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FAQs about Live Rock Shipping/Moving

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Live rock out of water, 11/22/10
Hi Crew,
I ordered some live rock last week. It was shipped Thursday, but was stuck at UPS over the weekend.
I received the shipment today ( Monday). When I opened the box there was still moisture both on the rock and the newspaper used to keep the rocks moist.
I scrubbed and rinse the rocks in a tub of saltwater and placed it into the tank. Under the tank's lights I can still see a little color on some rocks more so on others. I can also see some algae on some rocks. Does that mean the rock is still "alive?"
Will it be able to make a full recovery? How much hope should I have?
<Lots of stuff will still be alive, although some of the higher life like copepods and amphipods may have suffered more. Chances are with time and a lack of predators the rock will be just fine.>
Re: Live rock out of water, 11/22/10
Thanks for the quick response and the hope.
My other question is when cycling the live rock, should I leave my vho lights off or on?
<Off might help delay the algae bloom some, but it's not really a big deal either way. Typically I run the lights on a normal schedule.>
<Welcome again>

A couple of questions about live rock Live Rock…Shipping/Storing/Curing - 09/29/08 Hi Eric (or whoever is on duty), <<Hey Ken…Eric here>> In the past I had purchased rock locally here in NJ even though it was more expensive than online, but I could pick the pieces that I want. <<Of benefit>> I am going to set up a second tank (70 gal Oceanic) and was thinking of buying the rock from Premium Aquatics. I heard that they had nice rock. <<I believe I have heard the same>> My first question has to do with the "life" that is said to come along with the cured rock. It was my understanding (maybe incorrectly) that you should pull off any sponges or macro algae and scrub the rock before putting it in your tank as it will most likely die off anyway and prolong the process. <<This is a suggested part of the curing process for new rock, yes…but not so much if the rock is indeed already cured>> Also it would be a waste of time to aquascape and then pull out the rock only to take a brush to it to get off the new die off. <<If you suspect the rock is not cured you should cure it yourself in a separate container…or be prepared to give the rock time to cure in the display before proceeding with stocking>> What is the general consensus with regards to this? Would you leave the life on it, or scrub it before putting it in the tank. <<Well Ken, when setting up a new system it is "my" preference to place the rock un-scrubbed in the display to cure. This method has its disadvantages re nuisance alga growth and possible unwanted hitchhikers, but also yields the most the most bio-diversity…in my opinion>> Below is a sample of what I would be getting. http://www.premiumaquatics.com/live...ges/timora5.JPG http://www.premiumaquatics.com/liverock_images/timora5.JPG http://www.premiumaquatics.com/live...ges/timora1.JPG http://www.premiumaquatics.com/liverock_images/timora1.JPG <<That is some nice looking rock>> My second question has to do with how long rock can be out of water but packed in bags and boxed? <<Obviously the longer the rock is out of water the more life that may be compromised, but if kept wet at least, some of the fauna will survive…even if only to "sprout anew" after some time in your tank>> A very large and very successful store here in NJ said that they stock rock that does not fit into their tank, bagged and boxed. He said that rock generally comes from overseas and sits for weeks in boxes as some come by ship since air freight is too expensive. <<I've heard of rock sitting on docks for days (sometimes under saltwater spray…sometimes not) until boxed and sold, and I've heard of the rock being wrapped in wet newspaper and then boxed and shipped and "then" left to sit until sold…but I haven't heard that any actually comes by ship container>> I know airfreight is expensive but never heard of rock coming by container. <<Me neither…but it wouldn't surprise me…and probably no worse than "storing" it for weeks. But of course this rock won't be as good as rock shipped fresh from the source to your door. And it certainly shouldn't be as expensive…but that doesn't mean it is not of use>> Normally I would not even ponder this and ask this question if it had come from someone other than the person that told me this. These people do have a large assortment of great shaped rocks and I would give this place a consideration except what they are saying seems to go against everything I have always heard. It's not like they are selling their rock as "dry rock". Please feel free to remove the link and store name if you do not like to mention retailers/wholesalers. <<This is not a problem>> If this is Eric, my 90 gallon SPS tank is not two years old and looks amazing. <<Ah great…I remember discussing this when I was in Kona last (Yikes! Has it been that long since my last trip?)>> You were right about anemones and corals. I finally realized and got it out of my tank after a few months. <<Ah…good>> Now if I could only get out the maroon clown (tiger shark disguised in a cute fish body). <<Can be little beasties for sure>> Thanks very much. Regards, Ken <<Good to hear from you again, Ken. Be chatting, EricR>>

R2: Live Rock…Shipping/Storing/Curing - 10/01/08 Hi Eric, <<Hey Ken>> I just want to clarify before I do order this rock tomorrow. They said that the rock is cured and I imagine that I should be able to tell by the way it smells, or doesn't smell when it arrives? <<Yes…though new fresh rock from the sea will also not smell bad when you get it, but would still need curing>> If I do leave on the macroalgae, is it all good or is some of it nuisance algae? <<Some macroalgae can be invasive, in particular Caulerpa species, but what I saw in the pictures looked okay…and probably won't last long once herbivores are introduced to the system>> If so, how can I differentiate the good from the bad? <<Not always easy…but I think you have little concern here. And any macroalgae that does survive will help with nutrient export/controlling the inevitable nuisance alga succession>> Also what is to say that these algae will actually grow in my tank rather than die? <<Indeed…no guarantees. Do remove if it makes you more comfortable>> Is it safe to say it will live, leave it on, and see what happens? <<I would, were this me/mine>> If some of the pieces that I will be using on the bottom of the tank as a foundation does have macroalgae, should this be removed as I would assume that they may not get much light there at all. <<Removing any that may be "buried" is best, yes>> When the terms nuisance pests are used, I assume we mean visual? <<Ha! If only it were always that easy… Some unwelcome hitchhikers/pests can come from within the nooks and crannies of the rock…only to be discovered days to weeks after introduction. But…if the rock has been well cured, this is of less concern as most will "likely" have been discovered/removed by now…or simply starved>> Is there something that you can think of that if I see it, I should definitely remove? <<Predatory crabs/shrimp come to mind… Do see this article on live rock here (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_2/cav2i3/Live_Rock/live_rock.htm) and look among the links here (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/invertidfaqs.htm) >> I just realized that I asked a ton of questions. <<No worries mate…and much info than I can pass here is posted on the site>> I am used to getting rock that is totally void of everything and now I am going in the other direction. <<Mmm, I see… Well, this rock will be of much more interest, I assure you>> I just want to make sure that I get started on the right foot. Thanks again. Regards, Ken <<Be chatting. EricR>>

