Buying secondhand rock

BinaryRun

New member
Dear Fellow Reefers,

Thank you for this great forum. For a while I have been thinking about changing to Saltwater. I have quite a long freshwater experience and I'm currently owner of six discus. However my discus need 150 liter water changes every 2 days and that is no longer doable for me. For a long time I have been thinking about switching to salt, but never did because I believed that it was more complicated. However I'm drawn to the idea of having a reef some day and have decided that it's time. (While still looking for a new home for my discus)

Currently I wish to start simple with a FLOWLR system. Containing of live-rock, sand and a skimmer, which will be the basis for now. (+ testing equipment, salinity meter etc.)

My tank can contain about 48 gallons of water and as you probably know that main expense for a new reefer in the cost of live rock. (Especially in the NL where live rock is about 15 dollars per lb due to the long travel distance.)

However someone on the Dutch Craigslist broke their tank down so that they have the ability to do more travelling around the world. They are willing to sell me their rock (which just got removed from the water and thus is slowly dying) for 20 euro's total or about 22 dollars for a total of 44lb. 44lb would of course (as I learned from this forum) be a good amount for my tank size.

My question consist of two questions. Can you please give me your opinion on this picture of the rock that they're selling? Unfortunately I won't be able to smell it before hand as they'll have to ship it to me because of the distance.

Secondly. I'm going to move to a new apartment in about 3 months (new home is like 100 feet away and two stairwells from my current place). If I purchase the rock, would it be best to wait with setting up my tank until the move is done and keep the rock in a saltwater bath in the meantime, or can I move my tank after 3 months without too many issues? If I setup the tank before I move, then I will only buy 2-4 small to medium sizes fish to prevent the move from being too complicated.

I have two miscellaneousquestions as well;

1. Would a 150 liter / 50 gallon size skimmer be strong enough?
2. I'm not fully sure if I should get live sand or regular sand and there seem to be a variety of opinions on this subject. What is your own personal view? I'd like to start with a 1 inch depth right now and possible increase the depth in the future for sand critters if my tank goes well.

Thanks for all your advice!

-BinaryRun
 

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BinaryRun

New member
P.S. (Sorry cannot find an edit button)

Before everyone get's concerned, I do have a heater. ;). I actually have a bit of an oversized heater (300watt), in order to counter the lower temperatures during the winter.
 

gone fishin

New member
Hello and welcome to the forum.

The rock you pictured looks like good quality rock to me.

Personally if you wanted to set your tank up now I don not see a problem with it. Since you are moving a short distance I believe you would see minimal issues as long as you kept your rock submerged during the move. The short amount of time in transferring the rock to a bucket and back to the tank should not induce any cycle.

As far as live versus dry sand that is very much a personal choice. I have always used dry sand for the following reasons. Dry sand costs less and the dry sand will eventually become live anyway. Good luck on your new setup.
 

lockdown52

New member
+1. Agree with @gone fishin in that the rock looks like it's good quality. The only thing that I would caution you about is knowing how long it has been out of salt water. You already noted that there is die off taking place. The longer it's out, the more stuff dies. I would get it as fast as I could and get it back into a proper salt environment. Personally, I would prefer just getting it into a bucket of correct temp and properly mixed salt water with a small powerhead and let it sit until I made the move. I'm sure you have read many post here saying "Nothing happens fast in this hobby!" Go slow and GL with the new system.
 

BinaryRun

New member
Thanks everyone for their response. One additional question, is the white 'stuff' on one of the rocks a sponge or something else?
 

Ron Reefman

New member
It looks like good rock to me. If I were in your position, I'd get the rock and add saltwater to the bucket and keep it that way until after your move. Even a small tank full of water is a real pain to move. Besides, the rock is so cheap compared to buying new. Even if it were all dried out, at $.50/pound it's still a deal.

I wouldn't waste my money on live sand. If you take your time getting the tank started, all the bacteria you need will develop over time.

Good luck.
 

BinaryRun

New member
Thanks for the tips, I'm still pondering if I should get fish before the move, but we'll see. Meanwhile I hope to get the rocks on Tuesday or Wednesday and put it in a container with salt ro/di water. Should I get 1kg of live rock to replenish what may have died off or should there be enough left over to help get it going again?

One last question, can I leave it in the container/plastic box with the water etc until I move or does it require water changes as with a live aquarium?
 

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
Cycle, then several weeks inverts only, while fish are in qt. THEN fish go into tank.
 

BinaryRun

New member
Cycle, then several weeks inverts only, while fish are in qt. THEN fish go into tank.

With freshwater there is no need for quarantene as kong as there is no existing livestock in your tank. Is this different with salt? It was also my understanding from several websites that one should start with hardy fish as most inverts were too sensitive to new tanks or is that no longer the case? In qny case I'd love to have a Lysmata Debelius or Blood Red Fire Shrimp someday.
 

gone fishin

New member
One last question, can I leave it in the container/plastic box with the water etc until I move or does it require water changes as with a live aquarium?

You can leave it in containers. I would suggest placing in a heater, if needed, and a powerhead for some circulation. In addition you may want to test to see what type of ammonia, nitrite you get. You will need to top off with freshwater, I like to use RO/DI for this, to maintain salinity due to evaporation.
 

2smokes

In Memoriam
That rock looks good,you have sponges ,corraline ,featherduster worms on it .Keep it in somme saltwater and with an air pump or a powerhead (maybe with a venturi)to oxigenta the water.For just 20 euro thats almost like a donation.If you buy shrimp like debelius or amboiensis buy them small because they have short lifespan like 2 maximum 3 years and if you buy an adult one that could be allready old.
 

Betaktical

New member
That's a sponge on that one rock. I have the same thing on one of mine and it has gotten bigger and they are great filter feeders


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

ssick92

New member
With freshwater there is no need for quarantene as kong as there is no existing livestock in your tank. Is this different with salt? It was also my understanding from several websites that one should start with hardy fish as most inverts were too sensitive to new tanks or is that no longer the case? In qny case I'd love to have a Lysmata Debelius or Blood Red Fire Shrimp someday.

The reason it is different with saltwater is because there are a lot of organisms on and in the live rock that will die (usually) during treatments which are typically done in a QT.

The rule of thumb around here is that you shouldn't introduce anything (inverts, fish, or coral) until your cycle is completely finished. Some people choose to add a hardy fish (like a clownfish) or something that will typically survive the cycle, but IMO this is cruel and you are essentially just putting a fish in a tank full of poison. Even if he lives, it won't be comfortable for the little guy.

The recommended method is to add pure ammonia (from the home improvement store) and continue to test until your ammonia and nitrite are 0ppm within 24 hours of adding your ammonia. Once your tank can cycle through 2ppm of ammonia in 24 hours, then your cycle is complete.
 

BinaryRun

New member
That was my plan indeed, to place the live rock with pure ammonia and wait until it has cycled before I add a fish.

Speaking about water quality, I've brought my discus to a lfs and they gave me this salt in exchange. I couldn't find anything about it online, bit it seems to be alright. It's not their special reef quality brand, but I'm not planning to add any coral for a while regardless.

According to the website it's nitrate, silicate and phosphate free. Only dowm side is that it isn't really for sale anymore, so eventually I'd have to replace it with a different brand.

https://www.sera.de/en/product/marin-salt/
 
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