I had a similar experience from my LFS
(whom I no longer use, except for food). When I first started my tank, I got 10# from him "to start with". He too, convinced me that I should get fully cured (aka, "Dead looking") rock, and that the fresh rock was too much of a bother with the curing and smell ("you'll be sorry" he told me, the schmuck). Luckily, through the good advice of this forum, my next move was to order 120# from LR
.com, and I couldn't have been happier. It came in fresh, with very little die off and smell. And I'd do it all over again -- just be sure to keep up with the daily water changes and dusting (with a turkey baster) for about a week.
You will NOT be sorry. Oh, and if you DO use LR
.com, seriously consider a lighting upgrade. I had the 50/50 flourscents too, but with I had upgraded to the PC
sooner. There was quite a bit of the good corraline algea that simply faded away over 6-7 months. The better lighting will help sustain it (a lot of mine has come back since the upgrade, however).
, and good luck.
base with 120# LR
CurrentUSA ORBIT 4x65W PC
Fluval 304 for carbon and LR
couple of MaxiJet-900 PHs
Calcium and Corbonate supplements 2x/week
2 percula clowns | 1 kole tang
1 royal gramma | 1 lawnmower blenny
1 cleaner shrimp | 1 fire shrimp
2 emerald crabs | bunch of snails and hermits
1 curlyQ anemone | 1 flower anemone
a boatload of fire worms and brittle/banded stars
... and now 100% mantis free!