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Pre-seeding Dry Rock

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  • Pre-seeding Dry Rock

    I'm planning a new tank and would like to run zeovit (would run the full system, except for the live rock....hence the post). Here are some details:
    • Current tank: 32G cube. Up for 20 months. Doing well and growing SPS including (acros are somewhat slow, monits grow like weeds).
    • Planned tank: ELSO 120lx - 30G sump
    • Current Rock: One 14 wide by 12 high 20 lb rock structure, made of Caribsea LifeRock, that will transfer to the new tank.
    • Why Zeovit: I like the clean look, the SPS focus, and the comprehensive plan. Ultra-low nutrients with substantial coral nutrition happening (bacterial and additives) make sense to me.
    I understand, and accept, that Zeo would be best started with live rock. I just really can't find any. Seems to be a vanishing item. So, I'd like to use Caribse LifeRock again. I would though like to pre-seed this rock, for a few months potentially. Plan:
    • Create additional rock structure(s).
    • Place in a container (plastic bin) with salt water, flow, heater.
    • Allow to cycle then allow bacteria to grow
      • Water change as needed.
    • Place in new tank (at some point).
    How does that plan sound? Is it a waste of time or possibly of some benefit? I'm not looking for miracles, just basically trying to have the "ugly stage" or initial period of instability happen in the basement in a bin rather than in the DT in my living space. Obviously there are a million small decisions for this pre-seed and I'd love to hear if anyone has thoughts on things like temperature (should i run it a bit hotter than normal), cycle procedure/products (I did a fish-less cycle with my current tank, dosing ammonia and Dr. Tim products), and what do to with the bin once it has complete a cycle and is converting ammonia (feed with something)?

    Thanks for your thoughts!

  • #2
    I would recommend that you use fresh and high-quality live rock, which really speeds up the process. If you use dry rock, it will take a very long time and you may encounter some additional problems. If dry rock is your choice, adding some old (nutrient-poor Zeo system) zeolite material, and bacteria that colonize the zeolite material can help this process.

    Personally, when the new tank is launched, it needs to be carefully taken care of. At this time, we can learn some experience, changes in the cycle process, instead of just putting it there, this is where we make progress. However, when the new tank cycle is turned on, the rest of the power equipment should also be turned on. This also includes temperature. (Although there are no animals, temperature affects bacteria and salinity), it is also recommended to use a complete Zeo system,
    This can avoid some unnecessary problems


    • #3
      In addition, it is possible to grow Zeo bacteria elsewhere, but there are many factors to consider, except that the addition of Zeo is correct in the basic dosage, but it is inevitable that some "incorrect" will be encountered. Instead of this, the individual will choose a normal process, which is the easiest shortcut for me.


      • #4
        Hi ya

        If it was me, I would start the system in the new tank.
        Then I would slowly transfer the smaller tank over( but not all at once)

        The whole tank (surface area) rock, water, sand is ur biological engine.

        I think this might prevent another mini cycle when the rock is cycled elsewhere and placed into larger volume. And any other issues that might occur.



        • #5
          Welcome to !

          If I where in your situation I would cycle the new system with ZeoVit and the kind of rock you like to use, there might be some different algae phases which will pass by relative quick usually just the biology of the system will need much more time to get stabile and this will be the main reason why SPS corals will not doing to good in the system at a early stage. Once the cycle is complete you can start to transfer the animals step by step. Before add as much biology as possible to the new system like some sand / rocks from your old system, also some “old” zeovit material can be used in the sump additional. This all will shorten the cycle.

          Most important thing with the dry rock is that the rock does not leach any kind of harmful substances.

          If this is not a option for you you can “cycle” the new rocks in a separate container, personally I would also add a skimmer and keep the water temperature as it should be . You can “seed” the rocks with the ZeoVit components. This can take up to a couple of weeks however the rock itself will never be the same as real live rock. I expect you will also experience different algae phases with this method so it is not a real difference compared to cycle the rocks directly in the system.



          • #6
            Thanks so much for the responses. I suppose it is a stretch to think I can meaningfully mariculture something useful in the basement.

            I've spent what I think is a decent effort searching for a dry rock modification to the 14-day zeovit cycle (that assumes live rock). Would anyone recommend some modifications?


            • #7
              The procedure is the same, it just takes additional time before the systems biology becomes stabile.