Live Rock vs Dead Rock?

Discussion in 'New to Reefing' started by DJ_Z, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. DJ_Z

    DJ_Z

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    I've heard conflicting reports from my two local shops. One said that dead rock can become live relatively quickly, thus drastically lowering costs. Another said that it is indeed possible, but can easily take over a year to work. I currently have about 25 lbs of live rock in a 40 gallon breeder, but i'd really like another ten to twenty pounds. However, it will be a relief to find out I could cut my costs in half and have a nice reef tank with 45-50 lbs rock with only half the cost for the remainder.
     
    DJ_Z, Jun 23, 2013
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  2. DJ_Z

    emmett0122

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    what makes rock live or dead is the biofilter that lives in it. you are fine to use dead rock if you want to speed up the cycling time and get coralline algae in your tank then get a small peice of live rock from your lfs and it will seed the coralline and help kick start the biofillter
     
    emmett0122, Jun 23, 2013
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  3. DJ_Z

    chichimom79 reef junkie

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    Dry rock is fine and actually only takes a few weeks to become "live rock" as all this means is there is beneficial bacteria growing on it to keep your tank processing waste. Watch out for the store trying to tell you it takes a year. Either they know little to nothing or are depending on you knowing nothing so they can rape you in cost.
     
    chichimom79, Jun 23, 2013
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  4. DJ_Z

    jesse Not That Kind Of Reefer

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    yea i would go with dry rock if you already have live rock to seed it
     
    jesse, Jun 24, 2013
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  5. DJ_Z

    Greenman

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    Do you need to cycle dry rock at all? My LFS has a shit ton of rock they make themselves its very porous. Wasnt sure if when I buy it i can wash it off and stick it directly in the tank or do I have to let it cure for a while before hand.
     
    Greenman, Jun 24, 2013
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  6. DJ_Z

    chichimom79 reef junkie

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    Just rinse it off of dust and debris and put it in the tank. :)
     
    chichimom79, Jun 24, 2013
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  7. DJ_Z

    moncapitane

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    I know I got about 70 lbs of dry/dead rock when I started my 55 gallon and then got one small piece of live rock from one of the LFS and was able to create live rock out of it without any issues after a few weeks. I just had it in my tank during my cycle to help grow the bacteria that was needed. Also make sure and clean off the rock, no matter where you by it, before putting it into your tank.
     
    moncapitane, Jun 24, 2013
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  8. DJ_Z

    PsiStar VIP Member

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    My fish guy brought in "fresh" live rock from some where near Malaysia. To do it over again, I would go for the dead rock with a piece of live as others have said. I had a fish only & he talked me into a quick start. I can tell you that the quick start came with nasty hitch hikers that I do not want & have to spend the next several weeks getting rid of them.
     
    PsiStar, Jun 25, 2013
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  9. DJ_Z

    AnthonyTheNewbie

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    Okay, what the guy who said a year probably means is that it will take about a year before it LOOKS live. Algae growth on the rocks takes a while. Usually about 6 months to a year. However, like Chichi said, it only takes about a month before the rock has the necessary bacteria populations to be considered live. Also, before you go off and purchase DIY rocks, there is a couple of questions you need to ask the guy. First off, was the sand the molding was made out of silica-free? If not, don't use it. Also, was it cured for the proper length of time? If not, you will have some horrible PH swings. Curing DIY rock can take quite some time before it's actually ready for the home aquarium. But, if he meets all those requirements, then I'd say go for it. His price for DIY rock should be about 2$ a pound. If it's anything more, I wouldn't do it. DIY rock ends up costing about 50 cents per pound to make. That's already a 1.50$ markup on it.
     
    AnthonyTheNewbie, Jun 25, 2013
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  10. DJ_Z

    PsiStar VIP Member

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    Nothing is quick or easy in this hobby.
     
    PsiStar, Jun 25, 2013
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  11. DJ_Z

    DJ_Z

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    Psistar, it's rock, doesn't get much easier lol. Besides, the issue isn't difficulty or time, it's cost. This is an expensive hobby. I have a 40g breeder I'd like to go reef with, so I'd need at least another ten pounds of live rock, probably more like twenty. if I can get twenty pounds of dry rock at three or four dollars apiece as opposed to seven or eight, gimme a hell yeah.
     
    DJ_Z, Jun 25, 2013
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  12. DJ_Z

    AnthonyTheNewbie

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    DJ, if he is charging you 3-4$ a pound for DIY Dry rock, he is ripping you off. If that's the case, go get a bag of portland cement, crushed shells, silica free sand, and mortons rock salt, and make your own rocks... It'll cost you like 20-30$ in materials, and make you about 50-70 Lbs of rock... lol
     
    AnthonyTheNewbie, Jun 25, 2013
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  13. DJ_Z

    PsiStar VIP Member

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    Just rock??? Not sure what your point is, but you are agreeing with what I said. And, what you described earlier is complicated, thoughtful, and necessary. :Cheers:
     
    PsiStar, Jun 25, 2013
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