Live rock shipments Hi guys! I'm sending a quick emergency question to my most trusted and respected aquarist friends. I am taking care of a set of tanks for a lady who lives pretty far from me, but I still am able to visit her 2x a month. We added 2 small aquariums for her and she has 2 larger ones that are in pretty bad shape. One of the first things I wanted to do for all of them was to add live rock and protein skimmers. So, I planned on working on it this Saturday, so I placed an order with Drs Foster and Smith/Live Aquaria (and I only mention their name because I want to show that it is a reputable dealer) to have a bunch of live rock delivered for Saturday. Well, they somehow mixed stuff up and I got a frantic email from my employer saying they had three boxes marked "live fish" delivered and today is Thursday 12PM. I immediately called Live Aquaria and explained the situation and they took full responsibility for the mishap and said they would refund the shipping. The rep said that it would be no problem to leave the rock set until Saturday. <This is likely the case... Good and not quality LR is shipped for this long and longer at times...> I however wanted an UNBIASED opinion as to whether that is true or not and make sure I am not "losing out" on this deal. <Mmm, not likely> Well, I wouldn't be losing out, it would be my employer losing who is a very sweet older lady who I don't want being taken advantage of. If you guys tell me letting it sit until Saturday will be fine, I'll let it go. <I would wait and see... keep the boxes in a cooler area though> If you guys think they are doing me wrong here, I will certainly call back and get some satisfaction. I even told them that Bob Fenner was a personal friend and that I WOULD be consulting him before I let the issue go. She assured me that if you guys disagreed with their opinion, they would work something out. So, I will patiently await your word and I sincerely thank you all for helping me out with this and many past issues that I've had. You are all great people and I hope Bob is okay with me stretching the truth on our "friendship"!-Nick Sadaka, Baltimore, MD <I know of the folks and practices of the folks at Dr.s Foster and Smith to be exemplary. To put it simply, "they know what to do, and do it". Kevin Cohen and co. are "A players" in the etail side of our trade. If this rock proves faulty is some way, I'd take a few pix, send them on with a request for credit or replacement. Bob Fenner> P.S.-If it helps any, here are the links to the exact types of rock I ordered: http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=393+397&pcatid=397 http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=393+876&pcatid=876 http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=393+1670&pcatid=1670 My new live rock Frozen Live Rock? (Live Rock Fauna Recovery From Shipping Trauma)  1/5/08 Hi Guys and Gals! You are just awesome! Thank you once again for all your help! <Omigod! Like, TOTALLY awesome? Like, Scott F. with you today! Sorry, I was raised in "The Valley" and can't help myself> I have a few questions. I have included a pic of how I stacked my new live rock that I received today. <I see lots of great potential with this layout! Nice and open, and interesting places to locate inverts, as well> I got the rock from oceandirectonline.com . I received 50 lbs. today to add to the 20 lbs. I already had started. (55 high tank) They have been totally awesome in everything! They even picked out the size rock I wanted and it had so much coralline on it as well! They were very helpful in all of my requests and questions. <That's really great to hear. It's nice to have a vendor that you can trust for good quality live rock, and who is responsive and helpful! Especially valuable when you're dealing sight unseen with rock.> Could you tell me if it's stacked correctly so that I get enough circulation? This is my first saltwater tank. I also have a Maxi Jet 1200 that I ordered that will be here soon to help with circulation. I will be adding Fiji Gold as well. <It is actually a very nice arrangement! I really like the "peak and valley" aspect, which provides a nice point of interest and lots of room for fishes to swim. Aesthetically and functionally, it works well! The only minor change I might suggest is to just leave the rockwork on the right side a bit "looser", with more room for water circulation. I couldn't tell from the pic, but it looked a bit "tight". Other than that, I think it looks cool!> Fed Ex delivered my rock and left it outside of the wrong door. It was 32 degrees this a.m.! It left the shipper at 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, (yesterday), and arrived today ( when I found it), at 11:30 a.m. Will the rock die? I soaked it in prepared saltwater, scrubbed it lightly with a toothbrush and added it to my tank. ( It was pre-cured rock). I only have some snails and blue and red legged hermit crabs in the tank. It was set up about 3-4 weeks ago. <Umm, hard to say. The life forms that inhabit live rock are remarkably tough, in my experience, and I think that you'll find that they will bounce back if damaged or killed. Die off is very common with live rock, and given time and proper environmental conditions, your rock should be well on the way to being TOTALLY awesome again!> I am so worried that this rock will go bad because it was exposed to the cold for awhile. Any feedback will be greatly appreciated!!! <Again, expect some die off regardless, and monitor your water chemistry (ammonia, nitrite) to confirm any potential problems caused by the die off. If you are patient and careful, you can expect lots of new life forms to emerge from the rock as conditions improve. I would not be overly concerned about any possible damage to the life forms within the rock in the long-term.> Thank you so much! Happy New Year to you all! Raesunrae <My pleasure! Looking forward to seeing your aquarium after it gets more established. Should be really nice! Best of luck to you! Regards, Scott F>

Live rock transport - 07/23/07 Hi Guys, <Fred> A big thanks or your website! My question is this: I live in Jordan and would like to bring some live rock from the Red Sea (on the Egyptian side) while I'm there on vacation. Our travel time back to where I live in Jordan is about 8 to 10 hours. How do you think I can do this if traveling by boat then car? <Mmm, best in insulated coolers, sans water... just allow the LR to remain damp> Will the live rock specimens make it after such a long trip? <Most should, yes> I'm thinking right now of putting the live rock in a thick plastic bag in a cooler with some salt water. What do think? Thanks again! - Fred <Don't think the bags will help... will get punctured easily... and no to the water... It will just suffocate, pollute here. Bob Fenner>

New Tank, Old Rock 7/11/07 I am about to set up a new FOWLR (which I want to slowly convert to a reef). I have a 46 gallon bowfront with 2 emperor 400's and an AC 75 gallon rated protein skimmer. I am buying 60 lbs of premium Fiji from a friend of mine who has a beautiful 300 gallon reef in his office (Ah, the life of a doctor!) and the rock has been in that tank for 18 months with no problems. <Nice> His office is relocating and cannot fit a tank that size so I am going to capitalize on that opportunity! I am also going to buy 20 lbs of live sand and also take sand from my friends tank as well. <Could probably skip buying the sand and just let normal "dead" sand colonize.> My question is regarding the cycling of my tank. I have cycled tanks the traditional way (4-6 weeks of watching the water quality) I am wondering if I will have to do that again? <They cycle will probably go faster.> The rock will be placed in 5 gallon buckets with the water from his tank so die off should be nearly non existent. <More than you would think.> He said my tank probably won't even spike and I could add live stock right away. <I would not.> I'm leery but it seems to make sense. What do you think? Thanks so much for your help! Keep up the fantastic work! Brian <I think that I would cycle it as normal, if nothing else the 4 weeks fallow will help prevent any disease transmission. Better slow and steady here.> <Chris>

LR Removal, and Seahorse input re "webbing"   3/31/07 Hi crew, <Hello> When I decide to remove a rock from my tank I would like to salvage the critters such as mini stars, spaghetti worms etc. Is there a way this can be done? <Not really, they are so small and numerous that it is not really realistic to do.>  What I have done in the past is to do it after a few hours of darkness since many of them will be out prowling but I am sure I am killing many that are snug in their crevices.  <The vast majority probably.> In regards to a question someone posed about spider webs on sea horses. I assume he is not referring to the stringy appendages that many have (I can not recall what they are called) and it actually looks neat (at least I think so). In any case that is normal.  <Thanks for the input.> Thanks <Thank you> <Chris>

