Frequently Asked Questions
What is "Cured Rock"?
Cured Rock is a term that came about from what has to be done to live rock that
is not handled correctly.
Rock that is imported to the United States is collected in the South Pacific,
usually held in a dry condition on whatever island it was collected on,
sometimes exposed to the sun for hours, as it is collected and piled on the
beach by native divers.
The rock is then transported in a dry condition to a holding facility, where it
is packed in cardboard containers, then on to the airport where it is usually
shipped to Hawaii, makes a connection, and then shipped to Los Angeles, still
dry and out of the water for about four days by this time.
By this time the rock has been exposed to the air for four to five days before
the wholesaler unpacks and repacks the rock for shipment to other wholesalers,
stores and consumers, still in a dry condition. By this time most of the life
on the rocks are dead and dying, which is why it smells so bad when it is
received by the ultimate consumer.
So what do you do with dead and dying rock? It has to be "cured" or a better
word for it would be "bringing dead rock back to life". "Curing" is when the
wholesaler, store or hobbyist takes this rock and reintroduces it to saltwater
again. The dead and dying animals on the rock take two to three weeks to
complete the cycle of falling, being scraped,brushed, hosed off, before the now
practically dead rock is "Cured".
It is now "cured" because all the life that was on it and died is now gone and
what is left is rock with very little or no life at all, other than some
coralines which may survive the process.
Rock that is handled correctly requires little or no 'curing' as the life on
the rocks is still alive, as it should be when you receive it. We handle our
rock correctly. When we harvest it from the ocean, it comes up out of the
water, is IMMEDIATELY placed in drums full of water, transported to land under
water, to our holding facility underwater, then transferred to our tanks,
underwater, and then shipped to you underwater!
This results in a true LIVE ROCK, that arrives alive and stays alive in your
tank. There is sometimes die off of organisms on our rock as some of the
animals that survive in the wild will not in home aquariums such as certain
sponges, but this die off is minimal and is controlled by making water changes
as instructed in our "Package" information until the rock "cycles".
The way Live Rock is handled and shipped should be your first question when
asking about live rock.
Asking live rock to stay alive and arrive ALIVE after it has been out of the
water for a week or longer is like asking a human to go sit underwater for a
week with no air, you would not look or smell so good after a week, it is the
same with LIVE ROCK, it has to be harvested, handled and shipped correctly to
be ALIVE. We at Tampa Bay Saltwater take pride in delivering quality LIVE ROCK
shipped to you UNDERWATER!
How come the prices of The Package are so low, compared to your regular prices?
Well we have found out over the years that happy customers and happy reef tanks
are a benefit to all of us. You end up with a nice stable and inexpensive reef
tank, we end up with a happy customer, it's a win-win situation. If you're
happy, you will be calling us back, plus it is good for the hobby to have
successful reef tank owners, who will continue to buy corals and livestock for
Will I get good rock with The Package?
Yes the Package is made up of live rock (really live rock!).
What kind of rock is it?
It is aquacultured rock from our five acre lease site with over four million
pounds under production in the Gulf of Mexico, and from our aquaculture site
off of Key Largo in The Florida Keys.
Is your live rock dense? What is its porosity?
Our rock unlike Fiji which is not rock at all, but coral skeleton which is just
basically purple and devoid of life, our rock is ancient coral reef rocks. When
cut in half you can see the corals, gorgonians, animals it is made up of. Plus
the rock is teeming with life forms, including hard stony corals.
Do you guarantee live arrival?
Absolutely! We see to it that we have 100% customer satisfaction! We have been
collecting and wholesaling saltwater animals since the seventies, have
thousands of satisfied customers and intend on keeping it that way.
If I order The Package how soon will I have it?
We usually ship the day after you order, via FedEx or the airlines, weather permitting on this end and on your end.
How do I pay for it?
We take all the major credit cards, which will save you a COD fee at the
airport when you pay with certified check or money order . We accept wire
transfers, and all FedEx orders must be prepaid via credit card (sorry, no
What hitchhikers might I find on the rock?
The possibilities are endless... See our pictures of organisms
that some customers