Originally Posted by Pasfur
Rubble is more likely to trap detritus. Just use the big pieces.
Thanks, Mark. Big pieces it is.
Originally Posted by reefsahoy
hey administrator sounds like you had an eventful week. sorry i didn't get on the forum as i was in the middle of the ocean crusing the week and stress away on vacation with no way of getting online, phones,pagers, or messages! yeah!! now it's going back to work this week ho hum :( . just got caught up on your post and sound like you had a mini cycle to me too. from the sounds of it you're going to be adding new rocks to you tank too. that can also cause a mini cycle because the rocks may contain dead animals within the rocks. one way to tell if the rocks are somewhat decent is to smell the rocks. if it has any bad smell you'll definitely going to get ammonia, nitrite and nitrates again. so before adding give it the smell test.
I hope you had a great time on your cruise, reefs! I received the rock as I describe below and found that it did not smell at all.
I received 25 of the 75 pounds of dry rock I ordered yesterday. I was disappointed that I didn't receive both boxes because I was looking forward to putting the rock in my tank after work. I called Fedex asking why I'd only receive one box when two were shipped together from the same place and was told that the 50 pound box of rock somehow opened during transit, which likely accounted for its delay. I was assured that nothing was broken, as if there would be any way to tell.
Anyhow, the delay turned out to be a blessing in disguise. My wife had somewhere to be today while I put the rock in the tank and arranged it. Had I received both boxes yesterday and endeavored to aquascape then, she would have seen just how much water, rock dust, rock fragment, etc., got all over our living room, the hallway to the bathroom, etc. I finished and couldn't help but think of the ending of Ferris Bueller's Day Off as I raced to get the place back in order afterward.
Here are pictures of my tank and sump before the addition of the rock. beforeTank.jpg beforeSump.jpg
Here is a picture of the boxes the rock arrived in. You really don't need to see this, but for the sake of completeness... boxes.jpg
Here is the rock I had to work with. I'm no rock connoisseur, but most of these pieces looked great and were full of nooks and crannies. rocks.jpg
I wanted to put as much rock in the tank as I could to maximize the amount of nitrate converted to nitrogen gas, but at the same time I didn't want to forfeit aesthetics altogether. This is the compromise I arrived at: afterTank.jpg afterSump.jpg
What do you guys think?
I arranged the rock so that I could still get my magnetic algae scraper around the front and sides of the tank, and succeeded except for one small spot where the rock comes too close to the glass to allow the scraper to pass. From the side of the tank, you can see that the rock sort of divides the tank between front and back. I heard that current is good, so I have a Maxi-Jet pump sending a stream of water down the "front lane" from the left side of the tank to the right. Would the tank benefit if I bought another Maxi-Jet and set it up to send water back from the right side to the left via the "back lane"? If so, why?
Here's a picture of what I'm talking about in case it isn't clear. lanes.jpg
I had ordered 75 pounds of rock and the weight of the two boxes I received totaled 81 pounds, including some rubble. I weighed the pieces I ended up not using, excluding the small fragments I'd consider rubble, and found it came to 18.4 pounds, which means I added about 62.6 of the 75 pounds of rock I ordered to the tank. I believe I had about 40 pounds of rock in the tank to begin with, so I suspect I now have between 100 - 110 pounds of rock in my 55 gallon tank.
If it's true that live rock facilitates bacteria that turns nitrate into nitrogen gas that leaves the tank on its own, then with this much rock there should be 0 nitrates in the tank in 4 - 6 months time if I keep a few small fish and a bunch of inverts, right?