View Full Version : Someone Explain Cooking Live Rock

10/16/2007, 10:36 AM
I think I get the basic idea...putting old live rock in an aquarium with no light to let everything algae-wise die off. But is that all there is to it or what?

Don't you just have base rock left after you're through?

10/16/2007, 10:46 AM
General idea is to kill off photosynthetic organisms (algaes primarily) while preserving nonphotosynthetic benificial organisms. Circulation, temp and skimming as well as chemistry monitoring (PH, Ammonia, Nitrates, etc) maintained.

10/16/2007, 02:21 PM
I believe that "cooking" live rock also helps rid the rock of phosphates that it has slowly soaked up.

10/16/2007, 03:36 PM
Could you do this in an unlit portion of the sump? My other option is to set up a smaller tank off to the side with a pump from the main tank and a return back to the sump..........

I've got an invasive very short type of dark green, gray, brown slimey algae that is taking up all open live rock. Nothing will eat it. It starts oozing a yellow slime over time.....?

Excellent skimmer, lots of water changes, carbon and phosphate reactors, high flow, RO water.......?

Not my first tank either!

10/16/2007, 05:36 PM
Cooking rock is kind of a process. I don't have the link, but generally speaking you need to prepare lots of new saltwater. You fill (3) 5 gallon buckets and remove your rock from your system and swish it vigorously in the buckets to remove the detritus within the rocks. You start at bucket one and then 2 and then 3 and then place back in your holding system (tank with no light such as a large rubbermaid container with heater and pump) (lid should be placed over container to ensure no light gets into container.

You do this 2 times per week the first 2 - 4 weeks and then the following 4 - 8 weeks you do it once per week. (3 months total time if I recall is recommended.) Each time preparing new fresh water and replacing the water within the rubbermaid container. Like I said, lots of saltwater to do this process. Some people with larger systems will do this in phases so as not to have to do the whole set of rocks at once.

I've done this once and I had a really invasive algae in my rocks. It eventually came back and I ran this process longer than the recommended duration. Other people have had more positive results. In the end I had to resort to "nuking" my rocks with bleach and lots of rinsing. This of course destroys any life within the rock.

10/16/2007, 10:02 PM
I have about 80lbs that have been "Cooking" for over a year, while I get my tank setup. It is almost complete so I added a dead shrimp from the market to jump start the bacteria. The rock is almost pure white.
I have a feeling that any algae that was present is no longer around.

I knew that this was going to be long term, so I did things different. I bought a Rubbermaid trash can, heater, and pump. I set the salinity at 1.025 and kept it there...Once a month water changes.

Hopefully, when the tank is setup, I won't have any algae problems.

This is just the way I decided to do it. If you are in a hurry to get rid of the algae...follow ctreefer's advice.