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Old 09-25-2011, 12:46 PM   #1
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Advice please on adding base rock...

Hi, I'm new to saltwater and long story short, I am unexpectedly upgrading from a relatively new (2 mo) 29g FOWLR to a 55g (3wks) FOWLR and need to add more rock. I know I should add gradually, so I currently have 10 lbs of live rock in tank and just purchased 25 lbs of base rock that I want to add.

Questions:
  1. What do I need to do to the base rock to prepare it for the tank?
  2. How do I keep from stressing out my livestock that includes a Powder Blue Tang that I was told I could have in this 55 gal by my lfs (now know that was a big mistake). Am currently treating 5 fish in this 55 for ick that came with the Tang, now starting week 3 of hypo at 1.010.
  3. Should I wait until hypo is finished before introducing the base rock? I put a few pieces of rock from my 29g (I know the hypo will kill the "live" in this rock) to help with biological filtration when setting this tank up quickly for hypo plus a small amount of my sand to barely cover bottom of tank per advice from forums. None of the other fish have shown any signs of ick but are also being treated and 29g is being left fishless for 2 months per forum info. It has cleaner shrimp and snails with 30 lbs of live sand.

My main concern is not stressing out the tang more than he already is when I add additional rock. He is ick free at the moment. I had to upgrade in this odd manner due to the ick outbreak. I only had a very small ammonia spike at the beginning because I used old filter media with a some sand and rock from 29g so that has gone ok. Plan on maintaining the hypo for 6 weeks then gradually returning to normal over week 7.

I've got other questions but wanted to ask about the rock first.

Thanks so much!
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Old 09-25-2011, 12:56 PM   #2
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you can always cycle it in a rubber maid container and let it build up a bacteria colony then add it.

thats what i did when i added lace rock to my system
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Old 09-25-2011, 02:53 PM   #3
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IMO,if it is truly just base rock,you only need to rinse it good in RO water,it should not have dead or dying stuff on it to cause problems.You would do better to add it all at one time and be done and let your tank become stable.Better than constantly changing things by adding slowly.
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Old 09-25-2011, 03:57 PM   #4
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i thought all base rock was dead live rock. Either mined from the ocean and let to dry, or mined from a dead reef, its still encrusted with organics that will break down to phosphates and ammonia.
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:45 PM   #5
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it might have some dead bits of bacteria already on it, might have dust or firt or any other compond on it, it might not just be a rock and might need to go through a curing process to get cleaned up
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:51 PM   #6
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The base rock I've purchased has always been free of anything on it, just a quick rinse in water and it's ready to go in. I get all my base rock from reefcleaners though not sure about other sources.
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:18 PM   #7
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I would recommend drilling holes in your rocks and putting carbon rods through your rock insuring they are 100% stable. This will allowing you to stack your rocks without worrying about them falling down. I also used plastic clear ties to secure my rocks to the pipping to be 150% sure none of my rocks will move.The number one thing that will stress out your fishes is falling rocks.
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:28 PM   #8
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why drill the rock, you can get a putty to keep the rocks together and keep them from moving
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:46 PM   #9
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This way you can move them around if your don't like the arrangement or add new rock if you don't like the old ones :P. Plus, you can drill holes in the rocks and use the same carbon rods and attached to the bottom of corals and you can place them anywhere you want in the rocks. This will allow you to move your corals around and remove them if you want to add different types of corals.
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:58 PM   #10
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you can still move the putty around
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