1. Fishboy&crazycatfishlady

    Fishboy&crazycatfishlady Member

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    Hey all!

    Back with some more questions! Getting really close to setting everything up and get running! Just cannot seem to decide/figure out what do as far as rock. I’ve looked into the Life Rock from Caribsea but can’t seem to find too much info. The only LFS near me is a petco, which they sell live rock BUT idk how I️ feel about their rock or to even trust it. So I’m kind of just looking for some thoughts and ideas from anyone. Is the life rock a good way to go? Should be looking into actual live rock? Dry rock? Help!
     
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  2. Mark Gray

    Mark Gray Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I used to use live rock but now 100% dry rock for me now I can add anything I want and don't have things I don't want
     
  3. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! Reef Squad Leader Photo of the Month Award Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    The live rock at petco an most stores is just dry rock that has been cured and cycled. You can do the same with a bucket or in in you're garage.
    Curing , most folks will call it. I highly reccomend it, for as long as you possibly can.
    With any rock you buy dry in fact.

    The only benifit of the lfs live wet is there's a whole lot of bacteria in they're bin.

    In the olden days live meant with coral bugs , crabs n fish sometimes too.
     
  4. Mark Gray

    Mark Gray Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I think Walt Smith still sells live rock with everything included lol
     
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  5. flsalty

    flsalty Active Member

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    I like the diversity that comes with live rock from the wild. With LFS rock you have to check and make sure it isn't full of pests. That is usually the only thing that survives on that rock besides bacteria. I used dry rock one time. I would never do it again with all dry rock. It takes way too long to get something I'd be happy with, like years.
     
  6. reefwiser

    reefwiser LMAS R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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  7. rkpetersen

    rkpetersen Active Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2018

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    I built my current system with live rock from 3 local stores, and Carib-Sea live sand. Cycle time was less than a day, I was unable to catch any kind of ammonia or nitrite peak.

    The rock had tons of coralline algae, which quickly started growing throughout the system.

    Hitchhikers on the rocks included:

    Small bristleworms
    Small aiptasia anemones
    Small asterina sea stars
    Two species of green palythoa polyps
    Two species of xenia
    Two species of sponge
    No mantis shrimps
    No macroalgae

    Overall, this worked out pretty well. There was no big initial nitrate peak, I was able to start adding livestock almost immediately, the small numbers of aiptasia were easily eliminated, the xenia is under control, and the rocks looked 'lived in' very quickly.
     
  8. recess62

    recess62 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter CTARS Member

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    There has been some discussion about the lack of biodiversity in tanks started with dry/dead live rock. I started with dry live rock and after one year the tank is doing fine but is pretty sterile in terms of biodiversity. If I were to do it again I would have added some wild live rock. At this point I am considering buying some GARF.
     
  9. Fishboy&crazycatfishlady

    Fishboy&crazycatfishlady Member

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    So maybe my best bet would be a choice of a few different types, live, Wild, and possibly some dry to get the diversity of life! Does anyone have any info or experience with LIFEROCK? How about some direction to other good places for wild rock
     
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  10. shawn16nano

    shawn16nano Member

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    I got Caribbean live rock for my tank and it looked awesome right from the start. I also had far more hitch hikers on the rock than I would have liked. I had bubble algae, aiptasia, brittle stars asterina stars and bristleworm infestations and various other mystery pests that still exist 8 years later. I think dry and live rock both have their place however I will be going with dry rock from hear on out. I think being patient for a year to get the tank looking the way you want is well worth it over the long term battle with pests. With dry rock and a quarantine procedure you are in control of what goes in your tank.
     
  11. Jacobscorals

    Jacobscorals Member

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    If you can't find a trusting source make your own.use only light and airy rock in 5 gallon buckets to start with a pump and add cycling bacteria and plenty of pods and add a type of purple up additive if you want color and a blue spectrum light will get it going good.use a good par bulb and a clip lamp from Wal-Mart and wait a few days or weeks to get what you want
     
  12. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! Reef Squad Leader Photo of the Month Award Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Dry is fine.
    I cycled with Walt smith Fiji mud a couple times. The little can.
    That was cool. Microfauna , no crabs.
     
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  13. Fishboy&crazycatfishlady

    Fishboy&crazycatfishlady Member

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    How did you go about using the mud? I don’t have a sump, and I see that’s what it’s recommended for in the refugium.
     
  14. Fishboy&crazycatfishlady

    Fishboy&crazycatfishlady Member

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    As a newb to the salt life, this was something I completely over looked! Wasn’t very aware of the whole curing process of dry rock, or more namely how LONG the curing process for dry rock was. I know this hobby is all about patience, BUT the wife and I were really looking forward to setting everything up and get running for Christmas for the kids. My original plan was Liferock. But I can’t seem to get any solid reviews on it. Live dry rock, well we’d be waiting around for a few more months. Agricultured live rock worries me about pests since I have ZERO experience with any of this. Reef saver rock? Anyone have experience with this? Or do I really have no choice but to cure rock for the next few months and impatiently wait. I’m just really kind of lost at what to do right so if you can’t tell lol. Help! PLEASE
     
  15. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! Reef Squad Leader Photo of the Month Award Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    I put my finger in the can and scoop some out and stir it around. Some times I leave a blob behind a rock.
     
  16. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! Reef Squad Leader Photo of the Month Award Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    You can "cure" the dry rock in the tank (cycle ), but the hard part is , everyone wants to do it fast and get fish and coral in there.
    Yea you can cycle it in a bucket for months , and that might be best for sure but, there is a middle ground. IMO.

    Slow , and patience helps a lot with that.

    You can set up the tank for Xmas but it won't be ready for fish till the new year.
     
  17. LovesDogs_CatsRokay

    LovesDogs_CatsRokay Active Member Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I started my first tank with all live rock and it has worked out pretty well. Had a bunch of hitchhikers (and some free coral) but nothing really awful and they were a lot of fun to watch while I was waiting for the tank to cycle. Everyday I would notice some tiny new life form. A year later I still have some of those hitchhikers but my parameters are really stable and my back wall is completely covered in coralline.

    I’m planning a new bigger tank and will probably go with mostly dry Marco rock for one reason. You can take all the time you want designing your aquascape and trying out different placements before it gets wet. With live rock you have to get it in the water ASAP and it’s really difficult to aquascape once it’s in the water IMO. I will probably put some live rock in the sump or maybe add it to the DT just to help seed all the good bacteria.
     
  18. Fishboy&crazycatfishlady

    Fishboy&crazycatfishlady Member

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    That’s kinda what I was hoping to hear, I figured being it will be a complete new system why wouldn’t I be able to allow the rock to cure/cycle in the tank all at one shot. I have no problem with leaving the tank sit with rock only for a little while to make sure it’s healthy and ready for inhabitants. I was just worried I was going to be waiting around for a few months with no tank setup after have planned for it to be set up for Christmas.

    Should I be skimming while the rock is curing and tank is cycling?
    Any suggestions as far as WC during this time.
    Light, no light?

    I was planning to still add a small amount of wet live rock to help seed the dry, and for the algaes and so on. Been looking into ARC and TampaBay Saltwater for that.


    Sorry to bombard you with so many questions
     
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  19. Fishboy&crazycatfishlady

    Fishboy&crazycatfishlady Member

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    Live rock as in agricultured from the ocean or LFS? If agricultured may I ask where?
     
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  20. LovesDogs_CatsRokay

    LovesDogs_CatsRokay Active Member Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    LFS but it was already completely purple and covered in coralline and had a few different corals on it so it wasnt just dead rock they had sitting in water. I’m not sure where they got it from though
     
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