Calling all Rock Experts

Discussion in 'Biological/Natural Filtration and Deep Sand Beds' started by Gareth0508, 2 Sep 2013.

  1. Gareth0508

    Gareth0508

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    Howsit guys. Long story short...

    I received ±40kg of rock from a fellow reefer who shut down his system. The majority looks like dried out coral skeletons. There are a few pieces of very porous rock which I am going to be adding to my system in time.

    Everything is curing in a 200L drum with a heater and power head. Doing water changes every two days.

    Question is:
    1) is this safe to add to my system after curing?
    2) what are the possibilities of leaching?
    3) should I rather trash and get proper live rock?
     
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  3. Gareth0508

    Gareth0508 Thread Starter

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  4. Gareth0508

    Gareth0508 Thread Starter

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  5. Gareth0508

    Gareth0508 Thread Starter

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  6. shan

    shan

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    That is fantastic rock. Keep it. Do not do water changes every 2 days. Rather add some special blend and do weekly water changes
     
  7. brentv

    brentv

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    Hey Gareth,
    This is the best way to get good LR going for your tank, you then get no unnecessary hitch hikers that could coz a whole load of problems later!
    What you are doing is perfect, the phosphates will slowly leach out of the rock/coral over a few months... The longer you leave it the better:thumbup:
    I would suggest if you have a skimmer to put it in there, you will be amazed how much gunk it will take out!
    Also a weekly dose of Special Blend will help the process along quicker!
    Here is a question for the other guys too, would you run Orca cubes in this too... Or just the large water changes :whistling:
     
  8. Gareth0508

    Gareth0508 Thread Starter

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    Thanks Guys, waiting for my order of biocubes and special blend to arrive and will add. My tank is currently sitting with just water and aragonite, so contemplating on adding this rock to the system and cycling with it for about a month or two. Or should I rather cure the rock before adding?
     
  9. shan

    shan

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    What I did was to fully cure my rock before adding it to the tank. Test your water before the water change. This will tell you when to add it to your tank. Basically when po4 is out. Off course no ammonia, nitrate nor nitrite.

    I would not bother with a skimmer or bio cubes, just very large WC, even 100% if you afford it.
     
  10. Gareth0508

    Gareth0508 Thread Starter

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    Think I'm going to use NSW to cure, salt is costing a fortune!
     
  11. brentv

    brentv

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    I would do a 50% water change, skim and add a few seeded Live rocks you could get from a friend or LFS to get the rock full of life then let it do its thing, repeat every few weeks!:tt2:
     
    Last edited: 2 Sep 2013
  12. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    That looks mostly like Fiji rock. But not 100% sure. Especially the first picture, rock on the left looks very much like the structure of Fiji. Maybe Indonesian. But definitely not Kenyan

    If Fiji, then its a bonus. Those are the nicest rock to have.
     
  13. TheWaterboy

    TheWaterboy Sponsor

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    thats not fiji rock...........
    thats rock from rockpools on the south coast....old pieces of dead pocillapora.

    however, although tere is no great pink algae growth on it and i personally would use it as it will take to much time to blend into fresh cured rock on appearance.

    curing it with high flow, and skimmer and seading bacteria from time to time would help alot.

    however the time and cost implications, id rather just get fresh rock, cure it for a few weeks and bobs your uncle.
     
  14. Gareth0508

    Gareth0508 Thread Starter

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    Thanks Marco, just making sure you said you would or wouldn't use it?
    I need to come see you sometime, where is your shop?
     
  15. Lord_Blackadder

    Lord_Blackadder

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    +1 for being local. It's fine to do what you're currently doing. I'd even cut down on the water changes, maybe 50% every 2-3 weeks. Dosing vodka would be a good idea. You don't have to worry about overdosing because you don't have any livestock to kill. Go about 4-5ml per 75l, test phosphate a week later and then possibly raise the dose.
     
  16. shan

    shan

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    lol - just had a good laugh as you ask a bunch of reefers one question and get a whole heap of different answers. Not easy - lol. Also shows that there is no one way of doing things. I guess that you will have to pick one that makes the most sense and go with it - good luck.

    And well, i might as well add more confusion. When i started, i used all dead rock with a few live rock pieces and followed this (full reference at the bottom):

    "Dave,
    Sure thing.
    But before I do I just want to say that Bomber instructed me how to do it several months ago and it works great. So it is his process that I am trying to make popular and cause fellow hobbyists a lot less heartache in the long term.
    The purpose of "cooking" your rocks is to have tha bacteria consume all (or as much) organic material and PO4 stored on, and in, the rock as possible.

    The first step to this is commitment.
    You have to be willing to remove your rock from the tank.
    It doesn't have to be all at once, but I feel if you are going to do this do it all. In stages if that is easier but make sure that all of it gets done.

    The new environment you are creating for your rock is to take it from an algal driven to a bacterial driven system.
    In order to this, the rock needs to be in total darkness to retard and eventually kill the algae's on the rock and to give the bacteria time to do the job.

    So basically you need tubs to hold the rock.

    Equipment needed.

