Reusing old live rock?

Discussion in 'Live Rock' started by electricd7, Oct 23, 2006.

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  1. tigermike74

    tigermike74 Panda Puffer

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    Bleaching your rock will virtually kill all life in the rock, even the stuff that is hidden deep in the rock. For it to be recovered with coralline algae, it may take several months, assuming your tank parameters are spot on. It will also take that long for other forms of life to reinhabit the rock as well.
     
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  3. kss2801

    kss2801 Montipora Capricornis

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    i don't think i have a choice anymore. the rock is in bad shape. it is now completely covered in blue black slime and it stinks. i think everything is dead already. i don't mind waiting a while for it to regrow, because i will be stocking my tank very slowly anyway.
    so if i put in the bleached live rock ( base rock?) and a couple pieces of live rock and a mech/bio filter one or two fish should be fine (80 gallon tank) while the base rock becomes live. right?
     
  4. juanhunglo69

    juanhunglo69 Plankton

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    I say put it in the garage in the tote. Fill it with salt water put in a power head and a heater and let it go for a few weeks. It will probably stink like, well it's going to stink. I am very iffy about adding any chemicals to something that is going to sustain your aquarium. You can go ahead and get the tank set up and running with your sand and a few pieces of good quality live rock. After a week or two running in the garage do a good water change in the tote and maybe throw a piece of that good live rock in there. Keep on the water changes and you will have a good batch of rock out there in a month or two. If the garage doesn't stink after a week you can move the stuff to your main tank and let it do its thing. Just let it go through the complete cycle before you go adding livestock.
     
  5. kss2801

    kss2801 Montipora Capricornis

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    ok. i'll leave it for a bit and see what happens.
     
  6. fielding12

    fielding12 Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    There's a picture in my salt water tank photo album of purple-ish rock. It was taken in my "inherited" tank when it was in its former owner's "eel" salt water set-up. [​IMG]


    I have someone who was maintaining the previous aquarium with the previous owner who removed the rock when she set the tank up empty for me. When I told her I was going to a salt water tank in my own set up, she said that she would return that rock.

    Any guesses about whether this was live rock when it was in the other set-up?

    The rock (coral?) was purple-ish. Was this artificial or a desireable growth or something to get rid of?

    I've read the treatment of stored rock (bleaching and rising steps listed above in thread). These rocks have been out of the tank since mid-June 2009. Do I need to go through the bleaching and rinsing or just put back into a salt water tank? I have a 10 gallon tank that I can use for quarantine if you think it best.

    Advice?
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2009
  7. steve wright

    steve wright Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi fielding 12
    any rock that is in the tank for a period of time becomes live rock - bacteria colonises it and its that bacteria we want as then main part of our biological filtration system

    if the rock is removed from water long enough to dry out - then the bacteria and anything else on it, will die - and the once live rock will become dead or base rock

    the purple is a calcerous algae called coralline - its not bad looking, but it can become a nuisance when it starts growing on your front glass or overflows etc and blocks things up

    you will need to clean this rock as you suggested all of the life that was on it, it is long dead and will elavate your polution levels if you just add it back to your tank IMO

    Steve
     
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  9. fielding12

    fielding12 Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    Thanks for the information and specific advice. Although I am working with someone whose business is to maintain tanks locally, I am getting the feeling that I need to have a lot of information going in to make the best decision.

    Here's my current plan. Please refer me to the proper thread or let me know if this might be a workable approach.

    Buy a small amount of live rock (50 lbs?) and use it in the tank with live sand.

    Take previously used rock and rinse it thoroughly with a garden hose.

    Then put the washed rock into the 150 gallon tank by arranging the rinsed rock-live rock aquascape. Put the base of the rock on the aquarium bottom and make sure it is a stable base. Cement or tie remaining rocks of aquascape into bridge/ledge/hiding place arrangement. Expect the rock to all become "live" in enough time.

    Leave the pump on 24/7 continuously (goes through bioballs and protein skimmer), power jets on, and use limited lights (4 hrs a day). Test the water and look for peaks of nitrate that return to normal indicating end of cycling. Expect this to take a longer time (weeks? months?) due to less live rock used. Add one blue chromis when I think cycling has occurred and hope for the fish's survival.

    It's a plan.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2009
  10. kss2801

    kss2801 Montipora Capricornis

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    i bleached a few pieces of my live rock that were in the worst shape, did the soaking and rinsing then drying.
    after that i used a pressure washer to clean them. it was amazing how much stuff came out of those rocks. i don't think using a garden hose would get those results.
    since the rock is already dead, you might as well clean it properly, but i guess it depends on how big the pieces are, and how porous. That extra stuff would pollute your tank unnecessarily though.
     
  11. fielding12

    fielding12 Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    I have the pressure washer. I am that prepared.
     
  12. kss2801

    kss2801 Montipora Capricornis

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    Did you go through with it? how's the rock coming?