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The Thread
Act V

Rad Atom
"I guess I'm just one of those stupid people in the hobby that experienced people cannot stand."

I do not think this..... I am sorry if I made you feel this way.

"If you go to the website I have mentioned previous times you will see that treatment is recommended."

Damselblue, I have learned that there are a ton of different ways of doing things in this hobby. Some work, others don't.

Different people have different ways of doing things that work for them. This treatment thing, as well as rock cooking are classic examples where you are going to find that there are successful reefkeepers on both sides of the fence.

Once again, I am sorry if I offended you.

Voice of Reason
Rad has a good point, it sounds like a BIG misunderstanding and an unrealistic expectation of sorts from an inexperienced honest hobbyist.

Hopefully, those rocks will take off for Damselblue, which I expect they will and she will be happily amazed.

On the flipside, the seller probably has never been on the receiving end of a live rock shipment that looks like when reefers get it and should warn customers about the realities that come with that brutal shipping. The only way anyone is gonna get great reefer rocks without being disappointed is by buying'm through a local fish store or friend and doesn't require the rocks to be out of the water very long.

A note ... Damselblue's live rock was in her tank within eight hours of its arrival from Fiji.

Thank you. I hope it will take off too. I might buy a nice piece from my lfs. He has a great reef shop. He really knows his stuff.

Yes I am a beginner, but I've done A LOT of research. I know it shall never end, of course. I honestly have not seen bugs like that on any hitchhiker page. Maybe I just haven't come across the right page.

I did a rinse of the rock today. I cleaned up most of the dying stuff. It was horrible smelling. Rotten. Bleh.

My question to you guys is, what SG would you cure your rock in? What temp?

The people that sent me the rocks said to keep temps at 71 with an SG of 1.021.

To help us stick to the facts ...
the instructions for curing live rock on
the website state 73-74 degrees ...
and it says that these are
LOW temperatures in order
to avoid over-heating during curing.

I wonder why Damselblue keeps misquoting this page ...??

My good friend LadyOctopus who is a great reefer says to maintain the tank at 1.025 and a temp of 75. What is the best way?

Oh!...that Damselblue!
How did she get so confused?

The best way is to not
confuse maintaining a tank parameters
with curing live rock parameters,
as they are not one and the same ...

Thank you all for the help.

I am still learning, but I guess I have to make mistakes to learn.  =*(

Let's read between the lines for a moment! I think one of Damselblue's mistakes has to do with some of this confusion in misquoting the website for curing live rock and in confusing parameters of tank maintenance versus curing.

Terms such as "keep temps at,"   "cure rock in," and "maintain the tank" have been used interchangeably.

When Damselblue posted that the company "said to keep temps at 71 with an SG of 1.021," she not only misquoted the website, but she also made it sound as though that temperature had been given to her in regard to the temperature at which she should "keep" her tank ... very confusing!

Okay, now we can continue!

Rad Atom
My good friend LadyOctopus who is a great reefer says to maintain the tank at 1.025 and a temp of 75. What is the best way?

I think that your friend LadyOctopus is giving better advice.

The bad smell is normal also.

... the advice Damselblue (incorrectly) refers to from the website has to do with CURING live rock.

... the advice LadyOctopus gave Damselblue is in regard to MAINTAINING a tank.

It's no wonder Damselblue's question of "What is the best way?" was confusing!

Pssssst ... do you think Damselblue was really THAT confused?

Damselblue: You bought cheap rock. If you paid $8-12 a pound for that rock... then I could understand being ticked off. But, you got what you paid for ... if not better!

Have some patience ... you'll need that a lot more than anything else in this hobby!!!

For the record, I have kept saltwater tanks for three years, and have studied and researched for a good six years. I still think I am a novice ... being a novice can last a long time!!!

Originally posted by SeaStar
"Damselblue: You bought cheap rock ..."

I'm sorry, but $3-4 a lb., is pretty much average online. It is by no means cheap rock.

If you're paying $8-10 a lb., you're getting hosed. Period.

(Damselblue paid $2.80 a pound, plus shipping of about $50.)

Voice of Reason

$6-8 a lb. is the norm in local fish stores, and $8-10 is for the really good stuff locally, 'cause the price of shipping is included (someone has to pay for the shipping) and your local fish store is not gonna take that hit.

