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FAQs about Live Rock 7

Related Articles: Live RockReef Systems, Refugiums

Related FAQs: Live Rock, Answering Some LR FAQs by James Fatherree, Live Rock 1, LR 2LR 3, LR 4, LR 5, LR 6, Curing Live Rock, LR Life Identification, Live Rock Selection, Shipping/Moving, Placement, Lighting, Water Quality, Live Rock Studies in Fiji Collaboration & ChartsCopper UseMarine Landscaping, Marine BiotopeSumps, RefugiumsFaux Rock, Base Rock

Gymnangium hians one of many undesirable hydroids...

Strange sand like material from live rock       4/8/15
Hi,
<R>
I have a severe Aiptasia problem that I am trying to get rid of (and I am
also buying state lottery tickets, probably have a better chance with those).
<Maybe>
When I received several Berghia I ordered, I placed the majority in
my main tank, and put 4 in a 10 gallon tank with no substrate to keep a "breeding" group going. I have been careful to do a very strong Iodine dip on small rock with Aiptasia growing on it before putting them in the holding tank for food for the Aiptasia to ensure there are either few or no copepods/amphipods to eat their eggs. I am seeing a great deal of "sand" that comes off of these rocks over time, it is literally making a substrate on the bottom of the tank. Is this the norm for "live rock"?
<Can be.... this product is most often an amalgamation of living and not matrix... though highly variable... Does "fall apart" as well as "devolve" biologically; or should I write/state through biological actions>

Is there
something boring holes in the rock that could be harmful to my main tank?
<Not likely>
Thanks for all of the help that you have given all of us who have written in
to you.
Richard Manning
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>

Re: Planning Question, LR additions, renewal       3/9/13
Bob,
I have a quick question. I'm re-reading "Reef Invertebrates" focusing on the section on LR and the curing process. There is a paragraph that explains that LR will get "old" over time and that augmentation or rotation with fresh LR is desirable once or twice a year. How exactly is that accomplished?
<Just adding some new/fresh on top of the existing, or taking out some of the old to make space for the new>
 I'm planning my aquascaping so I'll be happy with the formation long-term - am I supposed to take portions apart 6 months from now?!
<Ah no... in about a year and a half... then some new every six months or so>
How would that work if the LR has some corals spread over it?
<The rock can be excised, broken, with the coral bases attached to part>
 I'm also unclear what would be done with the "tired" LR? Is it discarded or repopulated somehow?
<Best to move it to some other purpose... it just isn't "that" useful after awhile... in terms of solubility, nor biota>
Thanks,
Kevin
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Planning Question      3/9/13

Thanks. Sound like that would be too difficult with the rock on top of the aquascape,
<Mmm; nope>
 but more challenging for the larger base pieces.
<Just a small percentage (5-10) change/out. You'll find that this amount has dissolved/disappeared (!)>
My tank is 6 ft long and one side will be difficult to reach since the tank is built into the wall. Sounds difficult.
<... Stop saying no to yourself... Doing so closes ones mind to infinite possibilities. BobF>
Re: Planning Question       3/10/13

Meant to say "wouldn't be too difficult for top pieces"
<Ah good>
 - I'll need to video the current in-wall set up to get your thoughts. 
<Mmm, I spent/invested my life in the trade (ornamental aquatics). Our businesses fabricated, installed and maintained hundreds of such systems>
I guess it all depends how difficult it is to separate the rock.
<Not hard>
  If I end up with 150lbs of LR swapping out 15lbs wouldn't be too daunting.  I was thinking it'd need to do a much larger percentage than that. 
<Ah no; only a small percentage makes a huge difference. A few doctoral theses>
I was planning to epoxy the LR together to make it strong and stable, not sure if that will that make it difficult to separate down the road.
<Am a very negative fan of such epoxying... better to drill/peg and stack if pieces are unstable... >
Best,
Kevin
<And you, BobF>

LR quarantine cross-contamination with main tank     3/28/13
Good morning,
<Matt>
After implementing rigorous quarantine procedures (last two fish were FW dipped and QTd for 10 weeks before being introduced to DT with meticulous use of separate equipment, etc.), I've made a dumb mistake and wanted to get your assessment of risk level, any actions that should be taken, etc.
<Okay>
Yesterday, I purchased about 15 lbs of additional, uncured live rock from a LFS. I placed the rock into an empty QT tank (one that had never been used before) and added water from the DT during a routine water change. I stuck my hand into the tank of uncured live rock to affix a PH and, being distracted by something else, forgot to discard and put on new gloves before scraping a bit of coralline out of the DT. I realized the mistake as soon as a couple of my fingers touched the surface of the DT water. In your opinion, how much trouble may I have gotten myself into?
<Exceedingly little. I wouldn't be concerned>
Is there anything I should do besides worry for the next 8-10 weeks?
<Nothing>
 It is upsetting because I have been extremely careful, and then made a stupid move/wasn't as focused as I should have been, which may make all of my efforts worthless. I had planned to cure the LR in this separate tank, and then, after fully cured, add an additional 8 weeks QT time before in introducing to the DT. Any point in doing the extra 8 weeks now that the damage is probably done?
<Not IMO/E>
Thanks for any thoughts and suggestions that you might have.
-Matt
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Tragedy, storing LR, LS  10/25/12
Hi Bob,
<Eddie>
I have one last question not related to the tank failure.  It has to do with the 80 or so pounds of sand (most of which was nearly new) and the live and base rock.  Can this be kept/stored for future use?
<Yes to both>
  I was thinking about letting the sand get good and dried out and keeping it in a Rubbermaid tub.
As for the rock, rinsing it off really good, letting it dry and storing it in a tub as well.  It may be several years before I use it again, but if I keep it, perhaps it could save me a little money the next time, right?
<Is worth doing for sure... can be made "alive again" by placing it/both in the presence of a few pounds of new live rock for a few months>
Thanks,
Eddie
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

pond rock... Making into LR... for SW use?     1/31/12
Hi, I took a few pounds of rock from my local pond. Im wondering if I could cure the rock and turn it into live rock. If so should I add live rock, a light, or a powerhead.
<... I would only use a rock of largely calcium carbonate composition to start, make into such for marine use. Is this what you have in mind? Search on WWM using the string "making live rock". Bob Fenner>
re: pond rock    1/31/12

Ok I wanted to no if regular rock can be turned into live rock. Now that I know I can't. Where can I find the calcium carbonate composition.
<... read here: Actually, no. Just use the search tool found on every page of WWM to find this yourself. Can be done. B>
Re: pond rock, to SW Live      2/2/12

thanks for the help, greatly appreciated.
<Welcome! B>

live rock and base rock 12/21/11
Hi,
<Rudy>
I am setting up a 30 gallon FOWLR tank and need some advice.
<Ok>
I currently have 10 pounds of live rock I just put in the tank and need to add probably another 10-15 pounds of rock.
<Need?>
Do I add more live rock ($$$) or can I put in the rest in base rock?
<Up to you>
If I use base rock will it limit the number of fish I can initially put in the tank?
<Anything that takes up space can limit this>
How long will it take the base rock to become live rock?
<Weeks to months>
I have about 2-3 inches of sand (not live - yet) in the tank.
<Will become live in time w/ the live rock presence>
I am using a HOT Magnum filter and plan to add a SeaClone hang on tank protein skimmer.
Thanks,
Rudy
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

chances of (LR HHs) survivability?  04/21/11
Hey crew,
Just this morning I went to my local LFS to buy a new heater (after the last one exploded...nicked me with a shard of glass) and decided to get a bit of live rock.
<yikes>
Since the clerk felt bad for the heater exploding (and I'm certain I didn't leave it out of the water before you ask) he gave me a 5 pound piece for free.
<good customer service>
I thought it just had some coralline and tube worms, but upon bringing it home to help cycle the new 24g (it has been going 2 weeks with just live sand at this point) I noticed feather dusters, blue snowflake Anthelia (the most accepted classification is escaping me) and possibly a very small fragment of Heliopora.
<That's good live rock.>
Is there any chance any of these could survive a cycle?

<Some of it, sure>
Would performing water changes help them stick around through it?
<Yes. More water changes might delay the "cycling" process a bit, but it will also help these things survive.>
At this point they seem very healthy, fully extended, but I don't know what will happen when ammonia spikes (currently 0 ppm, but certainly to change).
I don't really want to place the rock back in the old tank, because I really don't want to transfer those bristle worms over.
<Why not? Bristle worms are actually quite beneficial and, contrary to persisting rumors, by-and-large, they do not harm corals.>
If this is a lost cause, please tell me, but if there's any chance of the corals/dusters remaining alive any advice would help.
<If you already have an established system, the best bet is to put the live rock in there until the new system is cycled. However, the critters might still survive in the new tank if you do frequent water changes.>
Loving the site,
Sam Sutonovski
<Cheers,
Sara M/L.>