Drying and packing up Fiji live rock for later use.   12/28/06 Hello all- <Hi there!  Mich here.> First, let me say thank you for helping/guiding me on over the past 8 years.   <Glad you have been helped!> You first helped me when I was setting up my current 125 FOWLR with the plumbing under the floor in the crawlspace and the sump in another room in the closet.  Makes for a VERY quiet/peaceful view. <Sounds like a very nice setup.> Help from all of you made my heart rate drop at least 50% during the set up. <Great to hear!> But now it is coming down. <A sad day.> Looks like pack/move/school time for me again. <Congrats, good for you!> I am not sure if it is an impractical/crazy idea or not but I have approx. 200 lbs of Fiji live rock in the tank and was considering just drying it out and keeping it for when I am settled again instead of selling it. I plan on keeping all other equipment as I am sure I will jump back in as soon as it is practical. Of course it is not "live" rock any more but my understanding is that this type of rock is a wonderful waste converter because of all the porous surface area. I did a search on your site about this but all I found dealt with moving and setting up again. Not drying out. I am thinking because it may be a crazy idea.) <Mmmm, yep.> Is this just stupid? I have had a big hair algae problem the past few months and a lot of the things that grew on the exterior of the rocks have died. So I am thinking that I would not be killing that much marine life. (Kinda sucks just reading that) <Yes, a painful statement.> It was just soooo expensive I am having a hard time deciding. <I think it would be a waste to allow this rock to dry out.  It was expensive because you paid for the life living on the rocks.  If you allow it to dry out you are really loosing what you valued most.  There is still plenty of life in this rock, I would allow it to benefit other systems.>   Thank you again <You are quite welcome!  Good luck to you!  Mich>

- Moving Live Rock with inverts attached/bridged between rocks. 6/19/06 - Hello Everyone. <Everyone says hello.> This was already done but since moving some pieces I had noticed I tore some tissue on: (sponges, tunicates... other?) some inverts bridging the rocks. I did not know they were attached as I did not see them before moving. I did remove the rock from the water briefly while transferring to another container for cleaning the tank. I tried to place them back as close as possible to original configuration. Should I have put them back as such? <Six of one, half a dozen of the other as they say. Doesn't matter other than getting the rock back into the water.> Do I really want these animals bridging rock where by if I decide to move, get a larger tank etc, I can't get them out without doing damage? <Most times they will regrow, and moving rocks attached as such makes them very difficult to move.> On a matter of tank health should I be concerned about these animals dying and poisoning the tank? <To a small degree - should always keep an eye on things [test kit wise] for a day or two after such changes.> I would hate to see maintenance go from being a good thing to a very bad one. <I wouldn't move rock around as maintenance. Better to leave it be unless you are moving tanks, adding more rock, or just redecorating. Would not make this a weekly chore - that would be too disruptive.> My guess is they will regenerate. <Yes.> I hope my guess is right. If not, I want to head a possible problem off at the pass. I don't notice any necrotic tissue just some tears. Again, I believe these are some species of poriferans. I do love the extra filters that grow on the rock! Thank you. James Z. Garfield, NJ <Cheers, J -- > Bringing a box of LR from the Philippines 01-03-05 Hello Bob! <Hello Gus, Travis here with you today.> I have a friend from the Philippines who is coming to visit San Francisco. He is not a reefer but would like to bring me a box of LR from the Philippines as a gift.  Is this allowed?  I've checked with customs they said yes.  I've checked with Fish & Game twice, once they said no and the second time they said as long as it is not commercial quantity.   <I would definitely go with whatever those agencies tell you. In my opinion, as long as it is a small amount and there is no visible "critters" on the rock you should be fine.> Thanks! <Glad to help. Travis> Gus

Florida Live Rock  12/24/05 Greetings- great web site!! <Hi John and thank you for the kind words.> Very informative. <Yes very helpful to me as well, yes this resource Bob has created is truly amazing. For the record I had that opinion before I was a crewmember, haha.> I have a quick question. <No problem.> I live in Michigan but will be driving down to Florida over the holidays. <Awesome a sunny Christmas, I will be enjoying the same here in SoCal.> I will be in the Fort Meyers area and was hoping you could recommend some good places to pick up some great live rock. <I have not personally used this rock but have seen it in friends tanks, it's truly nice stuff, with tons of life, aquacultured as well: http://www.tbsaltwater.com/.> The drive is less then a day so with proper packaging, die off should be minimal. Thank you very much for your time and help. <No problem.> -John Balcazar <Adam J.>

Moving a 125g FOWLR, LR 8/23/05 Hello. Your website really helped me set up my 125g FOWLR system 20 months ago. Now I'm moving 1 hr away. My question is about live rock transport. I have about 270lbs. If I transport the rock and sand partially submerged, or covered in wet newspaper, can I transfer and re-set up the system (with my various fish) in a 24hr period without having to re-cycle the live rock? <Very likely so... Bob Fenner>

Help! (How NOT To Ship Live Rock!) - 06/10/05 First off, I consider myself a personal fan of this website; <<Me too!>> I've been frequenting it for two years now, and find this to be the only source of information that I can trust (I'm not trying to "brown nose", I believe this whole-heartedly). <<Thanks...much effort on the part of all involved here to help where we can.>> I've been encountering a few problems lately with my second attempt at marine aquariums. I don't have much faith in the advise of my LFSs, so I'm hoping that you can shed some light on my situation. <<I shall try.>> The tank is 120 gallons, with: an Aquaclear 901 power head, an Aqua-Medic T1000 protein skimmer, and a 30 gallon sump.  My first question is my live rock. I bought 100 pounds off E-bay, and the seller claimed it was Walt Smith Fuji live rock that was fully cured.  Unfortunately it took approximately three weeks to arrive. <<Yikes!>> The LFS's claimed that even if it was "live" live rock, it was dead by the time it dropped anchor at my door. <<Very much so, yes.>> I still plan on adding more live rock from the LFS, mainly to add to the aquascape.  What's your take on the state of my live rock? <<If added to the tank as received, very bad...much pollution from dead/decaying organisms.>> The aquarium was running for approximately three months with the live rock, but without any livestock. The water conditions are: Ammonia-0.25 mg/l Nitrite-0.1 mg/l PH-8.4 KH-130 mg/l Salinity-1.025 Temp-79 Fahrenheit <<This tank is still cycling from all the gunk introduced with the live rock.>> A month ago I added three Percula Clownfishes. <<Sad to hear...much too soon.>> One began respirating heavily, stopped eating, and became lethargic, but without any discoloration or spots. It perished a week later, and one of the other clowns has been manifesting the same behavior for the past two weeks, but is still alive. The third clown appears to be alive and well. Here is where I can't get a consistent answer.  One LFS claims the ammonia level is toxic, another said it was "Clownfish Disease", the last deemed that this was due to poor acclimatization. <<All possibilities...my vote goes to ammonia toxicity...as indicated by your test kit!  Get those fish out of there and in to a properly cycled (QT) system.>> The LFS that alleged ammonia was the culprit, recommended that I purchase $500 worth of his live rock to solve my problem. This seems "fishy" to me. <<Not entirely.  Some fresh-cured live rock would add some beneficial bacteria missing/killed in the other rock to help with the cycling of this system.  Even five or ten pounds will help.>> For my final question, is there any large Angelfish that are reef-safe? <<HA!  Don't I wish!...er...sorry...I mean...not that I'm aware of <G>.>> That's another question with fickle responses. Thanks for reading my questions, and providing an objective source of information for all the fish geeks! Derek. <<From one fish geek to another!  Regards, Eric R.>>

