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Old 01-04-2009, 11:43 PM   #1
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need help understanding

ive been searching all day and finally decided to join a forum and ask because i cant seem to find my answer. im starting my SW tank for the first time and im in the curing proses. i have a bunch of base rock in the tank with about 60lbs of live sand and 20lbs of plain sand. but my question is do i need to buy live rock to put in the tank to turn the base rock live? or are there other ways to get live rock from base rock without buying rock thats already live?

ive been reading about puting raw shrinp in and letting them rot to get the bactiria going, but do i still need live rock along with it? or will the base rock start to "grow" on its own from the rotted shrimp?

hope all that makes sence
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Old 01-04-2009, 11:46 PM   #2
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Welcome to AA!

It helps to have some seeded live rock to get you a host of coralline and the good bacterias and stuff. But, eventually base rock will turn live through the cycling process and work just as well, just not as pretty. Getting 1 or 2 small rocks from a LFS will help you along as well.

Read the article in my sig about fishless cycling, this explains the raw shrimp stuff you're asking about.

And, I agree, water is wet!
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:32 AM   #3
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my only problem is that i do not have any local pet stores that carry live rock. all they have is base rock. and they dont carry any kind or Coralline Algae starter kit either. so i was looking for a way to turn the base rock to live rock without having live rock to start with. i was hoping the live sand would help.
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Old 01-05-2009, 12:46 AM   #4
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The bacteria will come all by itself - even if you start with 100% boiled off, nothing living on it, base rock. The cocktail shrimp giving you an ammonia source will get you all the bacteria you need. The debate rages on whether "live" sand is really live or not... but it can't hurt.

As far as "live" rock meaning critters, worms, and coralline algae... you'll need a source for that at some point. If the "base rock" you have was in the pet store's tanks and not all dried out, most likely you have some critters with it. If it was dried up, then yeah... at some point if you want "hitchikers" then you'll need to get some "live" live rock.

Now if this tank is headed to be a reef, with corals, then that will most likely be a great source for hitchikers and coralline. The rocks that the corals come attached to will most likely bring all sorts of goodies into your tank - some good, some not so good! I can't start to count the number of brittle stars that inhabit my tank now because just a handful came in with a torch coral I bought once.

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Old 01-05-2009, 12:59 AM   #5
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the rock i got didnt come out of a tank. it was dried out tufa rock. and the only way i have of getting live rock is by buying it over the internet because no local stores have it. but as of now im just trying to grow Coralline Algae. im not worried about all the other critters yet. how long should it take to start seeing some growth seeing that im starting without any live rock?
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Old 01-05-2009, 01:45 AM   #6
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you cant grow coralline without having a starter culture. It is not a form of algae that is ever present, you must introduce it into your system before coralline will grow.
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Old 01-05-2009, 05:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterIsWet89 View Post
the rock i got didnt come out of a tank. it was dried out tufa rock. and the only way i have of getting live rock is by buying it over the internet because no local stores have it. but as of now im just trying to grow Coralline Algae. im not worried about all the other critters yet. how long should it take to start seeing some growth seeing that im starting without any live rock?
Where are you located? I'm certain there are local reef clubs in your area. Check on Craigslist.org for some live rock. People are always selling things. Ebay has options as well. The "liverock" you add doesn't have to come right out of a tank to benefit your system.

The other critters, snails, brittle stars, pods and the like can come later with the addition of corals or a fuge with macro algae.

Coraline is as buddah_red said not going to spring to life from nothing. You have to get something in the tank with coraline on it for it to spread and grow. Don't expect to see coraline growing like mad until your system is more established. It requires stable conditions including alk, ph, CA, mg. All of those things need to be in balance before you will get a lot of coraline growth.

As I said. Look for local clubs and check on craigslist.

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Old 01-05-2009, 09:16 AM   #8
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Yeah, whats your location, it might be worth a 2-3 hour day trip to grap a single piece of LR from an LFS. It usually goes for $7-10 a pound. Since you already have so much rockwork don't worry about buying expensive Fiji/Tonga rock, just guy some basic rock and hide it behind your current BR.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:53 AM   #9
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Definitely add a few pieces of live rock ! It will speed up your cycle ten-fold, and speed up the rate your base-rock becomes live.
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Old 01-05-2009, 03:46 PM   #10
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Hmmm, does your LFS have SW fish? If so, I would think they would have some LR.
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