Nuke LR or Keep Alive?


New member
I bought about 100 pounds of LR last year since it came with my new DT which I've been working on advanced plumbing (basement sump setup). In the meantime the LR has been in a 40g tank with minimal t5 lighting and a spare powerhead. Seems like everything is mostly dead now, but early on I noted some green bubble algae and a few sponges.

My question now that I'm ready to do some rock-scaping, seeding, and cycling is should I somehow nuke the LR to ensure all is dead and start over? Or since I don't see anything alive on it now, just toss it into DT and hope for the best which would allow anything that IS still alive to speed cycling, etc...

If nuke is best option, how do you recommend?


One reef to rule them all
What was the temperature stabilized at if at all? If your didn't keep the temps around 70-80 there is probably no salvagable life anyway.


New member
Temperature swings shouldn't matter a whole bunch at all....for pest algae at least.

You'd be amazed at what unwanted algae etc can survive.

Sorry to say, but it seems like you missed a great opportunity to cook your rock while you were waiting. Light is the one thing you don't want when following this procedure.

Cooking Live Rock involves holding the rock in a tub at a fair temp with some water movement and No Light for several months. This helps deprive and eventually eradicate algae. You still do some water changes and swirl the rock to rid it of detritus....reducing PO4, NO3, NO2 etc...

There are some great instructions on here if you do a search for "cooking rock."

But I bet you'd be surprised what could survive cold temps (with in reason). The beneficial bacteria should still be ok but might take a bit longer to get re-established...but less time than nuking it.

But I'd think, with the rock you have now, that maybe a mini rock cooking exercise could help and you'd have no reason to nuke the rock. Just test the water and see if its where you need it.


New member
Yeah, for the most part no temp control: 60-70 degrees ambient temps in basement. For the last 2 months has been dark (seemed the T5 lights were contributing to algae because of aged bulbs so I went dark altogether).

For last one month, has been in refugium with full system circulation (empty DT but full fuge), in dark basement. Maybe I did good after all.

I just want to make sure I don't have a problem with the hitch-hiking pest algae.