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DyloHeath

Is this normal for dry rock ?

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DyloHeath

Hey guys, purchased my first lot of dry rock carrib South sea reef rock.

 

I want to know if the the rocks looks okay and if I need to cure it, I keep hearing different things.

 

I'm finding these tunnels that look like little barrows that something lived in (like a wasp barrow) , also finding dead seaweed.

 

Need some clarification. 

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j.falk

Dry rock comes from old reefs that have dried up over time.  It's mined rock and it does contain elements of the old reef that it came from.  I would go ahead and use it.  It looks normal to me.  I would recommend giving it a good cleaning (rinsing / soaking and lightly scrubbing with a toothbrush to remove some of the dust / debris) before adding it to your tank.

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mcarroll

Just curious...if you have not used a dry rock before and don't know where to start, why you didn't pick up (or order) some live rock instead?  

 

It's not that dry rock  cannot work, but using live rock is far more proven and simple a way to start a tank....especially if you're new.

 

There would be some pre-written guidance and you would know how to proceed with your dead rock if this was actually a good place to begin for a newbie.  

 

Hopefully someone can point you in the right direction.  IMO I'd switch to live if possible.

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mcarroll

 

Maybe check out this thread…

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Clown79

The dry rock looks normal, they often are in that condition. Cleaning them prior to adding them to the tank helps get rid of the dust and junk so you have less going into the tank.

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Humblefish

Most dry rock comes with some PO4 stored just below the surface. How much (a little or a lot) is always the big question. Might be worth it to put some of the rock in a bucket with clean SW and a powerhead, and test for PO4 after a few days to see how much leaches out. If a lot you can acid wash the rock for 10-15 mins to dissolve the outer layer and get the rest of the phosphates out of the rock. Or you could run GFO in the bucket to pull all the phosphates out, but that takes a lot longer.

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mcarroll

Phosphates would be easy enough to check in-tank just to keep the process simple.

 

However I could not recommend taking any action against phosphates at this stage unless levels were found to be really really really really really high.  Post your results if you test for them.

 

Having some level of available phosphates in the water does not cause problems — if anything it helps to prevent problems.  

 

The thing necessary to remember is to take everything slow.  

 

Most problems that get associated with phosphates are actually related to rushing things and lack of cleanup efforts — algae blooms for a common example.

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DyloHeath
On 8/2/2019 at 10:29 PM, j.falk said:

Dry rock comes from old reefs that have dried up over time.  It's mined rock and it does contain elements of the old reef that it came from.  I would go ahead and use it.  It looks normal to me.  I would recommend giving it a good cleaning (rinsing / soaking and lightly scrubbing with a toothbrush to remove some of the dust / debris) before adding it to your tank.

Sorry for the late replies, work has been crazy! I've taking your suggestion and cleaned it with RO/DI water. I'm glad it looks normal!

On 8/2/2019 at 11:31 PM, mcarroll said:

Just curious...if you have not used a dry rock before and don't know where to start, why you didn't pick up (or order) some live rock instead?  

 

It's not that dry rock  cannot work, but using live rock is far more proven and simple a way to start a tank....especially if you're new.

 

There would be some pre-written guidance and you would know how to proceed with your dead rock if this was actually a good place to begin for a newbie.  

 

Hopefully someone can point you in the right direction.  IMO I'd switch to live if possible.

I'm choosing dry rock so I can learn the hard way, I don't want to take the easy route. I want to learn everything from scratch, even if I fail. I'm always that guy that takes the harder path to learn haha

On 8/3/2019 at 12:06 AM, Clown79 said:

The dry rock looks normal, they often are in that condition. Cleaning them prior to adding them to the tank helps get rid of the dust and junk so you have less going into the tank.

Yep, have cleaned the rocks and they look much better now. Thanks!

On 8/3/2019 at 12:45 AM, Humblefish said:

Most dry rock comes with some PO4 stored just below the surface. How much (a little or a lot) is always the big question. Might be worth it to put some of the rock in a bucket with clean SW and a powerhead, and test for PO4 after a few days to see how much leaches out. If a lot you can acid wash the rock for 10-15 mins to dissolve the outer layer and get the rest of the phosphates out of the rock. Or you could run GFO in the bucket to pull all the phosphates out, but that takes a lot longer.

This would be an interesting test, I  might take this suggestions and see what happens after a few days. Will be great to learn! I would go with acid if I needed to get rid of some phosphate. 

On 8/3/2019 at 1:01 AM, mcarroll said:

Phosphates would be easy enough to check in-tank just to keep the process simple.

