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Old 11-06-2014, 01:54 AM   #1
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Dry/Live Rock

Okay, so I have a standard 55G I am going to make into a saltwater reef.

How much dry/live rock should I use?

Should I do a combo of both?

My LFS has the rock in a large bucket. Does this mean it's already cured and is live rock?


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Old 11-06-2014, 07:01 AM   #2
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As much or as little as you like. If you want hitch hikers from the ocean, then you will want to add live rock to the tank. If not, you can use 100% dry rock.
No, rock submerged in water is no guarantee that it's cycled. Even if there was a sign on the bin that said "cured/cycled rock", I would still treat it as an ammonia source until I was sure (via test kits) that it was not producing any.
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Old 11-07-2014, 01:24 AM   #3
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Dry/Live Rock

I don't want any hitch hikers unless they're gonna pay rent lol.

I think I will get at least one or two pieces of live rock to help seed the tank.

Will that make a difference? The dry rock will release all the dead organisms and such and start the cycle regardless right? Is it much slower?

I'd be using some sort of chemical cycle additive as well as the live sand from my LFS.

This is going to be my first saltwater and eventually reef tank and I don't want to have to deal with any hitch hikers if at all possible.

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Old 11-08-2014, 02:16 PM   #4
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Not necessarily. The dry rock will have little to no die off on it to start a cycle. You'll need to add an ammonia source.

Some hitch hikers are good for the tank. Amphipods, copepods, some isopods, common bristle worms, starfish, and such are all generally helpful and make for an interesting reef. "Seeding" the rock with live rock can bring as many hitch hikers as using 100% live. It's a gamble.
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Old 11-08-2014, 02:22 PM   #5
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I went with four pieces of live rock. Have the salinity right I just am trying to get the sand cloudiness out.

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I'm also using this as my ammonia source.

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I'm about to test the levels right now to see where we are at.


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Old 11-09-2014, 05:38 PM   #6
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You don't have enough surface area to support livestock IMO. I would buy about 2 to 3 times as much rock before you cycle it. I would think you would have nitrate problems at the very least with that little rock. I can't comment on the fluval product. I've always added an ammonia source (a raw shrimp or large amount of live rock) to start my cycle.
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Old 11-10-2014, 12:26 AM   #7
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Well, I bought out my LFS of live rock when I went and they're the only place in town that sells it. Waiting till they get more and I'm going to get another couple pieces.

Am I able to do this later or will it cause problems? I'm not going to be putting fish in it for a while I don't think. I want to make sure my water parameters and cycle is perfect and done.


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Old 11-10-2014, 09:39 AM   #8
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The rock is where most of your bb colonize, so you should get it all in and them start the cycle. You can also look into some dry rock from offline somewhere. Should be much cheaper, even if you have to get it shipped.
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Old 11-10-2014, 10:31 AM   #9
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Its not gonna hurt anything to start the cycle now. Just grab some more rock when you can.
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Old 11-10-2014, 02:24 PM   #10
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The rock is where most of your bb colonize, so you should get it all in and them start the cycle. You can also look into some dry rock from offline somewhere. Should be much cheaper, even if you have to get it shipped.
I agree with BigRed.All my rock is base rock from online and it is much cheaper than an LFS. Its been awhile so I do not remember what I paid per lbs but I know it was less that $2.I got rock from Amazon and Drs Fosters and smith.The thing i wish I would have done it got less big pieces and some variety like Tonga or Fiji to go with it.Bulkreefsupply has a good selection.
Good luck!
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Old 11-10-2014, 02:41 PM   #11
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That bacteria in the bottle I wouldn't trust it as you don't know how long its been since it was bottled , seen people use it than add fish everything was dead the next day , the short cuts are just to make money it don't mean they work , good old clear ammonia or raw shrimp would be my option to start the cycle
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Old 11-11-2014, 01:45 PM   #12
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I went with four pieces of live rock. Have the salinity right I just am trying to get the sand cloudiness out.

Attachment 255198

I'm also using this as my ammonia source.

Attachment 255199

I'm about to test the levels right now to see where we are at.


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i looked up the additive you are using as an ammonia source and it isn't a source of ammonia.it is an additive that eliminates ammonia.It states that it is beneficial bacteria that allows you to add fish immediately because is that source of beneficial bacteria that feeds on ammonia. You need to add a fresh dead shrimp or pure ammonia to start the nitrogen cycle if you do not have the amount of live rock the Mr. X talked about.The additive you bought will help speed up the cycle because it is the beneficial bacteria that results from cycling a tank I believe. Hope this helps.Good luck!
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Old 11-11-2014, 01:47 PM   #13
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Dry/Live Rock

Ah gotcha! All my rock is live rock and all my sand is live sand. I'm also getting 10lbs of dry rock tonight. I tested today and my ammonia is at 0.5 with no nitrites or nitrates.


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Old 11-11-2014, 01:59 PM   #14
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Ah gotcha! All my rock is live rock and all my sand is live sand. I'm also getting 10lbs of dry rock tonight. I tested today and my ammonia is at 0.5 with no nitrites or nitrates.


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Sounds like the the live rock started your cycle. Just keep testing once you see a spike in nitrite.Test for nitrate and continue testing ammonia and nitrite.When your ammonia and nitrites are zero add more ammonia to 3 ppm and if they go back down to zero in 24 hours your tank is cycled. Good luck!
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