Cleaning dead live rock for new tank

Scubareefman

New member
Hi all I am preparing for a new setup once moved into my new house. I have about 70 pounds of what at one point was awesome live rock. Very large pillar type rocks. I had a extremely aggressive bubble algae that covered every surface and my sump in a matter of less then a month. Even to the point of stopping my mp10s and returns multiple times. It came in on a rock I rescued with lps on it. Dumb move. Anyway skip to the end.
Is there any way to clean this rock or should I toss it? I have been reading about cooking/curing in the dark. I think I may just scrap it. Such a shame it's awesome rock. 1 little rock spoiled it all.
Looking for any help, thanks.
The gba was the fine bubbles like a thick carpet and grew multiple inches a day. Very aggressive.
No live stocked died. Well some zoas but nothing else.
 

reefgeezer

New member
Search on acid baths. This process will yield dead rock that is pretty low in organics and bound phosphates. You can seed it with a little live rock once the tank cycles.
 

MondoBongo

Obligate Feeder Obsessed
i did the acid bath on a large amount of live rock for my impending tank upgrade. i won't know till it gets wet if it killed everytime, but by the looks of the surface i certainly scorched the earth.

obviously just be careful if you decide to go acid bath route. proper protective clothing and eye wear, make sure you're outside, and get a couple bags of baking soda for buffering pools so you can neutralize the acid. it takes more than you think. also, don't pour the neutralized solution in the grass, dump it somewhere that your significant other won't immediately see as a giant dead patch. don't ask me how i know.
 

reefgeezer

New member
I put my old Fiji rock through a strong bleach bath, rinsed it really well, then gave it an acid bath. After drying in the sun for a few days nothing was left but rock. It even reduced the weight by a little. Some even do a final rinse with a power washer to blast off little bits of old coralline that the acid left.

Careful though. If you don't get all the bleach out of the rock, the acid bath will put off poisonous gas. Always do this outside and don't breath the fumes regardless of whether you think you got all the bleach. Gloves, goggles, and a crap load of baking soda are a must.
 

Scubareefman

New member
Great info.

Great info.

I'm going to do the acid bath once the snow melts. I picked up a bunch of baking soda. Got my bins ready and safety gear. Now just waiting for the weather. :lol2:
 

reefgeezer

New member
I'm going to do the acid bath once the snow melts. I picked up a bunch of baking soda. Got my bins ready and safety gear. Now just waiting for the weather. :lol2:

If you are using the bleach & rinse process before the acid, you can do that inside. But trust me, don't let your significant other catch you using the Jacuzzi tub! (Works great by the way and cleans the pumps & plumbing :dance:)

When you get around to the acid bath, some circulation in the vat helps a lot. An appropriately sized power head is a good idea.
 

dkennedy1282

New member
I went through this last summer and got some great advice from my lfs. Used muriatic acid to strip the dried rock. After they were rinsed and dried out again I put them in my new tank to start up the cycle. To speed the seeding process up, I used the Red Sea reef mature kit. Worked like a charm. Tank has been up and running for about 5 months and the rock has some nice color to it. Way faster than "cooking" the rock in the dark.
 

Scubareefman

New member
But trust me, don't let your significant other catch you using the Jacuzzi tub! (Works great by the way and cleans the pumps & plumbing :dance:)

When you get around to the acid bath, some circulation in the vat helps a lot. An appropriately sized power head is a good idea.

Lol awesome. I may use my spare bathroom for the bleach soak. This is a perfect excuse to buy a new power head :) muhaaaaaa
 

erndog1001

Premium Member
I had a horrible outbreak of Byropsis about a year ago. I bought some of those heavy black 27 gal tubs they sell at HD.
Then I made up a strong bleach solution and tossed in the rock for couple days with a powerhead running.
After that I put it through a couple of baths with declorinator then I just let it dry out for like a month.
Then one more declorinator bath to be sure and back in the tank a little at a time. I never saw any ill effects in the tank and its all come back very nicely. Knock on wood Lol Good Luck!!
 

shesacharmer

New member
You can use white vinegar for the acid bath instead of any of the other harsher acids. Hydrogen Peroxide also works.
 

fizzlefish

New member
I have boiled mine twice now to kill everything. DO THIS ONLY WITH VERY GOOD VENTILATION. There are toxins that can be released when doing this in some cases and can harm you. But after boiling i just rinse it off and use it in a new tank. Never have any issues. I have used bleach as well in the past.
 

MondoBongo

Obligate Feeder Obsessed
I have boiled mine twice now to kill everything. DO THIS ONLY WITH VERY GOOD VENTILATION. There are toxins that can be released when doing this in some cases and can harm you. But after boiling i just rinse it off and use it in a new tank. Never have any issues. I have used bleach as well in the past.

this is not good advice.

even with good ventilation, all it takes is one hidden paly on a rock to aerosolize some palytoxin.

baking or boiling rock is highly inadvisable. search around the board for some of the palytoxin threads.

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/blo...-poisoning-almost-killed-myself-wife-and-dogs

bad idea.
 

RxReefer

New member
Im going through this process myself and just took my rocks out of the bleach bath. How long should I wait to do the acid step?
 

erndog1001

Premium Member
I had a very bad outbreak of Byropsis about a year ago Basically did the same as your bubble algae.
I finally removed like 90% of the rock and put it into bins with hot water, bleach and a powerhead.Im talking A LOT of bleach!!! I left it in there for a couple days I forget exactly how long. Suffice it to say that when I emptied the water There was NOTHING left alive on those rocks. Or in them I imagine.
Anyways Then I put them through 3 baths of water with declorinator for a day or two each time.
Then I emptied the bins and just left it alone for like a month
Its now about 1 year later and my DT is free (knock on wood) of this menace. Still have a bit in my sump though.
One of these days Im going to have to address that.
Good Luck
 
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Scubareefman

New member
Great advice all, thank you. I just picked up the bins and will start the beaching process tonight. I'm letting it sit for about 48 hours then about 72 hours in clean water I change multiple times. Today I found myself browsing rock for sale online.... I'm so lazy lol, I'll save several hundred dollars and just clean what I got ;)
Truthfully I am lazy :)
 
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