Bleaching My Rock Quick Question

Discussion in 'Live Rock' started by xmetalfan99, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. xmetalfan99

    xmetalfan99 Giant Squid

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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
    8)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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  3. Reeron

    Reeron Blue Ringed Angel

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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."
  4. Hiltonc57

    Hiltonc57 Fire Worm

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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.
  5. xmetalfan99

    xmetalfan99 Giant Squid

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    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.

    Bump
  6. xmetalfan99

    xmetalfan99 Giant Squid

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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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  7. xmetalfan99

    xmetalfan99 Giant Squid

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  9. Peredhil

    Peredhil Giant Squid

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    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.
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  10. Peredhil

    Peredhil Giant Squid

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    +k :)
  11. xmetalfan99

    xmetalfan99 Giant Squid

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    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.
  12. xmetalfan99

    xmetalfan99 Giant Squid

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  13. Peredhil

    Peredhil Giant Squid

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    I would think so. I've always done the double soak in RO - 3 days and 3 days again with RO/DI. I've done it with and without the baking soda - not real convinced it's necessary (the baking soda) but the double soak I feel is necessary.

    The first soak tints the water IME, the second soak comes out real clean (not as clean as when you added the water, but no tint.

    I also always let it dry out for a couple weeks. In my mind, that lets any residual chlorine break down as well as anything else.
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  15. Peredhil

    Peredhil Giant Squid

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    :biglaugh: funny
  16. xmetalfan99

    xmetalfan99 Giant Squid

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    I started to soak it again last night. I figure i should let it soak for 4 days since the bleach may be dry and what not. I'll do the soaking twice and let it dry for a few weeks. Thank you for the help.
  17. Peredhil

    Peredhil Giant Squid

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    good luck with it. would be interested for you to update this thread in a couple weeks with results.
  18. xmetalfan99

    xmetalfan99 Giant Squid

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    Update just for you Peredhil:

    What I did after this thread:


    1. soaked rock in ro/di for 3 days
    2. Rinsed and placed in new ro/di for 3 days
    3. Allowed to dry for 2 weeks
    4. Made saltwater and placed rock in rubber made for 3 days
    5. Tested water (everything came within acceptable ranges)(acceptable to me is either 0 or spot on depending on the test)
    6. redid rock work
    7. water change after 24 hours
    8. water change 24 hours after 1st water change (I took ALL my rock out when I redid my rock work. Causing a lot of crud to get stirred up)
    9. tested water (everything was good)
  19. Peredhil

    Peredhil Giant Squid

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    cool beans. is this the rock rework you did the other day when I said something about the xenia boulder? or we gettin new pics? ;D

    After 2 or 4 in the steps you mention, was the water yellowish at all or any smell like originally or all good? I'd assume all good if it's in your tank now 8)
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  21. xmetalfan99

    xmetalfan99 Giant Squid

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    Those photos are with the bleached rock in the tank. I'm about to bleach that rock....

    I saw no discoloration of the water after step 2. Step 1 had some discoloration, but not much. I wasn't sure about the safety of the rock so I performed step 4. This way I could test the affects of the rock on salt water. When everything came out good I redid my rock work.
  22. gwhunter

    gwhunter Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    Would the procedure be the same if the rock has been sitting dry for a year? The rock has dried algea on it and the remains of feather dusters. I want to get it into a new tank I'm setting up soon. So is the 50/50 bleach still the right course?

    Matt
  23. Peredhil

    Peredhil Giant Squid

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    50/50 is on the high side if you ask me. but if the rock was never cleaned, it's still going to have dead matter. Probably mostly decayed, but the point of the nuking is to sterilize it. I would sterilize old live rock first.
  24. gwhunter

    gwhunter Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    So how should I go about sterilzing it?

    Matt