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To all,

Last Thursday I set christianed my 125 gallon tank with 235 lbs. of live rock and 50 lbs. live sand. The rock is from "gulf view" and I must say it is stunning. This rock was out of water for less than 12 hours by the time I had it submerged and it is oozing with goodies. In fact, it was still in the gulf a few days earlier until being collected and set in holding tanks. Unlike some of this other junk I've seen that comes halfway around the world and travels out of water for 2 weeks. Dale is super to work with.

I've done a couple partial water changes since then and my ammonia level had spiked at .5 ppm and dropped down to .25ppm for a couple days. Now it is approaching zero. As the Nitrite levels take over, is there anything I need to do as far as supplementation? Do these organisms, sponges, corals, dusters, etc. require any sort of food? Specific gravity is at 1.023 and temp is holding at 78 deg. F. This is my first reef tank and it's important that I get this rock cured and sustained properly since it will be the lifeforce behind this ecosystem.

There's plenty of circulation. Little giant 4MDQ-SC & (2) Stream 6000's. Skimmer is up and functional. H&S A150-2001 external. Sump has (2) 150 micron filter socks and I'm running ammocarb in one.

I only put the lights on for a few hours a day and I'm only firing up the power compacts. (3) 10k 65w whites and (3) 65w actinics. I'm holding off turning on the halides till cycling is complete.

You guys have been great in the past and hopefully you'll have some good things here.
 

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um... if it came from the gulf i would say you really need to cook it. gulf rock has a bad rep for being full of mantis eggs amongst other things.... You should expect most of the critters to die off and odds are you will see ammonia for a few weeks at least. you may want to pull it out and scrub it off really good.
 

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Twitterbait said:
um... if it came from the gulf i would say you really need to cook it. gulf rock has a bad rep for being full of mantis eggs amongst other things.... You should expect most of the critters to die off and odds are you will see ammonia for a few weeks at least. you may want to pull it out and scrub it off really good.
<<< always a good idea to scrub it.. >>>





Nonsense.......and very poor advice.
 

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thekid55 said:
wat is bad about scrubbing live rock.


You don't scrub all the myriad life off that comes on Florida aquacultured live rock, that defeats the whole purpose of buying it in the first place.
 

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<<< I've done a couple partial water changes since then and my ammonia level had spiked at .5 ppm and dropped down to .25ppm for a couple days. Now it is approaching zero. As the Nitrite levels take over, is there anything I need to do as far as supplementation? Do these organisms, sponges, corals, dusters, etc. require any sort of food? Specific gravity is at 1.023 and temp is holding at 78 deg. F. >>>



There is nothing special you'll need to dose during the cycle other then checking all your water parameters daily like amm, nitrites, alk, PH, SG, etc. I always use Seachem Stability during the cycle which really seems to speed it up by adding different bacteria but your cycle seems to be going well already on its own.

Yes, you will have to feed the many critters and filter feeders on your rock, but I would wait until your cycle is completed. I use DT's Premium Reef Formula Phyto, Reef Chile, and Liquid Life (all sparingly) but there are many other choices. There's a fine line somewhere between feeding enough and feeding too much and causing cyano and microalgae problems especially with the DT's phytoplankton which has quite a bit of phosphate. I also turn off my skimmer and pumps for 2-3 hours after feeding.

Also I would go easy on the halides as many of the critters on the rock are only low to medium light requiring and don't need tons of intense light. Most Florida aquacultured rock is collected in about 20' of turbid water in the Gulf or Keys with poor visibility and doesn't get tons of light most of the time.
 

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Howard, I need to ask that you please not use an argumentative tone. we are all learning and we all have a different opinion. Please give us a constructive breakdown of your take on the subject and allow others to give theirs as well.
 

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As far as scrubbing the LR off... most people that have been in the hobby for a while will recommend this. most the fauna that comes on those rocks will die regardless of feeding or care. you don't need any more die off in the tank than you absolutley need. if it comes with something like zoos or something you can verify is a coral then fine, don't scrub... but otherwise clean it off and avoid the trouble of trying to export the excess nitrates and phosphates later.
 

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I thought the process of cooking the rock was to let everything die off but a few things that make it. On mine once a week I scraped off the dead stuff with a butter knife and used a powerhead to blow it all off.
 

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thekid55 said:
never seen the stuff. no any diffrent than other LR.


Well that's what I had thought......yet you are advising someone to scrub it down because "most of the stuff is not good for your tank" and then later say you've never even seen Florida aquacultured rock?


In reality, Florida aquacultured live rock is quite a bit different than what's commonly seen shipped from overseas and is typically collected from the leased aquaculture sites and usually shipped to the customer airport to airport express submerged in water therefore dieoff on the rock is usually very minimal except for possibly an encrusting sponge here and there, and the absolute LAST thing you'd want to do is scrub all the myriad life off this rock. It is also completely untrue that most of the life on the rock will die regardless of feeding or care.
 

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Watch out for Mantis shrimp with the Florida stuff we have here we have lots of nastys.
 

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Here are a few pics of what typical Florida aquacultured rock looks like.......would anyone scrub or cook this rock?



 

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Man wish mine looked that good when it came in thats deco there best rock they have and the most $$$
 

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like i said before, I would leave the zoos alone but everything else would get cooked. Mantis shrimp are extremly prolific in all FL LR aquacultured or not. Plus if i am putting the rock in my coral tank the last thing i need is a bunch of seaweed taking over.

Dj... you have our opinions, time to chose what you want to do :D
 

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If you want to keep all the life that came in with this rock alive then you will want to keep a slightly dirty tank, this rock thrived in an area with very turbid water. This type of tank would be called a lagoonal tank, ideal for Xenia, leathers, mushrooms, GSP, etc,... This dirtier tank, along with light will give the life that is on that rock, and the aforementioned corals, tons of food to grow and reproduce. This type of tank can be stunning!, but it is not everyone's cup of tea.

If you want a tank appropriate for SPS type coral, or even some of the harder LPS type coral, you will want to cook the rock, strip it of all the dirt it contains, and at the same time the life on the rock that lives off of this dirt. This is because SPS require clean conditions to do their best.
(P.S. "Cooking rock has nothing to do with heat or a stove, it is an extended curing process).

What type of tank you want to keep, and what kind of corals you would like should be what dictates what you do with your rock and husbandry.

Either way, I would get a refractometer to measure your salinity, and get it up around 1.025. Don't do that if you are using a hydrometer though, my Deep 6 was reading 1.025 but the water was really at 1.031.

HTH,
Whiskey
 

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i agree with Whiskey,
determing the type of tank you want to have is key thing now.
as you can tell by the different members everyone has different takes on the various types of live rock, wheather it is fiji, lace, FLd or the other various types of rock.each needs to be addressed to the type of tank you are planning.
Feeding the tank now is not needed at all.if you plan to allow the life on the rock to live now then you will have to do some what changes during the curing process.
If you are not planning on keepng the life going then you really dont need any light on the tank at all.
oh and where's the pictures of this? such the tease...

adjust the SG level now while you can.
 
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