Adding dry rock with live rock

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Be102

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Hi all,

i want to fix up my aquascape and I think the best way to do that would be to buy new dry rocks and break them to how I would like and then use e-marco reef cement to make an aquascape. I was going to let this sit overnight and then wanted to hopefully add it to my tank which has been established for a few years now. I probably have 70lbs of live rock as well as live rock in my sump and a marine pure block which also supposedly houses microfauna.

is it an okay idea to say order this set of rocks and some cement, create an aquascape and potentially even use some of my live rock as well and then add it all into my tank? I have no fish or anything just some corals and cleanup crew. So I am not entirely worried about leeching and whatnot.
This is the link I was thinking for rocks as the reviews seem to be good and I think I even saw someone mention them from reef2reef

Nature's Ocean 12-Inch Coral Base Rocks for Aquarium, 40-Pound

E-Marco website also says you can add cement to the live rock as long as you leave it out of the tank and spray it with tank water every so often. I’m not too worried about bacteria drying up as much as I am the glue to not work as well.
 
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lapin

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If your live rock stays wet a lot of the bacteria will stay alive. You might see some die off of things, and might have a small cycle. The bacteria you have in all that live rock in your tank should be able to handle it with ease. I would not worry
 

ScottB

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Agree with @lapin you can make this work. Hold on to a 5 gallon bucket of WC tank water, and dunk the rock now and again. There are hundreds of tiny critters in it, some of which will die but most should not if you dunk it or spray it often enough (with tank water). Most of the bacteria will also survive.

The reviews on that rock do look pretty good, although there is a frequent suggestion to powerwash the rock to "open up" the pores on the rock. I would strongly encourage that. (But not at the car wash as someone suggested. Detergents!

That marco cement is expensive but awesome. The joints end up stronger than the rock itself.
 
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Be102

Be102

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Agree with @lapin you can make this work. Hold on to a 5 gallon bucket of WC tank water, and dunk the rock now and again. There are hundreds of tiny critters in it, some of which will die but most should not if you dunk it or spray it often enough (with tank water). Most of the bacteria will also survive.

The reviews on that rock do look pretty good, although there is a frequent suggestion to powerwash the rock to "open up" the pores on the rock. I would strongly encourage that. (But not at the car wash as someone suggested. Detergents!

That marco cement is expensive but awesome. The joints end up stronger than the rock itself.
I am wondering how my experience will be with using some of it on already wet rock. Since I have just clean up crew and some corals I hope to really take the rocks out make some interesting formations as well as adding in the new base rock. Do you think if when I get the new rock I wash it, design it, then plan my layout I could add it right into the tank along with my already established rocks? Or should I make a structure with it then soak it in either ro/di or salt water to let it “cure” a little?
 

lapin

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Do you think if when I get the new rock I wash it, design it, then plan my layout I could add it right into the tank along with my already established rocks?
Yes


Or should I make a structure with it then soak it in either ro/di or salt water to let it “cure” a little?
Yes


As long as you wash the dust off it will be fine. Either way is fine. Both will remove dust. No need for a cure. Its going to get brown with diatoms then green with algae ect....
 
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ScottB

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Given that you have 70lbs of mature rock and a block already, your system should be able to handle some die off with safety.

The exception would be about proportion. If you are supplementing your live rock with dry, cool. If you are replacing live with dry, it will be about proportions. If you swap 30% no worries. If you swap out 60% it starts to get a little trickier. I am making up the numbers, of course, but you get the picture.

As to the cement curing, well, the instructions say it will attach to wet rock. Also says it will cure in water. You are likely reading the same threads that present various opinions about that. My experience was with dry so don't have personal evidence.
 

arturoo1977

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I ordered a box of that rock, its good quality but a lot of dust, just make sure to rinse it very well before adding it to your tank in order to avoid cloudiness. Eventually your filter will take off all floating dust, but to minimize it.
When I receive them I use my garden hose to clean them and then, after a good pressure wash, I use a RO water bucket to rinse again and add them to display tank.
My only "complain" with that rock is that I get two very large pieces and few very small, and they were very hard to break. I ended using those as foundation.
 

Mario0240

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So the general consensus would be that it’s safe to add a little dry rock, that’s been thoroughly rinsed, into your tank without having to worry about a cycle of any kind? I’m wanting to do the same thing but only add maybe 15-20lbs to my tank. Not replace any but just add to even out my scape some.
 

lapin

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If its dry rock thats not been in the water for millions of years it will be fine.
 
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Be102

Be102

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If its dry rock thats not been in the water for millions of years it will be fine.
What’s the worst that happens if it leaches stuff..? Sounds silly but if I do a few water changes even if it does leach will I be alright? Don’t really feel like making aquascapes to stick in a bucket to cycle for a while.. my tank is established I just want to add more rock to my tank which already has about 80lbs of live rock + a marine pure block
 
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Jeeperz

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My Marco rock leached nothing in 6 months in a circulating bucket, BUT, I added a piece to my tank and it grew nuisance algae. I even added biospira. No effect. Then ran through stability, no effect. I'm thinking next time I will soak rock in biospira solution then add. So bacteria can get deep in rock.

I am in no way, shape, or form, calling myself an experienced reefer. Just love the hobby, kinda, as I'm snow bound several months a year and I don't have a snowmobile.
 

ScottB

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What’s the worst that happens if it leaches stuff..? Sounds silly but if I do a few water changes even if it does leach will I be alright? Don’t really feel like making aquascapes to stick in a bucket to cycle for a while.. my tank is established I just want to add more rock to my tank which already has about 80lbs of live rock + a marine pure block
Adding some dry Marco to your established tank will not harm anything. The rock itself will likely pass through the "ugly" phases -- diatoms, green film, brown film, maybe something else, then finally coralline algae. But not a problem.

All natural rock has the capacity to store PO4 as well. If the PO4 concentration within the rock is greater than that of your water, it will leach some and vice versa.
 
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Be102

Be102

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Adding some dry Marco to your established tank will not harm anything. The rock itself will likely pass through the "ugly" phases -- diatoms, green film, brown film, maybe something else, then finally coralline algae. But not a problem.

All natural rock has the capacity to store PO4 as well. If the PO4 concentration within the rock is greater than that of your water, it will leach some and vice versa.
This may be silly... but can you explain to me why people spend so much time curing the rock? If the worst thing is it just appears ugly? So we seed our tanks and sand with live sand just to help get rid of algae and figure out nutrients?
 

Jeeperz

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What I understand is curing helps release any organics and po4 in the rock so it doesn't release in your display.
 

ScottB

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This may be silly... but can you explain to me why people spend so much time curing the rock? If the worst thing is it just appears ugly? So we seed our tanks and sand with live sand just to help get rid of algae and figure out nutrients?
Yeah, like @Jeeperz said, curing reduces the amount of organics and phosphates that natural rocks store and are then released into your tank. If you were doing a full reef build, curing saves a lot of headaches caused by EXCESSIVE levels of phosphate in particular.

Randy at BRS did a pretty good job putting some stats on different curing methods here:
 
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