Quick Swimming Space/Rock question... Adding LR to an established system  4/13/11
Hi crew,
<Lynne>
I have a 55 gallon tank with 1 yellow tang, 1 ocellaris clownfish and 1 Six line wrasse.
The tank also has one of those overflow boxes inside the upper left hand corner of the tank (reducing the tank floor space).
<Yes>
For filtration I currently have live rock and a large protein skimmer underneath the tank. I've had the tank and fish for about 4 years.
I have about 50 lbs of live rock in the tank and I was thinking about adding some new live rock pieces to the tank but I wanted to know how much rock can I safely add to the tank without removing too much swimming space for the fish I have?
<Good question. Really depends on the "quality" of the rock in question...
OR the question re the rock's quality! I would only add a few pounds at a time (every couple of weeks) IF you can't be assured that it's really "about" cured. Bob Fenner>
Thanks,
Lynne

live rock, rejuvenating, Coralline boosting, reading    1/22/11
Good Day.
<And you Paul>
Can you tell me how to make mi live rock , I guess more lively?
<Yes>
It has been in a system for three years and most likely is only benefiting the tank thru Bio activity.
<Largely so likely>
Which is good, but not as pretty. This is a fish only tank (125 gallon) I have many Blue legs to help keep down HAIR algae. Not sure if I still need them all.
<Me neither. Am generally not much of a fan of such anomuran use>
I grow the purple algae on the glass the power heads pretty much everything, but is just doesn't seem to grow that much on the rock. How can I get more to grow on the rock?
<Oh, this is another question. Read here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/corlinesysfaqs.htm
and the linked files above where you lead yourself>
I use Purple Up, but was wondering if the blue legs are eating the purple algae too.
<And search WWM re this CaribSea products use, mis- and dis-use... and yes to the hermits consuming Corallines>
Do I need to buy more rock to reseed my other rock?
<Ah yes! This is the best route to go. Do see here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/Googlesearch.htm
and put in the string:
replenishing live rock and read the cached views for input, guidelines>
I also did a little reading on attaching rock together... so I should attach live rock with cable ties to make an arch, but use epoxy or great stuff on dead white rock and let it dry for 24 hours..
<Can... or drill and peg together with chemically inert doweling...>
will the great stuff work well or is the epoxy a better route to go.
<As long as it's "aquarium safe" matters little:
http://wetwebmedia.com/lrplacingfaq2.htm
and...>
Can you please help me out with these questions... great site and your sponsors will be happy because I used the links and purchased product thru their sites
<Ahh!>
Thank you,
Paul
<Welcome. Bob Fenner> 

Live rock, use... in FOWLR  11/9/10
Hi there again! Quick question... If I have a FOWLR system do I actually need to have live rock even if my sump has bio balls? One store is saying absolutely yes and another is saying absolutely no if I have bio balls... I think he wants to sell me his corals. I know pH is a factor here, and the fish hide and graze upon it, but is it absolutely necessary in my situation?
<Live rock is certainly desirable; unlike an aerobic biological filter the anaerobic pores inside live rock contain bacteria that reduce nitrate to nitrogen gas, so live rock makes water quality management easier. But no, it isn't essential, and people have been maintaining fish-only tanks using just aerobic biological filters for decades, often using tufa rock and/or coral sand as a source of alkalinity. That people don't use this approach isn't so much anymore isn't because biological filters don't work, but that they work *better* combined with live rock, relegating the biological filter to a secondary role that makes its maintenance dramatically easier, e.g., media can be cleaned or replaced without worrying that'll kill the filtration process.>
Just FYI, in the end I wound up buying and curing my own live rock (7 months ago) and the 2nd guy laughed at me when I told him last week, telling me I wasted my money... Can you shed some truth to this whole thing?
<Depends what you're after. The bacteria species that perform aerobic and anaerobic filtration will colonise your live rock whether it's cured by the retailer or cured at home. But live rock that has been cured properly by professionals who know what they're doing in terms of lighting, water quality, salinity, etc. is more likely to remain colonised with small sea creatures; the copepods, isopods, Brittlestars, starfish, etc. we all know and love. If you're sticking the live rock in a tank with a triggerfish, that won't matter much because most such animals will end up as food. But if you're using live rock as the heart of a reef tank, or want it to supply food for gobies, Butterflyfish or whatever, then it's worth paying a premium for fauna-rich live rock you know has been cured using the best possible methods.>
As always, much appreciated ;)
-Jay
<Do read:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/setup/filtration/biological/biofiltr.htm
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/liverock1.htm
Cheers, Neale.>

Protein Skimming /Aged Live Rock Questions, sel., maint. -- 08/18/10
Hello WWM Crew,
<<Greetings Scott>>
I have spent the better half of today reading all over the FAQ articles regarding protein skimming and algae control and learned infinitely more here than any other source.
<<Ah! Is good to hear>>
Two months ago I decided to look into setting up a new tank. I have had one previous tank about 3 years ago which was a FOWLR setup, it was a 30 gallon tank with a CPR BakPak HOB skimmer. Before buying that one I went to my LFS and asked what would be a good choice for filtration, he pointed me in that direction and that was the extent of my "research".
<<Mmm, yes--though admittedly it wasn't such a bad choice for the size/methodology of the aquarium, it's always best to 'research' multiple sources and then make an informed decision using your own good judgment>>
That tank lasted about 1.5 years before having to move across the state and it housed various fish (Porcupine Puffer, True Percula Clown, Blue Hippo Tang, and a Rectangular Trigger)
<<Yikes! Too small an environment for just one of these, much less as a group>>
and suffered no casualties,
<<The clock was ticking, for sure'¦>>
although I did have significant algae problems.
<<Not surprising>>
I searched Craigslist for weeks to find a reasonable tank in hopes of setting up a thriving reef tank this time around. I found a very affordable tank (120 gallon, 30 gallon sump/refugium, in-sump protein skimmer), which was already set up and cycled with fish, live rock, and corals in it already.
<<Neat!>>
I have placed a decent amount of live rock and Chaetomorpha into the sump area surrounding the protein skimmer. I have added a bottle of Copepods into this area to try to start a small colony of them in hopes of housing a Mandarin in a few months.
<<Do make sure water flow through the combined sump/refugium flows 'from' the skimmer to the refugium and not in reverse--else much of the beneficial biota will be lost. Regarding the Mandarin, unless the display has a matured DSB and live rock, along with a dearth of piscine competitors for the available natural foods, you may still have problems keeping a 'wild-caught' Mandarin long-term--even in this size tank. There have been strides made in the captive breeding of this fish, and if not available yet, there should be 'captive-bred' Mandarins coming available to hobbyists before too long (ORA will be one source). I very much suggest you wait for/search out a captive-bred specimen.
I am not sure if this placement of the Chaetomorpha is efficient or not,
<<As long as it has some water flow, and sufficient lighting for photosynthesis'¦>>
none of it is getting sucked into the skimmer,
<<'¦?!>>
but I have no other real place to put it since I would like to keep it out of the display tank for now.
<<Perhaps you should consider a 'separate' (my preferred method) sump and refugium. Doing so will provide greater flexibility for both>>
I did some research online (before finding WWM) and at my LFS to get some info on how to take care of this tank and everything survived the move and was set up fine.
<<Excellent>>
I have had the tank set up at my house for about 4 weeks now. I guess the one problem with buying a pre-cycled tank from Craigslist is that you do not know the maintenance that went into the tank throughout its lifetime.
<<Tis true>>
The few questions that I have regarding the tank are:
I cannot see any brand name or model number on the protein skimmer,
<<Not all that unusual. My Euro-Reef skimmer has nothing but a logo carved in to the cap of the skimmer cup to indentify it>>
it seems to be doing its job though, producing about a half cup of skimmate per day. However, I don't know if this is a quality skimmer for my tank.
<<Perhaps you could peruse the net (etailers) to see if you can find a match>>
1. I would rather not have to buy a new skimmer, but can I assume that if it is still producing skimmate on a daily basis that it is good enough?
<<Nope'¦ I'm not saying what you have 'isn't good enough' for your system (I have no way of knowing without much more information)--but you can't assume the efficacy of a skimmer based on whether it does/does not produce skimmate. There are many variables which can determine (affect) the volume/quality of the skimmate produced by a protein skimmer, using this solely as the basis for deciding the quality of the gear can/will be misleading. But 'if the skimmate produced by this skimmer seems commensurate with the bio/nitrogen/organic load of the system, and you don't have issues related to an excess of these, then you probably don't need to run out and buy a new skimmer--though a 'quality upgrade' is always beneficial, in my opinion>>
I like to have the best possible hardware for my tank, that being said those AquaC-EV skimmers seem very nice, although expensive.
<<Actually, the AquaC line of skimmers are some of the more affordable options among those I consider as quality skimmers--you could spend a whole lot more'¦>>
The live rock that came with the tank had some decent coralline growth on it although it did not look like he had a very powerful cleanup crew. There is a lot of detritus-looking film covering some of the rock, almost resembling the mold you would get on fruit if you left it out for a few days.
<<Hmm--sounds like maybe a bacterial (Cyanobacteria) film--perhaps an increase in water flow is in order>>
I am not sure if this is a bad thing to have on the rock, it does not look pleasant and it does not completely come off when blasted with a turkey baster or power head.
<<Not likely simply 'detritus' then>>
I have heard that you can use a soft bristled toothbrush to scrub some of this "stuff" off of the rock.
<<Sure>>
My idea was to use my water change siphon hose to create some suction, place the other end into the micron sock of my sump, and effectively create perpetual suction without losing water while scrubbing away at the rock.
<<Okay>>
I am worried that I may scrub off some of the good growth and algae along with the bad.
<<If it is being covered (smothered) by the other material, it won't be 'good' for long 'I guess that leaves you to weigh the benefits of removal versus not>>
About a week ago I purchased 7-8 Turbo Snails and 15 Astraea Snails and they are doing decent work but I can't exactly crack a whip on them and tell them to only graze on this rock.
<<Indeed>>
2. What methods should I use in order to get rid of this detritus on the live rock?
<<If it is 'really built up' then removal from the system and a good scrub and rinse in clean saltwater before being returned to the system may be in order. Else--increase water flow, crack open a beer, and give your 'cleanup crew' some time to do what you bought them for>>
Thanks for your help, I will continue to search the articles on WWM to find more solutions but I look forward to your response.
Thanks again,
Scott
<<Happy to share, mate'¦ Eric Russell>> 

composition of live rock -- 10/28/2009
hi there.
<Izue>
I'm wan, postgraduate student at international Islamic university Malaysia, in Malaysia. i plan to do my research on the composition of the live rock by studying the elements and minerals in it by using XRD and ICPMS.
<Neat!>
firstly, i would like to know whether the elements and minerals in the live rock can affect the growth of corals or not?
<Indeed they can>
if they can be relate with the growth of corals, does a specific element or mineral in the live rock can contributes to the growth of a specific species of coral?
<Mmm, several do; but most celebratedly are the Alkaline Earth family's members Calcium and Magnesium... generally; not by specific species>
it is well inform that live rock can be different in shape and size according to their location, but how about the composition of it? is it different too?
<Oh yes! This material does vary widely in the wild... physically and chemically>
thanks
<Much more to investigate, share here. Bob Fenner>

