I think you'll find a lot of contradictory info regarding SW
tanks. Just keep reading(I recommend The Conscientious Marine Aquarist by R. Fenner) and researching(on the web, lfs
etc) and soon enough you'll be able to sort out the good from the bad(and the grey areas) yourself.
Regarding cured live rock, I think most of the confusion comes from the retailers who sell LR
throwing around the terms "cured" and "pre-cured". IMHO
you can not realisticly expect to buy truly cured LR
by mail order. The shipping process alone will create die off and therefore generate some ammonia. If you buy any MO rock, I would suggest putting it in a cycling tank or curing it yourself in a separate container. I know some MO companies suggest adding the rock directly to your cycled tank, but IMHO
they did not spend the time and money setting it up so I wil always take the cautious route. You can get MO rock in various conditions. Florida aquacultured rock shipped directly to your door can arrive almost fully cured. Almost meaning that it will probably still have some die off and cause an ammonia spike. It may be a much lower spike than pacific rock, but a spike none the less. For this reason I always place my MO rock in a separte container for at least a week performing water tests and changes when needed. After the ammonia & nitrites are at 0, I will add it to my tank.
Buying cured LR
from an lfs
should be no problem. Just make sure your buying from a reputable lfs
who is telling the truth about the condition of the rock. The rock should not have a nasty smell. Cured LR
usually as a smell similar to the ocean where as uncured rock will plain stink. Also bring some SW
in buckets with you to place the rock in for the trip home. This way you can make sure there is no die off due to air exposure.
These are just my opinions and as I said earlier, don't take this info as gospel, just add it to the other info you have received to come up with your own conclusion.