You're getting hosed if you're paying that much a pound online, but not if you're buying locally.

It's best to get the bulk of your rocks online and get few nice pieces locally to save $$$. Buying from someone that is breaking down their tanks is best, usually it's all covered in coralline and nicely colored. Once in a while, this can be found in your local fish store.


Here in Quebec City, the live rock is very expensive. For me, the rock you got was very good for the price.

Here, we get the same as you, but at a much higher price. I paid $10 a pound for my Fiji live rock for my 110g reef tank ($1000 of live rock).

When you look at a live rock picture on a website, don't expect to receive the same thing. Their goal is to sell their stock. To sell it, they won't put a picture of usual live rock they receive; they will put the most beautiful pieces to attract customers.

Your rock is fine, just keep good water and in six months, you will have pink rock!   

My rock is full of coralline. I tried many methods to speed its growth, but the only one that really worked for me is Time.

Looks pretty decent .... just wait awhile it will look even better!!

Man I gotta say that you guys must be getting some lame looking rock to say that those are nice shapes. I'm in agreement that they look like round boulders.

I ordered online once from an ebay vendor and while it was void of most color due to shipping at least the shapes were really nice.

Saying that the sole purpose for live rock is biological filtration is only partially true. The rest of my 300 pounds of rock came from other reefers. In my opinion the best way to get nice colorful rock.

I have to say I agree with kentrabbit here. Okay so I need to raise the temps then and the SG? I'm only at 73 degrees and 1.023 SG right now.

I didn't want to follow anything else since Birdfish said I already had the SG too high against his recommendation of 1.021 and a temp of 71 degrees for curing.

Noting the misquoting ...
Damselblue has once again misquoted
the temperature. (The information
that is actually on the
website is not incorrect
or bad advice for curing.)

So please everyone, what do I need to set this at now? 80 degrees and an SG of 1.025? Any advice on how to gradually do this? I don't want to harm anything since a lot of people are telling me I did.

I did another cleaning of the rock yesterday. It smelled absolutely horrible. I expected as much. My skimmer isn't pulling barely anything. I have the remora pro in my sump. I feel like I need a better skimmer. Oye madre. Malo malo malo!

Oh yah ... by cleaning, NO I didn't scrub the rock, so don't worry. I just removed the dead things on it with tweezers and rinsed it in a tub of saltwater with an SG of 1.025.

When do you think I should do a water change? I have the saltwater water-change water ready to go right now. I got it ready last night.

I wasn't sure if it would be too soon to do it after mixing the saltwater last night.

Let me know. Thanks all.

(Damselblue is definitely learning!)


Originally posted by Damselblue
"Oye madre. Malo malo malo!"

Calm down, wilya.

The Remora Pro or Urchin Pro is a perfectly good skimmer for that size tank. It usually takes a new protein skimmer a few days to start skimming ... something to do with traces of plasticiser on the skimmer itself affecting water tension.

You want to move to the temperature and sg found in most coral reefs (1.025 and 80-82). Do it over a few days, no rush.

I don't much care for the rock you were sent - it'll be hard to build an interesting reef from seven or eight rounded blocks, all about the same size.

BUT, the rock will come alive, really.
Do not worry about having put it in hypersaline water, it was probably no harder on the critters and plants still hiding in the rock than traveling in a box without water for a few days.


Sal, the problem is that they're hand made. Some work fine, some are junk.


Most protein skimmers are. That's why they're so expensive, considering that most are made out of a little acrylic and PVC. There's a chance that Damselblue got a bad one, but I think it's more likely that it just hasn't broken in yet.

Voice of Reason
Damselblue, there is no perfect salinity or specific gravity (sg), as everyone has a different preference. However just be in the tolerance level and stay where you're most comfortable.

Most reefs stay at a specific gravity of 1.025 and a temperature of 80 degrees ... "some slightly warmer, some cooler," but that's the norm.

I like to keep mine as close to the real thing as possible, but tolerance is about five degrees either way.

Specific gravity should be between 1.021-1.026 (tolerance levels) as much as possible.

Plan on a water change whenever your rocks' ammonia gets at or above 0.25 ppm just to be on the safe side, and immediately if it hits 0.50 ppm.

It's definitely a process, so plan on being patient and keep planning your next steps as you're moving along ... you won't be disappointed.  

...Continue to Act VI