Community Member
View Badges
Feb 1, 2016
Reaction score
Hi guys,

I will receive soon 33lbs (15kg) of dry Marco rocks that I'm going to put in a new tank (REEFER 170).

The tank is empty, no water, no equipment, nothing.

So here is the way I plan to cure and seed the rocks and cycle the tank altogether. Tell me guys how you feel about it, I definitely need your insights.

It will be a two-part process.

The First part will consist of Stages 1 to 3, and will take place in a trash can. I think this part will last anywhere from 1 week to 2 weeks at the most.

Stage 1 (when I receive the rocks)
- Fill a trash can with RO/DI water, and salt. Put in it a small powerhead and a heater

- Add the dry rocks and a dead shrimp right from the outset

Stage 2 (when the shrimp start decaying)
- After a couple of days, I'll start to test Ammonia

- When Ammonia is detectable, not too low but before it reaches the spike, I'll add a "bacteria in bottle" solution

- When Ammonia reached its spike (if noticeable) I will replace the dead shrimp by another one

Stage 3 (testing Ammonia and Nitrite)
- After 2 days, I will test ammonia again until it gets down to Zero if detectable

- Likewise with Nitrite

- When Nitrite an Ammonia reach Zero, I will assume that now the rocks are seeded with minimum nitrifying bacterias, then the second part will begin.

The Second part (stages 4 to 6) will take place in the display tank.

Stage 4
- Fill the display tank with RO/DI water, turn on the heater and mix salt in it.

- Turn on the protein skimmer

- Add the "freshly seeded" dry rocks and pour in another dose of bottled bacterias

Stage 5
- Start shadow feeding every other day, and test for ammonia and nitrite every day in the meantime during one week or two depending on the results I get.

Stage 6
- When ammonia and nitrite are no longer detectable, I will add the first inhabitants (one or two fishes, and CUC)

I think, in all, that process will take one full month at the most depending on the quality of the bottled bacteria I get.
Unfortunately, here in France, we have no easy access to well-tried bottled bacteria as Dr. Tim's or Bio-Spira. So I will go for "Prodibio - Biodigest ", a French brand.

I designed that method taking what I judged the best ideas of various other methods I came across online.

I will experiment that method, and see how it works for me. I'll keep you posted every day or every other day.

Any suggestions are welcome.




10K Club member
View Badges
Mar 2, 2012
Reaction score
That is roughly the same method I use.

Dry rock in container, add SW, and flow (do not need a heater here).
Add pellets(food) allow it a day or two to decay
Add directed amount of bacteria in bottle.
Repeat about every other day.

I do not test, just use the smell test. Let the rock run this way for about 2 weeks. Add to display with live sand. I always use media/foam and charcoal from an existing tank.

How's your tank currently looking?

  • Never better

    Votes: 61 14.8%
  • Pretty good

    Votes: 178 43.3%
  • Just OK

    Votes: 92 22.4%
  • Not great

    Votes: 43 10.5%
  • Prett Bad

    Votes: 15 3.6%
  • Yuck

    Votes: 13 3.2%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 9 2.2%

Online statistics

Members online
Guests online
Total visitors
Innovative Marine