Originally Posted by denrgb
150 lbs of Key Largo rock, (curing it myself)
20-40 lbs of live rock from LFS or elsewhere (to start the cure)
I'm being picky here, but the language used in the saltwater hobby can get confusing, and the concept of "curing" live rock actually does not apply here.
The curing of live rock refers to the process by which living things are allowed to die. When a rock is removed from the ocean, there are a lot of things on the rock which will not continue to live in an aquarium. This is why a new shipment of live rock at the LFS stinks so bad that you can tell the moment you walk in the door that new live rock has arrived. A good LFS will "cure" the rock by placing the live rock into a vat of saltwater, with a very good protein skimmer attached and water pump for circulation.
This same concept of curing live rock may apply if you purchase rock that has been sitting in stagnant water, such as off ebay or on Craigs list. Often the rock has not been "used" in an active aquarium for many months or longer, and many things have died within the rock. This rock would also need to be cured.
In this particular thread dry rock is being used, which has no curing time. The rock is sold pre-cured, and with no living organisms in the rock. Nothing can die during shipment, so there is nothing to cure. In actuality, you are wanting to give the rock time to mature and become "live", which will happen in a few short weeks after exposure to live rock. The existing microfauna and bacteria in live rock will VERY quickly spread and populate the dry rock. In a matter of months you will not be able to determine which pieces of rock were originally dry or live, because all of the rock will at that point be "live" rock.
So, just for clarification, you may never see an ammonia or nitrite reading in your tank. Bacteria already exist in the live rock, and by adding live stock slowly the bacteria will quickly spread to keep pace. In saltwater tanks this is a rather easy task to accomplish, because you will be going 3 or 4 weeks between live stock purchases, allowing time for quarantine.