How Long Can Live Rock Be Out Of Water?

Discussion in 'New To Reefing' started by Fmxchick, Apr 9, 2017.

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  1. Fmxchick

    Fmxchick Member

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    Hi all,

    Long story short, I've had my 100gal up and running for a couple of months but don't like the way the LFS set up some of my rockscape. (Something I should have done myself but being the tank is so tall I entrusted them). I know at this stage I can't take the rock work out for long periods of time and really fasten all the pieces together without die off so I'm unsure of what I should do. Tank is 80cm heigh and on a 95cm stand so it's an effort trying to move anything around in there! (Biggest mistake to date for a new reefer is getting such a deep tank )
    How long can the rock be out of the water for?
    Could I fasten a few rocks together if I use tank water in a shallow bucket?
  2. ReeferRob

    ReeferRob Solidarité

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    One thing to remember about tidal corals, they're out of the water 2 times a day for 6ish hours at a time. If you can remove what you have attached, then you're good, the fast set cements set in 60-75 mins. When rock is shipped to me here in the USA, it's out of the water for about 20 hours with very little die off. I've had Star polyps make the trip with no ill effect.
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  3. Fmxchick

    Fmxchick Member

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    I haven't attached the coral as yet, it's only sitting in amongst 2 rocks as I wasn't sure of the rockscaping so I'm not worried about the coral. My only concern was the live rock. Woke to find 2 smaller rocks had toppled over this morning so thought its time to fix the issue b4 anything else goes in the tank.
  4. MagicJ

    MagicJ Moderator

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    Live rock is often transported wrapped in wet paper, rather than submerged in water.

    You might have some minor die-off, but nothing to be concerned about.

    I would do what you need to do, as now is the time to do it when you don't have much else in the tank. Where possible, cover the rock in wet paper and don't have it out in the sun and you will be fine.

    80cm deep :eek - I am fairly tall but would never have a tank more than 60cm deep.
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  5. Fmxchick

    Fmxchick Member

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    Regret buying it @MagicJ. It looks fantastic, and I wanted the volume but unless I got rid of the 225g freshwater I didn't really have another choice...shorter tank wouldn't have looked good in this spot!
    It's already been quite the effort which is why I need to sort out this issue asap.
    Thank you for the advice, will be doing it in the house so not so worried about the sun, just wasn't sure how long I could keep it out.
    Just doing some research on the various ways to achieve what I want in there.
  6. ReeferRob

    ReeferRob Solidarité

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    I have 3 deep tanks MJ and they do just fine, in fact, one of them is one of the best ones. They make great lower light LPS tanks on the bottom and I've brought back at least a dozen Sun corals in them. It also keeps my PBT from becoming SUPER ASSHOLE. Dunno why that it, but they like a deeper tank and don't become jerks in a deeper tank.

    I wouldn't worry too much about the rock being out of water for 2 hours, the die off from that would be minimal.

    I couldn't imagine what a box of live rock would be if it was shipped in water. I sell it for $20/kg and it's a low margin sale.
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  7. MagicJ

    MagicJ Moderator

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    My comment about the depth of a tank was more about the ease of looking after it - deep tanks can look magnificent but my 4x2x2 was a pain because I was never able to reach to the bottom at the back of the tank.
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  8. Savage Henry

    Savage Henry Member

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    My live rock came as the others have said above, in a sealed plastic back with some newspaper wrapped around it. I managed to save from it several blennys/gobys , five urchins, and numerous crabs. An SPS attached also survived (but died many months later).

    After 3.5 years I still have one of the gobies, and two each of the crabs and urchins. So, things do survive as long as they are kept moist.

    I have often keep live rock out of the water for an hour or so as I do work on them, like using putty to put in place a coral.

    One thing I have learnt with taking live rock out for any length of time. It's not a bad idea to give them a soak in old tank water for maybe 10 minutes or so prior to putting them back into your tank. The reason is, if you have softies, lps or sps on the live rock, those corals might get a bit annoyed with all the fuss and will probably give off mucous when you put the live rock back in the tank. Consequently, your skimmer will probably go a little wild for a while. SO, giving them a rinse in tank water before putting them back into the tank can rinse off the mucous so that when you then put the live rock into your tank, it's a cleaner transition.

    I find the same thing when happens when I do a large water change, which means I remove water from my tank, exposing the top of my live rock and corals sitting there for maybe half an hour. The Hydnophoria and other corals I have will release mucous which will irritate my other corals. In this case I generally don't do anything about it, because there's not much I can do about it. But if I had removed the corals from the tank I'd definitely give them a rinse before putting them back into the tank. Do this by taking out some of your tank water (and replacing it with new water once the live rock has been put back into the tank).
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  9. Savage Henry

    Savage Henry Member

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    80 cm tank... I'd definitely have a 15-20cm deep coral sand bed in there to raise everything up and act as a deep sand bed. Otherwise, I guess a goggle and snorkel could be useful?
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  10. ReeferRob

    ReeferRob Solidarité

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    I don't have an issue reaching the bottom with metre long arms, lol. I got frickin' gorilla arms.
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  11. Fmxchick

    Fmxchick Member

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    Thank you all for the advice. I'm excited and terrified all at the same time to start piecing things together.

    Yep 80cm @Savage Henry, pain in the ass is what this tank is atm but with a little bit of patience I think I may just see the light at the end of the tunnel!

    @ReeferRob, ever think about heading down to Aus? Meter long Gorilla arms may be needed :rofl
    I'm 5'10' so not short myself but I do find it hard doing things in this tank.

    I must be a sucker for punishment as my freshwater is also 76cm.

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