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Old 01-29-2014, 01:56 AM   #1
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Live rock vs base rock

Well I have had tanks in the past and have always used live rock. I see a lot of people with pests in their tank such as red bugs etc... So I'm wondering this go around if it's better to get base rock then dip a piece of established live rock and break it up then spread it around the tank so seed the other rock. Then dip all corals before I put them in. How long will it take for dry rock to color up?

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Old 01-29-2014, 02:37 AM   #2
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Probably a while for it to really spread. The serious coral pests like red bugs, aefw, monti and zoa eating nudis, etc... Come from corals we buy not live rock. That being said you can still get really annoying and bad things from live rock; polyclad flatworms, eunicid worms, aiptasia, etc lol
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Old 01-29-2014, 02:43 AM   #3
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Yea true. I'm just trying to limit the bad. But I had lr from 3 different systems last time and only started dipping toward the end. Never had any problems.

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Old 01-29-2014, 09:41 AM   #4
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I would imagine that base rock would probably take a few months to start to look good. They can also leach phosphates, but they do usually come in nice shapes that can make real nice looking scapes
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Old 01-29-2014, 10:14 AM   #5
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Its really a complicated decision on which rock to use. Live rock has the potential for introducing pests but it will also provide lots of micro fauna, some macro algaes and plenty of bacteria to get your tank started. It also looks more authentic. Dry rock is essentially the same rock but is sterile. In your tank it will look stark and unnatural. Having said that, there is a place for both, and when I start a new tank I use plenty of both types.

Obviously dry rock is much cheaper so what I like to do is build up my aquascaping with the dry rock and then add well cured live rock in the front, where it will be seen. If you go with live rock, cure it outside of your tank for a month at least. I think the best way to cure it is put it into large rubbermaid tubs with a heater, powerhead and some lighting. Predators will eventually come out of the rock to look for food or die off, worms, bugs and algae will survive the process. Some of the common live rock pests are aiptasia, and mantis shrimp. Observing the rock during the curing process gives you time to deal with removing them.

Since the process of curing and cycling your tank should take months, you really should be able to deal with any undesirables before adding your livestock.
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Old 01-29-2014, 11:31 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies guys. I appreciate the input.

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