Mystery white stuff? Live Rock Algae Die off\Bleaching 10/7/2009
Hi Y'all,
<Hi Again Liz.>
Love, love, LOVE the wet web media FAQs. They have been my life line the last couple weeks.
<Good!>
I purchased an established 125g saltwater tank a little two weeks ago, moved it about an hour away to my house a week ago. It was one of those situations that was simply to good to pass up. The tank and it's inhabitants were enduring a bit of neglect due to loss on interest on the previous owners part. I had a week to 'cram' study before I moved the tank to my house. So far, so good. My only major mistake was adding a deep bed of crushed coral. Now I have the fun job of moving it back out a bit at a time. I haven't killed off any of the tanks inhabitants of mature predatory fish which consists of: 4 Orbicular Cardinals, 2 Sgt. Majors, 1 mystery damsel (blue sapphire maybe?), an 18" snowflake eel, a common gulf coast hermit crab, and a cluster of red mushrooms. I have since added 5 Astrea snails, 6 blue leg hermits and a green Ricordea (couldn't resist the Ricordea).
<I'm a fan of them myself.>
My water parameters are as follows at last check (today):
salinity - 1.022
pH - 8.3
calcium - 420
KH - 11
phosphate - 1 (trying to get this down, struggling with how)
<Water changes.>
nitrate - 10 (ditto on this, trying to get it down)
nitrite - 0
ammonia - 0
temp - 79/80
<Salinity is a bit low - want to shoot for 1.023 - 1.025 may be contributing to the die off>
I also had taken a sample into a large well respected LFS over the weekend and was told my water parameters looked very good. My phosphates tested below 1 with them, so maybe some of it is my test kit (API, getting close to a year old).
<Possible.>
I'm running an Emperor 400 BioWheel (no filter wheel right now, just both included plastic containers full of activated carbon and a bag of Clearmax), a Magnum 350 canister filter (rinsing sponge and micro filter daily), 2 powerheads and a SeaClone skimmer (yes, I know... on the short list to be replaced but it is skimming!).
,new skimmer will go a long way to reducing phosphates and nitrates.>
My lighting is compact fluorescents 2 each of 96w blue actinic and 10,000K daylight. Running about 10 hours a day.
<Good>
So... all that said in the last couple days I've noticed this mystery white stuff on some of my live rocks. My research keeps pointing to coralline algae die off, but the thing is the highest concentration of this stuff is on rocks where there was no or very little coralline algae!
<Or just algae.>
The rocks had very little to begin with (probably thanks to prior tank conditions). I also have a bloom of very bright neon green algae on the rocks that is 'hard' and won't scrape off.
<That is coralline algae as well - it isn't always pink\purple Green isn't as common It also comes in red and more of a brownish color>
That may be new coralline growth, right? The green started, then the white started and both seem to be growing all over the place and not in any particular order (doesn't go from green to white or vice versa).
<You could have one form dying off and being replaced by another form.>
The white is also hard, not fuzzy or slimy and does not want to scrape off the rock.
<Or it could be complete die off and you are seeing the base rock.>
What is the white stuff!? I've attached two pictures. I apologize for neither being great. I'm still trying to master photographing things in an aquarium. The flash on my camera washes out the white growth so it's hard to see. In person it is very, very vivid white.
<Based upon your description, it sounds like some of the algae and the like is dying off of the rock and you are seeing the base rock itself. As long as your water quality is good, I would not worry too much, as it will come back on its own.>
In the photo titled 'mysterywhitestuff' I circled the white stuff in question. It's growing on a rock that had no apparent coralline algae at all in the area of question. The second picture shows the dusting of white higher up on the rock mixed in with some coralline.
Any ideas what this is?
<Have a read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corlinebehfaqs.htm >
Thanks so much and keep up the great work on the website.
Liz
<MikeV>

Re: Mystery white stuff? 10/8/2009
You are on the ball Mike. :)
<We try...:)>
I'll keep on eye on the progress of the color changes of the rocks. Glad to know this doesn't signify anything horrible. I'm so nervous that I'm going to screw something up royally.
<Reading, research and most of all patience is required in a SW tank.>
I guess I'm still not over the mystique associated with maintaining and caring for a saltwater aquarium.
<I truly hope you never lose that.>
I did notice this morning that many of the white areas are now starting to turn the same brilliant shade of green that I think is another form of coralline.
<Yes.>
I'm curious if the one type could kill off the other? Or maybe something in the water has made it more favorable for the bright green to grown.
<Conditions now favor green. You can dose calcium and increase the salinity to shift things back to favoring pinks and purples. Using a A\B calcium & alkalinity supplement works well. A bit more expensive than other methods, but it does work.>
I also have a really pretty soft pink coralline, a deep burgundy red and a little tiny bit of gorgeous purple that was on the rock the Ricordea came attached to. I'm hoping the purple will spread. So far, it seems the
green is really aggressive.
<It is in my experience.>
Take care and keep up the great work. I hope y'all there at WWM realize how truly appreciated your hard work is. I have 5 or 6 different marine aquaria books, but overall the WWM FAQs have been the absolute best resource I've found.
Liz
<MikeV>

Live Rock- Life Span? 4/23/09
Hello there!
<Hello Daniel>
I currently have a 180 gallon bow front tank with about 200'ish pounds of great, colorful life rock.
Sometime down the road (perhaps 10 years) I will be upgrading to a much larger tank and it got me thinking, since I'd like to use the rock I have now, how long does live rock 'last' in a marine/reef tank? I
suppose under ideal conditions, it should last many, many decades, but I wanted to check with you guys to see if there has been any reported 'life span' of live rock.
<On the contrary, Daniel. Generally speaking, in a well stocked tank, live rock will last one to two
years before it is exhausted with life forms, and this will depend largely on the animals that are kept
in the system. A good way to combat this is to rotate your rock, replace an aging/depleted piece occasionally.
Do read here and related articles/FAQ's.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/liverock1.htm>
Thank you very much,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Daniel
Re Live Rock- Life Span? 5/8/09

Hello James,
<Daniel>
So as you state below, a good practice might be to add one or two pieces of live rock to help replenish the beneficial microbes on the rest of the rock?
<Yes.>
One quick question on the subject of water changes:
In my new sump system, I am adding a 125 gallon auxiliary tank to be plumbed in-line with the 40 gal sump and 52 gal refugium. Not only would this auxiliary tank be great for the whole system ("solution to pollution is dilution")
<Does work.>
it would also be used for water changes. I would cut-off the auxiliary tank from the system, drain it, mix new saltwater, then open up the valves to put it back in-line with the system, in effect a 30% water change.
<Sounds like a good set-up.>
The auxiliary tank would be off-line for 3 or 4 days while the new water within it mixes. With my display tank being 180 gal, could such a water change potentially cause shock within the system, both when the auxiliary tank is off-line then brought back again in-line?
<No, as long as the new water parameters are very close to the display tank's parameters. You would have the capability of mixing the new water in at a slow rate, and this would be the way I would go.>
Thank you very much for your time,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Daniel

Live Rock/Storing For Future Use 4/5/09
I need to get rid of my aquarium, ( I own a business now) and I do not have the extra time to take care of my aquarium. I had to sell my 7 year old Hippo Tang and a 4 year old Blue Girdled Angelfish. I felt bad because I wasn't caring for them properly. I have already sold my fish. I need to take my tank down now....so, can I keep my live rock alive, in another
container (Rubbermaid container) without a filter and thermometer <heater>?
I plan on selling it also.
<The live rock would be fine in a Rubbermaid container kept at room temperature, but you will need to keep a powerhead in there to provide circulation/water movement.>
Thanks, you helped me a lot several years ago.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Cheryl
Re Live Rock/Storing For Future Use 4/6/09

How long can you keep live rock like that? Does it need light, or do you cover it with a lid? And if it is more than a month or two, do you top it off with fresh water because of evaporation, or does salinity matter?
<If there are no light loving invertebrates on the rock, lighting wouldn't be necessary. You will need to top off, but more often than a month or two, treat as you would your tank as far as topping off. Do not use a lid, will be no gas/air exchange in doing so.>
Thanks,
<You're Welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Cheryl
Re Live Rock/Storing For Future Use 4/6/09

Also, do I just throw away my live sand, or can it be kept like the live rock?
<You can put it in with the live rock, can't say how long the "live" would remain under storage conditions. Personally, I wouldn't make the effort. I would just store dry and try to sell. Might want to see what your :LFS would be willing to pay you for it before doing
so. James (Salty Dog)>

