Is my rock live?

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Marcus Rogers

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A while ago(3-4 years ago) when I first started my tank, I used Dry rock. I never got coralline algae to grow even though my calcium is at about 400-420 and my dkh is at 10-11. I am now wondering if my dry rock is now live and how would I know if it is. I am honestly just assuming its live since it has been in my tank for so long lol... Also if anyone has any suggestions on why I don't have coralline that would be great too!
 
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neilp2006

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What makes it live, is the bacterial biofilter that grows within it as a response to a food source. Such as nutrients from fish poop and feeding.

That bacteria is what people are building up when they ‘cycle’ a tank. It’s a horrible misnomer but it’s what we say, because we’ve always said it. The bacteria convert ammonia to nitrates, which is a small part of the ‘nitrogen cycle’, hence ‘cycle’. As a microbiologist- I prefer the term ‘establishing the biofilter’.

Now, since your rock has been in a tank with fish for years- yes, it’s ‘live’.
 

neilp2006

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Regarding the coralline- did you put anything with coralline algae on it, into the tank? A purple snail, a pink frag disk?

If not- you haven’t introduced it yet. It doesn’t spontaneously form.

If you want to seed coralline, you can add some live rock that has coralline on it, a snail or hermit shell that has some on it, or use some ARC coralline in a bottle. Don’t use purple up, it’s literally just a calcium supplement, no spores. Use good quarantine practices if you get rock or a snail. I actually plan to QT my ARC coralline also- but people will call me weird.
 

Rick.45cal

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What is your magnesium level? Sometimes a low magnesium level seems to stunt or prevent it’s growth. There are lots of factors at play in getting good coralline growth, but once you really get it going you might wish you had it back the other way. I have ridiculous coralline growth in my tank and I have to constantly soak the powerheads in vinegar to dissolve it so that water can get through. It sounds funny, and it is, but it’s also kind of a pain at times. There is something about a totally purple tank with purple rocks that’s kinda cool though.
 
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Marcus Rogers

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Regarding the coralline- did you put anything with coralline algae on it, into the tank? A purple snail, a pink frag disk?

If not- you haven’t introduced it yet. It doesn’t spontaneously form.

If you want to seed coralline, you can add some live rock that has coralline on it, a snail or hermit shell that has some on it, or use some ARC coralline in a bottle. Don’t use purple up, it’s literally just a calcium supplement, no spores. Use good quarantine practices if you get rock or a snail. I actually plan to QT my ARC coralline also- but people will call me weird.

I have never introduced coralline algae into my tank, however I just recently bought a frag and a couple of snails that had coralline algae on them so maybe it will spread now. Thank you!
 
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Marcus Rogers

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What is your magnesium level? Sometimes a low magnesium level seems to stunt or prevent it’s growth. There are lots of factors at play in getting good coralline growth, but once you really get it going you might wish you had it back the other way. I have ridiculous coralline growth in my tank and I have to constantly soak the powerheads in vinegar to dissolve it so that water can get through. It sounds funny, and it is, but it’s also kind of a pain at times. There is something about a totally purple tank with purple rocks that’s kinda cool though.

I have never tested my magnesium levels. So I guess I will have to buy a test kit for that lol
 
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