Adding dead rock without a acid bath


New member
I have a bunch of rock that's sitting around and I would like to add a bunch of the small pieces and rock rubble to my sump. I am wondering if I can get away with doing this with just a vinager bath? I was thinking I could do a vinegar bath for a few days, let it dry out and then start adding it to the sump slowly. Say a couple small pieces or a handful of rubble a week?


New member
The purpose of acid is to remove the phosphate bound in the outer layers. Try bleach if your concerned with organic material. If you don't monitor the acid then it will destroy the structure of the rock if left too long

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Active member
I would just rinse it well and put it still dripping from the rinse into the tank, but that is me.


New member
I would also just clean the beast I can with water and a brush and put it into my tank. If you are concerned about a cycle just add it over a couple weeks and you will be fine.

The reason you can do this is because your tank already has a large population of bacteria to handle the waste. Here is an example. Lets say you need 4 million bacteria to handle your die off . Bacteria grows exponentially so if your start with 100 (new tank) they split into 200 then 400 etc... If you start with 1 million (mature tank) they split into 2 million then 4 million.


Raise The Reef!
So I might actually be better off adding some die off then?

Not necessarily. If your current filtration can't handle the excess nutrients, you could cause a crash.

If you are super paranoid then get a bucket, a pump, some tank water and start cycling it.

If you want an easier route then rinse it really well, scrub off any matter and add a little here and there. I have even used a pressure washer before to break up any old leftover matter.


New member
I am a fan and believer in acid washing it if its been used before and is now dry. if it has came out of one of your old tanks or something then maybe you dont need to but even mine that I knew was clean and maybe ok I still did an acid bath just because I wanted to be sure.

Nothing in this hobby is easy or quick. That is one of the key things I have learned over the years. Tossing something in to get it done is never good


New member
If i was you, i dont mind to take extra steps to acid or bleach it. You never know what it is in there. You just dont want to go fast way and end up crash your tank..


New member
Personally I think people are nuts for messing around with acid just to clean up rock. Clean it off and put it in the tank. If you have time/patience, throw it in a brute container and let it marinate for a while.