Cured Rock or Dry Rock that is the question

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Whilst there is a lot to be said for live cured rock others have added dry rock .. in forum members views what is the best way forward ..

From what I can see the only real difference is the amount of time it might take you to cycle your tank and with dry rock you don't get so many nasty's ???

My aim is to get a tank up and running but minimize the amount of  potential hitch hikers and unwanted leeching of toxins into the water.. I know you can never be a 100% sure ...

with the benefit of hindsight what would the experienced forum members recommend .. time to cycle is not really and issue as this is a long term project which wont be rushed as I would like to get it the best it can be


  • Graeme
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Reply #1

Cured.  That is all  lol
Ok, a bit more.  Dry rock doesn't come with any critters, which are essential if you want a good all round ecosystem.  Also, it's debatable whether dry rock can ever be repopulated fully by seeding it with liverock.  You need the worms inside to push water deep into the rock in order that the anaerobic bacteria can process the Nitrate, leaving just harmless Nitrogen as their waste product.
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Reply #2

Iv heard of massive phosphate issues with dry rock aswell

T-Bone Tyrone

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Reply #3

I would say cured too, as you'll still have to put live rock in for filtration.
If you were looking for a compromise I would get enough cured live rock to handle filtration and use these as the main structure, but I would buy the plating or branching shelf type bits as dried rock to save a little money, I find you'll need more LR than required for filtration  to get the scape you want.

Dried LR will only help against unwanted critters etc, but as it's been left to dry there will be die off within the rock, and I'd assume that when re-hydrated anything that has died will then leach into the newly set up system.

If you are worried about critters, you could run the tank for a couple of weeks after scaping without sand, this may make it easier to see if anything in in the tank as you'll have some dust\sediment settle on the base of the tank and if anything is in there it could leave a trail
I should really sort this out!!


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