    1. Dedication.
    2. Tubs to cook rock in. And an equal amount of tubs to hold the rock during waterchanges.
    3. A few powerheads.
    4. Plenty of buckets.
    5. A smug feeling of superiority that you are taking it to "the next level." [​IMG]

    Here are the steps, if you have any questions I will try my best to answer them. What I don't know I am sure Bomber can/will instruct.

    1. Get into your head and accept the fact you will be making lots of salt water if you aren't lucky enough to have access to filtered NSW.
    2. Explain to significant other what is going on so they don't flip out. This process can take up to 2 months. Prepare them in advance so he/she can mark it on the calendar and that they won't nag about it until that date arrives. [​IMG]
    3. Setup a tub(s) where the rock is to be cooked. Garages are great for this.
    4. Make up enough water to fill tub(s) about halfway and around 5-7 buckets about 60% full.
    5. Remove all the rock you want to cook at this stage. (The rock can be removed piece by piece until you are done.) I suggest shutting off the circulation beforehand to minimize dust storms.
    6. Take the first piece of rock and dunk it, swish it, very, very well in the first bucket. Then do it again in the 2nd bucket, then the third.
    7. Place rock in the tub.
    8. Repeat steps 6 & 7 to every piece of rock you want to cook at this time. The reason I suggested 5-7 buckets of water will be evident quickly...as the water quickly turnsq brown. [​IMG]
    9. Place powerhead(s) in the tub and plug in. Position at least one powerhead so that it agitates the surface of the water pretty well. This is to keep the water oxygenated. You can use an air pump for additional oxygenation if you wish.
    9. Cover the tub. Remember, we want total darkness.
    10. Empty out buckets, restart circulation on main tank.
    11. Wait.
    12. During the first couple of weeks it is recommended to do a swishing and dunking of the rocks twice a week.
    What this entails is to make up enough water to fill up those buckets and the tub the rock is in.
    First, lay out your empty tub(s) and fill buckets the same as before.
    Then, uncover tub with the rock in it. Take a rock and swish it in the tub it's in to knock any easy to get off junk.
    Then, swish it thru the 3 buckets again, and place in the empty tub..
    Repeat for all your rocks.
    Then empty the tub that all the rocks were cooking in, take it outside and rinse it out with a hose.
    Place tub back where it was, fill with new saltwater, add rocks and powerheads, and cover.
    Wait again unti the next water change.
    You will be utterly amazed at how much sand, silt, detrius is at the bottom of the tub and every bucket. It is amazing.

    How it works:


    Some FAQ's.
    When re-introducing the rock to my tank, a month or two from now, should I do that in parts to help minimize any cycling effect(s)...if there are any?

    I never have. Really after a very short while, the ammonium cycle has been extablished. That's not what you're worry about though, it's the stored phosphates and that you have to wait it out.
    When they are producing very little detritus - you'll know - then I would use them all at once.

    Would running Carbon filtration and/or a PO4 reducing media help/hurry/hinder the process?
    I wouldn't fool with it. You don't want the detritus to sit there long enough to rot, release water soluble P again. You want to take it out while it's still locked up in that bacterial detritus.




    I hope this helps you out.
    It really is a "miracle" and a low cost one at that.
    The only monies spent are for salt and electricity for the powerheads which are nominal. Especially to rid yourself of Bryopsis.
    Time and effort is all it akes. And really not that much effort.
    I would say that 85% of my exposed rock had Bryopsis (hair algae) covering it.
    There isn't a single visible strand on andy rocks in the tubs now.
    Remember, the key is patience. Let this process run its course.

    And a few last minute tidbits I remembered.
    Your coralline will die back, receed etc.
    My thoughts on this are GREAT!
    Now my rock is more porous for additional pods, mysids, worms etc.
    Coralline will grow back.
    Throughout this process the sponges, and pods on my rock have not died off.
    Everytime I do a waterchange they are there and plentiful.

    If you have any questions please ask."


    taken directly from post #11: http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=437342
     
  17. Gareth0508

    Gareth0508 Thread Starter

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    Thanks Shan, I actually read the exact same article. Im going to cure the rock anyway, but still going to look around for some decent base rock and live rock. Maybe better in the long run.
     
  18. Express Reef

    Express Reef

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    Will use that rock once fully cured and the coralline has grown over it, it will look like fiji rock...

    Will also cut down on the water changes, and dose vodka and bacteria... and try to get a skimmer in... I use to cure rock in a kiddies pool, you can get them cheap these days... Saw them for R99.99 and you can always use it for emergencies...
     
  19. TheWaterboy

    TheWaterboy Sponsor

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    check website for addy;)
     
  20. Gareth0508

    Gareth0508 Thread Starter

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    Cool, thanks Marco. I spoke to your mate Chad who stays in my complex, he said you know what you doing :p So ill pop in sometime later this week and we can chat about an RO machine etc. Maybe some base rock!
     
  21. TheWaterboy

    TheWaterboy Sponsor

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    no problem
    yeah chad was here just now....
    known him for many years, he too knows his stuff when it comes to boiler treatment water....
    and his dad, is probably one of the greatest water fundis in S.A ....retired now but still consults for big clients.
     
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