Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    ijo
    ijo is offline
    Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    6,610

    Curing Live Rock

    Curing Live Rock? I didn't even know it was sick!!

    Live rock comes in two flavors:


    1) Fresh/Uncured Live rock that has been taken from the ocean/tank for a day or two
    2) Cured Live rock that has been in a tank for a few weeks and the die off has been removed/cleaned from the rock, and ammonia and nitrite levels are 0


    Typically, you get cured rock from the LFS, some online retailers advertise cured LR, but because of shipping times there will be die off and it will need to be recurred (curing times may be lessened). What is curing, you ask? When rock is removed from the ocean, it sits on a beach, sometimes for a couple of days, before it is placed back in water. Naturally this causes some of the life (plant and animal) on the rock to die (die off). Basically put, curing LR is subjecting to large quantities of seawater, so it can be cleaned of die off and become a suitable media for nitrifying/denitrifying bacteria.

    Live rock is alive because of the large diversity of organisms that make a home on the rock. During the curing process, a lot of these organisms will migrate to the sand, stands of macro algae or the sump, looking for an environment that is less hostile than the ammonia soup being created. Hard as it is to believe, this is the reason I prefer fresh rock rather than cured rock. I believe you will get a larger diversity of life and a larger number of desirable hitchhikers (also get the undesirables) by curing the rock your self. Due to the migration of the organisms, it is possible to make your own live sand as well.

    Okay, now you want to cure some LR, but you dont know how? This is how I cure my LR (this is not the only way to cure LR, it might not even be the best way, it is just the way I do it):

    First thing you need is a container to cure the rock. If the rock is going into a new system with no life, I suggest using the tank as a curing vessel. If it is going into an established system, you need an alternate curing vessel. New Rubbermaid tubs or new Rubbermaid garbage cans are great for this. Personally, I prefer the tubs, because they offer a greater surface area per volume of water.


    Got the container, whats next?
    1) Add 3-4 inches of sugar grain sized sand to the container
    2) Put in the LR
    3) Fill with freshly made S/W (make sure rock is completely covered)
    4) Put in a few (2-4) power heads (you really want that water moving!!!)
    5) Add protein skimmer (optional)
    6) Do 50% water changes every other day (this is where the work comes in)
    7) Do not light the curing vessel



    Where my method differs from some, is the water changes and the lighting (or lack thereof). The reason I do the water changes is; the ammonia and nitrite levels in the curing vessel will rise high enough to kill, not only the organisms alive on the rock, the nitrifying bacteria that mineralize the ammonia and nitrite. The water changes keep the ammonia levels from going high enough to be toxic to the nitrifying bacteria, with the added benefit of saving some of the life on the rock. Some say, water changes slow the nitrogen cycle, I disagree. Fortunately, for us, enough nitrifying bacteria (although weakened) survive the shipping process that the water changes actually speed up the cycle. Even changing 50% of the water every other day, there will be enough ammonia to feed the bacteria population. The water changes are, simply, a stopgap measure until the rock can take care of the ammonia. Using this method, the cycle should take approximately 2-3 weeks until completion. The reason I do not light the curing vessel is nutrients. During the curing process nutrients will be very high, these nutrient, byproducts of the die off decomposition, are algae food. It is not uncommon for undesirable algae to gain a foothold during the curing process. If you take away the light, the algae wont grow. Some of the coralline algae growth will be hindered, but it will make a great come back, once you turn the lights on.

    As always, if you have any questions, comments or corrections, please feel free to post.

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    5

    Re: Curing Live Rock

    Those are some good points IJO.

    I bought some cured base rock (in the tank for 2 years) from an aquarist in Kitchener (Mugster).

    Lots of the pieces have nice coraline algae. A bunch went in the main tank, some in a 40G holding vat with an airstone and the rest in the sump which has no light but has a PM skimmer connected.

    Other than water changes, is there something else I can do to improve the quality of these rocks?

    Just time I suppose. And to interlace them with established older Fiji rock.
    What the hell...How did you get in here? And get out of my aquarium.

  3. #3
    ijo
    ijo is offline
    Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    6,610

    Re: Curing Live Rock

    Hey Trent,

    First of all... let me welcome you to Aquaria  ;D

    About your question.... Other than the water changes and no light... there is just Time left... wait till your amonia levels have dropped and your good to go.

    The rock in your sump that has no light will eventually lose all of its coralline algae.  You might consider adding a small striplight (walmart). This will help sustain the corallie.

    Try and keep your calcium levels at 400-450 and you should get huge coralline algae growth once the rock is in your main tank.

    IJO

    P.S is this the same trent on AJ's board?

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    5

    Re: Curing Live Rock

    The same     ;D
    thanks for the reply.
    I selected the rock that had no coraline on it for the sump.
    What the hell...How did you get in here? And get out of my aquarium.

  5. #5
    Senior Member thien's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    290
    I have a couple of questions about curing.

    1. does this process stink up the house?

    2. if curing in a new tank, will natural light in room cause the algae bloom? if so would it be beneficial to cover the glass somehow?

    3. if there is a bloom, do I just leave it until the rocks are cured to put in some crabs, snails, etc..?? or can I put those guys in while the rock is curing?

    thanks.
    thien

  6. #6
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    5,821
    Thien,

    Check out this thread on ReefCentral. It is the BEST guide to liverock I've ever found. I'm sure many will find it to be an invaluable resource.

    http://reefcentral.com/forums/showth...hreadid=165224
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  7. #7
    Senior Member thien's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    290
    thanks tang man...that is a lot of info and I guess it has answered all my questions.

    i'm actually suffering from info overload. I've read way to much stuff......and I'm actually a little worried now. I have to do this, make sure I do that, don't do this, look out for that...and then I might just kill everything...argghh...i'm beginning to question whether I might be in over my head...I never thought it would be easy and am ready to put hard work in...but all this talk about the bad stuff is worrying me.

  8. #8
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    5,821
    Thien.

    take a deep breath.... now exhale....



    It's not that bad.
    Just take it one step at a time, and relax.

    When I first started out, I too found that there was a lot of information to digest at one time.

    Your best friend is the internet, and discussion boards such as this one. Many people here are willing to help and lend a helping hand when one is needed. When you have a question, don't hesitate to ask it. The only dumb questions are those that are never asked.

    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    5,122
    Trent,
    It is a good idea to keep some LR in your sump. I have 1 whole section in one of my sumps filled up with pieces of LR. This is another type of biofiltering called a cryptic zone. Essentially, when you have lots of rock like this with no light on it, you get lots of sponges and those tiny Feather Dusters growing. These are all excellant filter feeders and help a great deal in pulling stuff out of the water column. Sponges are one of the best filterers that exist in the water. they are capable of filtering an absolutlely enormous amount of water considering the size of each individual piece.
    If you think about it, if scallops were easy to keep and have them survive, these would also be excellant to add to a cryptic zone because they also filter feed and would help filter the tank. But alas.....

Similar Threads

  1. DIY rock is curing
    By tictoc in forum Just Getting Started
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-23-2005, 10:47 AM
  2. CURING LIVE ROCK -How you do it
    By jonah in forum Just Getting Started
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 03-24-2005, 08:24 PM
  3. Curing Live Rock Question
    By LadyP in forum Just Getting Started
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-24-2004, 09:15 PM
  4. Live Rock Curing
    By supertanker in forum Just Getting Started
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 10-12-2004, 02:33 AM
  5. Curing Live Rocks in new tank
    By Jacques in forum Reef Discussion
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-24-2004, 01:48 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •