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Old 05-14-2011, 01:34 AM   #1
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Cleaning Live Rock

I have been asking several questions about upgrading from my 55g to a 110g with 75g sump. The current 55g setup is very generic (for example, still using a HOB filter). I am purchasing a setup from someone getting out of the hobby, and will have everything that I have been wishing I had purchased 6mo ago before I started (down to the RO/DI unit off my water supply).

My question is this: I am feeling iffy about the 55lbs of live rock I am currently using. 10 came with the tank (I purchased a used setup) and the rest was purchased on Ebay (supposedly cured, but from the problems I have come across, I do not believe it was).

Can I successfully clean my live rock AFTER I have purchased enough additional live rock/sand/rubble to get the new tank going, cured it in my old 55g before tearing it down, and then use it in my new setup? Or should I just get rid of it rather than risking using it and seeing the same problems?

The first 10 pounds of rock included with the tank had small white spots on them that have started to multiply in the past month; I'm not even sure this rock was meant to be in a saltwater tank to begin with! It is brown in color, and has a slate-y appearance. My algae is unbearable, which leads me to believe the phosphate/silicates are off the charts. ETc. Etc. I like the rock I purchased from Ebay, but I was an amateur and didn't cure it correctly, leading me to believe that my problems are mostly my own fault and will follow me into my new setup if I use the rock again.

So back to the question: can I clean my rock? Is it worth it to clean and use as base rock, or is it a bigger risk than would be worth saving the money on?

Am I crazy to think my "iffyness" about the rock would even matter, considering the new setup will be 185g and more stable in the long run?

HELP!
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Old 05-14-2011, 01:39 AM   #2
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If it were me, I'd toss the first 10lbs you got and keep the rest.

I'm going to go through this very thing very soon again. i;ve done it once already. LOL

Get as much base rock as you want and then add some pieces of your ebay rock in to seed the base rock. maybe take some sand too. That should almost instantly cycle your new tank i would think. I'd test for a few days or a week and make sure nothing changes and bring some more rock over. repeat and then with the last bit of your rock and livestock move them over.

Thats the plan I wanna go by moving a 55g to a 125g. I figure a little over a week or so and it can be all done.
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Old 05-14-2011, 01:46 AM   #3
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You can let it dry out over a few days and just scrub it down with freshwater. Then, cure it in the 55g and seed it with a few pieces of the new rock. OR, you can simply just scrub it down with a brush while wet, probably won't have as good of results. You are more than likely going to run into problems, cured or not, it's just a fact of life with any aquarium. Algae is not a result of curing improperly, you will need to get your water parameters under control to get rid of that, or it will just keep reappearing. Try looking into a good RO/DI unit if you don't currently own one as that may help solve you algae problems.
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Old 05-14-2011, 01:47 AM   #4
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I am not a salt water specialist, but I read somewhere that you can do your live rock at home DIY and all you need to do is to seed it with real one. Based on that idea if there is any life in your rock you are fine, as the life will spread to the dead area sooner or later again
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Old 05-14-2011, 01:52 AM   #5
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RO/DI

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Originally Posted by thominil View Post
You can let it dry out over a few days and just scrub it down with freshwater. Then, cure it in the 55g and seed it with a few pieces of the new rock. OR, you can simply just scrub it down with a brush while wet, probably won't have as good of results. You are more than likely going to run into problems, cured or not, it's just a fact of life with any aquarium. Algae is not a result of curing improperly, you will need to get your water parameters under control to get rid of that, or it will just keep reappearing. Try looking into a good RO/DI unit if you don't currently own one as that may help solve you algae problems.
Yes, I have learned my mistake with trying to fight algae without simply installing an RO/DI in my home. I am installing one when the 110g/75g goes in, and will never look back!

Thanks! I want to feel better about the "unknown" rock ... the rest will be purchased in my LFS. The two guys that I have spent months talking to have earned my trust, and if I am going to spend such massive amounts of money on their rock, I want to be sure my mistakes from the past aren't going to haunt my new aquarium
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Old 05-14-2011, 01:57 AM   #6
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I just upgraded from 75 to 180. I used the live rock from the old tank plus cured some additional "live" rock in totes for about 4-6 weeks with a heater and power head. When I finally moved all the rock over into the new tank my cycle was so small I barely noticed it.
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Old 05-14-2011, 01:58 AM   #7
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Just do your research, and you are fine. Also, don't get too friendly with your LFS, that is exactly what they want, then they can just say buy this, that, this, and here, take this too. Carey brought up a good point, if you don't know what the original 10lb. is, then do away with it. You can always toss it into the sump later.
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Old 05-14-2011, 02:05 AM   #8
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Just do your research, and you are fine. Also, don't get too friendly with your LFS, that is exactly what they want, then they can just say buy this, that, this, and here, take this too. Carey brought up a good point, if you don't know what the original 10lb. is, then do away with it. You can always toss it into the sump later.
I understand your statement about the LFS, but I heard great things about these two guys. The youngest studied marine biology ... I am from a smaller city (Fargo), so its easier to trust people once you spend the time to get to know them and their business.

Yes, I know that the more I get to know them, the more I will buy! But they offered to give me quite a bit of rubble for my sump once it is up and running, just to get me started. Anyone who is in it for the cash wouldn't do that, right?!
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Old 05-14-2011, 02:10 AM   #9
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Ahhh I could keep you entertained for hours with conspiracy theories about your LFS, but..... Anywho... Just be careful, it they start recommending a bunch of chemicals, double check here. That is usually where they will get you. Future rule of thumb, don't add anything you can't test for. Another is that to many additives makes an unstable tank. Hope I have helped a bit.
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