I purchased some LR
when I started my tank a while back and was told to just fill a bucket with clean water, dunk the rock to clean it and remove any noticable dead material. This appearently caused no irreparible damage because my LR
is flourishing again.
As far as putting it directly into the aquarium, this depends much on what condition the LR
is in. If it's fully cured, you can probably just go ahead and add it to your tank and your tank will be fine providing it was not out of water too long.
If it's only pre-cured or not cured at all, then never add it to an established tank as there will be die-off and your tank will begin cycling all over again.
In your particular case, you mention you are cycling now. You don't need to wait to add live rock after the cycle. Just go ahead and add it now. All live rock, pre-cured or fully cured will cause the tank to cycle at least a little bit as all LR
will have some die-off no matter what you do, unless you stole it from your friend down the street or purchased it at a local fish store and it was already cured and it was not out of water long.
In my case, my LR
was pre-cured. I added it to my not yet completely cycled tank and within 2 days, the tank was in a full cycle all over again with ammonia maxed out at 8+ ppm
again due to die-off. 3 weeks later, my tank stabilized and all Ammonia levels and Nitrite levels dropped to 0 again and the LR
is flourishing with life.
Note to anyone adding non or pre-cured LR
. Look it over carefully including all the little holes. Make sure you remove as much die-off as possible including clams and snails and such in the holes. This will speed your cycling as you won't have as much die-off polluting the tank.