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Old 02-25-2005, 07:33 PM   #1
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OK to add LR to established tank?

I hesitate to call my tank 'established', but it is nearly 6 months old. Does that count? You can see our tank stats in my signature.

I have a question about adding some live rock to my tank. I am having live rock envy. I want that neat color and the cool critters. But is this a bad idea to add to an already established tank? I know there are 2 schools of thought on if the hitchhikers are good or bad...and I'd like to keep the critters, or most of them...but is this a bad idea for my tank and its inhabitants at this point? I'd like it more for decorative and fun critter-watching purposes, I wouldn't stock the tank fully for filtration or anything (can't afford that anyway!). So just a few pounds here and there is what I'm thinking.

If it's a bad idea to add to my established tank, I'm considering purchasing a nano tank for live rock and those critters. I don't have a tank to quarantine the LR or anything. Perhaps the rock could 'cure' in the nano and then be placed into the large tank? If I do the nano thing...well, you're just asking for tons more questions from me!

I've been thinking about the rock for a long time now and wish I had started with it, but I'm hoping I can add it in without too much difficulty. I'd really appreciate any advice, as I have zero experience with LR.

Thanks!

Jodi
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Jodi's stats: Tank set up 9/6/2004 - 75 gallon glass - ProClear SlimLine 125 w/d - Rio 2100 - c/c substrate - 200w heater - little chunk of live rock
Caretaker of 2 mated f. percula clownfish & 8 red legged hermit crabs
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Old 02-25-2005, 07:39 PM   #2
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Just make sure its cured b4 you add it in your established tank.
And yes i would call your 6 month tank pretty well established!

Putting in your nano is a good idea to cure it, You can also just put it in any rubbermaid container or even 5 gal bucket! Make sure there is good water flow and aeration.

After a week or so, or whenever the smell goes away, test ur water, if its good, then i c no problem with introducing it to ur tank.
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Old 02-25-2005, 07:50 PM   #3
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JodiW,

You can definately add some lr to your established tank without a problem. I just added about 15lbs to my 125 gallon. The trick is to get the lr from a place that either the rock doesn't need cured of has been cured already. The cured rock will likely be at your LFS and is usually $$$$$ and lacking hitchickers. I HIGHLY suggest liverocks.com. Their prices are good, you can tell them what type of rock you would like (size and shape wise) and it comes w/in 24 hours, so curing is not necessary.

Check out my post here for pics of my recent order...
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewto...3415b22702461e

You'll be very happy with the rock i'm sure.

Jim
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Old 02-25-2005, 09:48 PM   #4
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Welcome to the AA!!! It's good to see another Iowan here!

Putting LR in an established tank would be fine. If you go into a LFS; ask them how long it has been in the tank. Uncured rock will have a definite smell to it. Also when you add the rock test your water a day after or so. Their will probably be a little die-off, but that's natural.
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Old 02-26-2005, 03:38 AM   #5
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Jodi,
Just a few days ago I added 40 pounds of live rocks to my 8 month old 46 gallon tank. I've been watching the parameters carefully and haven't seen too much of a jump in the numbers. You'll do fine adding good cured live rock to your tank too. I strongly recommend Liverocks.com . They have extremely good quality rock with plenty color and lots of hitchhikers. We spend as much time admiring our live rock and the hitchhikers as we do enjoying the fish. Keep in mind that the shipping for liverocks is very expensive so order as much as possible at one time to save on shipping costs. I do recommend a protein skimmer... with or without the liverocks in your tank. It makes a big difference in the quality of your water. You can check out my forum posts and liverocks photos here......
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=44793

Good Luck!
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Old 02-26-2005, 05:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
...lots of hitchhikers...
I don't have a marine tank, but I've heard live rock mentioned many times, and am curious as to these "hitchhikers". What are they? Do they grow/move?
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Old 02-26-2005, 10:09 AM   #7
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Jodi...You can put cured LR diredctly into the tank. Check out www.liverocks.com for some of the best aquaculutred LR around.
Quote:
Welcome to the AA!!! It's good to see another Iowan here!
I agree! I grew up in Northwest Iowa (Sheldon) and went to ISU (go Cyclones!)
Quote:
I don't have a marine tank, but I've heard live rock mentioned many times, and am curious as to these "hitchhikers". What are they? Do they grow/move?
Hitch hikers are the small living things that hitch a ride in on the LR. Some are good and some are bad. Things like feather dusters, bristle worms, various crabs, shrimps and star fish are good examples.
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Old 02-26-2005, 10:57 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by funwiththefish
I don't have a marine tank, but I've heard live rock mentioned many times, and am curious as to these "hitchhikers". What are they? Do they grow/move?
They sure do! Snails, crabs, corals, starfish, featherdusters... all kinds of critters call the live rock home, and when you buy their home and put it in your aquarium, you get all of the inhabitants, too!

I've recently added 25 lbs and so far I've found 3 snails, a hermit, and 2 featherdusters (in addition to a handful of undesirables that I'm working on removing)

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Old 02-26-2005, 12:23 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions! And hello to all the fellow Iowans! Who knew this was such a hotbed of marine activity, land-locked as we are. But maybe that's the reason. I'm in the DM area, in case you were wondering.

And now we get to the crux of my LR issue. It's the 'undesirables' I'm most worried about. I really want the fun stuff but I'm not sure how well I'll be able to identify and remove the stuff that is harmful. I look at the 'identification' sites and think...I am totally clueless. And how crucial is the removal of some of these items? What makes them undesireable - will they harm my fish (my biggest $ investment, therefore my biggest concern)? I've been reading about the aptasia and the mantis that beats up on snails and how hard they are to remove. Is this really the BIG issue it seems to be, or are people just freaking out over something that is just slightly annoying but not harmful? This is why I hesitate...I don't like to jump into anything as an 'experiment' - I want to have the knowledge I need ahead of time to deal with whatever difficulties there may be. (Can't I just request rock with only good things in it? )

I guess the big question is - will anything come on the live rock that should make me reconsider adding it to my tank? I should probably add that I'm pretty squeamish about creepy crawly things - I love to watch them but I don't want to have to *touch* them. 8O I will if I have to...but I want to know up front if that is going to be required. I so want to do this - but I don't want to do it and then regret it because it turns into more trouble than it's worth. (Thus the million questions!)

Thanks again for any further assistance!

Jodi
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Caretaker of 2 mated f. percula clownfish & 8 red legged hermit crabs
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Old 02-26-2005, 01:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
guess the big question is - will anything come on the live rock that should make me reconsider adding it to my tank?
No. The benifits far outweigh the risks. The "undesirable" hitchikers can be identified and removed as needed.
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