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i have a REALLY old piece of rock that i had in a tank i tore down 5 years aog, i saved it cuz of its shape and just came across it. if i put it in my tank now how long would i plausibly have to wait before i can call it "live rock" again? is about 25 lbs and there is 100+ lbs in the tank.
 

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i consider my base rock "live" whenever i can see my pod population and other critters move in and populate the rock... and itlll turn colors as bacteria and algae and coralline grow on it... i dunno what other people consider live...
 

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Every system will be different. A mature well established tank with no hair or other algae present is the key. When you put dead rock in there that gives algae a place to grab on without the presence of coraline.

More of a best case type scenerio: The church tank coraline grows really fast. I can put a piece or two of reefer rock in there and has the coraline specks within 2 weeks and completely undistinquishable from the other rock 2-3 months.
 
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