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Old 10/06/2021, 09:04 AM   #1
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Live Rock out of Water

How long is it possible to keep live rock out of the water without killing off the bacteria? I'm wanting to epoxy some live rock to some new cycled "dry" rock, and will need the rock to be out of the water for up to a couple of minutes. I figured I could spray the rock down with a water bottle filled with the tank's saltwater if needed. Thank you!

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Old 10/06/2021, 09:22 AM   #2
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You'll be fine. Think of all the life that's on live rock when you order it, and that's after spending a long time just covered in damp newspaper.
You could also do the same, place some newspaper over it and spray with water.

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Old 10/12/2021, 11:38 AM   #3
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The surface of live rock is only the surface. Life goes clear to the heart of it. Perfectly safe.


Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, yellow tang, sailfin blenny,royal gramma, ocellaris clown pair, yellow watchman, 100 microceriths, 25 tiny hermits, a 4" conch, 1" nassarius, recovering from 2 year hiatus with daily water change of 10%.
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Old 10/17/2021, 10:55 AM   #4
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I have had my rock out of the tank for over an hour while I was doing a major overhaul. As long as it doesn't completely dry out, I don't think you will have any issues with losing your beneficial bacteria.

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Old 10/23/2021, 05:04 PM   #5
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It's the micro sponges in the periphyton that you lose first; they don't like to touch air at all.

Inventor of the easy-to-DIY upflow scrubber, and also the waterfall scrubber that everyone loves to build:
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Old 10/25/2021, 12:19 PM   #6
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As long as everything is damp, including sponges, it should be fine fo rthe amount of time it takes fo ryou to epoxy, glue or drill stuff. I've used a spray bottle with aquarium water like you mentioned as well as wet towels to keep stuff from drying out during aquacaping or moving.

"Our crystal clear aquaria come nowhere close to the nutrient loads that swirl around natural reefs" Charles Delbeek
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Old 10/27/2021, 10:24 PM   #7
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You may see some short term die-off of coraline algae, or some other superficial coatings, but it will all come back.

Before the days of dry rock, live rock used to ship to LFSs packed in wet news paper. All kinds of stuff survived...sponges, coraline, bacteria, algae, hitchhikers, you name it. After some cycle time to address the die off, it was full up.

You'll be fine

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dry rock, epoxy, live rock

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