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Starting a tank with dead LR

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  1. #1
    ReeferMike - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    macomb michigan
    First Name

    Default Starting a tank with dead LR

    I've got some really old dead dried out liverock that I want to use in my new build. I'm estimating around 80-100 pounds of it. The rock came from a reef setup that was converted to FW, and then left stagnant for who knows how long. I'm sure the rock is loaded with dead organics that will all decay when introduced to saltwater.

    I read a thread on a different board about cooking LR, not on a stove but basically put it in a dark tank full of sw for a couple months with a heater and a powerhead. The idea is that the bacteria can do its job to the organics without allowing algae to take hold.

    My question is how do I introduce the bacteria? Is it a natural occurrence when anything is put into sw, or do I need to seed it with a new piece of LR? I want to get a tank running to cook the rock this weekend.


  2. #2
    MizTanks - Reefkeeper
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    U.P. of Michigan.
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    Awards Photo of the Month - October 2012 Photo of the Month Post and Reply Award - Winner of the first PAR Contest. Monthly Giveaway Winner

    Default Starting a tank with dead LR

    Using a powerhead, small heater and a big bag of carbon (great to combat major stink) I cooked my rock for two weeks in a RM tub.
    Then I added the rock to my tank and for the first week used SeaChem Stability (per directions on package) as a bacteria additive. Within another week my tank was done cycling. To be safe I waited another week just to be sure I had no ammonia spikes. I didn't! I then transferred my live stock to the tank.

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    There's nothing like being a Reefer! www.upmmas.com

  3. #3


    If the rock has organics on it, bacteria will appear. If they don't, you have some sort of magic tank that preserves anything in it If the rock were absolutely clean, you would need to add something for the bacteria to eat, like a piece of shrimp.

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