Seeding dry man made live rock?

Discussion in 'Live Rock' started by Sturty, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. S

    Sturty Valued Member Member

    Im looking at getting some dry man made live rock from Coral plantations ( )
    I have three reasons for wanting to get it.
    1. To aid in the removal of nitrates (anoxic denitrification process)
    2. To make some hiding spots
    3. Provide a base for coraline growth and a base for reef in the future.

    But i also have some questions
    How do i "seed" man made rock? Can i just put it in my tank and wait for the bacteria to grow or should i put it in a well established live rock tank for a greater variety of organisms?

    How big does a live rock need to be to achieve anoxic denitrification?

    How do i stick live rock together? I want to build a cave in the center if my tank that fish are able to swim around.
     
  2. cichlidman

    cichlidman Well Known Member Member

    i know man made rocks are often used as base rocks. i would ad some cured live rock to put on top just my 2 cents
     
  3. J

    JessiNoel21 Well Known Member Member

    Well this be going into your 200L if so IMO do 35lbs dry rock and 20lbs Fully Cured LR to make sure there is not that much of swing of lvls in your tank seeing you already have fish in the tank. You can use expoy to glue the rocks together.
     




  4. ryanr

    ryanr Moderator Moderator Member

    Hi Sturty,
    Anoxic detnitrification is also commonly known as anaerobic denitrification, that is, "without oxygen". In marine environments, this environment (anaerobic) is typically achieved through the use of a deep sand bed (6" deep), either in the display tank, or more commonly in a refugium with Macro algaes. The success of these environments in denitrification is also nutrient dependent, there is a relationship between Carbon, Nitrate (nitrogen) and Phosphates. Refer to the concept of the Redfield Ratio. I have not yet seen base rock used for this purpose, mainly because there is too much oxygen (and thus not enough carbon) in the display for these nitrate eating bacteria to survive.

    Per Jessi's suggestion, a mix of base rock and live rock will help seed the base rock (no different to seeding fresh water media). I wouldn't put the base rock in a Live Rock tank purely because of the risk of the base rock absorbing phosphates that can take "forever" to release and get out of your tank.

    To stick it all together, you have a few options, some drill holes in the rocks and use cable (zip) ties. Others use aquarium safe silicone or coral putty/glue. Personally, I'd go the cable tie option, that way if you ever want to rescape the tank, you just cut the zip ties and reposition.

    If you use the base rock as the 'base' at the bottom, you may or may not get coralline growth due to lighting possibly not getting to the rock.

    Edit: Protein skimmers are the best way to reduce nitrate concentrations. Additionally, you may want to do some research into Carbon Dosing (requires an efficient skimmer)
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
  5. OP
    OP
    S

    Sturty Valued Member Member

    Yet again you are a wealth of information ryan.
    I like your cable tie idea, i was going to use glue but as you pointed out it would be hard to rearrange.

    Coral plantations also do cured man made live rock, would using that remove the issue of phosphate absorbion?

    Im working on the protien skimmer situation, i studied diy overflow systems over the past two days and will build one today and set up a basic sump so i can fit the skimmer
     
  6. ryanr

    ryanr Moderator Moderator Member

    I'd probably just use the base rock and let it cure in the tank, well more specifically, seed. Curing live rock is the process of allowing the die-off process to take place. When you start with base rock, there is nothing to die-off, and shouldn't present any issues. All that will occur will be the seeding of the rock as the bacteria colony grows.

    Without knowing how the base rock is cured (seeded), I don't know if phosphates would be a problem or not. If they use pure ammonia, then phosphates should be minimal, however if they use food as an ammonia source, then inevitably you will get phosphates.

    With your sump, be sure to allow enough space to get the skimmer cup out ;)
     
  7. J

    JessiNoel21 Well Known Member Member

    He has fish in the tank that is why I said he could use a fully cured piece to seeded it.
     
  8. ryanr

    ryanr Moderator Moderator Member

    Oops, small mis-understanding Jessi :giggle:
    I was assuming Sturty would still use fully cured live rock, and was aksing whether he should add extra cured base rock, or just add plain base rock to the existing live rock.

    To clarify:
    IIRC - Sturty, you already have some live rock in the tank? If this is the case, you have a source of bacteria to seed plain base rock. You can just add plain uncured base rock and let it seed.

    If there's no live rock in the tank already, then you'll want some cured and some plain. Follow Jessi's recipe on cured vs base, or buy all cured if you want. Base rock is cheaper, thus the recipe.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    S

    Sturty Valued Member Member

    Yep i already have some live rock, just not enough of it.
    I think ive got the right idea now, im going to purchace 20kg of dry base rock, then add it into my tank (and sump) with the existing live rock. I'll build the structure i want and leave it, then the bacteria and all the good stuff from my existing live rock will grow within and on the new rock.
    But while it is seeding i'll have to watch the phosphate levels?
    :) im so far enjoying all this learning but live rock, cured rock, base rock, dry rock, raw rock ect ect requires some serious thinking lol
     
  10. J

    JessiNoel21 Well Known Member Member

    Welcome to the joys of having a SW tank where all you do is test and enjoy your tank. My tank never got phosphates due to the Marco algae I have in my sump and dosing with Red Sea NO3:pO4-X.
     
  11. S

    SupavisorPete New Member Member

    I was at the LFS today and the gent who runs the store, and used to set up tanks professionally, was there so I had a long talk about seeding rock with live rock. He said, don't do it, because in the ocean it takes 24 months to completely go from dry rock to live rock. He also told me that in an aquarium it will only take a lot longer, and he said that it makes the perfect spot for green hair algae and another bacteria that I cant remember to grow on in the mean time, not to mention it takes up space that should be used for live rock, so you can actually keep fish, and corals;if your just starting a new tank. he was very adamant about not doing it, and selling his live rock for 7.99 a lb, ;) but it was the best live rock ive seen
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  12. J

    JessiNoel21 Well Known Member Member

    I have never had a problem with my rock and I have 45lbs dry and 25lbs fully cured LR but than again. I watch my tank like a hawk and make sure all lvls are in the right range.
     
  13. S

    SupavisorPete New Member Member

    So it is possible to do this without a problem? How long have your rocks been together, and what does your "dry rock" look like at this point, (is it "live" yet) also when did you introduce fish and corals. Anything I should look for problem wise. I ask because I wanted to seed some dry rock with live rock when I started my tank. I am very interested in this post as I was going to start a thread about seeding, but it was already started:)
     
  14. J

    JessiNoel21 Well Known Member Member

    I started my tank end of July 2012View attachment 104132 all my bottom rock was dry and the four pieces on top where fully cured LR and this my tank nowView attachment 104133 . I broke all the rock up a week after first putting it in the tank and put some in my sump and made alot of small caves.So this my tank at 5.5 months old :). I waited two weeks after my tank cycled to add my CUC and LTA(she climbed into the basket when the clerk got my Sea cucumber) and a week after that my clown pair and every two weeks introduced after that. I now have clown pair, yellow tang, watchman goby and. Pistol shrimp pair, flame angel, peppermint shrimp, skunk shrimp, Mexican turbo snail, fiddler crab, tons of bristles that came on one rock, coral banned shrimp, and getting a six line wass this weekend. And 20 corals and 8 frags.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  15. S

    SupavisorPete New Member Member

    Wow,im impressed, Thank you so much for the advice and beautifulpics
     




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