Live Rock Exchange and Shrimp ID  12/12/08 Hi Crew, <<Hello unsigned query writer>> I have a 10 gallon that has been successful in 5 out of six years. <<A difficult volume of water to maintain>> Year one was prior to knowing about WWM. <<Ah!>> There was a recent answer to someone to think about replacing older live rock. <<Yes'¦ Bob does suggest this on about an annual basis, for reasons of a fresh injection of bio-mineral content and to refresh biodiversity>> So I guess that would go for me as well? <<Goes for anyone utilizing live rock, yes>> I originally got uncured live sent to me (25 pounds) and it was an interesting experience. <<Indeed'¦>> My LFS always has rock curing but I was wondering if I will still get the biodiversity that I would like from that rock versus curing my own. <<Depends on their curing method and how long the rock has been sitting around I think. But it is my belief that receiving fresh rock directly from a collector and carefully curing it yourself will result in the highest survival of biota versus having the rock shipped and handled (or mishandled) multiple times. And for swapping a small amount, you may find that curing is not even necessary>> His rock is nice and clean so what are my chances of getting some surprises? <<Pretty good really... Most dealers keep their rock piled in unlit tanks/vats. Placing the rock in a lighted, chemically balanced, and mature system will usually result in the emergence of previously sequestered organisms (and some not always welcome), assuming your livestock (i.e. � hermit crabs, shrimp, some fishes) doesn't consume the emergent life before you notice it>> On a different note. As a kid I once bought those dwarf seahorses sold on the back of comics. <<Ah yes, I too remember those. Though my recollection of them was usually as a dried up carcass. Unfortunately the little bit of provided salt added to some tap water in a goldfish bowl was NOT sufficient to keep them alive as many a child/parent was to learn>> So when I saw someone selling them from the Florida Keys I decided to try it again which is how I got into this six years ago. <<I see>> Anyway, included in the stuff I got was supposed to be a peppermint shrimp. <<Mmm'¦ I wouldn't expect any Atlantic species of shrimp or crab to be good tankmates for these seahorses. Too predatory'¦>> I was too new to the hobby to know if it really was or not but lately I have been wandering what it really was. <<I take it that it didn't survive then'¦>> Its behavior was very different from other shrimps that I have had since then. It had eyes on a short stalk, and when the lights came on it would hide by burying its body in the sand with only its eyes above the sand. It would stay like that until the lights went out and then it would come out. Any peppermints I have had seem to like to hang upside down in a cave or overhang. <<Indeed'¦ The burying behavior you describe is much like that of some species of what we consider as edible shrimp. Being from the Atlantic (and misidentified as a Peppermint Shrimp), this may have been a Pink Shrimp (Farfantepenaeus duorarum)>> Thanks <<Happy to share. EricR>>

Bicolor Angel and Live Rock 08/12/2008 hey crew, <<Hello, Andrew this afternoon>> I recently purchased a bicolor angel at my fish store (wish I had done research before the purchase-was looking for a flame angel and fell in love with this other, but did not know they were notorious for drug/cyanide poisoning), well he is in quarantine right now...and I have placed some live rock in the tank for him to nibble on, he is actively swimming and picking at the live rock, but haven't got him to eat other food yet. <<Ok...did you request to see the fish eat at the store? if so, what was the food used? Maybe try the same food variety>> My question though, is what to do with the live rock if the bicolor angel comes down with some disease? I don't want to treat the QT and kill the live rock, and I don't want to place the live rock back in the display tank for fear of spreading the disease. <<If you use live rock in the quarantine tank, I would never suggest this go to the display tank. You never know what is harbouring in there from quarantined fish>> So what can do with the live rock (other than buying a new tank for it)? <<Only use for quarantine. Not worth the risk>> and for how long? Thanks guys <<Thanks for the questions, hope this helps. A Nixon>>

Dead Live Rock 4/22/08 Hi guys, <Craig.> Hope you can help me with a problem, a couple of months ago I split with my wife and last week she called and said my tank was not working. I have now returned to my tank and found all live stock dead and it smelling stale. <Not good.> I stripped the tank and placed rock in freshwater and asked for salt to be added to it. I returned today to find salt not added. I know the rock will be dead, but is there anyway I can use it in a tank again? It has been kept in water all time or is it no good? <It sounds like you will have basically base rock on your hands. You can put this in a tank with some new live rock and it will repopulate in time. Get it in some saltwater ASAP in the hopes of saving anything on it, but from the sounds of things it is doubtful. Either way you will have a curing period as all the dead matter decays.> Hope you can help CRAIG <I hope this does help, Scott V.>

Re: Feed Live Rock? (I Would!) -- 01/30/08 Thanks for answering so quickly! <<Quite welcome>> I bought some shrimp pellets, and my creatures are eating them (except for the shrimp, but I guess if he did it would make him a bit like a cannibal), though not as readily as they eat the flakes. <<Really?>> In answer to your question, I am monitoring my tank's nitrogen levels, and I've had a consistent reading of zero for both nitrite and nitrate. <<Very good>> One more question. <<Okay>> I've considered not asking, since I think it might be seen as a really dumb question, but here goes: How close do I need to get the food to the creature I'm trying to feed? <<Not 'dumb' at all>> Can I just drop a few pellets or flakes into the tank and expect that whoever is hungry will find it? <<If there is enough to go around, and if the creatures are motile and not strictly nocturnal (else feed some after the lights go out), then yes. Though if you fear some may not be getting their fair share (Brittle Stars will often not venture from their lairs under bright lighting unless close to starving), placing some food 'within reach' is always an option>> At present, I'm hand-feeding the brittle stars, placing the flakes just outside the entrance to the shrimp's hole, and placing a piece of food next to the sea star. Then I sink a few more flakes or pellets at random spots, for the ones I may have missed. <<This sounds fine 'though it will likely become less necessary as the tank develops/matures>> Thank you for the help you've given me. <<Happy to assist>> I realize I may have a touch of OCD. Mandy <<Ah, a true hobbyist then! Regards, Eric Russell>>

Live Rock Dying? Nope Just Changing 10/2/07 Hi all and many thanks for all your past help! <Hi Micky, Mich with you again.> Right down to the nitty gritty, I run a 280 litre (75 gallon) saltwater tank with coral sand, 9 decent size pieces of live rock, airstone, Fluval 405 external filter, Aquaclear 30 powerhead with quick filter attachment, Visitherm 300 watt heater and a Arcadia T8 over tank Luminaire with white and blue tubes. My tank has just finished cycling and I am saving for a protein skimmer as I'm in no rush to stock yet. <Very good.> My problem is my live rock has some nice pink coralline growth but has faded since being introduced, <Happens, not to worry.> also one large piece looks very brown/orange and this seems to be spreading to adjacent pieces. <Does it blow off with a turkey baster? May just be accumulating detritus.> Do you think this piece is dead or dying? <No.> It has a few red crown like things growing on it <Likely feather dusters.> but other than that it looks dead. <Give it time... amazing things will soon immerge if you are very observant.> Also another piece seems to be getter covered in hairy green algae is this good or bad? <Ummm, is not desirable. But can be part of the cycling... just don't let it get out of control. More here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/avoidingalgaeproblesm.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nutrientcontrol.htm > Also I went away for the weekend and came back to loads of brown patches over my coral sand? <Likely Cyanobacteria... Some reading for you here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm > Any help would be greatly appreciated, <No worries here Micky.> Thanks, Micky <Welcome, Mich>

How much LR is too much for larger fish? Reading  9/26/07 Hi! <Hello> I recently purchased a 125 gallon tank and am looking to buying some live rock. I was only going to put 90 pounds of LR in the tank because I am concerned that too much LR would limit space for the fish that I want. I would like to start with (1) one spot Foxface, (1) Hippo Tang, & (2) purple Firefish. What is your opinion on the amount of live rock? <Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_2/cav2i3/Live_Rock/live_rock.htm and the linked files below. Bob Fenner>

Adding, using LR in FO...    8/19/07 I have a 125 gallon fish only marine aquarium established about 4 months now. I have a coral beauty, a flame angel, 5 yellowfin blue damsels, 4 4-striped damsels, 3 ocellaris clowns, 2 tomato clowns, 1 high fin (Banggai) cardinal, a yellow tang, 2 Firefish gobies, 2 green Chromis, 2 chocolate chip sea stars and 1 brittle star. All fish are (currently) small. I have an Eheim 2028 filter with appropriate substrate and ChemiPure in the top basket, a wet-dry Eheim 2229, an Aquaclear 110 filter with charcoal, a submariner UV sterilizer, a Red Sea deluxe protein skimmer, a Magnum 350 and Magnum H.O.T. (both with micron cartridges that I change weekly), an undergravel filter with 3 strong powerheads (crushed coral gravel), and a PhosBan phosphate reactor. After all this was established, I read about and decided to add some live rock just for the tang and angels to have algae to nibble on (and for the additional filtration). <Good idea> I don't intend to grow a reef tank or corals. My question is: Can I (please?) just add live rock to the aquarium with some additional lighting? (How much lighting?) <Sure and "not that much"... There are a myriad of organisms that live in/on, "are" live rock... many of which are not photosynthetic at all... and a good deal that get by on low illumination... I would not go out of your way to change the lighting for the LR> I really don't understand the reason some aquarists say you can't use live rock with a UG filter or wet dry filter. <Mmm, this is not so... can be used in all settings> Please enlighten me. Also, please let me know what changes I would need to make to successfully add live rock. I really enjoy and appreciate your website, and would be grateful for any advice you can give me. Thanks, Val <Mmm, as far as I recall, we don't have direct input re these issues, consequences... But a cursory reading here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/liverock1.htm for the linked files above... should get you oriented, informed. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Adding live rock with some growth on it to a non-reef tank  7/27/07 Hello James, <Hello> Attached are a couple of pics! Your feedback is very much appreciated. <At the distance the picture was taken at, I cannot see any bubble type algae growth. If your camera has macro capabilities, take a pic closer up to the subject algae. I do see Cyanobacteria starting in the foreground. <James (Salty Dog)><<File not saved for image. RMF>>

Live Rock Question. Adding Live Rock 7/24/07 First of all, I can't thank you enough for providing all of this information and personalized responses, free of charge. This site, along with my book by Robert Fenner, are collectively the Bible of Marine Aquarium Keeping . <Welcome to the church of Bob, the initiation ritual will begin shortly.><<Can't wait to cash in on the relics biz! RMF>> Here's the issue: I have the opportunity to acquire some live rock, free of charge. <Nice> The problem is, it has been in a neglectful state for about a year in a guy's aquarium. His lights went out, one by one, without being replaced and little or no maintenance has been done. It has been in water the whole time, so it has not dried out, but it is not as clean or good looking as fresh, cured live rock. <Could have some nice stuff on it if it has not had any fish predation going on.> He claims that if I take it out and clean it and re-cure it, all it will take is the addition of a few additional pieces of good rock, and it will eventually be as good as new (with critters and such from those pieces spreading on to the other rock). Is this true? <I would agree here.> Is this rock going to be able to be rehabbed, or am I better off buying some of my own and curing it? <I would give it a try, just cure it outside of your main tank.> Thanks in advance! Bill in Iowa <Chris>

