Seeding dry rock with live rock

Auburn866

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When using live rock to seed dry rock in a new tank, is it necessary to dose ammonia or ghost feed? I don't plan on adding any fish for at least a couple of months. If I can get away with dosing nothing or maybe just ammonia, maybe that would starve any potential unwanted hitchhikers before adding fish?
 

happyhourhero

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You are basically culturing bacteria which needs food to thrive. I would ghost feed a bit each day so the bacteria will colonize the dry rock from the live rock. Your goal is to have enough bacteria that when you add the fish, ammonia will not accumulate to dangerous levels. You can add bottled bacteria or place an order with somewhere like indo pacific sea farms to get things going quicker.
 

GSPClown94

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Since you don't seem to be in any rush to add fish and are concerned about hitchhikers getting in, have you considered just using some bottled bacteria in your new aquarium?
 

Quintin

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When using live rock to seed dry rock in a new tank, is it necessary to dose ammonia or ghost feed? I don't plan on adding any fish for at least a couple of months. If I can get away with dosing nothing or maybe just ammonia, maybe that would starve any potential unwanted hitchhikers before adding fish?
What hitchhikers are you worried about and what live rock are you using to seed the tank?
 
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Auburn866

Auburn866

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Since you don't seem to be in any rush to add fish and are concerned about hitchhikers getting in, have you considered just using some bottled bacteria in your new aquarium?
Yes, I’ve always used biospira in the past but I can’t find it anywhere! My last and first saltwater tank only had dry rock and I had a horrible outbreak of Dino’s. Wanted to seed some live rock to add biodiversity this go around.
 
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Auburn866

Auburn866

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What hitchhikers are you worried about and what live rock are you using to seed the tank?
Mantis shrimp, gorilla crabs, aiptasia, bubble algae, bryopsis to name a few I’m hoping to find some local
 

Pistondog

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No expert here. Live rock has a diverse bacteria flora. To keep them all going, and colonize the dry rock, wouldnt you think you need to mimic the nutrients available in a reef tank? Not just ammonia for the nitrifiers, but all the other stuff in fish waste? I would ghost feed or throw in a clown.
 

Quintin

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Mantis shrimp, gorilla crabs, aiptasia, bubble algae, bryopsis to name a few I’m hoping to find some local
I started my tank with live rock.
Had several mantis shrimp ranging in size, loads of gorilla crabs, an octopus, several other non-reef safe crabs and plenty of whelks as well.

All of those are manageable and nothing to worry about. There are much more beneficial things that come with live rock, compared to undesirables.

Mantis shrimps are easily caught using a bottle trap by day, while crabs can be caught using the same by night.

For whelks. You gonna have to use a red torch and manually remove them as you see them.

But as before, the benefits far outweigh the issues you gonna encounter with dry rock.

For one, you already going to have a decent pod population, loads of spunges and bi-valves to help filter the water. Perhaps some corals you can’t buy in store and pretty much zero ugly phase with diatoms and green hair algae.
 

taricha

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If i thought I had a small amount of good rock I wanted to seed the rest of my surfaces, then I would lightly ghost feed (and probably keep lights off to lessen spread of photosynthetic nuisances).
bacteria often spread in response to nutrients, and hunker down in place during starvation.
 

Cichlid Dad

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I would personally not start a new tank without using some live rock. Even with risk of hitch hikers
 

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