View Full Version : Curing methods

07-29-2007, 01:21 PM
I was wondering what methods for curing live rock people have heard works well or have done themselves with good outcomes.

I was told by one of the best LFSs in the area the following method:
Get the tank ready (sand in, equipment on and running, salinity correct, pH correct and stable, temp correct, etc.), then buy all the live rock at once, before anything else goes in. Let it sit in the tank with everything running except for the lights for two weeks. Then do a water change of at least 50%, then you are ready for fish.

They said to transport the rock with just wet newspaper on it, that if I kept in submerged and something died, it could kill everything else on the way home. I do not agree with this and have repeatedly heard that keeping it submerged is much better (makes since that aquatic organisms want to be in the water).

I know if you already have fish to cure it in a separate container, but what other methods have people used?

07-29-2007, 02:05 PM
If you live really close to the LFS the newspaper does work. Most of the critters on the rock can live out of water for a few minutes without harm. One of the +'s for doing this is often animals like crabs and mantis shrimp will abandon the rock in search of water. Makes it easier to find and remove these if you want to!
If you live far from the LFS, then having a plastic cooler with some pre-mixed saltwater in it is the way to go...

IF the rock I'm buying is NOT "loaded with life" type rock then yeah, stick the whole thing in the already set up tank. Leave alone and monitor your water levels. When ammonia, nitrite are at 0 and nitrates have shown up do a good sized water change maybe 30% to 50% and start adding your fish. This could take anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks depending on if the rock was already cured or not.
However if the rock I'm buying is the good quality stuff with tons of life on it, I do things a bit differently. The rocks are put into that already set up tank but then I start doing water changes. A small water change (10%) every other day. The reasoning behind this is that you paid for all that life, why let it die? You will be amazed at some of the life that comes out of the rock!! So I do water changes until ammonia and nitrites are 0 and nitrates have shown up. Then fish can be added. This will often delay the cycling process but IMO it is well worth it!

One more thing. Sponges will not survive being out of water for even a couple of seconds. Air will get trapped within their bodies and cause them to decay. So the best thing you can do is to scrape any sponges off the rock before you put it in the tank. Leave a small smear of it on the rock and it might come back later on. Many sponges have antibacterial properties so when they decay they will kill off the very bacteria you are trying to establish.

07-29-2007, 02:09 PM
They said to transport the rock with just wet newspaper on it, that if I kept in submerged and something died, it could kill everything else on the way home.

Forgot to add this to the post above!
Ummm....I have never heard this before. I suppose if you lived very, very far from the LFS and you had something major die off it could foul that bit of water but it seems rather unlikely to me. Living far from the store it would seem much more logical that things would survive with water rather than the other way around....

07-29-2007, 10:23 PM
I did not give it much credit either.

With unwanted animals looking for water, would it be good to have a little (about one inch) in the bottom of the bucket to give them somewhere to go, or would that just allow them to move to rock that is under the water level.

I would love to have sponges. If I found some rock with it on it, I would need to bag, transport, etc. with it completely submerged, correct?

07-30-2007, 05:26 AM
Yes, what you were told is standard...

If it's a new tank, put all your liverock in at once.

It pays to buy the best quality LR that you can. The more porous the better.

07-30-2007, 12:57 PM
That's why I am getting mine from that LFS, they are supposed to have the best in the area, at least their customers think so. Whenever I get my salt tank going that is.

08-01-2007, 11:23 PM
Yeah a sponge has to be bagged, transported etc completely underwater for them to survive. There is a very good chance that any sponge found on the live rock has already been exposed to the air so it's best to scrape it off before adding the rock to your tank. Sometimes you can buy larger sponges attached to a small piece of rock. Usually these have been handled carefully along the way but all it takes is one ignorant person and the damage will be done.

If you transport your rock with the wet newspaper wrapped around it and then it's in a bag or a container usually water will seep down to the bottom of the bag or container. If you wanted you could add a small amount of the LFS's water to the bag so whatever critters you have will survive the trip (especially if it's long!).

08-01-2007, 11:39 PM
I am going to try for a 20long instead of a 10, in which case I would get a 45 pound box of premium Fiji from liveaquaria.