Help before I get myself in trouble

Discussion in 'New to Saltwater & Reef Aquariums? Post Here' started by oldfishman, Dec 29, 2017.

  1. oldfishman

    oldfishman Member

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    I have questions concerning dry sand and rock. I know the dry sand and the dry rock rock has to be washed before placing in the tank. Is it OK to wash using tap water and then place in tank. I have 40 lbs of sand and 20 lbs or rock. I hear so much about how bad tap water is but I have cleaned enough sand in my day to know it takes a lot of water. I would drain the sand and rock as best as I could. Then I would add my salt water.

    To start my cycling I am also going to add a couple of lbs of live rock from my lfs.

    Does this sound like a good plan?

    Thanks in avance

    Oldfishmand
     
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  2. Crabs Mcjones

    Crabs Mcjones Tank Mechanic R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Reef Tank 365 Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    If you have the ability to wash it in RO/DI water, that would be best. I don't think that rinsing them off with tap water would do any harm, but why take the risk if you don't have to :)
     
  3. kyleinpdx

    kyleinpdx Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    You'll be fine if you're simply rinsing it. Yes tap water is unreliable in terms of TDS/contaminants but as long as your not curing/soaking the dry rock in tap water for hours or days on end I cant imagine a significant amount of impurities will make their way to your display tank. I'd recommend using some Prime or Aquasafe after the fact to remove and stray chlorine or chloramines but otherwise have at it!
     
  4. Idoc

    Idoc Valuable Member R2R Supporter MTRCMember Build Thread Contributor

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    It will take alot of water to rinse the sand. It's not feasible to use RODI. I used a garden hose, rubbermaid tote, and a nozzle to give a strong stream of water and rinsed my sand until the water was as clear as i could get it... took about 20 min. Everything I read prior said that it was ok to use the tap water for this that minimal contaminants would be retained.

    As for the rock, i cured mine for 6 weeks in tap water that i conditioned to remove chlorine. I wasn't trying to build a nitrifying bacterial population, just trying to clear out some of the decayed old organics that were deep in the crevices of the dry rock (pukani). I did 100% water changes every day to every other day for about 2-3weeks! I can't see wasting good RODI or even saltwater for that process! Plus, i planned on drying the rock out after the cure anyhow so i could practice different aquascape ideas on a table. Some cure their rock at the same time they cycle their rock... don't do that if you are using Pukani rock...too much organics deep in those rocks!
     
  5. Myk

    Myk Aquatic Creations www.ReefDelivery.com Platinum Sponsor

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    I would agree with the rinsing in tap, but would recommend if you are soaking the rock and sand to use RO/DI or clean SW. Especially if you are on a town water supply with phosphates and who knows what added to the water that could be soaked into the substrates.
     
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  6. mcarroll

    mcarroll Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Personally I would go with all live rock if possible...and bagged "live" sand vs dry. If you really don't mind washing your own sand, then that's fine. But unless you're already experienced with it, I would not use more than "a little" dry rock.
     
  7. banditone

    banditone Member

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    go with live bag sand and dry rock no possibility of any pests on the rock getting into system
     
  8. mcarroll

    mcarroll Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    @banditone have you seen all the problems associated with dry rock? Sooooooo many threads. Lots of dino's....other "great" stuff too though. I know it's cheap, but beginners are clearly not the right folks to be figuring out how to use dead rock. (Referencing the stickied dino thread there.....no idea if @oldfishman is a beginner, so his mileage may vary....as the saying goes. ;))
     
  9. banditone

    banditone Member

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    i seen him post on another thread hes 73 been around tanks awhile i just figured a marco type rock or pukani even brs stuff just because you can never be sure whats in those vats at lfs lol
     
  10. banditone

    banditone Member

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    i replaced all my rock couple years ago due to mojano aiptasia and bristleworms i know how annoying those can be alone must say been trouble free since then
     
