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Old 03-07-2016, 08:02 PM   #1
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I think i messed up!!!

So in January, I was seriously considering to start a reef tank. So I spent about 2 months researching and I converted my planted 20 gallon long to a saltwater tank. I started my cycle. I've purchased powerheads, test kits, lights. Everything costed me around 200 so far. I've purchased dry rock from my lfs which was $1.59 a lb. I thought too myself that it a huge plus that they had such cheap rocks. So I got around 13 lbs of it. Then I was doing more research and I came across a thread regarding the "curing" process of dry rock. I made my first mistake. I bought a phosphate test kit and I tested the water which had 0 ppm of phosphate. What a relief. But now I came across a different thread about avoiding the rocks with large holes. Mine have a bunch of these large holes in them. I realized that my rocks were most likely lava rock because it was the holes were formed from the lava bubbling. Can you guys tell me if this rock is safe and if you have used it before? Sometimes after couple of days, the rock has some dust on it. Is it dissolving, or is it just a layer of filth? If I need to take it out what do I do about the bacteria that was colonizing the rock? Does it mean I have to start my cycle all over!? Please help!

Here are pics
Postimage.org / gallery - IMG 0596, IMG 0597, IMG 0598, IMG 0599
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Old 03-07-2016, 09:51 PM   #2
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The rock is fine, though I don't think laid out very well. Most likely your dusting is an algae of some sort, maybe diatoms.
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Old 03-08-2016, 12:09 AM   #3
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Well that sounds assuring but I need more people to comfirm this. There couldn't possibly be any diatoms because I'm not running my lights during the cycle. Oh and that brown stuff on one of the rocks was already there when I purchased. Seems to be some dead fungus or something.
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Old 03-08-2016, 12:36 AM   #4
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Then simply scrub it off with a toothbrush.
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Old 03-08-2016, 07:19 PM   #5
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I've used lava rock for years in my marine tanks so the rock itself isn't the problem but you do need to have some good current in the tank to prevent excess food and detritus from building up inside the holes. That said, your rock does not look like the Lava Rock I have seen and sold ( it could just be the pictures?) but more just a calcium based rock which again shouldn't be an issue. It's also probably the source of your "dust" since it is a new setup. With calcium based rocks, when you rub them together, they will grind each other and cause dust to form. Once you get your filtering set up and running, it should clear. If it doesn't, you will need to dig deeper into what else it might be. The"brown stuff" could also be starting to disintegrate and causing this dust so if it is removable, I suggest removing it then placing the rock back in the tank. Even if you kill off the bacteria on the rock, better to do this before you finish cycling than needing to do it after. All it will do now is delay the end of the cycling process but not harm anything in the future.
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Old 03-09-2016, 07:50 AM   #6
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Rocks won't be an issue


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Old 03-10-2016, 01:35 PM   #7
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Thanks for the help! Now I know I did not waste my money!
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