Gulf live rock?

BRS

jkkgron2

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 22, 2020
Messages
68
Reaction score
61
Location
United States
Hi everyone! I’m looking into getting some premium deco live rock from gulf live rock, but I have a few questions. I’m going to be setting up my tank on Christmas, but I plan on getting the live rock maybe a week after it’s setup. Is that ok? My tank won’t be cycled, but I think that the live rock will have enough bacteria on it that it should be ok for whatever critters hitchhike on the rock? It’s a fluval evo 13.5g, and I’m getting 10lbs dry rock and 10lbs of the gulf live rock. Thanks!
 
OP
jkkgron2

jkkgron2

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 22, 2020
Messages
68
Reaction score
61
Location
United States
If the gulf live rock is shipped then it will have die off and likely cycle either way. I did frequent large water changes when I had it shipped to my door.

If you are picking it up somewhere it was kept wet for awhile then probably it much die off.
Yeah, it’s going to be shipped. I’m ok with some die off, as long as it won’t cause tons of issues in the future. I’m fine with doing water changes. How often do you recommend for the first couple weeks of having the rock?
 

Tamberav

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 4, 2014
Messages
2,473
Reaction score
3,592
Location
Wauwatosa, WI
Yeah, it’s going to be shipped. I’m ok with some die off, as long as it won’t cause tons of issues in the future. I’m fine with doing water changes. How often do you recommend for the first couple weeks of having the rock?

Test ammonia... mine was really high but I had 30 lbs of it and plenty of die off so I did 100 percent water changes once a day for first few days and then 100 percent every few days after that. I think total time was around 2 weeks before it calmed down.

It just depends how much die off and if anything large died that can’t be easily removed.

Never had any issues from live rock. Just don’t add shipped rock to a tank with coral or fish. Unless it is a small amount of rock and a large tank that can process the ammonia.

I put mine in a plastic bin until the cycle ended as I was adding it to an established tank and it was easier to catch the bad crabs and mantis.
 

lavoisier

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 23, 2015
Messages
1,241
Reaction score
6,187
Location
Overland Park, KS
Test for ammonia and nitrates. Use water changes to get these to 0. When I cycled shipped live rock I would do a weekly water change for 6 weeks in a brute container without lights, just power head and heater. If you are cycling your tank in the house you may need more frequent changes if the smell gets bad.
 
Avast

fish farmer

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 13, 2017
Messages
1,726
Reaction score
2,580
Location
Brandon, VT
I've done the same as above. In tank or in vat, the gulf rock comes with sponges....don't be afraid of smelling and pulling off dead ones. The rock is full of bacteria and other life, do some WC and even run your skimmer if you have one.
 
OP
jkkgron2

jkkgron2

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 22, 2020
Messages
68
Reaction score
61
Location
United States
Could I put the rock in a really small container (as small as the rock will fit) and just do daily 75% water changes? I’m getting the RODI water from my LFS, so I won’t be able to do large water changes in my evo without having to go back every few days for more water. If not I can just do large water changes on the evo, I’d just prefer not to :)
 

Dr. Jim

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 30, 2019
Messages
913
Reaction score
642
Location
Farmingdale, NJ
I had a long conversation with the owner of LiveRockNReef when I bought 25 lbs of Gulf rock. He insisted that I put it in my tank immediately otherwise critters would die. I tried to "argue" how this sounds so risky to my tank inhabitants but let him win the debate and I did as he said....and I'm glad I did. Everything survived: 2 rose corals; a corky gorgonian; sponges; spaghetti worms; bristle worms; macro algae, feather dusters and an urchin. These animals would be dead if not put into an established tank. Unfortunately, I would have to guess that putting rock like this in a "non-cycled" tank would not work.

Later, I bought 25 lbs of rock from KP (Keys rock). (Both shipments were overnight BTW). He recommended cycling the rock so I followed his recommendation. I put it in a tub with just a skimmer. The rock fouled, everything died (although there wasn't much to begin with, just a few brittlestars and hermits) and it took 3 weeks before I could use it. (The shape of his rock was nicer, however)

To be complete, I should mention that the first batch of rock also had some unwanted items (aiptasia and bubble algae) but you have to expect some bad stuff and this wasn't a bad trade-off.