  11. Myk

    Myk Aquatic Creations www.ReefDelivery.com Platinum Sponsor

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    No possibility of pests until you add coral. Coral is like (pardon me for being a Boston kid) a wicked live rock, LOL! Even if you are properly dipping your coral it is not going to be 100% clean. Don't be afraid of pests, just be ready to deal with them when they come up. If you over do it you will be missing out on all of the benefits of LR. I get that some folks will want to save money and that is fine, go part way on the dry rock and then seed it with some really good live stuff if necessary. On the other hand I don't really see the point in live sand. I feel like you are losing a part of the real benefit of the live sand if you break up the stratification of it any way from the aerobic to the anaerobic. In the case of sand I always go dry and then let the heap of really nice live rock seed the sandbed. Just my personal preference though and def. not saying that's the only way to go. :)
     
  12. mcarroll

    mcarroll Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    If you can forgive them a little bit of marketing leeway it all makes more sense.

    It's "live" as in seeded somehow with some nitrifying bacteria. Big deal I guess – makes great marketing though! ;)

    But that's not why I recommend it. I recommend it because it's pre-washed.

    Unless you're installing a massive sand bed, the bagged live stuff isn't too expensive.

    The cost in cash seems cheaper to me than the time, bother and mess of washing it myself.

    And if you're installing that massive sand bed I mentioned, then washing is going to be a colossal bother, mess and use of time.

    Bagged live also tends to be a more natural mix of sand particles vs the homogenous dry-bagged stuff...but that's an aesthetic and not everyone agrees on those. ;)
     
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  13. Myk

    Myk Aquatic Creations www.ReefDelivery.com Platinum Sponsor

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    I can def. agree with that. I have found at least in our part of the country the cost is about the same and that even the bagged sand isn't coming out as clean as it used to. I totally did the same thing though. Would always pay the extra for the live bagged over the dry to save on time rinsing! Either way even with the live bagged just having the bacteria component it is going to help speed up the cycle of the tank and with such a minimal difference in price why not get some nitrifying bacteria and save a little time.
     
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  14. oldfishman

    oldfishman Member

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    Thanks for all the replies. I am only added 40 lbs of sand and I know what it takes to clean but compard to old 300 with 300 lbs of sand this is or will be a breeze. After I have it cleaned I will drian and then soak it in clean salt water before adding to tank.

    I have been delayed in setting up as the tank was broken and new tank is being sent. The frame where the top attaches to the frame is broken.
     
  15. LuizW13

    LuizW13 Active Member

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    Not entirely true. I set up my first system several months ago with dry pukani rock. I didn't even cure it that long. I must have cured it for a week in RODI water, doing 100% water changes every 3 days. I never had any of those problems that people say are common with dry pukani rock. I could have gotten lucky, maybe it wasn't too dirty (although there was a BUNCH of dead life on it). I think it's overall better than starting off with live rock, just because of costs and pests.


    That ^ +100

    I've came to the conclusion that it's impossible to keep pests from coming in through frags, even when dipping. I don't mind the tiny bristle worms i've gotten- but the pinaepple sponges and bryopsis is ******* me off.
     
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  16. mcarroll

    mcarroll Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    I'm glad that some folks are succeeding with it!! ;Happy

    Costs on live rock are undeniable :)eek:$$$$) but worth it in most cases.

    On the other hand, the pests are mostly overrated. For example, bristleworms and sponges just add benefits to the ecosystem and directly enhance the amount of plankton in the water. All of the actual live rock "pests" of any likelihood are manageable and it's nice to think of them as being part of the fun. :) They certainly keep you from getting into a rush about adding livestock too soon...that's not a bad thing! :D
     
  17. Mini Coop

    Mini Coop Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I used reef saver dry rock from BRS, and I also cured in RO/DI for 6 weeks. I changed the water once a week, and it came out great! VERY little dust or rubble, and I would be shocked if there was anything left on it. I now have live rock for my sump that I am curing in RODI as well.
    I used Tropic Eden live sand - and I have to say I was completely impressed! within 24 hours it was all clear! It was awesome!
     
  18. ChristmasCorals

    ChristmasCorals Member

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    yes, wash in tap water. just drain out the excess. the filtration you have on your system will pick up an residual, which is very minimal. when you rinse the sand you notice almost all the water drains out. this same concept goes with rinsing carbon, phosphate remover, and any other type of media. good luck.
     
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