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Old 12-12-2010, 04:01 PM   #11
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Cant wait to see this tank set up. I wish my teacher set up a tank but no. you must be a really cool teacher!
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Old 12-12-2010, 05:10 PM   #12
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Ok, if I came across as overly sensitive I apologize, but it seemed like you were saying that I was being intentionally cruel or setting a bad example for my students. I am doing the best that I can with very limited funds. At this point my entire school budget is going to trying to set up 28 tanks for my students, and I'm starting with 18 old tanks, a ton of instant ocean salt, and some old gravel. The rest of my class equipment has to be obtained from a $700 budget, so everything for my display tank I'm paying for out of my personal funds, which again, as a teacher is next to nothing. Needless to say I'm likely going to have to do a lot of "McGyvering", both for my tank and the student tanks.

I realize that this is less than ideal for set up, but from what I can tell the tank is doing fine and hopefully the aggression issues have settled down. Hind sight is well and good and I will certainly use your advice on cycling up my student's tanks when they get them started, but at this point I'm just looking for advice on moving forward with the class tank. Just dumping the damsels and starting over hardly seems practical or humane unless I have reason to believe the tank isn't doing well.

I would be very interested in taking and curing some base rock on my own to add in to my tank (and doing this for my student tanks as well). I'll read up more on the process for doing this, but so far the one thing I haven't seen is what sort of rock is acceptable for use as base rock? Can I use any old rock or are are there certain types of rock that can leech harmful elements in to the tank? Can I get rock from garden supply center or would I need to clean it somehow first? Finally, after I have the base rock converted to live rock, can I add it directly to my tank as is or could this hurt the fish already in the tank?
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Old 12-12-2010, 05:27 PM   #13
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No problem. Dont worry about it. As far as curing BR for using in your students tanks read this

Curing live rock? I didn't even know it was sick!
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Old 12-12-2010, 07:36 PM   #14
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Ok, here's a question I have after looking around. I've seen some posts about making your own base rocks/live rocks by mixing argonite sand and cement. If I were to make some of these rocks along with rock collected from a local beach and/or some bacteria starting aids would these rocks be useful for adding to my aquarium and/or my students aquariums? The reason I'm asking is because this might:

A. be a lot cheaper than purchasing live rock for all of these tanks
B. reduce the amount of rock we would need to collect locally
C. make a good project for my students

If I am understanding this correctly I could have my students make the base rocks for their tanks in class one week, clean them off and set them up in their tanks the next week, and then maybe start the curing process and begin cycling in the tank the third week?

Does this sound ok or am I missing something?
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Old 12-12-2010, 07:55 PM   #15
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:26 PM   #16
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That's actually the site that gave me the idea. We won't have any lights for growing corals or anemones, but would rocks made in that way still be ok for hosting the bacteria for the biological filter, at least in a reasonable amount of time for my students to be able to use?
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:35 PM   #17
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Where are you located?
Have you checked on local and state ordinances concerning collecting local fish, rocks, etc. In most places it's illegal, or highly restricted.

Making your own base rock would make a great class project. Once the rock is stabilized you can add it directly to the tank(s). By stabilized I mean that the pH has stabilized. Cement has a very high pH level and needs to to be rinsed quite a few times to cure the cement and stabilize it. That's not the same curing process as making LR safe for a tank.

LR refers to rock that is housing the beneficial bacteria for the nitrogen cycle. So any surface added to the tank will become LIVE over time. Coral rock is very porous so the surface area is greatly magnified compared to any smooth rock.

You can use 70% or more base rock and just a bit of LR to seed the tank with coralline algae. You could probably buy one or two boxes of uncured LR, bust it up with hammers and chisels and use it to cycle the student tanks. Of course you would want to have your homemade base rock in the tanks and place the LR on top of that.
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:56 PM   #18
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Using the white vinegar bath will help. Then do several days of freshwater rinses, changing the water every day. If you can use RODI water that would be best. Test the Ph of the rinse water every day to make sure it is down to the 8.x range safe for livestock before using it.
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:47 PM   #19
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Ok, that sounds good, I'm filing for the collecting permits I need, school teachers can get the permits here without major issue. I'll try this out myself over the christmas break and see how it goes.
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:10 PM   #20
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gud luck....~
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