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Old 06-05-2006, 12:49 AM   #1
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Base Rock

People on the forum often ask how much live rock is in the tank... and I've began thinking about my current setup.

When I originally purchased the tank, I spent about $250 on base rock (@ $2/lb). Since then, I've added an additional (I estimate) 60lbs of live rock. It may be a little more, little less. Either way, I'm probably looking at a lot of rock... period.

So, does the "base rock" help with the nitrates/nitrites? Or is it only the live rock that matters? If so, how do I get my base rock to turn into live rock to help make the tank healthier overall?

BTW - this is a 90G predator tank. I have a drilled tank with a wet/dry. I will be adding an intank refugium soon. I also have a protein skimmer on the tank.

Let me know if you have any questions... thanks for your input!
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Old 06-05-2006, 01:47 AM   #2
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Live rock is beneficial for filtration because it is porous and allows the good nitrifying bacteria to populate. Base rock is essentially the same thing, just that it has no life on it. When you introduce live rock, the bacteria will colonize on the base rock with time and it then will help with bio-filtration. The other thing base rock doesn't have is wanted and unwanted hitchikers, macroalgaes or coraline algeas. The coraline will eventually spread to the base rock, (provided something is there with it present), and soon enough, you won;t be able to tell purchased live rock from purchased base rock.

Ryan
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Old 06-05-2006, 10:39 AM   #3
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Excellent! So, basically... if there's more live rock / coraline in the tank, it will spread quicker to the base rock. That's pretty much the only way to speed up this process.

Thanks so much for the information!
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Old 06-05-2006, 01:59 PM   #4
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Your bacteria population will be "built" to your needs. You could have a tank full of rock and only one fish in there so the bacteria population would only be enough to thrive off the waste generated from ammonia factory...aka the fish.

That's why it's always suggested to stock slowly to give your tank the time to populate a bigger colony of nitrifying bacteria to aid with the increased ammonia that new fish will produce.

Your live rock will seed your base rock enough to deal with your bioload.

As far as coraline goes.... You definetely need a source for it, but you also need the right tank parameters for it to flourish. You will generally see it start around the 3-4 month period if your calcium is where it should be. You can check your calcium levels, they should be around 400.

Hope that helps.
Ryan
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