LR Cleaning Up Nuisance Growth. 6/6/07 <Greetings! Mich with you today.> I have an existing tank that does beautifully (120g) My sister had a 75g that she broke down. <A family affair.> I wanted to use some of her LR in my tank. She had a lot of red velvet algae, slime algae and her rock never looked as pretty as mine does. <The ugly step rock?> I have about 50-70lbs of her rock in a 30 gal tank with a power head on it now. She also had Aiptasia everywhere. What do I need to do with this rock to make it okay for my tank? <Basically what you are doing. You may want to use a Rubbermaid-type container as it may be better to keep this rock in the dark for several weeks, with circulation and perhaps a heater to keep the temperature relatively constant.> Or am I better off throwing it out and getting a few pieces from elsewhere. <Oh, no! This rock can be revived. More here and the related links in blue: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lrcurefaqs.htm> I'm afraid I will transfer the nasty stuff into my tank. <Understandably.> Thanks. <Welcome! Mich>

Nox-Ich and live rock?  4/6/07 Hey dudes thanks for all the help that you have provided. I used Nox-ich in my tank to cure ick but, I goofed up and used it with the live rock in my tank. <Now blue LR> Is there anything that I could do to be able to use it in a different tank with corals for just the foundation? <Should be fine... the Malachite Green stain will not "re-release" in the water to an appreciable extent> I was also wondering if I would be able to use the tank that I treated ick in for a in-sump refugium? <Sure> Thanks for the help U DUDES ROCK!! GREAT HOBBY AND CHICKS DIG IT!!    <I wish. Bob Fenner>

Live organisms on LR, reseeding LR   3/8/07 Good afternoon! <Good day!  Mich here.> I currently have a cycled tank with no fish in it.   <OK.> A few months ago all my fish died, due to a high salinity level (b/c I was out of town for 2 weeks).   <Really?  OK> The tank has sat empty since then.  Now I am ready to start populating my tank again.  The problem is that the salinity level is high (30ppm), so I don't know if any of the live organisms on the rock have survived.   <Possibly.> How do I go about repopulating the tank with live organisms?  Would buying a few more pieces of live rock suffice?   <Yes, after you bring down the salinity.> Thanks in advance for your help, <You're welcome!  -Mich> Danielle

Adding Live Rock  Part II 2/11/07 Hi I'm back, <Welcome Back.> You all are great help!! Sorry for asking so many questions that sound so elementary. <No problem.>  But I was wondering after your QT is up and running with your main tank display water and your sponge filter is seeded/ cycled (2 to 4 Weeks in main tank sump) with the display tank, how long do you have to wait before you can introduce a new fish to the QT. Is it only a couple of days or would you have to wait over a week to introduce a new fish to the QT. <A couple days should be fine.>  The reason I have this question is because I thought the QT had to adjust to the water conditions.  <Some, but is mostly accomplished by seeding and using tank water.> Thanks again, you all are a great help. Jeff <Welcome.> <Chris>

Quarantine Part III 2/11/07 Hey Web Media, <Hi> One more question today I promise. My tank is 36 inches long, can I put a 30 inch light over my aquarium instead of using a 36 inch light. Because my lighting is going to be under a wooden canopy. Jeff <I have done this, it works fine as long as all photosynthetic life is under the lights.  Can be a little dark so you will have to decide if you like the way it looks.> <Chris>

Quarantine Part IV 2/11/07 Hi, I am getting ready up my new tank (58 Gallons) how much live rock can I put in the Aquarium at first? Thanks, Jeff <All if possible.> <Chris>

Live rock animals  1/10/07 Hi Guys! <Hi there!>      I have a 40 gallon tank with about 40 pounds of live rock, 40 pounds of live sand and 2 power filters rated for 30 gallons each. The only inhabitants are a Fire shrimp and a blue/ yellow tailed damsel. That set up has been running for a few years <Wow!> now and for the las two months I've noticed a drastic increase in the number of bristle worms and brittle stars. The stars range in size from 1/8" to almost the size of a quarter. There seem to be easily a few hundred of each on both the rock and the sand. I just wanted to know if this is a "good thing". I know a few of a certain animal might be ok, but an entire colony? Anyway, thanks for all of your great advice! <This is absolutely a good thing.  Your rock is maturing and new goodies are showing up.  The micro stars are good scavengers, detritus eaters, so on.  They stir the sand, and are even neat to watch.  Enjoy them!  Have  great one ~Jen>       Charlie

Reef Invertebrates book: Wild live rock collection  12/30/06 Hello Anthony/Bob and Crew, <Eric> I have been reading the Reef Invertebrates book you wrote in "The Natural Marine Aquarium Series". Great Book! I am enjoying the extra time you take on each subject covered. I picked it up mostly because I was interested in exploring the use of Refugiums. I'm glad I got it as it will save me time and money having done this reading. Any estimated dates when the other books on Corals and Coral Fish will be rolling off the press? <They're still on indefinite stand-still... Now Antoine, in addn. to his new mag., re-doing his coral prop. book... is fixing up a piece of land in PA... a barn and greenhouse... and more!!! If there is much more insistence however, I am going to finish at least the one volume in progress, and put it out for sale... I swear> I did want to ask a sincere question which resulted from reading the first section on live rock collection. Under the title Conservation Concerns: Be Concerned But Don't on page 28 you stated that most of the "wild" live rock collected is the result of storm debris or removed by natural causes. <Mmm, I don't recall this statement... It is NOT factual. The vast majority of LR is collected by hand in near shore environments... in situ... but is of extremely low consequence in overall effect/impact> I think this is great and a responsible means of harvesting. I like "wild" live rock more so than aquacultured rock. But is it possible that the rock debris, if left littered around the reef, would result in larger and growing/scattered reefs? <Yes> Or does it result in doing harm to the existing reef or is it just a moot point? <If there is carbonaceous material in the sea, it will be colonized... in short fashion> Much Obliged - Eric <Thank you for your note, prompting. Bob Fenner>

Tank Upgrade/Adding New Live Rock - 11/14/06 Hi, <<Hello>> I have a question regarding a somewhat unique situation. <<Okey-dokey>> I currently have a 20L FOWLR.  It has about 30 lbs of LR.  I am upgrading to a 29 Gal.  The rock I have now is actually Base Rock that has been in this tank for about a year.  I have what I think is the max fish load (1 False Perc, I BW Damsel and 1 Royal Gramma) and this setup seems to be very stable. <<I would agree on the "fish load", especially considering the potential for disaster with the BW damsel in this size tank>> I never have any measurable amounts of ammonia, nitrite or nitrate. <<Excellent>> I want to upgrade for 2 reasons.  First, I have ordered 16 lbs of real, coralline encrusted, live rock. <<Exciting>> Second, I would like to add a 3rd fish. <<...?>> I have the 29 gal tank, but nowhere to set it up until the 20 gal is down and will be using the existing filtration, lighting and stand for the new setup.  I also have a dry 10-gallon that I can setup with 20W of CF lighting, a power filter and a protein skimmer.  I do not currently have a skimmer on the existing 20 gal. <<A worthwhile addition>> The way I see it, I have 2 options.  The first would be to cure my new rock in the 10 gal (with a bare bottom to easily siphon out wastes) and after that, pull down the 20 gallon, use the 10 gallon as a temp setup for my livestock, and bring up the 29 gal with a combination of some of my existing base rock and the newly cured live rock.  I would let this run with full lighting (20w actinic and 20w 9325k from my existing setup), filter and skimmer for a week or so and monitor, and then add back my livestock.  I would be saving my existing filter media from the 20 gal as well as keeping the existing bio-filter from the existing base rock.  My second option would be to move my fish into the 10 gallon along with 1/4 to 1/3 of my existing base rock and some of my existing filter media.  I would then pull down the 20 gal and set up the 29 with the remaining existing base rock and the new, uncured LR and in essence, cycle this as a new setup entirely. <<I think (considering the livestock you have) that you could probably get away with either scenario>> My main concern here is that I have never cured real LR. <<Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lrcurefaqs.htm>> I am not sure which would be better, curing the new rock in an isolated system and then moving the newly cycled rock AND the existing base rock into one new system, OR getting the new system set up immediately and dealing with the curing process of the new LR in what will eventually be my primary display tank. <<You can do it either way...but I would suggest curing the new rock in a separate vessel.  That way the ensuing algal blooms/pest hitchhikers are easier to deal with>> Would the second option have the advantage of populating my existing base rock with new life more quickly or would it actually be harmful to the existing biological life that has developed on the base rock over the past year? <<Probably not harmful, but for the reasons already stated I would cure this new rock separately...the new rock will still benefit the old rock once it is cured>> John Arenz <<Regards, EricR>>

Best way to keep live rock alive   11/15/06 Hi, This is an excellent site, and is part of my daily readings.  Great job!  My dilemma - I'm moving and have a 180g reef system.  Because of extenuating circumstances, I will need to break down the system many months prior to the move.  I know a number of hobbyist who are more than willing to take my inverts and fish.  My question - how long can I keep my live rock, refugium sand and substrate without an active system? <With a bit of care, months>   Also, if I can keep all of this for (let say 3-4 months), how should I do this? <Best to set up in a new trash can or such... with the refugium soft plumbed to this... the substrate in the trash can and refugium> Could I use 20gallon home depot buckets with saltwater aerate and heat. but cover without any lighting? <Yes> Any suggestions you have would be appreciated.  thanks. Shawn. <Good luck, with planning and friends' help on your move. Bob Fenner>

