Reusing old live rock?

Discussion in 'Live Rock' started by electricd7, Oct 23, 2006.

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  1. electricd7

    electricd7 Plankton

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    Hello,

    When i shut down my tank a couple years ago, i put all my live rock in a rubbermaid tote. I forgot all about it. I am about to restart my tank and came across the tote of rock. The rocks are still moist, and I was wondering if I could reuse them? If so, how do I clean them and get them ready to reuse? They appear to have some green algae growing on them. I am also going to buy 50lbs of "dry rock" from a seller on ebay to go along with this. Any suggestions...im still pretty new to this! :) Thanks.

    ED7
     
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  3. amcarrig

    amcarrig Super Moderator Staff Member

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    This is what I do when reusing rock:

    Soak the rock in a 50/50 bleach and water solution for about 2 days. Drain the soaking container then soak the rock in clean fresh water for 2 days. Drain the container again, rinse the rock in fresh water and soak again it in fresh water again for another 2 days. Then add a 2lb box of baking soda per 15 gallons of water and soak the rock again for 3-4 days. Drain the container then soak again in fresh water for a day then remove the rock and let it sit and dry for 3-4 days (The baking soda soak is to neturalize the acid and low P.H from the bleach).
     
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  4. electricd7

    electricd7 Plankton

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    Awesome! Thanks for the pointers...that will save me some cash in setting up the new system as I think there is probably 30lbs or so in there. I will get started tonight!
     
  5. Tangster

    Tangster 3reef Sponsor

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    I think she maybe has some pictures around of her old rocks and new tanks :)
     
  6. inwall75

    inwall75 Giant Squid

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    If you have access, I prefer Sodium hydroxide. However, if you don't, bleach is dirt cheap and works very well.

    Dead live rock is much better than base rock as it is much more porous. It tends to look better and contain less adsorbed phosphates as well.

    Welcome back to the hobby and welcome to 3reef!!!
     
  7. amcarrig

    amcarrig Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I have to download the ones I took over the weekend yet :)
     
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  9. Black_Raven

    Black_Raven Scooter Blennie

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    Bleach is an alkali with a very high pH. I think you would want to neutralize it with something acidic like vinegar or acid pH buffer rather than Sodium Bicarb which is an alkali..
     
  10. Tangster

    Tangster 3reef Sponsor

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    Bleach has a PH of around 11 put once its exhausted then and exposed to air and or sun the remaining salts are acidic like with baking soda. once the carbonates are used up the salts are a little acidic and will lower PH. The baking soda will buffer it back to a lower PH and not cause harm to the limestone rocks or dissolve them . Thats my mistake I may well have told them it was acidic more then likely. But yep you caught it lol thanks And the final few rinses will remove any salts that we would not want. kind of like with chlorine in a pool the air and sun lowers the PH rather fast , so they use soda ash or some buffer to get it back up..
     
  11. electricd7

    electricd7 Plankton

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    Wait..so do I use the bleach or not?
     
  12. amcarrig

    amcarrig Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, it's fine to use the bleach. :)