 

However I could not recommend taking any action against phosphates at this stage unless levels were found to be really really really really really high.  Post your results if you test for them.

 

Having some level of available phosphates in the water does not cause problems — if anything it helps to prevent problems.  

 

The thing necessary to remember is to take everything slow.  

 

Most problems that get associated with phosphates are actually related to rushing things and lack of cleanup efforts — algae blooms for a common example.

Okay this is another great idea. I can put them in my normal tank (brand new) and post the results here to take any advice. I'm all about patience.

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mcarroll
On 8/5/2019 at 3:00 AM, DyloHeath said:

I'm choosing dry rock so I can learn the hard way

Hm.  Going deep on this one. 😉 

 

Sun Tzu said: (...in an English nutshell...)

 

If you don't know yourself and you don't know your enemy, you're bound to lose.  

If you know yourself and not your enemy, you'll win some and lose some.  

If you can know yourself and know your enemy, then you're assured victory.

 

It seems like you're choosing to be in the first group when there seems to be no need for that choice.

 

IMO (to mix our metaphores) take the "easy road" while you "learn yourself".  It shouldn't make sense to purposefully make something that is by all accounts pretty difficult (reefing) even harder than it needs to be.  The object is to provide excellent care for corals and/or fish after all, isn't it?  Give yourself the advantage while you're a beginner.

 

What more is there to learn by starting in a bad position?  How will you learn the things that would come from starting in a good position?

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DyloHeath
10 minutes ago, mcarroll said:

Hm.  Going deep on this one. 😉 

 

Sun Tzu said: (...in an English nutshell...)

 

If you don't know yourself and you don't know your enemy, you're bound to lose.  

If you know yourself and not your enemy, you'll win some and lose some.  

If you can know yourself and know your enemy, then you're assured victory.

 

It seems like you're choosing to be in the first group when there seems to be no need for that choice.

 

IMO (to mix our metaphores) take the "easy road" while you "learn yourself".  It shouldn't make sense to purposefully make something that is by all accounts pretty difficult (reefing) even harder than it needs to be.  The object is to provide excellent care for corals and/or fish after all, isn't it?  Give yourself the advantage while you're a beginner.

 

What more is there to learn by starting in a bad position?  How will you learn the things that would come from starting in a good position?

I cheated a bit.

 

I'm going to be using Dr tims one and only and ammonia for this one.

 

I'll let you know how I go.

 

I strongly agree with what you said, but as my spouse says "I'm a very stubborn man, and will only learn from my mistakes"

 

I can't lose. If it fails, I learn, if it works, I learn.

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mcarroll

...well, then there are the live wild animals caught in the process.

 

This is why it will pay for you to take things extra EXTRA slowly.  🙂 

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DyloHeath
Just now, mcarroll said:

...well, then there are the live wild animals caught in the process.

 

This is why it will pay for you to take things extra EXTRA slowly.  🙂 

Oh sorry, I'm not putting in any livestock until I check with the forums that it's safe to do so. I wouldn't risk hurting any animal.

 

I'm taking this very slowly.

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mcarroll

Check this out from a few days ago:

 

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DyloHeath
16 minutes ago, mcarroll said:

Check this out from a few days ago:

 

I read your response and would like your advice.

 

As I won't be using live sand or live rock at the beginning what should my steps be after cycling the tank with Dr tims one and only?

 

Should I risk getting some live rock from the LFS (the reason I used dry rock was to avoid hitchhikers) or should I get "coraline algae kits and various copepods, amphipods and mysids available from a variety of vendors" that you mentioned. 

 

What would you suggest?

 

 

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Tamberav

I use dry rock... it's not that bad. I like the shapes better than live.

 

If you are going with acropora and SPS, sure, live rock is a shortcut. Otherwise you can seed your dry rock.... and have patience. 

 

As a dry user:

  • I seed with good hitchikers whenever I can. I ask my LFS if I can have their 'hitchikers' when I spot them... such a stomellas, asterna stars (some people hate them), brittle stars, bristle worms, etc. (ask your local forums too!)
  • I inspect coral frags and rescue the 'good guy's before dips. 
  • I Seed pods and other bacteria/goodies using live macroalgae
  • I get some coralline algae, shavings, small piece of rock, or buy snails that have it on them
  • I bought a bag of pods because it was labeled as 'being in the ocean only hours before' - bag-o-bacteria ocean water (came from florida pets)🙂
  • I am not afraid of hitchikers, I deal with them as they come, even with dry... they will come.
  • Some corals come attached to small pieces of nice looking live rock, free bonus!! My last one was a leather on a coralline encrusted piece with a free stomella hiding on it from AquaSD. It also had bad hydroids, I just used a bone cutters to cut them off the rock. 
  • I am patient... I start with corals who won't mind dry rock such as softies and easy LPS. Dry sterile rock is good at killing acros.