Live Rock Turning Brown 9/21/06 Hey guys just a few questions that I couldn't find the answer to on your site.. I got some live rock in my new marine tank the other day and that's as far as I'm going just a fish only aquarium with live rock. I have an actinic blue bulb in a normal fish tank light and a compact T5 bulb as well. I have been running these 10 to 14 hours a day and my live rock has started to go a browny colour and I know its because of the light because where the live rock is shadowed and doesn't get any light its still the same colour as when I bought it. Is this because of too much lighting? Or just a stage it goes through or what? If you could answer that it would be great.. Thanks <Most likely something that will cycle out, as long as you keep you water quality at a high level.  In the future please spell check you queries before sending, it takes a lot of time to correct before we post them.> <Chris>

Adding New Live Rock - 09/12/06 Hi Bob, <<EricR here today>> I was hoping you could help me with this tricky issue (well, for me it is anyway). <<I'll try>> I have an 8' x 2' x 2' tank and have recently placed my old 3ft tank next to the sump which will act as a refugium filled with live rock and a DSB. <<Excellent>> The 3ft tank is not connected to the main system yet, although it has been filled, and has been running with an AquaClear hang-on filter and air stone, heater.  There is no live rock or sand in the 3ft tank as yet but I am expecting delivery of the rock shortly. <<Cool!  Receiving/inspecting fresh live rock and witnessing the life thereon (and therein) is such a blast>> My question is this: since the 3ft tank (150L) contains more than twice the amount of water of my regular 5% water changes in the main tank, I would like to know if still need to conduct a water change in the week that I connect the 3ft tank to the main system? <<Hmm...won't hurt either way mate>> I understand this will dilute the concentration of nitrates in the main system, but I was also thinking whether a water change, in addition to the new water in the 3ft being added to the system would cause too much stress for the inhabitants of the main tank? <<No, not in my opinion...you would still be changing out less than 20% the total volume.  Not harmful at all...and would definitely be beneficial>> The system is FOWLR and contains a baby Epaulette Shark, Masked Stingray, Sailfin Tang and Flagtail Cod. <<Mmm...I'm thinking this tank will be too small for the shark and the stingray at maturity>> Also, given that the live rock I am purchasing may not be completely cured (a week of curing so far) I was thinking that I should place them in the 3ft tank and not connect this to the main system until ammonia readings are zero. <<Probably wise.  Unless it has been setting in a dealer's tank for some weeks, most newly acquired "cured" live rock is ever really so>> The thing is I don't have a protein skimmer in the 3ft tank, just a large one for the main tank in the sump.  Would it be ok to connect the 3ft tank as soon as I receive the live rock, and let the main skimmer take care of it? <<Since this is a relatively small amount of new rock being added to a large system, and assuming there is some rock/substrate already in the main display, yes it would likely be fine.  But do keep a close check on water parameters and be ready/have a plan if necessary>> If you have any other suggestions, I'd love to hear them. Thanks for the time with this rather long question. <<Quite welcome>> Regards, Joe SYDNEY, Aus. <<Be chatting.  EricR...Columbia, SC>>

Using Old Rock/Drilling Bulkheads - 08/27/06 Hey guys, <<Hello (but don't forget the very capable ladies here as well)>> Thanks again for your time and dedication to our hobby! <<Is an honor/pleasure to help>>   I have 2 issues I need help with: <<Alrighty>> First, I have read thru the LR section in depth and could not find an exact match to my problem.  I recently purchased a used, and neglected 120 gallon that housed a single clown grouper with several large pieces of rock (it was a FO with rock??). <<Indeed...that would be a FOWLR (Fish Only With Live Rock)>> I have kept the rock wet for a few days and can see a few small life forms on it (actual moving little white/clear bug things). <<Amphipods...probably>> The rock looks terrible as the tank was neglected and the rock is all dark brown and black.  I will be setting this tank up as a FOWLR and I am thinking that I would like to start over with the rock.  Letting it dry and cleaning it somehow and then letting it cure in the tank for a month or two before adding new fish (pending testing results). <<Mmm...letting the rock "dry out" will negate its benefits...why not simply keep the rock as it is?  If the color is an issue, it will likely change with improved water quality/lighting>> Can I get the rock to look better? <<Depends on what you consider is "better">> Is it worth losing whatever life it has on it? <<Not in my opinion>> It was not really a traditional live rock, <<...???>> it has life but it looks very bad.  They are great sized pieces.  The substrate is crushed coral, I would like to reuse it.  It also has black and brown staining on it. <<This is most likely forms of algae, and will "change" with changes to the environment, as stated>> Can this also be cleaned?  If so how? <<Swirling/rinsing with clean saltwater will do the least damage, though you will still loose some biota>> I don't mind starting over on the rock but will my cleaning methods effect any future fish or possible changes to inverts/coral down the road if I go that direction? <<Indeed it will...you could give the rock a rinse and a "light" brushing with a soft-bristle brush, or replace it (entirely or in portions) with fresh live rock>> Second, the tank is a traditional (non RR) tank.  It came with a sump/wet-dry and a HOT overflow.  I am weary of the overflow as I hear that they will eventually fail. <<Is a good chance, yes...but this risk can be lessened a great deal by employing a redundant system (two siphon overflow boxes) with the first>> I have once again read on WWM about tank drilling and am thoroughly confused by all the different opinions and issues. <<Let's see if I can help un-confuse you>> I would like to drill the rear for 2 sump supplies and 2 sump returns.  Where exactly (how far down and over/apart) do you recommend? <<Well, if you've established the back glass in non-tempered, I recommend you place the throughputs the width of the hole-to-be-drilled from the edges of the tank, and no closer re to any other throughputs...clear as mud?  For example...a heavy duty 1.5" bulkhead requires a 2.6" hole...the edge of the hole should be no closer than 2.6" from any edge of the tank, or from any edge of another bulkhead hole.  Adjustment of water height in the tank can be accomplished with elbows to raise the level of the pipe outside the tank, or used as adjustable "overflows" within the tank>> Also what size is best for this size tank if I use a strainer for the supplies down and a directional elbow for the return up? <<Two 1.5" bulkheads for the drains, and one or two .75" or 1" bulkheads for the returns...or you can simply plumb the returns over the back/ends of the tank>> Should both the supply and the return have a T installed before the sump? <<For what purpose?...in what configuration?>> Also, are there and tips for drilling? <<Indeed, yes...have a read here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pbholesfaqs.htm >> I have seen a tank drilled before and they used cooking oil for the lubricant while cutting?  Is this OK? <<I've always just used water for lubricating the drill bit...works well and is easy to clean up>> I plan on ordering the needed bits online, any recommended sources? <<Several choices about...I bought my last bit here: http://www.diamond-drill-bit-and-tool.com/Diamond-Drill/MAIN.htm >> Any tips?   <<Heat is your enemy...follow the recommended rotation speed for the size core drill bit used.  The manufacturer states these bits can be used "dry", but use of a lubricant (water) will keep heat down, greatly extend the life of the bit, and speed the drilling process...I use simple 'Play-Dough' to create a "damn" around the area to be drilled and fill/refill with water as needed while drilling.  Also, when possible, use of a drill-press or drill-jig to keep the bit vertical to the glass surface will lessen the chance of damage/fracture of the panel>> Thanks once again for your help and contribution to our obsession!!! Randy <<Quite welcome.  Regards, EricR>>

Ruined live rock (?) 7/14/06 Good afternoon WWM crew, <Now the AM! Tempus fugit for shore> I'm very new as a marine aquarium hobbyist.  I'm sure I have made plenty of mistakes already. <You'll have to get way behind me in a very long line....> I refer to your site daily.   This saltwater aquarium was my wife's idea, I enthusiastically agreed.  Now I'm not so sure it's not going to be the reason for a divorce. <Yeeikes! I don't like that> For a few weeks, I was accused of talking to another woman on the computer . . . while most of the time I was reading posts on your site. <Heeeee! More educational at least!> I've searched FAQ's for this and can't seem to find exactly what I'm looking for, but in the process have read many of things that make me think I have done things so wrong, I may have ruined my live rock. <Let's see> My set up is a 72 gallon bow front FOWLR.  I originally set it up with live sand, live rock (about 50lbs), external hang on filter (penguin bio-wheel), canister filter (Fluval 404), I do have a protein skimmer, heater, etc. right now my water parameters are: salinity 1.022, ph 8.3, nitrates 0, ammonia 0, nitrates - less than 20ppm.  I'm not sure if I've left anything out.  My biggest concern is my light . . . single strip fluorescent with a 40w GE Spectra Ray Full Spectrum lamp. <Ooooh, you need a bunch more lumens/intensity than this> I'm about 10 weeks in and my live rock (supposedly pre-cured) doesn't look like much has grown on it. <Likely not with this amount of illumination> I have quite a bit of dark maroon crusty looking coloration, <Likely BGA... opportunistic... hopefully transitory> very little green algae and some small spots of a turquoise growth.  Is this rock ruined?   <Mmm... not likely> Is there anything I can do to salvage it? <Yes... add more light mostly... But I would be checking a few aspects of water quality, principally biomineral (e.g. Calcium) and alkalinity... and bolstering these... Oh, and I'd raise your spg to NSW strength (1.025)> Should I remove it all and get new live rock and start off the right way. <Nah, I wouldn't> Regardless, I'm sure I need to upgrade my lighting.  Can you recommend a fixture for me. <See WWM re... you can search even for "bowfront" or "72 gallon bowfront"... Or take the time (when the spouse is not about) to read through here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/setup/lighting/fixtures.htm and as much of the linked files above till you have a good idea of what your options are here> I don't plan to add anything in the way of corals, etc. any time soon. Right now my livestock consist of: 2 small clowns 1 sailfin tang 1 coral beauty 1 bi-color angel Any help you can offer will be GREATLY appreciated.  Thanks in advance for your help Mike Naughton <Bob Fenner> Rinsing Live Rock - 07/11/06 Thanks in advance! So much good information here! <<Glad you think so!>> Short version of story: friend rinses off live rock, leaves it in freshwater for three weeks, as a favor.  Really. <<Mmm...>> Question: any chance that the coralline algae will survive?? <<I doubt "anything" survived>> Thanks, Mark <<Regards, EricR>>

