Help me get my rocks off


Reefing newb
OK everyone, help me get my rocks off to a good start. I have never done saltwater but I am looking forward to it. I have been researching, researching and researching and buying a few things I know I am going to need along the way. I actually started off wanting to do saltwater so I could get a porcupine puffer because they are so cool. But I soon discovered that they are not reef safe, and while doing my research I realized that I love the looks of the Reef tanks. So I am now going with reef and fish with hopes that once the tank is stable that I can start doing some coral.

I already have my 4 stage RODI filter and set it up last night so I could get some water into a tub so I can start seeding some dry rock into live rock. I have a pump and a heater to put in the tub and picked up some Epson salt yesterday. Ok I'm kidding! :mrgreen: I picked up a small box of Instant Ocean Sea Salt. It's good for 25 gallons and the tub I am putting the rocks in is 27 gallons. With around 95 pounds of rock I figure that its going to displace quite a bit of the water in that tub. So I have plenty of salt for this part of my build.

A month or so back when the LFS was having a 20% off all dry goods I picked up a couple other things which included a refractometer. So, I think I have everything I need to start seeding this rock while I finish off the stand and the sump.

So here is where y'all come in. I have 95 pounds of rock which appears to have never been in an aquarium. It's not man made and it has just a few holes less than Obama Care.


While doing all of my research (mostly here on LivingReefs,com) I have been checking out TON of photos. I am starting to think that most of the rocks that everyone has is not the same as what I currently have. They don't appear to have as many holes and divots. But I could be wrong on that since my rocks are dry, dead and bleached, while the rocks in most of the photos are all covered in growth.

Is the rock that y'all started with the same as what I have above? I still have anywhere from 60 to 90 pounds of rock to pick up before I add the rock and water to the tank so I can buy different rock if I need to. Some of this rock might end up in the sump but I really like the looks of the tanks with a lot of rock so it will probably all be used in the DT. I would just like to make sure that I get the right stuff for the tank.

If you want to post some before and after photos of your rock that would be great too.

Tim Sapp
Frisco TX
I had some rock like that in my big tank.

It's just clean, dead rock. It's fine to use. It's also easy to break apart for when you are 'scaping.
There are a lot of different kinds of rocks that people use. When I surf around the web, I see that a lot of people use the same type of rock you're using, so no worries. I persona;y have Fiji rock.
Thanks for the input folks. I am glad that it does not look like it will be a problem using this kind of rock for my DT.

Now for the next few questions. I have my rocks in the tub of water from my RODI filter, I added the Instant Ocean salt and have it stilling at 1.025 as per my refractometer. I put in a small pump that can keep the water moving.

So question one, do I need a big water pump in there for a big flow, or will a small pump work as long as it keeps the water moving.

2. What temperature do I need to keep the water at? While I have a heater I could put in there it is WAY to big for this amount of water. If I need to keep it around 78 to 80 then I'll go buy another one, but if 70 will work, then I may not need a heater at all. Actually, starting next week I may have trouble keeping it below 80, once the cold front heading this way moves out, I don't think it's going to be getting cold around here for a while.

3. Do I need any light before I add the LR? I currently have the lid on the tub to keep crap out of the tank. It's in my garage and I have been doing a ton of wood working while building a new stand for my 55 gallon freshwater tank. After that I'll be skinning the stand for the 155 future saltwater tank. I don't want all the saw dust in the water. But if I need to have a light on the rocks then I'll have to have the cover off the tank.

4. When I cycled my freshwater tank I drove all over town looking for a bottle of 100% ammonia. A few drops in the water to kick off the cycle was all that was needed and then after the cycle a few drops a day until I got some livestock in the tank to maintain the bacteria. Can I use the same process to feed the LR while it is seeding the dry rock? Once the rock has been seeded, can I keep all the bacteria alive using this method as well?

Thanks for helping out a new guy!

My tank is also full of that kind of rock and it works really well for me.

1. Yes a small pump will work for circulation
2. Some suggest keeping the temp 72-75 and some suggest 80-82 for faster die off and curing.
3. You don't need any light curing your rock
4. I have always just used raw table shrimp to promote a cycle, you can also ghost feed or if you prefer you can do the bottled ammonia (I just don't like putting bottled chemicals in my tanks).
Here is a pretty good write up on all this Curing Live Rock to use in saltwater or reef tanks | Successful Reef Keeping
Hope this helps and good luck!
Thanks for the input folks. I am glad that it does not look like it will be a problem using this kind of rock for my DT.


Welcome from just down the road. You should be able to cure your dead rock with a very small piece of live rock or put some live sand in it. It will take a long time depending on how much rock you have.

Just as a side note, you might wanna check out It is the dfw saltwater group and it is a really good group of people.

Love to have you there.