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DSlater
04-21-2013, 07:16 AM
Hey guys - we're fairly new to the reefing hobby. We have a 20 gallon nano system that's 3 mths old. We decided to go bigger and are purchasing a 240 gallon tank but all the live rock was taken out and placed outside to dry/die. What are our best options in bring this rock back to life? I've been told to powerwash it then recure it in the dark for a couple of mths with a skimmer and to use Microbacter 7. After that place a few pieced of live rock in there and let it reseed. Any thoughts?
Cheers!

ckmullin
04-21-2013, 07:54 AM
IMO....if you had live rock @ one point and just threw it outside to dry...DO NOT just power wash it. It is dead...so you don't need to cure it. What you need to do is remove all the dead garbage from the rock and a power wash will not do it. I'd strongly suggest to use acid. I've done it...others here have done it and it's a great popular method to clean dead rock. (or rock which is loaded with bad live things which you want to kill) Once the rock is clean as a baby's bottom...then reseed but only at that point.

If you wanted tips etc on the acid treatment, I'd be happy to help.

btw...welcome to the forum.

don.ald
04-21-2013, 02:52 PM
Hey guys - we're fairly new to the reefing hobby. We have a 20 gallon nano system that's 3 mths old. We decided to go bigger and are purchasing a 240 gallon tank but all the live rock was taken out and placed outside to dry/die. What are our best options in bring this rock back to life? I've been told to powerwash it then recure it in the dark for a couple of mths with a skimmer and to use Microbacter 7. After that place a few pieced of live rock in there and let it reseed. Any thoughts?
Cheers!

This sounds about right to me!
Don't know why you need micro B7 though?
R.

DSlater
04-21-2013, 03:45 PM
Ok - yes I would love more tips on the acid treatment. Would you do a bleach bath first or just jump right to acid. And what kind & where would I get the acid. There's about a 45 gallon drum full of rock - any ideas how much we'd need to buy? Then do I let it dry out after rinsing and for how long?
So no MB7? I used Stability to get my original tank going w/ live rock. Is MB7 about the same? just speeds up the cycling period...
Also - what do you guys use to do the acid bath - a new garbage can? what kind of tub...?
Thanks so much!!
Cheers.

don.ald
04-21-2013, 03:52 PM
My point being, if you are going to cook your rock for a couple of months you don't need microbactor7. Or acid??
Me , I wouldn't use the acid....just not my way of doing things....I will leave that explanation for ckmullin.

Aquattro
04-21-2013, 03:53 PM
Me , I wouldn't use the acid....just not my way of doing things....I will leave that explanation for ckmullin.

Agreed. If you're cooking it for months, no need for the acid. If you're using acid, no need for cooking.

DSlater
04-21-2013, 04:00 PM
ohhh - so I could just cook it with a skimmer running for a few mths. We're in no hurry to set up - we're in the middle of renos and my husband's going to plumb the sump into the crawlspace w/ the ro system... but if I cook it, then I could slowly start reseeding it before putting into the new tank?

Aquattro
04-21-2013, 05:07 PM
I'd cook it (find an in depth article on the process, I think Myka has one posted in her sig) for a few months, add to tank, slowly populate tank. It will develop bacteria on it's own. Adding some live rock would help populate the critters that should be on/in it.

ckmullin
04-21-2013, 05:15 PM
There is no point to waste your energy/time/electricity, not to mention smell...to cook something which is devoid of life but full of unwanted dry dead material. This is long dead rock.

If that rock was not sitting outside and still had wanted bacteria, I'd say cook 100% but this rock is the exact same as picking up a rock on the side of a road. It needs to be sanitized and deeply.

Use acid, clean the rock and it'll be done in a matter of hours. Then use that 2 months to properly seed that clean rock.

DSlater, I'll give you a pm and answer any questions.

Myka
04-21-2013, 07:56 PM
Cooking the rock is exactly what I would do. "Cooking" live rock simply refers to leeching the "dead material" aka nutrients out of the rock - primarily phosphate and nitrate. The first step in "cooking" is to "cure/cycle" the rock. This rock will cycle. All the dead matter on and in the rock will be partially decayed and will continue to decay once it gets wet again and will result in ammonia. The amount of ammonia produced directly relates to the amount of nitrate that will result. Since there is no anaerobic denitrifying bacteria left within the rock the rock will not be able to process any nitrate for quite some time (several months).