Live Rock - can I bring mine to Hawaii? Okay, here is my dilemma, I am moving to Maui near the end of the year, I have 3 established tanks with live rock - can I ship my rock to myself from California to Maui? <I don't know... but my guess would be "not legally"... You can/could check with the DLNR there re: http://www.hawaii.gov/dlnr/Welcome.html.  I suspect there is a fear of "something" getting loose...> I have been trying to figure out legalities of "importing," as I have already cleared the way for my other pets. If I cannot, I guess I have to find a new home for my rock -- which I hate to do.  Do you have any info or suggestions of how to answer this question? <Only to contact the State itself> Thanks! Brenda Carroll <Bob Fenner> 

Re: Live Rock - can I bring mine to Hawaii? Dear Bob Fenner, Thanks for the lead! By the third phone call, I got the answer - no. Well, at least now, I can plan to sell my rock, coral, and fish (or apply to import the fish!) -- I will just have to start over.  <Thank you for this report... Hawai'i is a mighty fine place... we own properties and visit there often... but their laws against live rock and cnidarian import, transport through the place are... misplaced IMO> Thanks for the site - you folks are FABULOUS! Brenda Carroll <Welcome. Bob Fenner, whose sister is also named Brenda>

Re: Live Rock - can I bring mine to Hawaii? Hey Bob, whose sister's name is also Brenda, <Yes> I agree with you, that Hawai'i has some mighty strict laws, but I won't complain (much). I called around, found out I can get a permit to harvest my own rock and fish - <An adventure indeed!> but I just am not the "hunter" type. I can swim with the fish, buy supplies for the ones who live with me, but taking them from their homes - I'm a hypocrite, but no "kidnapper." I did find one store in Kihei (the first store I called), and they sell rock, so I should be all right. <Great... and have been diving off of there many times... Tis fabulous> Thanks again for writing me back. Brenda Carroll <Mahalo! Thank you for sharing. Aloha. Bob Fenner>

Safe Shipping Time for Live Rock 4/17/05 Dead rock: OK, I took a chance ordered up some live rock on EBay rather than hand-picking it from my local supplier. Seller claimed to be a worldwide distributor for Walt Smith International. It was a 5-day ground shipment. The seller claimed that the die-off that would occur in 5 days was not much more than the zooplankton etc.. die off that would have occurred overnight anyway, so I did it. <In my opinion, you got very bad advice. The more time out of the water, the more die off occurs, period. You must also consider that unless the rock has been unpacked and put into decent quality water by your supplier (very unlikely), it will already have been out of the water for several days in transit from the country of origin.> I added the 15lbs of LR to my existing 150+ lbs. The rock looks visibly very different. There is a nice thick crusting of growth that has all of the physical characteristics of coralline algae, except it was light peach and pastel green in color. 2 weeks later, it is turning white. My assumption is that it is dead C. Algae, is this sadly true? In fact, I see very few signs of life, only signs of past life. How can you tell when your rock is dead? And, how long before it reseeds? -Pat  <The rock may look different because of different points of origin, etc., but you are definitely seeing coralline die-off. It is also not surprising that there isn't much other life present. No worries, though... it is still usable and will provide good biological filtration in short order. Re-establishing coralline could take months though. I would complain to your EBay seller for recommending ground shipping. Best regards. AdamC.>

Live Rock Shelf Life? Took a chance ordered up some live rock on EBay, rather than hand picking it from my local supplier. Seller claimed to be a worldwide distributor for Walt Smith International. (EBay seller name "reefsupplies" from Chino CA, listing url ) Anyway, it was a 5-day UPS ground shipment. Just wondering how much death/havoc/damage/war/famine/plague etc. will occur in the 5-days the LR will be in transit? Or should I spring for the pricier shipping options? Thanks.  <Pat you will have enough die-off as it is with express shipping yet along ground shipment. My advice is to go for the air shipment. James (Salty Dog)> 

- Shipping Live Rock - I called a known company about shipping LR with heat packs. They told me that the rock doesn't need it. Should I go ahead with the order or wait till spring. <I'd go ahead.> Thanks. <Live rock is shipped dry... what damage is going to be done has been done so to speak. Regardless of when you ship it, it will still need to be cured, and I'm sure you plan to do this. Cheers, J -- > Shipping live rock below freezing temps? 1/19/04 I am looking to order live rock during these winter months from a known company. Currently the temperature here is below freezing. When I talked to the company about shipping the live rock with heat packs, they said it doesn't need it. <they are mistaken... tropical aquatic creatures... ah will stress and many will die out of water and kept near freezing> How well will the live rock survive without heat packs? <poorly> Should I wait until the weather is warmer? Thanks, this site is very informational. <no need... just find a better merchant that will ship with styro insulated boxes and heat packs. The other co. you were referring too likely wanted to ship you raw transshipped rocks in native cardboard boxes with little other protection/insulation. Which begs the reminder: "Good things are seldom cheap and cheap things are seldom good." Expect to pay more and get better rock for it with properly handled product. kindly, Anthony>

Sand and Live Rock Question <Hello Tage> Dear Friends, I have a question that apparently has not been addressed in your FAQ section(s). I am currently in the process of upgrading my 120 gallon marine tank (FOWLR with 5" DSB) to a 250 gallon setup. This necessitates transferring about 165 lbs LR and about 175 lbs sand to the new tank. Both the sand and the LR has been in my existing tank for quite a while and definitely needs cleaning to remove sediment, debris and what have you. Both the rock and the sand are heavily populated with little, and not so little, critters. This is my question. As I move each from the old tank to the new one I propose to lightly surface clean the LR very BRIEFLY under (same temperature) FRESH water, then immediately transfer it to a saltwater holding tank; then later place it in the new display tank. Likewise with the sand. Naturally I expect some die off in the process, however, the flora and fauna should recover quite soon as I will not be transferring any fish for at least two months. Also, I will be placing additional new (previously well cured) LR and sand into the new setup. What's your thinking about my cleaning process in fresh water? <I don't think it would be a problem.  I've done it before.  James (Salty Dog)> As always, thanks so much for your advise and guidance. It's appreciated more than you can imagine! <You're more than welcome.> Cheers, Tage Blytmann

