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Old 08-10-2009, 09:50 PM   #1
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Live rock, Live?

I went the cheap way and used uncured live rock to cycle my tank. I have a 90 gallon and i purchased 100 lbs of caribean base rock. When it arrived it was not really wet and half of it i rinsed with fresh water in my kitchen sink. The other half i rised in saltwater.
My question is. Do i have to see the live rock, is it alive, or will it become alive on it's own.
I put the entire setup on 7/3/09. The nitrites eventually went down all the way to zero last week and i added two clown fish and a small cleaning crew. Since i added the fish my nitrite has been at .25 and my ammonia between 0 and .25.

Is there a chance that my live rock is nothing but just base rock that won't serve as a biological filter?
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:53 PM   #2
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Well first off, live rock will become live over time if it is not live already. It is best to seed it with a piece of live rock which will shorten the length of time it takes to seed the rock, and helps it along anyways. But live rock becoming live even with seeding, willt ake close to a year, maybe longer. Base rock is dead rock, live rock is.. live. So if you got base rock, then its dead. Also, you shouldnt be rinsing live rock with freshwater. That could possibly kill inhabitants that make the rock live. Also, if you still show signs of nitrites and ammonia, then you really shouldnt have any fish. This would mean that your cycle is not complete. And if you did infact buy base rock, then there would be no way for the rock to cycle your tank. So check on what it is you actually bought and determine whats actually going on in that tank.
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:55 PM   #3
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Even if it's total base rock, it will serve as a biologic media and become live with time. Keep testing and do water changes as necessary to stay below .25 for ammonia and nitrite. Don't add more animals or you will prolong the painful part of start up.
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:00 PM   #4
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well i think it did the cycle thing because the ammonia went sky high. The nitrite when high too and eventually went down to zero at one point. The nitrate was always around 20, but that's because my tap water already comes at 20 PPM nitrate (just received my ro/di today).
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:03 PM   #5
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Alright well like HN1, said keep testing and hold off on adding any more animals until your readings hit zero or close to zero. IMO thats what i would do. Dont want to throw too many things in there that may make your bioload go crazy and then the bacteria cant handle the load and things get very much worse from there.
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:20 PM   #6
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yeah i definately won't add anything until my readings for nitrite and ammonia are a zero.
I noticed that two of my mexican turbo snails died. I don't know if it's because of the water quality or maybe there's nothing for them to eat. Although the rock has fuzzy spots.
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:26 PM   #7
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If your ammonia and nitrites spiked then you must of had some organic die off in that rock and thus began a cycle. The only question would be has enough biological filtration developed to support livestock. Just do like the others said (especially since they are much more experianced than me) and avoid the temptation to add more fish until the parimeters are in check.
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