 

My IM25 Lagoon was started with dry... dry that was my live rock and then dried out and stored and full of organics.... The tank is a year old now... it's doing fine... it's dirty because I feed a lot but dirty never bothered my corals. 

 

If you wan't dry, use dry! Just collect the good guys as you go. If you want live, use live! Just remove the bad guys as you go. 😉

 

Remember... you are not going to stop every bubble algae or cyano cell from entering your tank no matter how obsessive you are. 

 

MVIMG_20190725_234355

 

 

 

 

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DyloHeath
35 minutes ago, Tamberav said:

I use dry rock... it's not that bad. I like the shapes better than live.

 

If you are going with acropora and SPS, sure, live rock is a shortcut. Otherwise you can seed your dry rock.... and have patience. 

 

As a dry user:

  • I seed with good hitchikers whenever I can. I ask my LFS if I can have their 'hitchikers' when I spot them... such a stomellas, asterna stars (some people hate them), brittle stars, bristle worms, etc. (ask your local forums too!)
  • I inspect coral frags and rescue the 'good guy's before dips. 
  • I Seed pods and other bacteria/goodies using live macroalgae
  • I get some coralline algae, shavings, small piece of rock, or buy snails that have it on them
  • I bought a bag of pods because it was labeled as 'being in the ocean only hours before' - bag-o-bacteria ocean water (came from florida pets)🙂
  • I am not afraid of hitchikers, I deal with them as they come, even with dry... they will come.
  • Some corals come attached to small pieces of nice looking live rock, free bonus!! My last one was a leather on a coralline encrusted piece with a free stomella hiding on it from AquaSD. It also had bad hydroids, I just used a bone cutters to cut them off the rock. 
  • I am patient... I start with corals who won't mind dry rock such as softies and easy LPS. Dry sterile rock is good at killing acros.

 

My IM25 Lagoon was started with dry... dry that was my live rock and then dried out and stored and full of organics.... The tank is a year old now... it's doing fine... it's dirty because I feed a lot but dirty never bothered my corals. 

 

If you wan't dry, use dry! Just collect the good guys as you go. If you want live, use live! Just remove the bad guys as you go. 😉

 

Remember... you are not going to stop every bubble algae or cyano cell from entering your tank no matter how obsessive you are. 

 

MVIMG_20190725_234355

 

 

 

 

What an amazing response, I've noted this all down on my tracking pad!

 

Based on your thoughts, what would be your first steps after Dr tims one and only with the dry rock (after the cycle)? What would be the best choice for someone in my position?

 

You've given me so many ideas, I just don't know how to start it off.

 

Thanks for the awesome reply!

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mcarroll

Again don't take this personally, but I think you are worrying.  Somebody once said that worry is a misuse of our human imagination. 😉 

 

Hitchhikers that you're worried about aren't likely.  And they aren't the end of the world if they happen.  

 

As long as you're taking you're time, they're just part of the adventure.  (If you aren't taking your time there'll be another disaster waiting in your future even if it's not the dreaded hitchhiker.)

 

The good guy live rock "hitchhikers" that you are giving short shrift to (maybe aren't even considering) are arguably the biggest reason for getting live rock vs just plastic bio-balls or whatever.

 

So if you have live rock available to you – use it.

 

Make live 100% of your rock if your budget can support it.  

 

"Back in my day" we limited the size of the tank by the amount of live rock we could afford.  So use as much as you can, as early as you can.  RISK IT.   No question.   Well...no question if it's at least decent rock.  (Make sure whatever you look at is really live and not something that was dead just last week.)

 

If you don't have real, actual live rock available locally, then either mail order some from an aquaculture outfit...

...or you're "stuck" needing to get all the hitchhikers on your own...maybe separate shipping and handling for every single kind you find/want.

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mcarroll
5 hours ago, Tamberav said:

sure, live rock is a shortcut.

Noooooooooo! 😉 

 

Dead rock is a shortcut for not saving up enough money in the first place to get live rock.  

 

Starting with live rock is much wiser and generally better – especially so for anyone just starting out.  

 

Dead rock is usable but inferior.  Good mostly for people selling dead rock - easy to acquire, no upkeep, HUGE mark up compared to live rock.  I totally get it from the seller's angle.

 

On the other end of the purchase (you and me and the OP) there's an awful lot of homework needed to make it something usable, but which (even after all the work) is still inferior to real live rock.

