Aquarium Tips of the Day | Cure your Live Rock

Today’s aquarium tip from Aquarium Tip Tank will keep your fish tank a little bit cleaner and a little easier to handle when adding live rock to your home aquarium. So, you’ve decided to set up a marine aquarium and you’d like to have some live rock in it right? You either need some more live rock to fill out your tank or you decide to use live rock to help with the cycling of your tank. Well, all of the fish stores have this live rock that is uncured and much cheaper. So you decide to save a little loot and get some of that instead of the cured live rock! Off you go and its time to put it into your fish tank! Here’s the kicker, make sure you cure your live rock before placing it into your marine aquarium!

Live rock isn’t actually alive, but its called live rock because its been sitting out in the ocean being aqua-cultured for the last several years. Small, microscopic organisms have been able to populate the rock and now call it home and make it “live”. Then, the live rock is harvested from its perch in the ocean, wrapped in paper that is wet with saltwater, and shipped to your local fish store or directly to you. You think all of those organisms stay alive when that live rock is out of the water and being transported? Absolutely not!

At this point there are still some beneficial organisms residing in the live rock and enough of them should still be alive, but there are also a whole lot of dead organisms and pests that you don’t want and you need to get out of the live rock before placing it into your aquarium. You know what a spike of dead organisms means to your fish tank water right? Yes, it means introducing a whole lot of unwanted nitrites, nitrates, and ammonia into a tank that probably doesn’t have the beneficial bacteria necessary to handle the sudden water quality change. If its an established tank, be prepared for some dead fish and corals. If you’re cycling your tank, be prepared for a jump in ammonia levels and a longer wait to complete the cycling.

Our recommendation? Either pay the little bit extra for the live rock that has already been cured by your dealer or cure the live rock yourself before putting it into your aquarium tank.

Curing some live rock? Leave your comments below.