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Old 01-20-2009, 02:04 AM   #1
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Curing LR in new aquarium

Hello everyone! Finally got the tank filled up and the sump running (yay!) and the water is clearing up! Bought 50G bucket of Instant Ocean and getting ready to mix the salt water at the end of this week after sump runs for a few days and I get the temperature stabalized. Then comes the fun part, putting LR, and eventually fish, in the aquarium. Does anyone have any suggestions on curing. I have read so many different things about rinsing with higher salinity salt water to get rid of bad hitchhikers then hand picking what is wanted vs. just rinsing and scrubbing and placing in tank. What is the easiest way to cure the LR, and am I correct in saying not to change any water until the end and then do the large PWC. Also I think I read I will need to empty the skimmer every day. Again, any help is appreciated! Thanks!
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:54 PM   #2
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First, you really only need to empty your skimmer when it's around half full to avoid overflowing. As far as curing your rock, most people say that curing it in a rubbermade container with a powerhead and heater for a few weeks is the best idea, testing for ammonia and nitrite the whole time and doing regular water changes. During this time, the water will probably smell rather foul, so change the water whenever it gets to be too much Depending on the rock, and the dead organisms inside, it can take a couple of weeks to a couple of months to cure, but once it does, you're home free.

Alternatively, if you're not planning on putting anything in your tank for a month or more, you can actually cure it in your tank. This is what I accidentally did when my LFS told me that their liverock was cured when it was definitely not. My ammonia went off the chart for over two weeks and dropped from 10ppm to 0 in litterally 24 hours. Nitrites also dropped off rather quickly after that. Most people wouldn't recommend this, and I really wouldn't either, but it can work if you'd rather avoid the whole curring process with the rubbermaid tub. My tank took between 6 and 8 weeks to cycle with the uncured liverock in it. It looks amazing now, and the water tests perfectly, so it's definitely feasible to do this, but if you want a quicker cycle, it's probably not the way to go.

Definitely do not wait til the very end to change the water. Do water changes ever few days. . . any experts out there that have confilcting advice? Good luck with your tank!
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Old 01-22-2009, 11:12 PM   #3
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I find the best way to cycle a new tank is to purchase uncured liverock, which will provide your ammonia source. The cycle can last anywhere from 14 days to 30 days depending on circumstances. I prefer to lightly rinse the liverock just before adding to the tank initially just to remove excess silt and remove any sponges by hand if possible. Just a quick note, as you cycle you will notice sponge and other marine necrosis set in and fall to the substrate. I would vacuum (no, don't grab your Bissel or Dyson) these particles up, but not necessarily perform any major water changes until your NH3 and NO2 have converted and showing reasonable NO3 levels; otherwise, you risk extending your cycle.

Note: As Patrick mentioned, he did water changes every few days and it took 6-8 weeks to cycle, which is common in extended cycles.
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Old 01-22-2009, 11:28 PM   #4
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What Innovator said reminded me of something I forgot to mention. You definitely want to use a toothbrush or something to scrub the live rock every couple of days, if not every day, to remove all the dead crap. Don't brush it off in the water that you keep it in though. Make sure you take it out of the water to brush it off. Hope this helps. Liverock can be a *****. (i didn't read the rules and regs. . . . can i get in trouble for saying the b-word?)
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Old 01-22-2009, 11:29 PM   #5
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hahaha. guess it takes care of my language problems for me.
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Old 01-22-2009, 11:53 PM   #6
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Old 01-23-2009, 11:58 AM   #7
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Ok, I just purchased standard fiji LR from Dr. Fosters and Smith. It says it is pre-cured, but to cure it again. I am definately going to cure it in the aquarium, the other container idea sounds great but is not an option for me unfortunately. Thanks for all of the advice!
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Old 01-23-2009, 12:36 PM   #8
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You can cure LR in your aquarium since your just starting out, you will have to add bacteria to help it along...I think adding fish will be atleast 3-4 weeks in the future though. Also you should use Live Sand, will help out alot
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Old 01-23-2009, 12:44 PM   #9
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That is an excellent idea to cure your LR and cycle your tank at the same time. Kills 2 birds with one stone. We have excellent articles in our article section about both. BTW yes you can get in trouble using the B word. Family site here.
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Old 01-23-2009, 12:44 PM   #10
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Yeah I was anticipating 3 to 4 more weeks for any fish, but that is ok!
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