Of course you can put any rock in the non-cycled system you are talking about. That's how most people cycle their rock. In the past, when we use to get Pacific rock that couldn't be shipped in 1 day, this method was fine because most of the macro life would be dead anyway. But if you want to save all the life on the Gulf rock that I mentioned in the first paragraph, it has to go into an established tank immediately. The only advantage of Gulf rock over Pacific rock (which is hard or impossible to get now) is that you can get all the marine life that I mentioned, so you might as well take advantage of that, IMO.
 

sfin52

So many pedestrians so little time
View Badges
Joined
Jun 19, 2016
Messages
17,038
Reaction score
77,437
Location
Usa
Tb is shut down till the the end of covid. Kp is a very good option. You'll have to cure the rock.
 
OP
jkkgron2

jkkgron2

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 22, 2020
Messages
68
Reaction score
61
Location
United States
I was considering cycling my tank and allowing the tank to become established before getting the rock, but I’m far enough away that overnight shipping wouldn’t be possible unless I paid for airline shipping, which I don’t want to do until I’m more experienced/am willing to pay for such expensive shipping. I understand that most of the life will die, but I kind of expect that to happen even if I did pay for overnight shipping, as I’m very new to saltwater so I doubt all the life would survive. So, because of that I’m more interested in the coralline algae and the beneficial bacteria that’s on the rock. Do you guys think the coralline algae and the beneficial bacteria on the rock would Atleast make it?
 

Dr. Jim

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 30, 2019
Messages
913
Reaction score
642
Location
Farmingdale, NJ
I was considering cycling my tank and allowing the tank to become established before getting the rock, but I’m far enough away that overnight shipping wouldn’t be possible unless I paid for airline shipping, which I don’t want to do until I’m more experienced/am willing to pay for such expensive shipping. I understand that most of the life will die, but I kind of expect that to happen even if I did pay for overnight shipping, as I’m very new to saltwater so I doubt all the life would survive. So, because of that I’m more interested in the coralline algae and the beneficial bacteria that’s on the rock. Do you guys think the coralline algae and the beneficial bacteria on the rock would Atleast make it?
The bacteria would certainly survive. Coralline can be sensitive and may die and seem to disappear but it will come back eventually. Again, it is a shame to sacrifice all the benefits of having the sponges, worms and other critters that will eventually help lead you to a more successful tank. But I just reread your first post. If you are just setting up the tank and don't have any rock at all, then there is nothing to cycle so you don't really have a choice. If it was me, I would buy half the rock from KP (to get nice shaped rock) cure it (which will take about 3 weeks minimum probably) and then get a few fish. Wait a month or two (which will give the bacterial population a chance to multiply) and then get the other half from LiveRockNReef (to get all the "life") and put it in as soon as it arrives. Overnight is overnight, no matter where you live. Even if you are "new" in the hobby, IMO it is worth getting all these critters AND keeping them alive. But that means you need a tank with an established biofilter ( cured live rock) functioning first. If there is a pet shop near you that has some live rock, that could take the place of the first batch (KP rock) and may speed things up if that rock is already cured (or partially cured).
 
OP
jkkgron2

jkkgron2

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 22, 2020
Messages
68
Reaction score
61
Location
United States
The bacteria would certainly survive. Coralline can be sensitive and may die and seem to disappear but it will come back eventually. Again, it is a shame to sacrifice all the benefits of having the sponges, worms and other critters that will eventually help lead you to a more successful tank. But I just reread your first post. If you are just setting up the tank and don't have any rock at all, then there is nothing to cycle so you don't really have a choice. If it was me, I would buy half the rock from KP (to get nice shaped rock) cure it (which will take about 3 weeks minimum probably) and then get a few fish. Wait a month or two (which will give the bacterial population a chance to multiply) and then get the other half from LiveRockNReef (to get all the "life") and put it in as soon as it arrives. Overnight is overnight, no matter where you live. Even if you are "new" in the hobby, IMO it is worth getting all these critters AND keeping them alive. But that means you need a tank with an established biofilter ( cured live rock) functioning first. If there is a pet shop near you that has some live rock, that could take the place of the first batch (KP rock) and may speed things up if that rock is already cured (or partially cured).
If I were to do large water changes daily would that help prevent die off? I’m looking into getting an RODI unit so I should be able to do large water changes every day, if needed. I actually was going to get some live rock from my LFS, but it’s more expensive than the gulf live rock, and has barely any life on it. Another option would be to cure some dry rock I have, and then maybe a month (?) after starting the curing and cycling process, I could order the live rock. The only issue with that is it’s possible the rock could freeze during shipping, but as long as a heat pack is included I doubt it will freeze.
 

