How to cure live rock

Discussion in 'Biological/Natural Filtration and Deep Sand Beds' started by Mekaeel, 13 Jul 2008.

  1. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Hey guys,here's a great read on curing live rock.

    Along with advances in technology, the use of live rock has been one of the recent advances in saltwater aquarium methodology that has lead to widespread success. Live rock comes from tropical regions around the world, and its porous and open structure allows the rock to host a wide array of beneficial bacteria, and animals as well as provide a stable base for coral growth. Because the organisms found on live rock will quickly begin to die once exposed to air, it is always advisable to cure the rock before use.Curing un-cured rock may be done inside a plastic bin or inside the newly set up aquarium. We recommend using as large of a water container as you can but curing inside the new tank is best overall. It is not recommended to have any substrate inside of the tank, during the curing process, as nutrients will continue to be highly elevated, and possibly extend the curing time.

    Equipment necessary to cure the rock properly are as follows

    Protein Skimmer. The protein skimmer will remove organic waste from the tank before it can break down creating ammonia.

    Powerheads. Run a couple of powerheads as well, for water circulation. You want a strong circulation, so the more the better.

    Heater. The bacteria and organisms found on the rock need to be kept in the same temperature range as your fish and coral; we recommend 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Lights. You may run lights during curing, however we would recommend no more than 4 hours a day, and only if the rock is being cured inside of a tank, this is to help reduce the occurrence of nuisance algae.

    Do water changes as needed; most likely large water changes of 20-30% will be needed every few days but at least once a week during the curing process. Siphon off all the dead debris you can find and pull off any dead sponges, plants, etc. However, we do not recommend scrubbing the rock unless you see obvious dead areas on the rock itself. During this time, we advise carefully observing the rock for any signs of nuisance hitchhikers such as crabs and mantis shrimp. It is much easier to catch and remove them at this stage then in a carefully arranged display tank!Throughout the curing process you will want to test frequently for ammonia and nitrites. You will know that the live rock has cured once there are no further ammonia spikes and your nitrite levels start dropping rapidly to zero. You can also do the "sniff" test, cured live rock should smell fresh, if there is a rotten egg smell then the rock will need to cure a while longer.If you can control these elements during the curing (2-3 weeks) and keep the lights on, the coralline algae, plants, corals, copepods, and other organisms will be alive on the rock when you are done curing.

    http://www.marinedepot.com/md_LiveRock.html
     
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  3. lindsay pollard

    lindsay pollard pipefish

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    nice info mekaeel thanx man:thumbup:
     
  4. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Cool Lindsay :)
     
  5. sunburst

    sunburst

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    Nice info Mek.
     
  6. gaz19

    gaz19

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    a good read, thanks
     
  7. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Glad you guys are finding it usefull :)
     
  8. vzyla

    vzyla

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    Great, thanks
     
  9. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    Nice simple and very informative, nice find Mek :)
     
  10. Andreas

    Andreas

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    shots mek. need to add a heater to my bucket then.;)
     
  11. scubaninja

    scubaninja

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    shot mek, when you sent me the link i was worried it was gonna be a four page essay:) thanks
     
  12. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Thread Starter Moderator MASA Contributor

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    I prefer keeping it short and sweet buddy :)
     
  13. aquamann

    aquamann

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    Great write up i must say very informative.
    keep up the good work.
     
  14. riyadhessa

    riyadhessa

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    Mekaeel very good information
     
  15. Faust

    Faust

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    Cool, thanks for the info. Will come in handy soon.
     
  16. maj

    maj

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    can curing the LR be done while cycling in my tank?
     
  17. ben lloyd

    ben lloyd

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    it's going to mess your tank up there is to much debri that's coming from your rock.
     
  18. mariusmeyer

    mariusmeyer

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    Yes it can, just siphon the crap out often. If you use matured/cured live rock in a new tank the cycle will be very short since there is nothing that died and all bacteria is still in the rocks.
     
  19. maj

    maj

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    90% of my LR is matured
    after i washed them uncured LR well(after a week in a separate container)im sure it should be ok
     
  20. riyadhessa

    riyadhessa

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    A week is to soon...You need to keep it in the container for atleast 2-3 weeks...
     
  21. crispin

    crispin

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    maj im not fully follwing your line of thought here, can you elaborate slightly. My understanding is that you have 90% of your LR which is cycled and ready for use, but that you have 10% of its weight in a seperate container which you are curing for a week?

    if thats the case and the container is heated with some internal flow and skimmed, i would let it run a full cycle of 5-7 weeks personally, no harm done and your spikes will be under controll as the bacterial populations get into ballance again.

    At the same time you have LR in a tank that is already cured and the tank is going well? So let it go while you cure the other LR?

    Then add the new rock and you shouldnt upset the nitrogen cycles of the tank much at all
     
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