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Prepping Old Live Rock. Help

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superman1981 View Drop Down
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    Posted: July 02 2016 at 10:44pm
I have a bunch of dead rock (used to be live rock). It dried out, and I had every good intention of giving it an acid bath, but life has gotten in the way. I tossed it in a rubbermaid container with water and a powerhead in efforts dissolve the salt before the acid bath... It has been soaking now for 6 months. Amazingly, the salinity is just about right (I guess I dissolved the salt, ha).

So here's the question. What should I do with it now to prep it for my new tank?

Should I still give it an acid bath and let it dry out before use?

Should I pressure wash it and then toss it in with live rock to seed/cure it?

Should I not worry about cleaning it at this point and just toss some live rock in to seed it?

Should I do something else?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 03 2016 at 6:48am

You didn't say how much rock this is.

Having worked in different ways with all kinds of rock that was in all kinds of condition, my advice is to put some or all of it in a mature, running tank that currently has a greater amount of good mature LR than the amount of rock you are putting in. 

If there's no running tank to put very much of it into, here are the alternate steps I would take:

1) do a complete water change in it's present container using at least some LW from a healthy running tank,

2) put mature LR in with it, as much as possible while retaining enough open space for circulation,

3) put some Macroalgae in with it, and

3) give it good light.

Why light? Because with light, LR grows more alive. Light grows algae. Algae is the basis of all life. Without light, algae can't grow and when algae can't grow, first level bugs starve. When bugs die, the bugs and larger animals up the next step of the food chain tend to starve and die. Not good. Thumbs Down

Because algae will be growing it will be necessary to add some Snails to keep nuisance algae under control. If you haven't figured it out already, this makes the present container of this rock into it's own reef aquarium. Smile

** Lastly, if you find that coral is irritated or growing poorly in the presence of the new rock, use AA to remove PO4 and silicates and use Poly-filter. Poly filter cleans the strange deleterious pollution which is emanating from the dead stuff inside the dead LR that's irritating coral.

Aloha,

Mark  Hug

P.S.

To be honest, I've never used Muriatic Acid. I find it's unnecessary when using the steps above. Most dead dry LR that is placed in a healthy reef aquarium will recover within a few months. I've also seen how long it takes for acid washed LR to grow into good LR. Wink The method above is much quicker.



Edited by Mark Peterson - July 03 2016 at 7:12am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote superman1981 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 03 2016 at 1:14pm
Thanks for the response, Mark!

As for rock amount, I'd guess 75 to 100 lbs. It's a mix of UT Rock & regular LR. All of it was used for 3 to 6 years in previous tanks of mine. I don't currently have a mature tank that can accommodate that much rock. Currently, my only mature tank is a 6 gal nano cube.

I'll go ahead and do what you recommended. I'll do a full water change this week, add a few pieces of mature LR, probably a chunk or two from the nano and then I'll see if I can find a few more mature pieces.

For the light, I'm assuming I can use a clip on reflector with a 6500k PC, since the goal is algae (cheato) growth, right? I can also put the container in front of a window for additional light.

I have a spare HOB filter, should I use that with AC in addition to the powerhead for circulation or is the powerhead sufficient?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 03 2016 at 1:48pm

Sounds like a perfect plan. Smile Yes, regarding the light. Yes, using an HOB filter with AC and a little bit of AA is a good idea, not so much for flow as for the usefulness of the media. An HOB filter is great place to put Poly-filter if it becomes needed. Cool to hear that Utah LR is in there. Cool From this point, this reef system will be your large one.

Aloha,

Mark  Hug

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote superman1981 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 07 2016 at 12:25am
Thanks for the advice, Mark! Here's my current setup. I only have 2 small pieces of live rock in there, but I'll pick up a few more this week. Cheato will also be added in the next few days. Let me know what you think.





Edited by superman1981 - July 07 2016 at 12:26am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 07 2016 at 7:42am
Couldn't be better. Thumbs Up
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