Dr. Jim

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 30, 2019
Messages
913
Reaction score
642
Location
Farmingdale, NJ
Is the dry rock "live rock" that has dried or is it artificial rock? If the latter, I would never use it. If it is the dry "live rock" then you can use that, but I would get some "fresh" live rock to mix with it. And that rock could be from the Gulf or the LFS. If the LFS is more expensive, the only advantage would be if it is already "cycled" because then it would save you time. The cost and time factor would be up to you of course. I wouldn't worry that you don't SEE anything on the rock, there is plenty of bacteria in it and that is all you need to get started. Also consider "how nice does the LFS rock look?" You may not have anything to compare it to, but I think it is safe to say that the KP is "nice-looking rock." (If it was me, I'd probably lean toward a fresh batch of KP rock even if it means waiting for it to cure, especially if the cost is the same or less and cost is a factor).

If you decide to follow my "plan" then when you add the second half using LiveRockNReef, you will be getting tons of all the good critters that I mentioned previously which will gradually spread over the first batch of "bare" rock. But again, I wouldn't add that second batch until a couple months after your tank has cycled and you have had some fish for that amount of time. The biological filter has to be developed sufficiently to allow you to put the second batch (LiveRockNReef) into the tank as soon as you get it. (I would just swish each rock in a bucket of tank water for 5 seconds before adding it). (I'd recommend that the amount of the first batch be at least as much as the second batch).
 

Dr. Jim

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 30, 2019
Messages
913
Reaction score
642
Location
Farmingdale, NJ
I just thought of something...... I think I saw that LiveRockNReef has some Fiji Rock. If so, I would make that my first "batch" instead of the KP rock. (If you decide to do this, you can talk to them and run my suggestion by them to see if they suggest any modifications. They will know what kind of condition the Fiji rock is in which might lead to some adjustments in curing time....if they still have some).
 
Budmans

Jrain904

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
750
Reaction score
973
Location
DUUUUVAL
If the rock is shipped in water then just throw it in there. 10lbs of ocean rock in a tank that size you wont see a noticeable "cycle" anyway due to the fact that the rock is already full of the goodness.
 

Dr. Jim

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 30, 2019
Messages
913
Reaction score
642
Location
Farmingdale, NJ
If the rock is shipped in water then just throw it in there. 10lbs of ocean rock in a tank that size you wont see a noticeable "cycle" anyway due to the fact that the rock is already full of the goodness.
If you get it shipped in water, don't you have to go to an airport to pick it up?
 

CMMorgan

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 12, 2020
Messages
1,056
Reaction score
2,806
Location
Punta Gorda
Tb is shut down till the the end of covid. Kp is a very good option. You'll have to cure the rock.
God willing now that the vaccine is out there, we can hope that they will reopen sooner than later. I'm going to hold out as long as I can.
 
Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock
BRS

What are you most excited to read about in our REEF OF THE MONTH articles?

  • I love reading about reef equipment!

    Votes: 15 6.0%
  • For me, it's all about the CORALS!!

    Votes: 26 10.3%
  • Seeing and reading about cool fish that I wish I could keep!

    Votes: 6 2.4%
  • Looking for neat innovations and creative solutions they're using!

    Votes: 49 19.4%
  • Looking mostly for stuff I can try on my tank!

    Votes: 22 8.7%
  • Are you kidding?? I'm excited about ALL OF IT!!

    Votes: 134 53.2%

Online statistics

Members online
910
Guests online
3,773
Total visitors
4,683

New Posts

CWT Aquatics - Acrylic Sumps, Tanks, and More!
Top