Transport Live Rock Hi Guys, <Rajesh> One of my friends has 70lbs of live rock and he is willing it to give it to me. The only thing is that its a 30 hrs journey  by train from his place to my place. I am planning to make a visit to his place. <Ahh, quite a gift! And an adventure to boot!> Will you please advice me how to safely transport these rocks from his place to my place. <Yes. Best to ship just damp, not underwater... in some sturdy containers... fish boxes (thick bags, Styrofoam with cardboard liners) if a store will lend you these... or "coolers" of plastic construction> I cannot get it shipped by air because LR and Corals are totally banned in our country. So I will have to personally hand carry via rail. <Yikes! I do not encourage people to break the law... is there stated reason/s for this restriction?> I have read in your site that the LR has to be covered by wet newspaper ( dipped in saltwater ) and packed in a Styrofoam / plastic box and then transported. <You can dispense with the paper if the trip is only a day or two> I now have the following questions : - 1) will the LR survive the 30 hrs journey by just wrapping them with wet newspaper. <Yes> 2) What about the aeration for them. <Not necessary for this time duration... do keep out of the sun if you can...> 3) I have also heard that the LR contains some beneficial inhabitants hidden inside the pores of the rocks , wont they die for want of oxygen. <They can/do "hold their breath"... in the wild... with tides, other factors...> any advice on the above questions will be of great help to me. Regards Rajesh <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lrshippingfaqs.htm if you have not already. Moving cured LR is not that hard, only heavy and cumbersome. A measure of all things is what you become by them. Enjoy your journey. Bob Fenner> Storing live rock I had to move and am in between places....working in one city Monday through Friday and actually live in another city two hours away on the weekend.....I gave away my fish and corals...but wanted to keep my live rock...there is about 150 pounds of it in a 75 gallon tank in a basement.....I have someone who is going to hold it for me....because I will not be able to setup my tank for another few months....he told me he would keep the live rock for me and told me he would "cook" it for me.... he said you can take live rock, put it in a dark container with a few powerheads and a heater, and put a lid on it... and leave it in there with no light for two or three months...just doing water changes every few weeks....he said the bacteria in the tank would eat away all of the phosphates and your rock would be better off....have you heard of this? << Kind of, but I would keep lights on it and keep powerheads in the buckets.  I wouldn't just keep it in the dark sitting. >> according to this guy, my coralline would not die off....it would just go away until I put light back on it.....would this make sense to do or be beneficial in the long run? << I don't like the idea. >> He said the pods and bacteria would not be affected.... <<  Blundell  >>

Moving live rock as you move tanks I was looking through some of my old email, and came across this conversation we had.....I had high ammonia from taking live rock out of the tank for a short period of time, from the die off.....well, now my tank has transformed into a reef tank with about 130 pounds of live rock and a forty gallon sump with a refugium inside....I am about to move 2 hours from my current location....should I expect the same result? << Well it is up to you. If you take a small bucket, place it in your aquarium, move rock into it, pull out that bucket, place it in a large Rubbermaid container, slide the rock out, and keep repeating this.... no problems. Does that make sense? You just go slow and make sure the rock never comes out of water. Then you do the same process to put the rock back in.  Now you will of course have some die off, and you will have filtration problems as you disturb your sand bed, but the die off is minimized by keeping the rocks completely submerged. Blundell >> 

Transporting LR Hello Everyone! It's been quite a while since I've "checked in", but here I am with an important question, (well, important to me!) I have sold some of my LR and I was wondering if it will survive a 3 day trip out of state? << Yes, live rock goes days before reaching the states to begin with. >> I plan to wrap it in wet (tank water) newspaper, and then bag it up in plastic. OR, should I keep it out of the plastic? Then, I will ship it in a large Styrofoam container, by UPS. << Either way.  I like plastic, because I like the idea of not leaking water into the Styrofoam box.  But this is a good way to go. >> Your advise/expertise is important to me, for I have an anxious customer waiting for shipment! << Shouldn't be a problem.  The more water the better, but then again the more for shipping. >> Thank you! Pamela <<  Adam Blundell  >>

Moving Live Rock Hello all. <HI there! Scott F. here today!> I've been reading up about moving a tank and I have a couple of questions. I had originally thought I'd make the move (18 hrs drive, probably 30 hrs plus including tear down/setup) using several large Rubbermaid containers or coolers w/ lids each with a maxi and small heater running on an inverter. (still cheaper than shipping) I would open bag individual corals so no contact was made but shared water. In addition, fish containers would have eggcrate cages for individuals and LR/sand would stay submerged. After reading, I'm not so sure. I kind of see how bagging the fish/corals would be better than my approach, but why not keep the LR submerged if I have movement and temp control? It just seems to me that I'd have more die off only wrapping in paper. Do you generally suggest this way because most wouldn't use pumps/heaters, or is there some another reason? Just wondering Brad <Well, Brad, that's pretty much the reason why I wouldn't recommend this. If you're okay with the labor-intensive process of keeping water movement and temperature control going during transport, then go for it! For the obvious reason that it's very expensive to ship water with the rock, it is not delivered this way commercially. Even in water, there still may be some die off, but the results will probably be better than dry shipping. Good luck! Regards, Scott F> 

Don't pass up this deal! Tonga live rock Hello to all, I have a chance to buy 100 lbs of Tonga Shelf that has been in a friend's tank for many years, he is moving and breaking down his tank. >>Ooo eee aaahh!! >My question is this, can I add 100lbs of live rock at once (40lbs going in refugium the rest in display)? >>This REALLY depends on how far/long it has to travel. More than an hour, I'd pass it through a mini-cure in trash cans. >I currently have 200lbs in display and 30 in refugium, my system has been running for 3 years. I hate to pass up this deal (2.50 a lb) but if it's a bad decision to add all at once how can I keep it alive? Will keeping in a clean trash can with a power head be enough? Thanks for your time. Mike Winston >>Mike, do NOT pass up this deal. It won't hurt to add it all at once if it is a short trip between tanks. Otherwise, cure it in a trash can, DO change the water to prevent ANY spikes, skim the bejesus out of it, then you can add it all at once. Marina 

Tonga live rock II - The Long Ride Home >Thanks, I will have about a 2.5 hr drive, I was planning on transporting the rock in water in a trash can, should this prevent the curing process? >>Well, it can help. BOY is that thing gonna be heavy! If you can get one or two, I'd go buy bait aerators - battery operated air pumps for live wells and the like. Drop an airstone into the trash can(s). However, that long drive being the case, I'd leave it in the trash can(s) for a few days. Have on hand mixed, aged, aerated saltwater (or Real Ocean if that's what you use) for big water changes. I'd drop a heater in there, and test over that time to see if you get any spikes. If you *do*, definitely change enough water to keep them way down. Sweet deal, Mike. Marina 

