help treat phosphate issues.


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Old 12/06/2018, 02:42 PM   #4
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Most people now are just big babies afraid of everything

Its very possible that I get an "infraction" from this site just for saying that..


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Old 12/06/2018, 04:02 PM   #5
Green Chromis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcgyvr View Post
Most people now are just big babies afraid of everything

Its very possible that I get an "infraction" from this site just for saying that..
I agree with you 100%, it is so much easier to set up new system with all live rock, and everyone that uses dead rock seems afraid of a few hitchhikers that can easily be removed with a high salinity dip, around 1.030 or so for 15 to 20 minutes. Just think of all the Flora and Fauna you won't have in your dead rock system unless you add some live rock.


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Old 12/06/2018, 05:30 PM   #6
ReeferNoob4ever
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i always use wet live rock straight from the LFS into my tanks and they cycle real quick, heck they are probably already cycled. The reason in my mind is because you may get some unwanted hitchhikers, not so much nutrient problems. think about all the threads on this site about using dried Pukani and phosphate leach from hades.


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Old 12/06/2018, 05:37 PM   #7
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I ended up with one of those horrible giant worms that eats fish and snails.......that was enough reason for me.

I did add one piece of live rock this time around, but that was it.


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Old 12/06/2018, 09:55 PM   #8
HarlequinTusk
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Terminology question. When everyone is referring to "dead live rock", are you only referring to formally "live rock" that has been sitting out of water for a prolonged time?

Should that be considered to be totally different from "dry live rock"? For example, Marco Rocks (sold by bulkreefsupply and others) is rock that was not taken directly from the ocean.

In the next few months, I'll be adding Marco Rocks to a brand new 210 gal aquarium. To my understanding, Marco Rocks needs to be cycled (to establish bacteria), but it does NOT need to be cured. Marco Rocks states that this rock is 100% free of organics


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Old 12/06/2018, 10:41 PM   #9
pfan151
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Chromis View Post
I agree with you 100%, it is so much easier to set up new system with all live rock, and everyone that uses dead rock seems afraid of a few hitchhikers that can easily be removed with a high salinity dip, around 1.030 or so for 15 to 20 minutes. Just think of all the Flora and Fauna you won't have in your dead rock system unless you add some live rock.
? A 20 min dip at 1.030 isnít going to kill many, if any, hitchhikers.


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Old 12/07/2018, 12:02 AM   #10
bcb577
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarlequinTusk View Post
Terminology question. When everyone is referring to "dead live rock", are you only referring to formally "live rock" that has been sitting out of water for a prolonged time?

Should that be considered to be totally different from "dry live rock"? For example, Marco Rocks (sold by bulkreefsupply and others) is rock that was not taken directly from the ocean.

In the next few months, I'll be adding Marco Rocks to a brand new 210 gal aquarium. To my understanding, Marco Rocks needs to be cycled (to establish bacteria), but it does NOT need to be cured. Marco Rocks states that this rock is 100% free of organics
I'm glad you brought that up! I'm no ing my 14 gal goodbye into a 46 boarding and the amount of rock moved from the 14 gal is not sufficient so I'm wanting to add that rock for my live to k to seed with the beneficial bacteria! I was told that that rock doesn't need cooked.


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Old 12/08/2018, 08:11 AM   #11
Green Chromis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pfan151 View Post
? A 20 min dip at 1.030 isnít going to kill many, if any, hitchhikers.
You are right, it wont kill many, but it sure chases most of them out of the rock. This way you can keep the good, and let the other ones go, or dispose of them in a humane way.


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Old 12/08/2018, 09:45 AM   #12
Rich1Reef
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Simple answer. Long term phosphate leaching.

I went through that with my first system. Never again.


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Old 12/08/2018, 10:08 AM   #13
rffanat1c
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I have never had a phosphate issue with Reef Cleaners rock. Nice and clean and if you can wait, stuff grows on it.


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Old 12/09/2018, 10:27 AM   #14
horseystripe
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So..the main concerns are

hitchhikers (not too worried about them...theyíre gonna happen anyhow IMHO)

And phosphates (which are either cured by doing the exact same thing in the tank as you do out of the tank...unless youíre using acid or vinegar bath)



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Old 12/09/2018, 12:21 PM   #15
lpsouth1978
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While hitchhikers and phosphates may be a concern, these are relatively easy to deal with, with patience and a little effort. For me the choice to go with dry rock was simple....

COST.

I have all the time in the world to wait for dry rock to become live. This is already a VERY expensive hobby, so if I can save A LOT of $$$$ on something like rock, while still getting quality, I'm in. This allows me to use that money for much more important things for the system.

I would love to fill my tank with TBS rock, but at $600, it just isn't in the cards. Not when I can fill the tank with dry rock for $200. The only other cost is time, and that is something I don't have to pay for.


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Old 12/09/2018, 05:20 PM   #16
WVfishguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcgyvr View Post
Most people now are just big babies afraid of everything
I retired from my aquarium business and set up a display for myself. I used clean but seeded rock I've kept in a refugium under a 75 g. quarantine tank for customers.

I wanted to avoid critters like flatworms, but mostly, I was trying to avoid those stupid vermetid snails. The sharp spikes they produce cut my hands when I handle rock. For the past 20+ freakin' years, people have asked me why my hands are so sliced up all the time. I'm sick of those things.

I traded coral frags to a LFS for African cichlids. I thought that was safe. It was not. From a small section of frags I introduced the miserable little creatures. Since I feed newly-hatched baby brine 3 times daily (feeding baby Banggai cardinals), vermetids are now numerous.

Moral being, no matter what you do, nature will find a way. And vermetids suck.


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