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Jerad81

Live Rock Questions

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Jerad81

Hello everyone. I'm an "aspiring beginner," as I like to call myself, to the saltwater fish tank community. I've always wanted one for about as long as I can remember so I'm currently saving my money to finally get started. However, I have a couple questions about the live rock. 

 

1.  I've noticed in my research that the rock needs to be cured before I use it in a tank. Should I start this process now since I don't actually own a tank yet or would I be better off waiting until I buy my tank and do the rock at the same time?

 

2.  Should I shape the rock to make it look like I want it to before I cure it or should I cure the entire chunk of rock first and shape it after?

 

The rock appears to be one of the most important pieces of an aquarium so any experience/ advice would be greatly appreciated! 

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WV Reefer
19 minutes ago, Jerad81 said:

Hello everyone. I'm an "aspiring beginner," as I like to call myself, to the saltwater fish tank community. I've always wanted one for about as long as I can remember so I'm currently saving my money to finally get started. However, I have a couple questions about the live rock. 

 

1.  I've noticed in my research that the rock needs to be cured before I use it in a tank. Should I start this process now since I don't actually own a tank yet or would I be better off waiting until I buy my tank and do the rock at the same time?

 

2.  Should I shape the rock to make it look like I want it to before I cure it or should I cure the entire chunk of rock first and shape it after?

 

The rock appears to be one of the most important pieces of an aquarium so any experience/ advice would be greatly appreciated! 

Welcome to NR! 😊

 

I create my scape after the rock has been soaked and scrubbed. When you break the rock up you may find gross stuff inside, depending on what type of rock you use, so it may need scrubbed again after. 

 

 

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Clown79

Hello and welcome

 

It depends on the rock you purchase.

 

Liverock can come in 2 forms, in a vat with no lights, often dirty possible decaying items on it. This doesn't need "curing" but will go through a full cycle. You can do that in a bucket before setting up the tank or cycle in tank.

 

Then you have "cured" rock. The word cured is used in many forms in this hobby. In liverock instance, its rock that's fully established, from a system with life in it. It has already been cycled and as long as it isn't allowed to dry out, should not cause any spike, basically fully ready to use.

 

Then there is dry rock. This has no life on it and needs an ammonia source to start the cycle. 

Cycling can be done in a bucket or in the tank. Its personal preference.

 

 

As for aquascape, it depends on the rock you go with. 

Dry rock being cycled in tank, many design it out of tank by cutting dimensions of the tank out of cardboard to use as a guideline to the area you have to work with. They then epoxy it all and place the aquascape in the tank to start cycling.

 

Some choose to just aquascape in the tank.

 

If you use liverock, you can't really pre aquascape out of tank for hours. I always use liverock so I put it in the tank, aquascape while spraying the rocks with saltwater to prevent dry out, add sand, add water, start it up.

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banasophia

Hi!

 

Welcome!! I highly recommend checking out Caribsea Liferock. It’s a manmade dry rock that is impregnated with beneficial bacteria spores. It is coated to look like rock covered with coralline, so you don’t have to go through that ugly phase you see when using white dry rock. I think it’s great for a new hobbyist because it looks nice from the start, but avoids the risk of a bunch of hitchhikers, which can be stressful when new since you don’t know yet which hitchhikers are bad/neutral/good. It also seems pretty resistant to algae growth in my tanks.

 

I got my Liferock by the piece, already curing in a vat at my LFS... if I had to buy it dry I might consider curing it some if I wasn’t ready to set up my tank yet, but if I was ready to start my tank I’d probably just go for it and use it right away. 

 

Here are are pics of my tank when I started it, and recently, after about a year and a half running:

 

B5C6F6FD-C530-4EC0-8559-0DF9BFE94495.thumb.jpeg.cc4edee6b0524e5870443c0f103f4409.jpeg

 

43FA5290-355B-46D1-A2C9-0D99843F22D4.thumb.jpeg.164545d318d81766dd76e78d4dca5dfb.jpeg

 

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Opotter
12 minutes ago, banasophia said:

Welcome!! I highly recommend checking out Caribsea Liferock. It’s a manmade dry rock that is impregnated with beneficial bacteria spores. It is coated to look like rock covered with coralline, so you don’t have to go through that ugly phase you see when using white dry rock. I think it’s great for a new hobbyist because it looks nice from the start, but avoids the risk of a bunch of hitchhikers, which can be stressful when new since you don’t know yet which hitchhikers are bad/neutral/good. It also seems pretty resistant to algae growth in my tanks.

I second this!  I originally had this exact issue with gulf live rock.  I used it in my first set up.  It was so pretty and full of life, really enjoyable.. but I had zero idea of what I was looking at or how to combat pests (or even how to correctly identify them)... and got overrun eventfully.  I’m currently in the process of setting up a new system with Caribsea liferock and plan to scrap the previous one.  I have had nothing but a positive experience so far with this product.  It also comes in a ‘shapes’ and ‘branches’ product which you can do some pretty cool aquascapes with (out of water) and really spend some time getting it to look exactly like you want.

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Jerad81

Thanks for all the advice! I clearly need to do some more research but I will definitely be looking into the Caribsea Liferock now. And banasophia, your tank is beautiful! I truly hope I can have that kind of success with my future tank!

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BioCube Newb
5 hours ago, banasophia said:

Hi!

 

Welcome!! I highly recommend checking out Caribsea Liferock. It’s a manmade dry rock that is impregnated with beneficial bacteria spores. It is coated to look like rock covered with coralline, so you don’t have to go through that ugly phase you see when using white dry rock. I think it’s great for a new hobbyist because it looks nice from the start, but avoids the risk of a bunch of hitchhikers, which can be stressful when new since you don’t know yet which hitchhikers are bad/neutral/good. It also seems pretty resistant to algae growth in my tanks.

 

I got my Liferock by the piece, already curing in a vat at my LFS... if I had to buy it dry I might consider curing it some if I wasn’t ready to set up my tank yet, but if I was ready to start my tank I’d probably just go for it and use it right away. 

 

Here are are pics of my tank when I started it, and recently, after about a year and a half running:

 

B5C6F6FD-C530-4EC0-8559-0DF9BFE94495.thumb.jpeg.cc4edee6b0524e5870443c0f103f4409.jpeg

 

43FA5290-355B-46D1-A2C9-0D99843F22D4.thumb.jpeg.164545d318d81766dd76e78d4dca5dfb.jpeg

 

beautiful job, hope mine can look like this someday

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banasophia
2 hours ago, Jerad81 said:

Thanks for all the advice! I clearly need to do some more research but I will definitely be looking into the Caribsea Liferock now. And banasophia, your tank is beautiful! I truly hope I can have that kind of success with my future tank!

 

40 minutes ago, BioCube Newb said:

beautiful job, hope mine can look like this someday

 

Thank you both very much!! Researching and planning are the most important things in the beginning. I’m always excited for people just starting a new tank! So many decisions and variables shape the reef you are creating. 😊

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NSReefer902

I am still pretty new to the hobby, and unfortunately my LFS didn’t do a great job at helping me select good live rock or even help educate me on its importance. Thankfully it all seems to be working out tho. 

 

I have been been planning on setting up a large 75 gallon for about 6 months now and have been wondering the same thing about which direction to go with what rock.

There was another threat in the live rock forum that had some great links to find rock. One of them being https://www.kpaquatics.com/product-category/aquacultured-live-rock/

So far they seem to have great reviews and such .

Right now I plan to by about 20lbs of live rock from them and then another 30lbs of the Caribsea rock, or regular dry rock.

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