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Old 06-19-2010, 08:26 PM
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I was given some beautiful live rock that I HAD to bleach. It was four years old in the person's tank, but was covered in aptasia and majano anemones. I was not going to risk introducing these into my tank. It honestly hurt to bleach this rock.

Anyway, I have done the following so far:

1) bleached the rock for 2 days
2) removed from bleach water and rinsed
3) allowed to dry for 48 hours
4) bleached again for 24 hours
5) rinsed and allowed the water to dry for 48 hours
6) soaked the rock in water that had amquel ammonia detoxifier in it for 24 hours
6) rinsed and allowed rock to dry for 3 days
7) soaked rock in buffered water to counteract the bleach being acidic after touching the air
removed and rinsed the rock
9) rock will be drying until friday

Time for the question:
After each time I soaked the rock in freshwater, the water turned yellow and smelled slightly foul. The rock does not smell bad. I had a small powerhead running in the rubbermaid container to keep the water moving. Is the rock cycling in the freshwater or is there something wrong? What should I do?

I will be testing some of the water used to rinse the rock tomorrow.
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Old 06-19-2010, 09:37 PM   #2
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This is not mine, so I am not taking any credit for it. This info comes from Otty's page. I can't find the original thread, so am just posting the info from his profile (blog link). I am in the process of doing this right now myself.


"Recipe I was taught for nuking (cleaning) Live Rock
1. Soak rock in 50/50 Bleach and water solution for 3 days.
2. Soak rock for next 3 days in RO water if possible but tap is ok
3. Soak rock in RO/DI water and Baking soda for 3 days to neutralize the bleach. For a 30g trash can I use 4 lbs. of Baking soda.
4. Let rock sit outside in sun for 2 weeks turning the rock to make sure all water is out of holes. If cold out side I have put in my garage with a fan on the rock for about 1.5 weeks and still turn rock every day.

Last couple times I nuked rock I was not ready to add to tank when I was complete so I mixed some SW and added the rock with some PH's and heat to kick start a cycle until I was ready to add to the tank.

This will ensure you are not adding anything in your tank that you don't want, just like getting base rock. It will become live rock once it is seeded."
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Old 06-19-2010, 09:41 PM   #3
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could have just used cooper or aptisa X to kill it. using blench never turns out right IMO. To answer your question, no it wouldn't cycle it because there in no bacteria on it... you killed it all with the bleach unless your water is out of a creek. Im guessing its coming from the the rock still, that's why i don't like using bleach because it stays on the rock after many washes.
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Old 06-20-2010, 06:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiltonc57 View Post
could have just used cooper or aptisa X to kill it. using blench never turns out right IMO. To answer your question, no it wouldn't cycle it because there in no bacteria on it... you killed it all with the bleach unless your water is out of a creek. Im guessing its coming from the the rock still, that's why i don't like using bleach because it stays on the rock after many washes.
Cu leaches in to rock and I have a reef tank. Aptasia X doesn't do the trick either. If there is still any organic matter in the rocks such as bristle worms that were in the rock when it was bleached will decay. This decaying will create bacteria.

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Old 06-20-2010, 08:58 AM   #5
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Test results:

Ammo 2.0 ppm
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
pH: 8.8

I believe there is still some beach in the rock and pH is a little high. I think I will rinse the rock again tonight then let it dry for a week. After that I will cycle it in a rubbermaid. I'm not willing to crash my tank just to rush putting rock in.
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Old 06-20-2010, 12:11 PM   #6
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Old 06-20-2010, 12:29 PM   #7
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I've nuked rock a few times now. I use Otty's recipe too

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reeron View Post
"Recipe I was taught for nuking (cleaning) Live Rock
1. Soak rock in 50/50 Bleach and water solution for 3 days.
2. Soak rock for next 3 days in RO water if possible but tap is ok
3. Soak rock in RO/DI water and Baking soda for 3 days to neutralize the bleach. For a 30g trash can I use 4 lbs. of Baking soda.
4. Let rock sit outside in sun for 2 weeks turning the rock to make sure all water is out of holes. If cold out side I have put in my garage with a fan on the rock for about 1.5 weeks and still turn rock every day.
What I want to bring to your attention is the soaking in RO water for 3 days after bleaching and then 3 days again. Seems to me you are bleaching and drying. A rinse isn't going to really rinse all the pores like a soak will. I think that's part of your problem.

I'm not familiar with the additive you used. But I might suspect it's drying up inside the rock too - without the long soak.

The life forms that are being nuked are very simple. I don't think a double bleach bath is necessary... one soak is fine. I also feel they are so simple, the bleach is going to completely sterilize them. That is, I'd have 0 concern of further decay. I haven't had issues with it.


Of course, it might be something else entirely. Might be iron in that rock (I wouldn't think so) or something else leaching. Once I've pulled the rock from that last soak, the water was pretty clean - with a faint trace of chlorine smell.

But a long dry period negates any chlorine left in the pores anyway.


I don't know that I specifically answered any of your questions, but I thought my experiences might give some ideas or something.
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Old 06-20-2010, 12:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xmetalfan99 View Post
i'm not willing to crash my tank just to rush putting rock in.
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Old 06-20-2010, 12:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peredhil View Post
I've nuked rock a few times now. I use Otty's recipe too



What I want to bring to your attention is the soaking in RO water for 3 days after bleaching and then 3 days again. Seems to me you are bleaching and drying. A rinse isn't going to really rinse all the pores like a soak will. I think that's part of your problem.

I'm not familiar with the additive you used. But I might suspect it's drying up inside the rock too - without the long soak.

The life forms that are being nuked are very simple. I don't think a double bleach bath is necessary... one soak is fine. I also feel they are so simple, the bleach is going to completely sterilize them. That is, I'd have 0 concern of further decay. I haven't had issues with it.


Of course, it might be something else entirely. Might be iron in that rock (I wouldn't think so) or something else leaching. Once I've pulled the rock from that last soak, the water was pretty clean - with a faint trace of chlorine smell.

But a long dry period negates any chlorine left in the pores anyway.


I don't know that I specifically answered any of your questions, but I thought my experiences might give some ideas or something.
I bleached it again because the rock was left in a not so "clean" place after being bleached. I wanted to bleach it again for my own piece of mind.

Would you say that if I just go ahead and soak the rock in ro/di water for 3 days now will take care of the yellow water? Should I just start over? I'd rather be safe than sorry.
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Old 06-20-2010, 09:37 PM   #10
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