 

Comparing them is like comparing an actual tree to a picture of a tree.  😉

 

So how is dead rock better than saving up some money for live rock?

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Tamberav
8 hours ago, DyloHeath said:

What an amazing response, I've noted this all down on my tracking pad!

 

Based on your thoughts, what would be your first steps after Dr tims one and only with the dry rock (after the cycle)? What would be the best choice for someone in my position?

 

You've given me so many ideas, I just don't know how to start it off.

 

Thanks for the awesome reply!

Just continue on... when you get the algae bloom.... add the cuc... start with easier corals... collect the hitchikers you want as you go. If your LFS has good coralline encrusted rock, not fake painted purple stuff, buy a small piece to seed with and inspect it or if you see a coral attached to some nice piece, buy that. 

 

Reef dips don't kill algae spores or vermitid snails, etc so you are going to get that stuff eventually regardless. Don't be afraid... it's normal to get some hitchikers... dealing with them is part of the hobby and learning process. most can be dealt with using tweezers, super glue, peroxide, or I like to squirt boiling water at aiptasia.  

 

I always get a pod bloom after adding algae from reef-cleaners, I bet the gorgs and corals from KPA/Live-plants come with a lot of good bacteria too. 

 

2 hours ago, mcarroll said:

Noooooooooo! 😉 

 

Dead rock is a shortcut for not saving up enough money in the first place to get live rock.  

 

Starting with live rock is much wiser and generally better – especially so for anyone just starting out.  

 

Dead rock is usable but inferior.  Good mostly for people selling dead rock - easy to acquire, no upkeep, HUGE mark up compared to live rock.  I totally get it from the seller's angle.

 

On the other end of the purchase (you and me and the OP) there's an awful lot of homework needed to make it something usable, but which (even after all the work) is still inferior to real live rock.

 

Comparing them is like comparing an actual tree to a picture of a tree.  😉

 

So how is dead rock better than saving up some money for live rock?

It's better for me because I like the shapes better... I am here for the long run, over 10 years now (which I know isn't considered a long time) and I want the scape that I want. Gulf live rock should have used some better base rock to stick in the ocean. I will give KPA a shot in the future though. 

 

I totally get the benefit of live rock. I say it is a shortcut because the tank will mature faster... but the OP already bought dry rock and they seemed like that is what he wanted to use. So I am just giving tips on how to make it usable. This certainly can include seeding it with some live. 

 

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Clown79

Many use dry rock and many use liverock. Both have pros and cons. Both work just differently.

 

Getting real live rock is becoming more and more difficult since most places have collection bans on it.

 

 

Follow the directions for Dr Tim's ammonia and bacteria dosing. Once cycle is done, do a large waterchange. Expect somewhere between 50-100%.

One downside I have seen with dry rock cycling- HUGE nitrate levels after cycling. You don't often see that with liverock.

 

You can add pods if you like but it's best to also provide somewhere for them to reproduce otherwise their numbers diminish because they are food for many.

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mcarroll
1 hour ago, Clown79 said:

You can add pods if you like but it's best to also provide somewhere for them to reproduce otherwise their numbers diminish because they are food for many.

True!

 

"Everything is a refugium" as J. Sprung mentioned at one MACNA.  

 

(Kind of a silly debate, but I appreciated the points made on both sides.  I sided more with J. Sprung's viewpoints, but I think I may actually keep tanks more like the other dude, based on the descriptions given.  Worth a watch!)

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DyloHeath

Okay, here is an update.

 

I decided to add some live rock the the tank along with dr tims one and only (probably not needed) but wont hurt.

 

I'm now in process of identifying hitchhikers and other species introduced, you can see my other posts for what I've found so far and how I've dealt with them. (Crabs, aiptasia, etc)

 

Right now I'm checking my tank for ammonia and nitrite levels each day to monitor the progress.

 

pH = 8

NH3 = 4-5 ppm

NO2 = 0

 

I'm excited to see what happens over time.

 

 

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DyloHeath

DAY 3

 

NH3 = 2-3 ppm

N02 = 0.25

 

Hopefully this is working so far

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mcarroll

Looks good so far!  (You didn't add ammonia, did you?)

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DyloHeath
55 minutes ago, mcarroll said:

Looks good so far!  (You didn't add ammonia, did you?)

I added ammonia at the very start before deciding to add live rock.

 

After changing my mind I did a water change of about 30% and left the tank for a few days before adding the live rank

 

I haven't added ammonia since that first time.

 

According to Dr Tim's fishless cycle I need to wait until the ammonia gets down to 1ppm or lower then add some more ammonia to the tank, etc

 

Is this right ?

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