Ask BRStv: Top Questions About Aquarium Dry Rock

Today on BRStv we are going to answer the
most common questions we receive on dry rock for use in saltwater aquariums. Hi' I am Ryan "RT" Turner and your host today
on this episode of BRSTV. Dry rock has become extremely popular because
it's pest free and ultra-affordable. Pukani in particular is ridiculously porous,
has one of the best weight to size ratios and comes in incredible shapes. Today we will cover the top five questions
related to dry rock in general. Starting with, will dry rock ever become live
rock? It absolutely will.

The main thing that makes rock live is the
live bacteria which filters your tank for you. This type of bacteria will populate on its
own, in fact there is basically nothing you could do prevent this from happening, once
there is a food source like fish food or waste they will begin populating the rock immediately. You can speed this process up with booster
products like Biospira and live sands, particularly the Oceans Direct brand which has naturally
occurring bacteria. Does dry rock really ensure I won't have any
pest organisms in the tank? No, but it severely limits the chances of
introducing them. Live rock is likely the single largest source
of the widest variety of unwanted pests. It is possible to completely avoid a vast
majority of these by using rock which has been dried. After that, is up to you. If you are really careful and inspect the
corals you put in the tank it is certainly possible to avoid all the common pests every
reefer complains about.

Does it take longer to cycle the tank when
using dry rock? It can take a couple weeks longer but this
can be compensated for with the use of live sand or bacterial booster products we just
mentioned. Thing is, bacteria grows rapidly, twenty five
thousand makes fifty, fifty thousand makes one hundred, one hundred makes two and it's
not long before millions can rapidly become billions. Will coralline algae grow on the rock? Absolutely, as long as you add an initial
source like a bit that comes in on the bottom of a coral or on a single piece of live rock. You can speed the process up a bit by scraping
it off a rock so it spreads around quicker and scraping the coralline off the glass frequently. You can see here in this tank we went from
zero to almost complete coverage pretty quickly.

Keep in mind that the best way to get coralline
algae to grow in any tank is to maintain calcium and alkalinity. Is curing the rock any different than with
live rock? Not really, the dry Fiji and Pukani come from
the exact same places as the live versions. Both will have some organic material that
should be broken down before adding the rock to the tank. The organics will break down into nutrients
like phosphate and nitrate. This is commonly misinterpreted as the rock
leaching nutrients when it isn't the rock itself doing this — it's actually just the
organics like dead or dying algae and sponges on the surface.

Since none of us want to start a brand new
tank with excess nutrients, it is wise to cure any new rock, wet or dry. More or less this is just removing as much
material as you can by hand or hose and soaking it in heated salt water with good flow and
no light for a month or two. It is likely that bacterial booster products
will help speed this process up. If you are wise enough to take this step the
rock should be cycled when you are done and ready to be added to a new tank with fish
shortly after. If you have any questions of your own or you're
interested in what other people are saying ask them in the comments area down below and
don't forget to subscribe, we always get excited to see what everyone has to say.

If this is your first time with us give us
a thumbs up and then subscribe, see you all next week with another episode of BRStv..

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