Smelly Live Rock (No Longer "Live") - 06/01/06 Greetings, <<Good morning>> I have a friend who has given me about 40lbs of rock out of his tank.  Lucky Me!  The question that I have is, my tank is currently cycling with an order of rock from Live Aquaria.  I was going to just take his rock and place it in my tank, but he has left it out of the tank for almost two weeks and the smell is quite awful. <<Mmm, not so "lucky" after all.  This rock will have to be cleaned/cured before it is of any use...and then it will be mostly devoid of life/no longer "live" rock>> His tank had been neglected and had a serious hair algae problem. Should I just allow this rock to die off before placing it in my tank?  I don't have the space to cycle it anywhere else and don't want to introduce anything that I am going to regret later. <<Then about your only choice is to dump this rock or give it to someone with the facility to clean it up>> I was leaning more towards letting it die off since my tank already has about 50lbs in it. 90 gallon by the way! <<Personally, I wouldn't use this rock>> One more question! <<sure>> Before moving my system I had 4*96watt PC's with a tank full of softies.  I sold all of my livestock due to a long move. <<Wise>> I just purchased a 250w halide retrofit with a 10k.  Would you suggest using all 4 PC's or just 2 Actinics?  I'm ready for LPS and maybe a clam or two. <<The latter will work fine.  EricR>>

Live rock and possible copper exposure  - 05/16/2006 Good Day <Hello Robert - Tim answering your question today!>,             About a month ago I purchased some used live rock (100lbs) from a system that was being parted out.  Very nice looking Fiji rock and while it was in QT I noticed a rampant Aiptasia infestation.  After several weeks of trying to eradicate these pests I gave up and decided to turn the rock into base rock.  A strong scrub in fresh water and two hours in boiling fresh water has probably killed off everything, even the Aiptasia. <I would expect so - not necessary the freshwater scrub, but the two hour boil!>   Now to the question: some sections of the rock was a very dark color going into the boiling water (almost black), when removed the dark areas had turned a bright green.  The rock is now dry and stored on a rack.  The green has faded a little bit, but is still distinct.  Could this be a sign that the rock was exposed to copper at some time?  I hate to think that I have some expensive door stops. <Whilst I do not know what it is that you observed, I would assume that it is most likely some kind of algae that was/is on the rock - copper treatments are in solution (i.e. liquid compounds) and in any case the levels of copper used would be far too low to leave deposits visible to the human eye.>   These were to build up a new reef. <Go ahead with your reef - but be aware that your boiling etc will almost certainly have killed off any life on the rocks - whilst this may seem desirable, it does mean that you will almost certainly need to cure the rock.> Thanks for any feedback Robert

Heavy Stocking 5/14/06 Hello, <Hi> I would like to know if live rock and sand is capable of handling heavy bioloads. <Depends on the definition of heavy> I have read a wet dry is superior when it comes to heavy bioloads. <Wet/dries are useful in overstocked tanks, unnecessary in properly stocked tanks> I guess I'm asking if I go with a powerful skimmer, a sump, live rock, and sand, if it will be better than a wet dry in regards to heavy bioload.  I have purchased your book and keep rereading it. Thank you <LR and a quality skimmer should be able to handle any properly stocked tank.  If you need a wet/dry to keep up with ammonia and nitrite then you should take a look at your livestock> <Chris>

Rash from Handling Live Rock (Wear Those Gloves!) - 05/10/06 I don't know if this e-mail should be addressed to you, "crew," or otherwise. <<"Crew" is fine as there is no set protocol on "who" will reply>> I've seen some info on your site about infections/diseases which can be caught from an aquarium.  About 3 weeks ago (this Thursday), I was cleaning a new batch of Fiji live rock that I had just received.  I foolishly did not use gloves (which after the fact, I found out was a good idea). <<Indeed>> I was holding each piece in my left hand, while scrubbing it with a brush in my right, and then adding it to a garbage can.  After I had finished, my left hand began burning, and I noticed little spines sticking out of my hands... <<Mmm...>> This reminded me of getting fiberglass on my hand. <<Very similar, but with a twist...the spines may have carried a venom.  It sounds like you came in contact with a/several large bristle worms while cleaning/handling the rock>> These spines were very thin, and appeared to be clear.  I removed what I could find with tweezers, but I could tell that a couple were still there. <<Yes, very difficult to remove this way as most will fragment leaving behind the embedded portion in your skin...though these usually dissolve away within a couple/few days>> About 2 days ago, I have developed a rash on my left hand. <<Possibly an infection...different folks react/have differing levels of sensitivity to these "stings">> It is red, blotchy, and slightly bumpy, and it itches.  The two incidents may be completely unrelated, <<Not likely>> and I am going to see a doctor tomorrow about this; however, if he is unfamiliar with the hobby and the "glass spines" are the cause, he may not know. <<This is true>> If you have any thoughts as to what this rash may be, please let me know. <<I'm fairly certain your rash is a reaction to contact with bristle worms.  Do a Google search on our site/the NET re "bristle worms" to arm yourself with some information to pass on to the doctor>> Thanks for your help. <<Regards, EricR>>

Salvaging "Old" Live Rock  - 04/16/06 Howdy, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> Got a question concerning live rock that's been stored for about 2 years in a Rubbermaid container. A buddy offloaded some live rock on me that he's had in his basement for 2 years in a closed container with no fish (but kept a 802 powerhead in the container for circulation). I'm concerned about putting this rock in my main FO tank. <As well you should be with anything added to your system! Good attribute to have- paranoia!> I've been trying to cycle it in a 29gal (some of it anyway, it'll fully load a 55gal to the rim) for the past 6 months, even tried a refugium on the tank with Chaetomorpha and a 50w daylight floodlight a friend recommended. Nitrates shoot thru the roof 80ppm + (with water changes it drops 20ppm. but within a few days it's back to before I did anything), also get Cyano growing like weeds. I even tried putting a clown in the tank (poor little guy) hoping that maybe with a small bioload the organisms would start to grow and take care of the nitrate (clean cycle of course). <Not a bad thought, I guess.> Can't be the water I'm using, only use R/O water (and change the filters on it as recommended). So I'm guessing it comes down to the rock itself. Should I kill off the rock (bleach and dry) and start from scratch with a small piece of good LR? Or go get a small piece of good rock and add it to the bad in hopes that it'll re-seed what this rock is missing? <Well, there are a lot of theories about phosphate/nitrate accumulation occurring within live rock, and some of them probably have validity. This is the "theory" behind the concept of "rock cooking" that you'll hear a number of hobbyists discuss on various hobby message boards. The thought is that by leaving the rock in a closed dark container for extended periods of time, you'll kill of undesirable algae (duh) and give the rock time to "leach out" trapped detritus and organics. I suppose there is some validity to this practice, although I've never subscribed to it. The fact that your rock, which has been "cooking" for years, is a possible source of organics seems to contradict this theory, however. Hmm. I suppose that you could either place this rock into a much higher flow/light environment to see what happens, or you could "nuke" it with bleach and start over with truly "dead" rock that is devoid of all life, microbial or otherwise. If it were me, I'd try to work with it in a more conventional reef tank setting first before giving up on it.> There's no odor from the rock I have, it's teaming with bristleworms and MiniStars, but I can save some of them from the sand and just dip the rock to get what Ii can out of 'em if I have to bleach. <I'd really try to avoid the bleaching, if at all possible.> Also,  the main tank has a 3 inch sand bed (sugar sized and the sump has a 5 in) could part of the problem be lack of sand turning? <I doubt it. It could be an issue of the sandbed being excessively disturbed, for that matter, or even an exhausted RO/DI cartridge (do check your source water for nitrate and phosphate before use, just to make sure. Aggressive nutrient export (protein skimming, sue of water changes and chemical filtration media, such as activated carbon or PolyFilter) can also help you salvage this rock for future use without resorting to the "nuclear" option!> If so, would trying a fresh cycle with a goby to shift the sand that's already there maybe help? that's the only other thing I could think of that might fix the problem (but afraid that if the bed is established it'll cause trouble in the layers) John <Agreed, John. Try the nutrient export approach first. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Live Rock/Benefits    4/10/06 Dear all at WWM, <Hello Francis> Thanks for such a wonderful resource.  <You're welcome.> I recently returned to the hobby after taking a few years off for school, etc. and set up a fish only tank using the "dinosaur" methods that have worked well for me in the past.  I have a 35 gallon hex (not the best choice of dimensions for a myriad of reasons, but due to space constraints...) outfitted with a Fluval 204, an old Whisper WDF3000  (extinct, I believe) and a mini Fluval 1 situated just above a 2" layer of crushed coral substrate for improved flow in the lower column.  I have various types of coral skeletons for sanctuary and buffering.  I have two damsels and recently added a coral beauty, who seemingly enjoys foraging about.  After eight weeks, the system is at 0 ppm NH3/0 ppm NO2/10 ppm NO3.  I know that the filtration methods used here is asking for high nitrates, but will be sure to keep mechanical media clean of excess debris to help control this.  <Yes, changing/cleaning weekly will help very much.> The tank is currently in a bloom, with amphipods or copepods appearing in suspension and on the glass. <A good note.> After reading the various posts on the benefits of LR, I am interested in introducing some in my tank.  I figure this would be a good strategy to improve the tank's fish holding capacity by offering increased filtration and additional structure in the water column for sanctuary.  I intend to build the LR atop of the coral skeletons in the center of the tank to avoid compromising water circulation and to situate them closer to the light source (50/50, 15 watt).  <Your lighting is weak for sustaining/growing the coralline present on the rock.> How much LR do you suggest adding at a time?  <Add the full amount you intend to use providing it is fully cured.> The local stores have LR that is already cured, which I presume can be added to the system as is.  <Yes, do smell the rock before purchasing to insure of no rotten egg smell.> I was thinking of transporting the LR in a bucket of tank water to limit any chance of the outer layer dying back and causing a lethal spike when placed in the tank.  Any suggestions on this? <Depending on how far you live from the LFS, it may not be necessary to use the bucket.  Most stores will wrap the rock in wet newspaper which should be fine for a 20-30 minute trip.  "Cured" live rock is shipped that way but there is always some die off in the two day trip.> P.S. As a nitro-bactor fan, I was disappointed to hear the news of nitro-Spira.  Oh well.  LOL Best regards and thanks in advance.  <You're welcome, and thank you for writing so well.  It is nice to answer a query where no editing is required. James (Salty Dog)> Frank Queens, NY

