04-21-2008, 08:27 PM
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A few things to look for:
Growth of coraline algae, this is a good thing... it's a pink/purple hard algae that will grow on the rock.
Watch out for aptasia... you don't want any rock if there is even 1 of these anywhere in the tank, unless you have a quarantine tank ready to put the rock into while you try to get rid of it... not easy unless you can add a few peppermint shrimp.
Beware of hair algaes, also.... same problem with getting rid of them, that's not something you want to bring home to your tank.
Lift the rock... if it's good size and lightweight, that's what you want, that means its very porous. If even small pieces are very heavy, that means it is very dense and not good for biological filtration. Even at $2/lb, if it's real dense, its not worth the risk of the problems it can cause by lack of filtration.
Is there anything else growing on it? If so, are you set up to accomidate any polyps or etc that might come with it? (proper lighting, temp, and reef safe animals in your tank)
Also, if your tank is not cycled, beware of any rock with corals or polyps on it, as a cycling tank will usually kill them, which will pollute your tank and make the cycle take longer.