SHIPPING LIVE ROCK I have seen some of your questions and answers on shipping Live Rock, but they are for short distance. I am moving from Wisconsin to South Florida in a few weeks and have a reef tank that I want to take with me. Will you please explain the best way to ship the live rock< place in styro foam box with a saltwater damp pages of news paper on top of them> and corals? Bag individually and place in a styro box> Your LFS should be more than willing to lend you some boxes. Eric Rood> Thank you so much for your time. Jamee

Shipping Live Rock Yourself, II >Thank you for your response of shipping live rock with wet newspaper on top, but I was wondering if I can put the live rock in 5 gallon cans submerged in saltwater from the tank, and if they will be ok like that over a 5 to 6 day period to take with me on the move?? Please advise >>Yes, you can do anything you want.  However, the newspaper method really IS the best method unless you plan on doing daily (or more) water changes (100%).  Remember, something dies in there, it will foul the water (often quite badly), and this will quickly spur the deaths of many other creatures.  Something that wasn't mentioned that I believe may help you retain more life is heat packs.  If Wisconsin is as cold as I think it is, and the live rock isn't going in the warm car with you, then go to a sports supply and get enough of these to warm each box for the duration.   Marina  

Moving Live Rock and Sand Hey crew...real quickie here.  Was wondering how long it my live sand and rock will remain "live" for in 5gall buckets?? There will be enough water in the buckets to submerge everything. I think it would probably be about hr and a half before it was all put back into a tank full of water. Thanks! Rick <Hey Rick, your live rock and sand should remain live in the buckets for the trip, I would not worry too much about 1.5 hours.  Try to avoid any major temperature swings, do not crank up the A/C.  If a temperature drop is going to be a problem in your area you might consider heat pads.  Best Regards, Gage>

Mosquito Rock?  3/16/03 Hey Phil,<Hey Bart!> So I got the rock yesterday...<Cool> and I put in the crushed coral first, then rinsed the rock in regular saltwater, then put it in the tank to start curing.  I couldn't really see anything cause the water got very cloudy from the substrate, so I just put the rock in, figuring that I would rearrange it today when it cleared up. My question is this:  The rock was shipped two day air, then sat in my house for another 10 hours before I could get home to it.<Ouch... next time try and see if someone can bring it in for you.>  Then when I opened it, the bag of rock inside was covered with mosquitoes,<mosquitoes...?> so I called Live Aquaria. They told me to take the bag of rock outside and spray it with cold water from my garden hose.  I did this... now I'm wondering, what would be left alive on this rock?  I didn't/don't see anything moving at all.  Did they give me bad advice?  Would I have been better off saving my money and using Tufa rock?<If you just quickly rinsed the rock off, then it should be ok.  But the best way to go about this is to treat the rock as if it's dead.  Go to a LFS and get some more live rock.  Nothing much, just a little so you can re-seed the rock.  BTW, you should check w/ liveaquaria and see if they will do something.  I mean.. you paid a LOT of money for rock that had bugs.  I'd be rather mad.  But that's my 2 cents.> Thanks again!<Hope this helps and good luck! Phil>

Live Rock Hi! How are things today? I have a question regarding live rock. Is there a preferred time of the year to purchase live rock by mail? As to weather shipping time in the cold etc.   Dennis Vigliotte <Good question... likely in the Spring or Fall... depending on how hot and cold it gets near you... as extremes either way have negative impact on the life that is the "live" part of the rock... But do want to mention that other factors (time on hand post collection, the actual care the rock has had in processing) are more important factors... I would survey other aquarists/customers re sources at any length re their experiences. Bob Fenner>

Live Rock Shipment Since you have been so helpful in the past, I turn to you again. I just got my shipment of Walt Smith liverock via UPS (30 lbs). The rock looks great, but it was cold from being in the UPS truck. I immediately put it in my curing tank which was ready to go at 78 degrees, but I fear my live rock may be dead rock. Is this true, or may my rock be ok? <You will have to wait and see. Depending on how cold it got and for how long, there maybe more die off than usual.> I did indeed think of this (too late mind you), but was hoping for a heating pack. Your thoughts would be great. <Best of luck to you! -Steven Pro> Live Rock Shipment Thanks for the quick reply (as always). So you said there may be MORE die off than usual. Does that mean there is a chance that some of the growth will survive? Is there a chance that NO growth will survive? Thanks again <marine life can be remarkably durable. I am certain that something (and likely a lot of good microbial activity and perhaps some encrusting growths) will survive. I do not believe it is likely at all that the rock is completely dead. Cure the rock well with very aggressive skimming, powerful water movement and regular water changes to have your best chance at saving the most life forms. Best regards, Anthony>

Live Rock Hi Bob, Anthony and all, Bad news. I was on my way home from the pet store Sunday with 45 pounds of live rock for the xenia tank in the car when a lady tried to pass me on the berm, clipped my back wheel, and I flipped 4/5 times. <Good gosh!> They had to cut me out of the Explorer -- there was really only room for me left inside! Unbelievably, I am OK (bruised, cut and sore, but no broken bones) car is totaled, and she has no insurance, so I am stuck putting it on mine.  <These are only things... the important fact is that you're okay> SIGH! They of course, are having trouble with my story, because "reasonable people do not try to pass on the berm" and she won't admit to it. No kidding. <There should be plenty of evidence (tire marks) on the berm for the police to determine what happened. A report was filed?> Anyway, I was in the hospital Sunday, but Monday my hubby and I went to the car. Again, unbelievably, the live rock was still for the most part damp, so we loaded it up with the other stuff out of the car and I threw it in the 25. You can imagine, today it smells pretty ripe . . . I was wondering what would be the best thing for me to do from this point forward. <Just "keep on keeping on"... the LR likely was "in the box" before you got it a few days... and much of the "live" part of it will rebound...> I threw a skimmer on the tank and was planning on a water change this weekend . . . There is still some coralline algae on it . . . The insurance company won't pay for the live rock -- said that there is no coverage for "animals" ARG! Hope you are well, Cari <Again, do "keep your eyes on the prize"... your health, happiness, positiveness of mind. All these minor issues will work out. Life to you. Bob Fenner>

Re: Live Rock Hi Bob, That's the best part -- they said they drew a sketch, but since I was in the hospital they didn't know to look for where she had went off, they didn't even see it.  <What? The marks are still there very likely... I would go back and take some pix... and make a call to a few of the Attorney services that list taking on such cases... at least to get input.> She told them that I had changed lanes into her. Hubby and I went back and yes, there are plenty of tire marks showing where she went on the berm, hit a bump, went off into the grass and then back onto the berm, then into the fast lane and hit me. Problem is that there is only one witness, and he only saw me in the fast lane, then me flipping. He didn't see her hit me or why she would have went into the berm, so they say it is her word against mine. The police have sent it on to be investigated but no one seems to hold much hope of a different conclusion. Even with proof that she went off and back on, if she says she went off because of me, there isn't a way to prove she didn't any more than she can prove she did. They were waiting to see if any more witnesses came forward, but so far, no go. <See the above... call the folks in the Yellow Pages> I am running out of energy and they say that because it isn't a major loss (i.e. -- no one died!) <Thank goodness... or was seriously hurt... the most important aspect by light years> that it isn't worth pursuing . . . but you are right . . . these are only things and this too shall pass! <Indeed> Thanks for the support, as always, and I will send pics once I get this tank going! Cari <Looking forward to them. One last suggestion: Ibuprofen (Advil is what I take) for muscle soreness... I use this compound often when "switching gears" exercise wise... going from the home gardening, run-walking to hours-a-day skin and scuba diving. Bob Fenner>

