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Old 01-21-2011, 03:43 PM   #1
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Live Rock Installation

My 65 gallon system should be up and running next week & I have a question about buying and adding live rock.

I'm going to order about 75lbs of cultured Atlantic LR plus some rubble from the Live Rock Ranch. It's been aquacultured off the Florida Keys and the pics look good. I was planning on shipping it air express instead of FEDEX ground and pick it up at the airport. According to the company it's out of their tanks in the morning and I'll pick it up in the afternoon, and then into the empty display tank an hour or two later. It's shipped moist. (Fla. to MD)

What kind of die off and curing process can I expect? Do you think it will still be "cured" after a half day of shipping? Do you think there will be an abbreviated curing process and I will be able to avoid the 8 week cycle and the associated smells? (I plan to cure in the display tank) Do you think some of the critters will make it? If it's going to arrive "uncured" I might as well ship it FEDEX ground and save a dollar.

What are the chances of getting some undesirable hitch-hikers and what if anything can I do about it?

Also, do you like Atlantic LR? I've read it's heavy and not as porous or as good as Fiji LR. Any opinions on that?

Thanks for any info you can provice Ė N83259
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Old 01-21-2011, 04:03 PM   #2
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Most critters will make it but there will be some dieoff because of the exposure to air for awhile. That`s not a bad thing as you can cycle your tank and cure your LR at the same time. I`m pretty asure you wont be able to avoid the cycle unless you cure the LR first and then add it to your tank.
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Old 01-21-2011, 05:01 PM   #3
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i think you will still have to cure it again. they ship it with some damp newspaper on it. you are better off ordering uncured rock and curing it yourself and save the money.

btw, the chances are very good that you will get undesirable hitch hikers, especially with florida rock. lots of mantis shrimp down in the keys!
nope..nothing you can do about it except QT it and yank the critters out as you see them.
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:00 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies.

I've only read a little about the mantis shrimp. What's the downside with them....do they kill small fish? What's the chance of zapping all of them? Are they expert hiders or are eggs/larvae an issue where they'll hatch even if the adults are removed?

Also I was wondering what you reefers do to attach adult and frag corrals to the LR. Do you drill a hole & use that marine epoxy that you must knead first? Or do you just attach it to the face of the rock. Any explanation would be appreciated.
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:36 PM   #5
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yes, they can kill fish, and not just the small ones. they will kill inverts as well.
they burrow into rock and are very difficult to find.

as for frags:
small frags are glued right to the face of the rock with crazy glue gel. put a large amount of the gel on the frag outside the tank then just put your arm in the tank and place it. hold it there for 10-15 seconds or so until it takes.

larger frags are done in a similar way, using a lot of crazy glue gel or the 2 part putty.
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Old 01-21-2011, 07:13 PM   #6
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Mantis shrimp are nasty little bugggers. They Knock out their pray with a snapping blow. The best place to get real cured live rock is your LFS , if you have good reef store. Try to support your LFS when you can. you'll pay a little more but you get to pick the pieces. Always quarintine every thing you get befor you put it in your display tank. If you get live rock from a aquaculture place even if you get it shiped right away, you will still have some die off like red bristle worms don't touch them pick them off with tweezers. But not the Mantis shrimp they will still be very much alive. You will still have curing time you'll need to check the nitrite and ammonia for a few weeks. As for the epoxy i us it for temperary and perminatly mounting SPS, LPS, and small frags. You don't want your corals getting knocked over by snails, urchin, and strfish. Good luck!

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Old 01-21-2011, 07:50 PM   #7
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Good advice on the local lfs as a source. Laying eyes on desired rock for that great aquascape would be my preference too if possible.
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Old 01-22-2011, 01:35 PM   #8
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depends on what you are trying to stick to the live rock, for frags try and find a hole, put the frag in and use water epoxy around to seal it there. For other pieces you can use the super glue gel. for things like leathers put a rubber band around it and it should sitck itself after a week or so. Like i said it all depends what you are trying to stick...
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Old 01-22-2011, 05:46 PM   #9
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OK so now I'm mantis shrimp paranoid! Is LFS LR more likely to be M shrimp free for some reason? I do try to support local small businesses, but my LFSs have a so-so selection. Minimal life, almost all boulder shape, plus twice the price. Maybe thats a good thing b/c all hitch hikers, good and bad, are gone? Anything else to look out for on Ocean cultured LR like the (Aip...) anenomie?

I've always wondered about LFS hygiene. It looks like the tanks work off a single or just a few salt water circuits. Making it easy to circulate all kinds of bad things.

I need to drive 2 hours to get to a really good store & will see what they have. Maybe I'll do a base of the ocean cultured LR and pick premium pieces as I can find them . I'm in no hurry. Thanks for the great comments!
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Old 01-25-2011, 07:41 AM   #10
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One good way I've found to get nice LR at an affordable price is to buy it from another reefer who is breaking down their system. If you belong to a local reef club or online reef group...check the classified section to see who is either down sizing or getting out of reefs.
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