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Finley
03-18-2017, 09:07 PM
Hey All,

I removed half of my live rock to redo the aquascape in my display about 5 days ago. I placed it in a bin with a pump and a heater under water and covered the top. Went out today to a lovely smell in the garage from the live rock. Obviously things are dying off etc. Have unintentionally initiated a cycle? I'm thinking now I need completely re-cycle the live rock before placing it back in my display. Or can I I give it a scrub rinse it well and continue?

MitchM
03-18-2017, 10:25 PM
The cycle that you're referring to is the establishment of a sufficient population of nitrifying bacteria that will process the byproduct (ammonia) of the decomposition of organic matter so more complex organisms can live in a safe environment.

The process happens naturally so there is very little you can do to prevent it.
Test your ammonia, test your nitrite. That will tell you what stage the cycle is at. Both should be at zero.

Scrubbing and rinsing the live rock will help wash away organic matter that still needs to decompose, that will help your nitrifying bacteria population will establish itself faster.

The smell you're detecting is the result of recently disturbed decaying organic matter, most likely hydrogen sulfide.

Myka
03-19-2017, 02:53 PM
Hey All,

I removed half of my live rock to redo the aquascape in my display about 5 days ago. I placed it in a bin with a pump and a heater under water and covered the top. Went out today to a lovely smell in the garage from the live rock. Obviously things are dying off etc. Have unintentionally initiated a cycle? I'm thinking now I need completely re-cycle the live rock before placing it back in my display. Or can I I give it a scrub rinse it well and continue?
How long was it in your tank before you disturbed it?

You definitely set off a new cycle from die off for some reason. "Cycling" really just means that there is ammonia currently present. Maybe the rock was out of water too long? Do you have a heater in with it? Whatever happened, yes the smell indicates that it is cycling again and you'll need to test for ammonia amd make sure it's all gone before putting any rock back in your tank.