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Old 11-09-2006, 09:41 PM   #1
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Base rock/Live rock setup - Help please

Hi everyone,

So as per my other thread I've decided to do a FOWLR community tank.

My original plan was to get about 100+ lbs of liverock over time; however, I just discovered base rock (or "dead live rock" or "dry rock") as some people call it.

This is appealing to me as it significantly cheaper to the point I could buy 50-100 lbs right now and throw it in the tank while it's cycling.

I was planning to get from macrorocks.com if shipping to Canada would work out as he was recommended in another thread.

My question is:

Will adding 100 lbs of baserock and having only 50 lbs of liverock cause problems or will all of the base rock develop fully into live rock? My light source is a 260w orbit fluoro. Tank is 4x2x2

Thanks everyone!
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Old 11-09-2006, 10:02 PM   #2
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Yes. The base rock will become live rock. It's live rock because of the bacteria. You don't even need to add live rock. I have over 100 lbs of what was base rock and only 1 piece of live rock (35 lb piece). Live rock introduces other organisms (coralline algae, pods, sponges, etc).
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Old 11-09-2006, 10:47 PM   #3
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I think it depends of how long you want the base rocks to turn into liverocks. Logically the more liverocks you have the faster it will spread to the base rock or vice versa.

But you need to take into consideration if your tank is a new tank, the cycling will most probably take place and there will be die-off on liverocks therefore I would recommend not to put too much liverocks in. I think best to use about 20% of liverocks and 80% base rocks. Because during cycling could kill lots of stuffs on liverocks so no point adding too many liverocks as they are not cheap too. In the mean time during cycling those critters who can withstand the bad water quality can at the same time seed the baserocks.

For myself I just got all liverocks and not much really die-off during my cycling as most rocks I got was from my LFS 5 mins drive away from my house. Had a little ammonia, nitrite spike but not major.
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Old 11-10-2006, 02:32 AM   #4
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Just to clarify some, the die off on the LRs occurs during the shipping process and actually helps start the cycle. It gives the remaining bacteria something to feed off of. The main point of adding live rock is for the bacteria, not the "extras" that you get. So, the more live rock, the more established bacteria.

Also, please!!! do not cycle with live animals. It is cruel & inhumane. If you do receive any crabs or snails with your order, place them in a QT tank until after your cycle is complete, if at all possible. And make sure your cycle is complete before adding anything to the tank.

If you are interested in moving your cycling process along any quicker, add a cocktail shrimp (fresh) from the grocery store. They will look at you like you are crazy, but probably won't charge for it.

And one last thing, if you do decide to get LR from the LFS, make sure it is cured! I used 85lbs of cured like rock in the 55gal & experienced no cycle at all.

HTH
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Old 11-10-2006, 03:20 AM   #5
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But, just to add, there is no point using cured LR to start a new tank. Only use cured LR in an established tank. Use uncured LR to cycle your tank when first starting up it is also cheaper than cured LR.

chizzle are you sure there is no cycle at all when you use cured LR? I have used cure LR and still experiencing cycle. I don't think there is guarantee if you use cured LR to start a tank there will be no cycle. Just to be on the safe side I would say use uncured LR. If you use LR and cycle do happen then all your good stuffs will be screwed so does the $$$.

But I am not sure if you could have no cycle at all when you use LR, LS and water from an established tank. No experience on that.
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Old 11-10-2006, 10:42 PM   #6
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Yes, you can have little to no cycle, if there is enough transplanted nitrifying bacteria, from established sand/LR. Weekf, you are correct, there is no guarantee.
GuOD, I will be ordering from marco as well. I have emailed him a few times and he seems very reasonable. I am getting 150Lbs, from him, in the next few weeks.
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Old 11-10-2006, 11:12 PM   #7
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Yes, you can have little to no cycle, if there is enough transplanted nitrifying bacteria, from established sand/LR. Weekf, you are correct, there is no guarantee.
GuOD, I will be ordering from marco as well. I have emailed him a few times and he seems very reasonable. I am getting 150Lbs, from him, in the next few weeks.
Thanks Roka.

I believe you were the person who originally pointed me to that site. The only problem is with shipping to Canada, unfortunately.

I was just wondering - I was planning to do 1lbs liverock/gallon, but with my discovery of cheaper base rock I think I could do a lot more. I was thinking of ordering 100 lbs of base rock for my 4x2x2 125g. Do you think this would be too much? I am also considering 50# or 75# order. I'll have about 50# of liverock in total at the end and the rest will be base rock.

Thanks!
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Old 11-11-2006, 04:29 AM   #8
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Maybe I should have clarified some. I have a tendency to post at 2-3 in the AM, so my mental state is not quite perfect . I did not mean to imply that there was a guarentee to not having a cycle when using cured live rock, I was just sharing my experience. And yes, I had no cycle at all. I waited three weeks before adding fish & tested every day to make sure. I also added the cocktail shrimp on day three & it was gone shortly there after. And still no cycle. And as far as the price goes & paying extra for cured LR, I paid 5.99lb at the LFS, so maybe I got lucky

GuOD, as far as the amount, most people shoot for 1.5 - 2lb / gallon total. If I am reading correctly, you will total 150lbs (100 base & 50 live?). Therefore, assuming I am reading correctly, I do not think it will be too much. I know it seems like a lot of rock, but the pieces are generally very porous & weigh much more than to be expected. In my tank I think I only have 10, MAYBE 15, pieces of rock total, which equals ~85lbs.
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Old 11-11-2006, 10:11 AM   #9
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Maybe I should have clarified some. I have a tendency to post at 2-3 in the AM, so my mental state is not quite perfect . I did not mean to imply that there was a guarentee to not having a cycle when using cured live rock, I was just sharing my experience. And yes, I had no cycle at all. I waited three weeks before adding fish & tested every day to make sure. I also added the cocktail shrimp on day three & it was gone shortly there after. And still no cycle. And as far as the price goes & paying extra for cured LR, I paid 5.99lb at the LFS, so maybe I got lucky

GuOD, as far as the amount, most people shoot for 1.5 - 2lb / gallon total. If I am reading correctly, you will total 150lbs (100 base & 50 live?). Therefore, assuming I am reading correctly, I do not think it will be too much. I know it seems like a lot of rock, but the pieces are generally very porous & weigh much more than to be expected. In my tank I think I only have 10, MAYBE 15, pieces of rock total, which equals ~85lbs.
Thanks chizzle. I was only concerned when I read that dry rock increases in weigh by 50%. So if I were to purchase 100# of dry rock then I'd have about 150# of wet dry rock and only 50 lbs of live rock.
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Old 11-11-2006, 02:42 PM   #10
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Yes. The base rock will become live rock. It's live rock because of the bacteria. You don't even need to add live rock. I have over 100 lbs of what was base rock and only 1 piece of live rock (35 lb piece). Live rock introduces other organisms (coralline algae, pods, sponges, etc).
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