Help...Base Rock for Reef

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Aquarium Advice Addict
Jul 25, 2007
Southern California
I need to make some more rock shelves in my reef tank for new corals. I didn't want to get Live Rock because of the chance of putting something bad into my healthy tank.(Ex. Isopods, spider crabs etc) I have had to deal with lots of bad critters and don't want to ever again. So my first thought was to get some LR and then dip it in a Freshwater/Iodine Dip and that would kill off everything. Then I thought to myself I will be paying $6 a pound for "dead" rock, so I decided to get some dry base rock. I bought some base rock today and I asked the owner of the LFS if the rock came from the ocean and she said, "no it comes from the mountains" She also told me that it is safe for saltwater etc etc. However, I am a little concerned that there could be metal or something in there. I do believe it came from the mountains becaue I can see a couple specs of quartz in it. I don't know if I am being paranoid and I should just put it in the tank, or if I should return it. What would you do? Does anybody know of any good online sites to buy base rock? Thank.
Thanks Roka, thats exactly what type of site I was looking for. I am going to buy from him and return what I bought today. I dont want to chance the "mountain" rock.
You can add base rock directly to the tank right? No Curing or anything like that since there is nothing live in or on it?
Watch the ammonia anyway IMO. Some base rock, assuming it is dry that is, could still have stuff on it that can rot once it hits water.

Wonder if you could put it in plain, non-salted water and check ammonia? Maybe a day just to be sure? Of course if the addition is only a smaller portion of the total, the existing rock can prolly easily handle any spike.

I'm just catious with rock I guess. Any rock.
I would say check the rock very well. I found a dried up brittle star on a big chunk of mine. Of course, there is no telling what is dead in the nooks and crannies.
Marco rock is great, but DO NOT add it to an existing setup. It needs to be cured seperately. It's great for starting up a new system since it has all kinds of dried up pods, sponges, etc. Basically this was live rock that dried out. I found a dried up serpent star in the rock we used in my cousins tank.
If you add it to an established tank, it will start a whole new cycle.
I would only be adding about 10-15 pounds tops to make some shelves for coral. Do you think that would still be enough to cause a mini cycle in a 75gallon tank with over 80lbs of live rock?
Yes, 10-15 lbs of Marco rock will cause a cycle to start. There is tons of dead organic stuff in/on that rock.
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