Live Rock Collecting Bob, <Hello> My name is Eric Hall and I am a Life Support Systems Operator at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. I was referred to you by Eric Rood who I know through a mutual friend. I have two very interesting scenarios that I would like your feedback on. I have been approached by a very small time Live Rock collector named Louis Wright to help him with a challenging venture and I would like your opinion of its feasibility. A few years ago he started a company called Ocean Life International and has recently collected 50 tons of Live rock from the Marshall Islands. This was his first attempt. His crew was terrible and they were very inexperienced and very negligent and ran into tremendous problems. As a result the Live rock came back in terrible shape. He has been unloading it at base rock prices as a result just to get out from under it. Lou also caught a lot of heat from the major wholesalers here in the LA area for the new competition. Since then he has vowed to correct his mistakes. Now he has come to me and an Aquarist from my aquarium to help him get a second batch of rock from the MI and keep it in good shape. We have purchased a 150 foot ship, a professional crew to handle the boat and are in the process of retro fitting the ship to keep the rock alive on the 20 day voyage back from the Marshall Islands.  <Interesting... lots of pitfalls to be avoided...> Lou has agreed to only sell to the wholesalers to keep them from being too upset with his efforts. We want to collect 300,000 pounds per trip. <Mmm. What do you figure your net landed cost per pound to be? Are you familiar with the "players" in the field, going rates for this product?> We obviously are not going to be able to unload that rock all at once as the demand is not that strong, so we want to build a large scale holding here in Los Angeles to keep the rock in good shape until it is needed by area wholesalers. <Very expensive... to move, operate such a ship, process this much material facilely... many logistics, legal challenges... Holding the rock is not likely to be economical> The second scenario is that Lou was recently approached by the owner of Sea Dwelling Creatures (They are long time business associates) out of Fiji to possibly provide an economical alternative to the airlines to transport the rock to the US. Apparently the airlines have just raised there shipping charge $1.00/lb. <What? I haven't heard of this as yet... the Pacific Airlines rate recently was more like less than this a kilo...> SDC would like him to bring the rock back and hold it until needed. <Have you spoken with Eric or Scott Cohen yourself re this?> Eric Rood told me that you are familiar with Walt Smith and his operation in Fiji. Is this something that would benefit Walt? <Will cc him here re. He can/will contact you if so> We are trying to help everyone save or make money while making some of our own. I know this seems off of the wall but anything you may be able to offer from your personal experiences would help me make sound decisions. If possible I would like to talk to you. I can be reached at (562) 439-XXXX or I can call you if you like. Thank You. <Much we could discuss... let's leave it to folks in the trade to respond to you at this point. Please re-contact me in a few days If I can be of assistance. Bob Fenner> Eric

Rock transfer Good morning Crew, I recently set up my 3rd tank. A 90g double eclipse hood. I cycled w/100lbs live rock, 80lbs live sand & biomedia from my 50g Fluval canister. I've also retrofitted the eclipse lights w/SmartLite pc's. The 90g will be a reef. The 50g is a reef now & I intend on taking most of the live rock out of the 50g & putting it into the 90g. & going fish only in the 50g.(Triggers, hawks, etc.) My question is: What is the best way to transfer the rock. I have had red slime & hair algae in the 50 in the past, but , its gone now. I have been taking 1 piece out at a time & scrubbing w/a toothbrush. Then leaving the rock in a 5g bucket w/a powerhead overnight. Am I wasting my time & energy? I don't want to start a new tank fighting algae from the start. <As long as your rock is now free from nuisance algae, go ahead and move it over with the scrubbing routine. Please match temperature, salinity, and pH so as not to shock the creatures on the rock. In the future, the best advise I can give about keeping algae under control is aggressive protein skimming (emptying your collection cup several times weekly of skimmate the color of tea to coffee), use of purified water for top-water and water changes, regular water changes, careful feeding, overall good husbandry.> Thanx in advance. Terrific site, I have my coffee & start my day w/you guys. Craig <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

More on moving LR sans larger critters Hi Bob, The 40 gallon gal here (yet again!!). How did you Hawaii trip go?? I would love to snorkel there! <You should go then... fabulous> One question on CMA, is there any other difference between old version and new except for the glue? <Don't think so> I am seeing hard copies of what I assume to be the old version online for excellent prices. A hard copy would definitely be an advantage, the current model has been sat on, paged to death, and possibly chewed. :-) <Hmm, by whom?> Anyway on to my real question. Now this is getting scary! I actually feel like I am going to move. Selling some old stuff and so on. Anyway I wanted to know more about packing up LR and some sand. I have more ideas now on how long it might be packed and how long it would be before I could reasonable set up the new old tank. <Just kept moist... in the dark... in insulated boxes, coolers> Someone should do an FAQ on moving an aquarium sans critters, hint hint. <You start on the draft, I'll try and flesh it out... split 50-50 when it runs a year or more from now...> (Maybe it will be me, after I have done it! :-}) I am thinking it will be in a box for six weeks or so.  <What? This is too long... can dry both out and store... much will come back... especially with adding a bit new live rock... or trade in and buy new at later digs> There is no way I am driving it as I am just putting the car on the moving van. (Recommended as I have had a very long hiatus from driving). Can the boxes go in the moving van?  <Yes> Or should I ship them ala FEDEX or something (I have a friend that is in Albuquerque could mail to her) or do a airport to airport mail-- would the cost be prohibitive (a guy in the local warehouse store is giving me some insulated boxes). Perhaps it would be two boxes (maybe 20-40 lbs) each. <Good idea> What percentage would be reasonable to take of rocks? Of sand? <As much as you can, feel prudent> Inevidentably more later. :-) BTW, I feel that a recent writer wasn't fair in that she or he apparently objected to your request to read the FAQs on various topics. <I don't understand what that persons complaint was/is... I have misgivings about "net-learning" by question/answering...> Right now I am trying on reading them all! 8-) ( <-- becoming bug or fish eyed :-)) Although I realize you can't please everyone, the reader should realize that a lot of the questions are answered more completely in the FAQ and that they are all there for free. I say it is a very generous service that is extremely helpful even if you didn't answer every question anybody sends you. <Agreed> Your student and friend, --Jane J <Be chatting Jane. Bob F>