Once the rock has cycled (no more ammonia present) I would add a few pieces of live rock (the more the better) to seed it. The new live rock will probably produce another small cycle. I wouldn't add the new live rock until the dry rock has cycled because ammonia over 1 ppm will be detrimental to most beneficial life on the rock that you are trying to introduce, and ammonia over 2 ppm is quite deadly to most life on the rocks.

I am definitely in favor of acid bathing algae covered rock, but I don't see any reason to acid bath dry rock. Acid will not remove nitrate or phosphate and dead rock will be chock full of both. I also see no reason to add MB7 as the decaying matter from both the dry rock and the new live rock will produce all the nitrifying bacteria you will need.

Check the link in my signature for details on "cooking".

DSlater
04-22-2013, 01:18 AM
Excellent! Thanks everyone :)

Kryptic4L
04-22-2013, 07:09 PM
Cooking the rock is exactly what I would do. "Cooking" live rock simply refers to leeching the "dead material" aka nutrients out of the rock - primarily phosphate and nitrate. The first step in "cooking" is to "cure/cycle" the rock. This rock will cycle. All the dead matter on and in the rock will be partially decayed and will continue to decay once it gets wet again and will result in ammonia. The amount of ammonia produced directly relates to the amount of nitrate that will result. Since there is no anaerobic denitrifying bacteria left within the rock the rock will not be able to process any nitrate for quite some time (several months).

Once the rock has cycled (no more ammonia present) I would add a few pieces of live rock (the more the better) to seed it. The new live rock will probably produce another small cycle. I wouldn't add the new live rock until the dry rock has cycled because ammonia over 1 ppm will be detrimental to most beneficial life on the rock that you are trying to introduce, and ammonia over 2 ppm is quite deadly to most life on the rocks.

I am definitely in favor of acid bathing algae covered rock, but I don't see any reason to acid bath dry rock. Acid will not remove nitrate or phosphate and dead rock will be chock full of both. I also see no reason to add MB7 as the decaying matter from both the dry rock and the new live rock will produce all the nitrifying bacteria you will need.

Check the link in my signature for details on "cooking".

Acid bathing removes phosphates, and metals. And the bleach bath will remove the organics.

I personally did not have a good time messing Mauritic, I would use vinegar over a weeks time if I did it again.

Myka
04-23-2013, 12:55 AM
Acid bathing removes phosphates, and metals. And the bleach bath will remove the organics.

I personally did not have a good time messing Mauritic, I would use vinegar over a weeks time if I did it again.

Acid will remove phosphate in the sense that it eats the rock away taking the phosphate that is bound to the calcium carbonate in the rock. However, it isn't likely to take all the phosphate out. A person could start with an acid bath to jump start the cleaning process. A bleach bath following the acid will also dissolve organics on the rock [Edit: Oops, didn't see you wrote that part too]. Acid won't have an affect on nitrate, but the bleach will help with nitrate because it dissolves the organics before they can break down.

Acid isn't something that many people really want to play with though...

DSlater
04-25-2013, 08:27 PM
I should also ask what to do with the sand. He's got it all sitting in buckets. Should I bleach or just a good rinse out...? Thanks!

Aquattro
04-25-2013, 08:31 PM
I should also ask what to do with the sand. He's got it all sitting in buckets. Should I bleach or just a good rinse out...? Thanks!

Honestly, I'd just buy new sand..

DSlater
04-26-2013, 04:28 AM
Really - darn. I would love to reuse it. Since the tank is 240 gallons - that's going to be a lot of sand to rebuy. But if there's no way to effectively clean it - then for sure, I'll have to buy more. Seems to be a lot of talk about live vs dry sand. Any thoughts? For my nano tank I bought live sand w/ the live rock but I'm starting to think that might have been a waste of money. The live rock will turn the sand live anyways...