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Old 10-07-2003, 12:51 AM   #1
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Dead corals and saltwater help

Ah... I bet every serious saltwater hobbyest clenched their fingers into a fist, when the thought of a beginner killing off coral ran across their brains. But, I assure you this is not the case.

I have yet to bring myself to the new world of saltwater. I plan on starting a small reef, probably in a 10 gallon tank. My main question revolves around dead coral. I've come across a few friends who have moved away from saltwater and evidently kept the long-dead coral at the bottom of their tanks. Can this dead coral serve a purporse? Gives a new meaning to "cured" coral - knowing that nothing has survived.

Considering the size of my first reef, I've looked into natural filtration. A good mix of live rock and live sand would prove itself? Of course, this is where the dead coral would come into play. By adding dead with live sand and coral, assuming the dead coral might prove to house any given species, is there a time frame I should expect upon seeing the transition/transplant? Would I need to encourage growth on the dead rock by moving anything to it?

A few things are keeping me from starting a small reef. Mainly: What happens when I need to move? Granted, a 10 gallon is quite small compared to other reefs shown on here. Still, I have no clue as to what would need to be done in order to preserve the coral. Just dump it into a container of water until relocation (obviously appropriate water)?

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Old 10-07-2003, 02:25 AM   #2
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I'm not really sure I understand your question, but I'll take a stab at it and if I'm off base, you can clarify. First, let me say that a 10g is probably not a good starter tank for SW. There are many more water parameters that have to be kept in line with SW and these parameters will change much more quickly in a small tank. Having said that, I started with a 10 so it can be done...it's just a bit of a gamble.

Are you intending to use the "dead coral" in lieu of LR? If so, as long as you have enough of it, I don't see any reason it wouldn't work for your biological filtration. If the coral has been languishing in the bottom of an abandoned SW tank for a long time, I wouldn't expect there to be much left alive on it...even bacteria. If you were intending to attach live coral to the dead coral, it'll attach to it fine...just as it would to any hard substrate.

As far as moving the corals, different corals "ship" differently. Some are quite hardy and will handle a move well. Some do not do so well...it really depends on what type of coral you have. The most common way is to bag them in tank water and move them that way. You can move the LR in buckets of SW. The sandbed will be OK for a while as long as you leave enough water in the tank to cover it.
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
Logan J
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coral, corals, dead, salt, saltwater

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