Re: More on more on moving LR sans critters Hi Bob, >The 40 gallon gal here (yet again!!). How did you Hawaii trip go?? >I would love to snorkel there! ><You should go then... fabulous> Do you ever go to Baja California? (sort of near my new home) Someone recommended it. (for snorkeling) <Yes... have spent about two years of my life visiting there) CMA: >to be the old version online for excellent prices. A hard copy would >definitely be an advantage, the current model has been sat on, paged >to death, and possibly chewed. :-) ><Hmm, by whom?> My cat or maybe me, who knows? :-) <Hmm, no psittacine birds?> > ideas now on how long it might be packed and how long it would be > before I could reasonable set up the new old tank. ><Just kept moist... in the dark... in insulated boxes, coolers> Yes, someone on reef-l Topica claimed (I have no reason not to believe her) that hers was kept a year or so. It was ok, not too rank. Of course it went thru a pretty fair die off. <I'll bet> >Someone should do an FAQ on moving an aquarium sans critters, hint hint. ><You start on the draft, I'll try and flesh it out... split 50-50 when it >runs a year or more from now...> OK. I am assuming you mean 50-50 in writing. I like to write, in case you can't tell. :-) I have to actually do this though. <Writing and the big proceeds...> >I am thinking it will be in a box for six weeks or so. ><What? This is too long... can dry both out and store... much will come >back... especially with adding a bit new live rock... or trade in and buy >new at later digs> How long is safe then to keep wet?? I know the one year is probably the exception, but what would be ok? <Days, not weeks> Are you saying that I should totally dry them out? I have a place I could reasonably do this. I could then add some amount of LR when I get the tank up. <Yes... rinse and dry...> >BTW, I feel that a recent writer wasn't fair in that she or he >apparently objected to your request to read the FAQs on various topics. ><I don't understand what that persons complaint was/is... I have misgivings >about "net-learning" by question/answering...> Well it's hard to really get a good sense of the area (whatever it might be). I think one needs the hard copy books (I mean non-computer) too. You can page through them again and again and also read in the Jon. :-) <Yes> "Be chatting?" :-) Your amateur ichthyologist friend, <Your friendly, neighborhood pet-fish ichthyologist friend, Bob Fenner> --Jane J Re: More on more on moving LR sans critters Hi Bob, Just one clarification please? >Are you saying that I should totally dry them out? I have a place I >could reasonably do this. I could then add some amount of LR when I >get the tank up. ><Yes... rinse and dry...> saltwater or fresh? <Ah, actually fresh... as in blasted with a garden hose... Bob Fenner> --Jane J

Dead live rock? Hello again. I wrote you a message a few days back about my brother in law giving me his 100G tank with all the goodies... and I'm going over to his house today to assess the job of moving this huge tank and had a couple questions for you. <Do print out and use our old companies "Moving Aquariums" action plan stored on the Marine Index part of www.WetWebMedia.com and lift with your legs, not your back...> He's giving me his tank because he just can't put in the time to maintain the system. He rarely did water changes, or even topped off the water. I'm going to do a whole system water test when I get there, but I have this question... The live rock in the system "looks" okay, and I will smell the rock today when I get there. I'll be doing most of the heavy moving this Saturday, but I at least want to get started today by moving the live rock over to my house, and perhaps INTO my current established home 55G system with fish as the only inhabitants. If the rock "looks and smells" okay, is it safe to put it in my main system? Or should I take the time to "re-cure" the rock? <Place it immediately... no need to wait, delay> Can bad water conditions actually KILL the good stuff on the live rock?  <Absolutely... to a very large degree... and this happens in "the best of circumstances over time...> Or as long as it's been in salt water the past few months is everything okay? <Very likely okay...> Is there a procedure I should follow? Like maybe rinsing off the rock? <Yes, see the WWM site re the "Live Rock" sections...> I'd be most afraid of bringing in disease (ich cysts) or other harmful things into my established aquarium... like dying "rock stuff" that would cause an ammonia spike. Regarding the ich, though, the tank has been fallow for a few weeks, so I'm semi-confident that ich (if any, he never had ich problems) has died off. Your suggestions are much appreciated. Thanks.. <If it were me/mine, I'd leave the rock in buckets/trashcans that were clean... and just place it in the new/used tank when you get it in place... Bob Fenner>

Winter shipping. Bob, how about next day Fed Ex on a 50lb. live rock shipment in colder weather. I have this Tuesday off and I figured Monday I could order it and have it shipped next day and pop it in the 38ga. for curing before placement in the 55ga. I am worried that it will have considerable die off due to the temp. drop that will take place. Any good words of wisdom? Zimmy <Not too problematical... ask the shipper/source to toss in a few "heat packs" and seal the box up... they'll know what I'm talking about... this will be fine. Bob Fenner>

Live rock: air freight vs. overnight I am curious if anyone has strong opinions on getting live rock via  air freight vs. getting it delivered overnight. Last time I got it air  freight, but it was a real pain and it sure would be nice to have it  delivered to my door this time. But, if the price is greatly reduced  diversity on the rock, it may not be worth it. What say ye? Gary  >> Much more at play here... Many "suppliers" at the collection end do very little... pick up the rock on shipping day... worse, stick in whatever they have and leave to sit for days (even weeks, unbelievable) before sending the "product" on... As you might agree, with these sources, matters little how the rock gets from them to you...  Bob Fenner, who has indeed, "been there" from supply/nature to end user/consumer.

I have to move my 90 gallon reef tank and was wondering what is   the best way to move the live rock. I was going to fill up a plastic   garbage can with water from the tank and put the rock in it and transport   it that way (about a 30 minute commute). Or , would it be better to   individually wrap each piece in moist newspaper? The latter would be more   difficult but I am more concerned with keeping the rock in good health and   don't know which way would be better for the rock. < Good question. Move the rock like the pros... especially if it's only going to be a few hours in transit... just moist, in the dark, with the top covered with a moist towel... out of the sun/cold... Take care to scrub the containers you use with rock salt, and rinse to ensure no soap, oil, etc. residue in them... and double, triple line them with good plastic trashcan bags to keep contamination to a minimum as well. Otherwise, plan your move, and move according to your plan. My outline on how to do such jobs, including tools and steps to completion, can be found (and John, you can post it) at www.wetwebmedia.com Bob Fenner>

Live Rock Thanks Bob, Is the overnight delivery worth the extra $$$?? Or will the die-off be about the same? <About the same, nah to the overnight delivery... the stuff has already been "on the road" a few days already... another one is of less consequence than how the boxes have been treated in-between...> I can't wait to visit Belmar, or any beach, in a few months, We're only 30 minutes from the ocean here, so we don't need a special trip to go listen to the waves. It's great, just wish the waters were a bit cleaner. .....yak yak yak...... <Don't forget your "pass"... the beaches... and the boardwalk especially are nice... but another tax to step on the public's property? Sheesh>  Thanks and hope all is well, Tony <Definitely is so my friend, Bob Fenner>

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