I have yet to get my tank but am picking up some dry rock tomorrow. Listed on Craig's list as dry live rock. My question is can I start making it live rock even though I don't have a tank yet. Putting it in a bucket with saltwater and a small piece of live rock? Will that speed things up? Would adding heater or power head help? Should I add in any bacteria?
Yes, this is something you can easily do. I used an old plastic container for keeping kegs cold in ice for mine.
You'll want to fully submerse all of it in water with a powerhead and a heater. Since you aren't set up, you might as well cycle the rock in there while you are at it! Toss in a raw cocktail shrimp and your cycle is off.