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Old 03-25-2010, 07:12 PM   #1
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Unhappy Totally Confused! will the dry rock eventually become live rock

My hubby just bought a 34 gallon Salana tank and a really good light (I have no idea what kind). He used live sand and has also added dry rock. It has been running for about a week. He ordered premium fuji live rock from the website liveaquaria.com to be overnighted. We received it yesterday. It came in a box wrapped in one wet peice of newspaper. The paper was almost completely dry and the bag it was packaged in was full of some kind of sand flea's or sand flies. I thought it had a funny smell to it but my hubby said it was just because it was from being wet. 2 of the 4 pieces they shipped were about 14" across and completely flat and very black. The website said that if the pieces were to big you could break them with a hammer and chisel. We attempted to do so and it just crumbled into 1/2 inch pieces of soft mush. So we threw it away and are going to cut our losses.

The water is crystal clear and testing is perfect. My questions are, since we took out the live rock, will the dry rock eventually become live rock so we can add coral and maybe some frogspawn?

Also since we were planning on adding the live rock we had removed the bio-balls from the built in filter, since we didn't add the live rock should we add the bio-balls back in or should we leave them out to promote the growth on the dry rock?

Please help!

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Old 03-25-2010, 08:00 PM   #2
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Please first of all read our article on cycling in the SW articles section. You will have nothing but problems if you dont. Yes the dry rock called base rock will become over time. You can cycle the tank and cure the base rock at the same time. Again read that article on cycling.


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Old 03-25-2010, 08:01 PM   #3
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Wow.. liveaquaria strikes again. I had a similar experience with ordering fiji live rock from that online place, and my rock was just as horrible as yours. Just be glad that you didn't put it in your tank otherwise you would not have liked what you saw. Those rocks made my tank eternally dirty and disgusting, and no matter how many times i tried to clean my tank over and over again, the grime kept coming back. I'm really sorry that liveaquaria screwed you over, for they also did this to me, and i will never EVER buy from them again. I suggest you do the same.

Anyways, on to the helping part.

First off, the dry base rock that you put in your tank will not have an ammonia source, and therefore will not cycle your tank. In order to establish a bacteria colony that will be able to support the bioload of your tank inhabitants, you need properly cycle your tank. For more and great information on how to do this "tank cycling" read this awesome article:

Cycle your salt tank

After your cycle is done, it is best to wait a couple months before getting any seriously expensive coral, just so your tank water parameters can become stable. You will want your water parameters to be very stable before getting any coral because most coral are sensitive to water parameter fluctuations. However, there are hardy corals that you could start off with as test coral, and if you are able to keep those coral healthy and keep your water parameters in check, then you can step up your game and start to get more coral. But taking things slow is the best advice anyone can give you.

As for the live rock, in order for the live rock to become "live" over time, and it will, you need to "seed" it with a small amount of live rock that is already live. So you can get all base rock, save some money, and then get a couple pounds of live rock to seed it. It won't be overnight, but your rock will become live over time. As will your sand. And i know your thinking that the sand you already got was "live", but we never really know how long that "live sand" has been sitting on the shelfs for, so most likely it isn't exactly live anymore. So that's why i mention the sand becoming live as well, because seeding your live rock will also seed your sand.

As for the bio-balls, you can ditch those, and actually replace them with LR rubble. LR rubble are tiny fragmented pieces of the larger live rock, and replacing the bioballs with LR rubble will benefit you in so many more ways. You will also never have to clean the LR rubble like you would the bio-balls over time.

Hope i helped. Stick around, ask questions, and research, because researching will be your best friend throughout your saltwater journey. I'll leave you with this saying that all of us SW and Reef junkies like to say; "Nothing good ever happens fast in saltwater."

Good Luck!
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dry, dry rock, live, live rock, rock

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