Online vendors part2 3/30/06 Thanks a bunch AdamC.  It does help.  One remaining question on this. You wrote that 'pre-cured' live rock can often times mean less life on the rock when you get it...if I cure 'uncured' or 'raw' rock myself, won't a lot/most of the life on it die off during the cure or sitting in the box?  If not, why would the life disappear when the vendors cure it? Thanks again, and for letting me know about yesterday's message.  You guys/gals are awesome!  Eric B. <<Sorry for the confusion... there is much confusion about the terms "cured/curing" vs. "cycled/cycling" and also much inconsistency in how rock is handled.  Due to complaints about smell, appearance and the work involved in handling "raw" rock, most live rock collectors have taken to "curing" rock before shipping.  This process involves hand stripping all of the sponges, macro algae, etc. from the rock and then often literally scrubbing or power-washing it before packing.  It is true that if left on the rock, much of this material would die, but at least something would be left to have a chance!  Also, the process of "curing" or more accurately "cycling" new live rock when you receive it should include aggressive water changes, attention to water quality and frequent inspection to remove dead things before they decay.  These measures ensure maximal survival of all of that life that you pay so much money for. Many vendors (online and local) will unpack live rock when the receive it and begin the cycling process for you.  While this saves you time and effort, it will come at the expense of life if your dealer is less than conscientious in how they handle the rock.  My personal preference is to receive directly transshipped "raw" rock and cure/cycle it myself.  However this is a lot of work and there is a risk of dealing with a bit of bad odor.   Hope this helps.  Best Regards. AdamC.>

Loss Of Life In Live Rock - 03/17/2006 Hey WWM,   <Hello John.> First Off, you guys are GREAT! <Aww shucks...Thanks.> I bought 100 pounds of Walt Smith Fiji rock and started to cycle my tank on the 24 of February. It is day 21 [cycle], last week I went to my LFS with a water sample because it looked like my rock has cycled as of last week, 0-Ammonia / 0- Nitrite / 20-Nitrate / PH-8.2 /CA-450 / Temp 78.5 steady. <Sounds fine.> Well, he stated it was fine so I added 2- sand anemones, 2-soft corals, <These two won't be happy together.> 1- Percula clown. My lighting which I am running on a timer is a nova extreme [216 watts total] and 1 twin t5 [108 watts] for 12 hours a day. Within the past 3 days all my coralline has turned white. <Happens.> I have attached a picture, if you can possibly take a look and tell me what you think. Will it come back or do I have $400.00 worth of base rock now. Please Help <You'll be fine here. This happens often and as long as you do your part (keep up the water quality/changes, regular lighting schedule) thinks will "spring up" in time. Think of it like watching a really long, silent movie.> Thanks for all the help
<You're welcome John. - Josh>

Live Rock/FAQ's   3/14/06 I am picking up some premium Fiji rock tomorrow from another hobbyist...150lbs that was in a long established tank......It is going in my 110 gallon new tank......I have  not filled up tank yet, as my RO feed line was too short and need to pick it up tonight........longer section..... Seeing that the rock is cured can dechlorinated tap water be used  <Yes.> and later do several water changes over the course of a couple weeks using the RO/DI......I wanted to do a test run with fresh water first  <I'm assuming not with the live rock?> to make sure no leaks in plumbing....also, at 1000 gpd out of the RO, I do not have enough time to get the tank full to accept the rock,. I must pick it up from other hobbyist ASAP....It is nice coralline covered rock and has some mushrooms on it.  <I'd let this new saltwater mix in the tank for at least a day before I'd add the rock.  Can he wait a day?  James (Salty Dog)>

When Life Gives You Lemons...   03/9/06 Hello. <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> I recently purchase a 55 gallon marine aquarium that had around 20 pounds of live rock. All of the live rock was covered with Aiptasia anemones. I tried tweezers to pull them off  and was hardly successful so I tried injecting lemon juice in the Aiptasia mouths and only managed to kill a few.  Then I got Desperate and I had put all the live rock in a 20 gallon that was already 1/3 full of water  and I dumped the rest of the lemon juice bottle.  Which was nearly full. I had the live rock soaking in the tank for about 20  minutes  twice and I was wondering if this had ruined the live rock? Note that almost all the Aiptasia survived. I noticed also that some of the bristle or Fireworms had fallen out dead but there were still some left when I looked that   night. So basically I was just wondering if the live rock was wasted or useless now. I still have an equal amount from the previous marine tank I had that has not been soaked in lemon juice. Thanks, Riley <Well, Riley, I'm sure that some life was lost on the rock, but if the Aiptasia survived the citrus plunge, there is a definite chance that the more desirable stuff survived, too. At the worst, the rock can be re-used, and will "colonize" with new life over time. I say, use it! Good Luck! Regards, Scott F.> Live Rock & Base Rock - 3/5/2006 Hi crew, <<Hi Brian.>> I have a 55-gallon FOWLR tank that I am starting to get up and running. My problem is I really don't want to spend any where from three hundred to five hundred dollars on live rock. Can I use just some regular chunks of rock to build up a base and then put the live rock on top of that? <<Sure you can, so long as the material used is suitable for use in aquaria.  The other rock will become live' in time.>> I want it to look like a lot with out spending a lot. I have seen at my LFS that I can buy base rock from them, but is not much cheaper than the live rock. Any thoughts on what I should do would help out, thanks in advance. <<Perhaps search for cheaper base rock online, or at another retailer.  I see no problem with this plan.  Have fun! Lisa>> Brian

Marine Set Up/Live Rock/Sand  - 3/1/2006 Hey WWM,  <Hey Johnny> You guy's have helped me a lot in the past and was wondering if you can bail me out a little more.  <Will try> I'm in my 6th day of cycle [100 lbs live rock 20 lbs LS ]. I removed the bio balls from my pro clear 150 wet/dry from the get-go. And put about 5 lbs of live rock in the "now' sump...not that big [should I put more LR in there?]. <No real need to.> I keep reading about DSB in the sump but with my wet/dry I have that blue sponge and I'm wondering how I would change it out without all the sand going into the return pump area...or just leave live rock with no sand?  <I'd just use the live rock.> I am also lighting the sump with the Coralife [2] 9watt marine mini light.  <I wouldn't have any lights on until this tank is cycled, at least 28 days.  Nutrients will be high and you will be inviting a nuisance algae bloom.> The incoming water into the sump [live rock area] is very turbulent, will this be O.K for the live rock? <No problems.> just worried that it will be too rough to put anything else in that area. Please help me out with some advice. Thanks for all the help. <Johnny, in future queries please do a spelling/grammar check.  We just don't have the time to edit queries before posting.  Thank you.  James (Salty Dog)> Johnny Live Rock or Not?- 2/18/2006 Dear Lisa, <<Hey Elise.>> Please ignore my last email; I should have researched live rock first before asking you questions. <<Good stuff!>> I've read about quarantining and curing it and all that, so my new question is, can I just get a small piece? <<You could, but I would recommend you get more than a small piece, especially if you want an angel.>> Is adding calcium a must? <<Not at all.>> I've already decorated the tank with fake stuff and I don't really want to spend a tonne more money. <<You can incorporate all of your 'fake' decorations in with some live rock.>> I would be inclined to skip it completely, but I do want a dwarf angel at some point and I want it to do well. <<I personally would never have a FO tank; I feel that live rock is just too good for bio-filtering and bio-diversity in a SW tank to pass up.  If money is an issue here, you can always buy-cure-add the live rock in stages, not all at once.  This may be a good idea considering that your tank should be set up for some time before adding an angel.>> Thanks again! <<You are very welcome.  Hope it helps! Lisa.>>

White Live Rock  - 2/4/2006 Dear Mr. Fenner, <David> I use your book daily in the planning of my new tank.  I have spent many hours perusing your site and would like to ask if you or your associates can confirm my problem. <Okay> I have a 65g tank and ordered 90lbs of cured Fiji live rock to cycle the tank.  It has been in the tank for 6 days and the rock is turning white.  It is not a film that can be blown off.  I believe I am doing everything correctly with the possible exception of lights which I have been running for 6 hours per day.  The lights are a double strip metal halide with Actinic and 10000K bulbs. Water Parameters (65g Tank) --------------------------------- Temp. 76.5 F Ammonia  3.0 ppm Ph. 8.4 Nitrates. 0 ppm Nitrites.  0 ppm Specific Gravity 1.023 Alkalinity -300 KH ppm <These all look good> I have attached 3 pictures.  From what I have learned on your site and from the on-line store that I bought the live rock from: a) the white growth is normal <Likely so> b) it is a white coralline algae <Maybe. There are other possibilities> c) the color should return with time (1 month to 1 year) d) I have to watch the calcium and iodine levels to get the color back <Yes... and alkalinity> e) I might need to leave off the white light and run only the Actinics to get the color back <No... both or just the whites> With the pictures attached, can you confirm (a to e) ? Best regards, David <... this cured rock is way too bare... I would add some "un-cured" here in hope of re-seeding what you have... it's "way passed" cured... Bob Fenner> ps - I will be donating $50 to support WetWebMedia.com

Re: White Live Rock  - 2/4/2006 I forgot to add that each of the 2 lights are 96 watt bulbs. Best regards, David <These are fine... if you don't have/use the actinics for your personal enjoyment, I'd switch these to more "white". Bob Fenner>
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