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Old 06-05-2004, 02:01 AM   #1
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Live Rock and Sand Questions

1. Are there additional requirements for caring for live sand? Or do you just treat it like regular substrate?

2. I'm confused about adding cured live rock to an established tank. If I purchase live rock for the lfs, can I just add it to my tank? I thought that if it was cured, it was OK. If not, how should I go about adding the rocks? I read in the Sponsored Forums under liverocks.com and they advised not to dip their cured live rocks.

3. What exactly is happening during a die-off process? Is it the micro-organisms on the rock dying and causing an increase in ammonia?

Thanks!
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Old 06-05-2004, 02:43 AM   #2
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1. No additional treatment for live sand.

2. I bought my lr from my lfs, which was already in rubbermaid tubs. It had little critters all in it. The lfs owner and I loaded the two tubs (100pds), and he followed me home. Then he placed it in the tank for me, and answered alot of my questions. Very nice people, but very high pricing on fish, and supplies. 100pds lr cost me $300. Good price on the lr though. Anyway, I never had an ammonia spike.

3. If I am not mistaken, the process for your 3rd question is exactly what you said.
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the micro-organisms on the rock dying and causing an increase in ammonia?
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Old 06-05-2004, 06:19 AM   #3
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1. The sand needs to be stirred naturally. Get some certh or narsarius, snails. There are others as well, I think fire fish burrow.
2. If the lr is cured you can add it directly to your tank. I would reccomend doing a partial water change and saving the water in a rubbermaid tub. and dipping the lr in for a coupe of min to rinse the rock off. If you dip with water that has a sg of 15-20 you have a greater chance of unwanted hitchhikers coming off the rock(mantis shrimp, crabs). To be absolutely sure that the rock is safe for your tank, leave it in the tub with a heater and circulation for a day and watch for the ammonia spike. I think the reason people recomend against dipping lr is because most people don't know what is good and what is bad on lr. Mine was cured, I rinsed it in old water, cleaned off what was obviously dead, sent some crabs to my qt till I could identify them and then added rock. I went with lr.com and had no ammonia spike.
3. It is both the micro and macro organism die off that causes the ammonia spike.
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Old 06-05-2004, 09:06 AM   #4
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Re: Live Rock and Sand Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by TygGer
1. Are there additional requirements for caring for live sand? Or do you just treat it like regular substrate?

2. I'm confused about adding cured live rock to an established tank. If I purchase live rock for the lfs, can I just add it to my tank? I thought that if it was cured, it was OK. If not, how should I go about adding the rocks? I read in the Sponsored Forums under liverocks.com and they advised not to dip their cured live rocks.

3. What exactly is happening during a die-off process? Is it the micro-organisms on the rock dying and causing an increase in ammonia?

Thanks!
THe only requirements for live sand would be to have your tank in a condition that its condusive to saltwater life. No feeding or special care is required.

If the rock is indeed cured then adding it to an established tank will not cause issues. Often times the rock that is advertised as cured is not fully cured. Rock is only fully cured once its at a point that its no longer producing ammonia or nitrite. Most LFS's will have big vats of rock and when they get new rock often this rock is cycled into the cured vats. So at any given point you could pick a cured rock or an uncured rock out of that cured rock vat. What I suggest is doing a mini QT of the rock. Put the rock in a QT enviorment for 24 hours. Check for ammonia and if you find there is no detectable amounts of ammonia or nitrite in the QT tank then its safe to add this rock to the main tank. If you find only small levels of ammonia then you could add the rock to an established tank as long as the ratio of new rock to existing rock is not to high. If the ammonia level is high then you can be happy you didnt polute your tank with the uncured, cured rock.

During dieoff just as you described some of the items that make the rock its home are dieing off. This is usually a result of being exposed to the air for to long of a period or the temprature being to low for to long of a period during transport. The items dieing off could be sponges, small corals, bristle worms, pods, bactera, and a multitude of other items.
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Old 06-05-2004, 11:26 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone!

$3.00/lb is pretty inexpensive. My lfs sell live rock for $4.99/lb and I can hardly see any coraline algae on them, let alone the little critters.
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Old 06-06-2004, 01:21 AM   #6
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Ya, I did a little bargaining with him. Get them at the right time, and they'll cut you a deal.

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