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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:read: OK so I tried to do a search but I couldnt find exactly what I was looking for.

I'm starting my 55 and I have 60 lbs of Fiji that's was dry. I started the cooking process by seeding it with 6 lbs that are covered in purple and pink coralline that I got from the LFS (it was in his tank and he didnt want to sell it but I know him, so I know its ok).

1st) Will the coralline algae die if I don't provide light? About how long do I have before this happens?

2nd) How long should I cook it for IYO?

Thanks guys and girls!
 

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IMO, what i would do is transfer all that rock even the live pieces to your display, since you have no livestock, you can do the cooking processes in the tank, and cycle your rock this way. Unless you want to do it this way, the the coraline won't die for a long while. I cooked mine for 3 months and coraline was still on my rock when i put it back into my tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok cool! Well the plan was to put all of the rock in the display tank but im waiting on the bulkhead i need from the LFS since they had to special order it. I was sort of getting restless and i wanted to do somehting since this is isnt my first tank and i planned on waiting about 3-4 weeks to cycle so i figured i might be able to shorten it if i started the process now in a rubbermaid.
 

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If you cook in tank, do it without sand :) Having lights on may increase algae during cooking. Some folks cook so that the rock is bacterially driven and algae cannot become established besides cooking to remove phosphates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
How long do you think that i should cook the rock before i add the sand i was thinking 3 weeks. Then live said and no fish for another week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok so your saying that you would cook the rock for 4-6 weeks without sand? what is the benifet of not adding the live sand untile this point?
 

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When you are cooking the rock, bacteria will be pulling PO4 out of the rock. As they grow they will be pushed out of the rock. If they fall into the sand... the PO4 is going to end up in there and you will have just moved it and shortened the time before sand becomes loaded with phosphates. If you are adding live rock I would not even get live sand, dry sand will be live soon enough. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
True but im a sucker for the bio-activ i know its over priced and all but i still like it and i have had good results. I just hate to wait 4-6 weeks but i knew i would have to when i started which is why started now.

Any thoughts on how to speed it up and how often would you do water changes? I'm thinking once a week.
 

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I would recommend not trying to speed things up at all. The only thing that ever happens fast in a reef is a disaster. If you can be patient and do things properly at this early set up stage you will be much better off in the long run. It may seem very boring looking at a tank with only rock and a bare bottom in it for 2-3 months, but once you start seeing the flock that is purged from the rock you will understand why you are doing it and do not want all that junk in your fresh sand bed.

Best of luck to you as you start out on this adventure toward a full blown addiction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
:blob:OK well i know what to do its just forcing myself to do it that is the problem!

I tested the water that i am using to cook and i can see why already.
Ammonia = .25
Nitrite = 1
Nitrates = 5

That was after 3 days of cooking!:bigeek:
 

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I think you are perhaps confused about the difference between curing and cooking rock. Your rock is still curing. The things on it that died in shipment are rotting and causing ammonia. You are growing beneficial bacteria that are converting ammonia to nitrite, nitrite to nitrate, and eventually will grow bacteria in larger rocks to convert nitrate to nitrogen gas.

Cooking is a longer process in which bacteria run out of other food and begin to break down phosphates bonded to rock and can by sheer multiplication push bacteria and thus, the PO4 they have eaten out of the rock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well i dont think so the rock that i got from the LFS was in his tank for close to a year so i know that its cured.

The base rock used to be primium live rock that was in another reef tank. However it was broken down and left sitting in a dry trash can for 6 months to a year. Which is the reason for cooking.

Am i correct in thinking that the rock that was dry would have to be cooked and seeded with the live rock from the LFS?
 

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Well i dont think so the rock that i got from the LFS was in his tank for close to a year so i know that its cured.

The base rock used to be primium live rock that was in another reef tank. However it was broken down and left sitting in a dry trash can for 6 months to a year. Which is the reason for cooking.

Am i correct in thinking that the rock that was dry would have to be cooked and seeded with the live rock from the LFS?
Have you added ammonia, raw shrimp or other food to the tank? If all you added was rock and saltwater and you have an ammonia reading then something is not cured. If you have this all togethor then this is likely dead stuff that was on the base rock. I would go ahead an cook it all. I would plan on at least 6 weeks after the rock has finished curing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Sounds good to me i was planning on 4 but i have nothing but time so i might even go with 8 weeks before adding the sand.

"If you can't spend money, you have to spend time" while im not in a hurry and its sucks to wait that long but oh well.:peeved:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Two more questions is it better to keep the rock in the dark while cooking and what is recomended for water changes?
 

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Some folks think it goes faster in the dark because there is no algae competition. I suppose that makes sense but I have never tested it to check. The best WC schedule IMO is 100% every week, making sure to get anything the rock sheds. I am no expert on the subject as I am just trying this the first time myself. THe rock I had was all wet when I got it but I had let it dry out. I soaked it in about 10:1 water to muriatic acid. SOme folks think it helps to shorten the cooking time. It sure bubbled a lot and stunk. THe rock did not seem to be any lighter despite the fact that it had to have lost some weight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ok i think i read another thread where someone said to try that so ill put the cover on when i get home. But i was a little worried that all the coralline on the two rocks that i seeded with will be gone by the time the cooking process is over. What do you think?
 

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coralline usually just bleaches when cooked and colors back up after cooking from what I hear. I can't imagine it surviving the vinegar or acid bath as this will dissolve off the coralline. That is how I remove coralline from powerheads and such
 
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