Dry rock with a few pieces of live rock?

Goddbasedd

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I’m starting a new 20 gallon long and have some dry rock left over from a previous tank from years ago.

my question is should I use this dry rock and along with using Dr. Tim one and only, buy a few pieces of live rock from my LFS to help seed the tank? Or just stick with my dry rock and Dr. Tim?
 
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mdb_talon

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In my experience dry rock is going to go through the ugly stage no matter what. Whichever way you do it will work, but personally i would do all dry(with bottle bac) or all live.

Also would make sure the live rock from an LFS is actually worth it. If it is truly established live rock then maybe worth premium price, but if it is dry rock they through in a tank a few days ago it no better than a bottle.
 
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Garf

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I’m starting a new 20 gallon long and have some dry rock left over from a previous tank from years ago.

my question is should I use this dry rock and along with using Dr. Tim one and only, buy a few pieces of live rock from my LFS to help seed the tank? Or just stick with my dry rock and Dr. Tim?
If you mix it you’ll probably want a longer cycle and give the bacteria time to migrate from the live to the dry. I’ve done it and skipped much of the ugly stage associated with dry rock but that may have been luck or because I’m super talented LOL
 

NeonRabbit221B

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In my experience dry rock is going to go through the ugly stage no matter what. Whichever way you do it will work, but personally i would do all dry(with bottle bac) or all live.

Also would make sure the live rock from an LFS is actually worth it. If it is truly established live rock then maybe worth premium price, but if it is dry rock they through in a tank a few days ago it no better than a bottle.
Agree and disagree to an extent. I think mixing the two will be my go to approach from now on because the live rock will help seed the coralline and healthy microfauna early on. Never had an issue with uglies as bad as I do when I do dry only. I do agree that if its just pre-cycled for a month and doesn't actually have living organisms and coralline ect then its a waste.
 

fachatga

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I’m going to mix my next tank which will be soon. Don’t care about ugliness for a while. It goes away. And from everything I’ve gathered it seems there are some things you won’t get without the love rock. It can and does work but there is no complete substitute. That being said I don’t see the reason to need to use all live unless it’s for looks til it’s all purple.
 

attiland

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I’m starting a new 20 gallon long and have some dry rock left over from a previous tank from years ago.

my question is should I use this dry rock and along with using Dr. Tim one and only, buy a few pieces of live rock from my LFS to help seed the tank? Or just stick with my dry rock and Dr. Tim?
Will work better than just dry rock. Make sure you choose a peace with coralline on it. That will indicate that age of the rock. Older the better.
 

mdb_talon

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Dry rock with a couple pieces of live gives you the uglies of dry rock combined with pests of live rock. It may give you coralline that may or may not live, but so will snails,frags,etc.

Not that i think live rock is bad it is what i always used until recently when i started one with dry and will never do that again takes so long to really get it matured i just think if going dry might as well use a bottle, cycle, and wait out the ugly stage.
 
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attiland

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Dry rock with a couple pieces of live gives you the uglies of dry rock combined with pests of live rock. It may give you coralline that may or may not live, but so will snails,frags,etc.

Not that i think live rock is bad it is what i always used until recently when i started one with dry and will never do that again takes so long to really get it matured i just think if going dry might as well use a bottle, cycle, and wait out the ugly stage.
I was all for dry rocks but would never do it again. My biggest issue came from lack of diversity and I have ended up adding small peaces of live rocks anyway but by than I had Dino outbreak.
I think you are missing the point if you think coralline is the aim of the live rock. That is just an indicator of its age.
you will get ugly stages no matter what only some people don’t admit it. With the present of live rock it will likely be shorter.
 

Cell

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A small amount of live rock to help seed a larger amount of dry rock is a perfectly fine and commonly used tactic. In fact, it might be the optimal method to start a tank with less chances of hitchhikers but a quick establishing biofilter.
 
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Goddbasedd

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What a great conversation with some really good view points! I think I will add some live rock because my LFS has some really good pieces that are well established. Thanks everyone for some really great information.
I hope to have a build thread soon!
 
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So I would only do liverock that is fresh from the ocean, or that I cured. From and LFS or another hobbyist without curing is asking for trouble in my opinion. That said I'm a huge proponent of liverock. A mixed liverock dry rock start was very common pre dry rock everything. Many reefers didn't want to spend the money on liverock so we bought liverock and "base rock" to start. Nothing wrong with the approach. It gets you stable quicker but dry rock will be junky no matter what for a period of time.
 

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