Cleaning Live Rocks for Pests

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SiD

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I bought some live rocks from a garage sale, the guy is moving out. I want to clean the live rocks to get rid of any pests but still keep the good guys in.

Is there any way I can just kill the pests? Any idea.

I am posting the Pic of the tank where the rocks are kept till I bring them home. If this helps somehow.

IMG-20210104-WA0002.jpg
 
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To be honest, I've had a similar situation in the past and even with old rocks that I had that became infested with Aptasia. I decided at the end of the day that it wasn't worth the hassle and just got new dry rock.

It's up to you to decide on the risk and if it is worth it and if you're ok with it. If you trust the source or the system where they came from looked pretty sterile then maybe it's a lower risk. But from my perspective, one or a handful of bad hitchhikers could make your start into reefing very unpleasant.
 

Chrille26

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As mentioned above it will be hard to spare all the good guys, but if you want to chase some critters out, you can flush the rocks or dip them in carbonated water.
I have managed to remove a gorilla crab with this method.
 
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Macbalacano

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Is there anyway of a full proof cleaning, like cooking in boiling water or drying completely under the sun
Its a possibility, people used to do it a long time ago - "cooking rocks". But it is very dangerous as the rocks can emit poisonous gases which are toxic to humans and can make you very ill and can even lead to death. I would not recommend it.

There are other ways like using bleach etc... Hopefully, someone else with experience on that can chime in.
 

Jonify

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If you want to "clean" live rock, you can throw it in a covered barrel for a about 6 months, without feeding, in which case most photosynthetic organisms will die, and all that will be left is bacteria. That's the best route, but it takes many months of leaving the rock alone. If you don't want to wait for that time, then no, there is not way to "clean" the live rock. But live rock will give you better results for coral care if you don't want to wait the 1-2 years it takes to turn dead rock into live rock that can keep coral. Eliminating most pests is easy though, so if you're willing to deal with all of that (our reefs are in fact just a biome that exists in nature, so why avoid it!?) there are ways to tackle problems as they arise if you start with live rock. If you are dead-set on dry rock, just know it's going to take a lot longer. Don't plan on keeping SPS and some LPS unless you've been up for about a year. We're not sure why, we're only sure that it takes about this long for sensitive coral.
 

hikermike

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If your going to use those rocks, best defense is quarantine and have a very healthy system to put them in. I personally like the experience of something new showing up, I sometimes add things I find down at the beach, but then I've never spent more than $10 on a coral or $19 on a fish for that very reason. I also have 2 tanks.
 

elysics

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Which pests are you worried about? If it's just aiptasia, I'd stop worrying about whether you'll get them, and start worrying about what you will put in your tank that eats them. Everything else is just delaying the inevitable.

If the problem is with crabs, shrimp, isopods and other rare guests, you could maybe flush those out with dipping the rock in something. Maybe starve them out.

If it's covered with briareum or clove polyps or hydroids or the like, you don't really have a choice except to go for chemical warfare or completely killing the rock.
 
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fishface NJ

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"Cooking live rock" DOES NOT MEAN BOILING IT. Please never do that.

If want to kill all living things on the rocks all you have to do is place it in tap water and bleach mix for a few days. You will get varying answers on this but when I have done this I use about 20% bleach to the amount of water the rocks will be in.

When I’ve done this I let it sit in the bleach water with an old pump circulating the water for about a week. After that it gets rinsed in tap water then I’d change out the water with new RO water every other day for as long as it took for me to not smell bleach anymore and then a couple more changes. Circulation pump running the entire time. Never had any problems with pests or bleach in the tank using this method.
 

brandon429

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Directly fixing up and cleaning live rock way worse than above, keeping bacteria, takes two hours.

you handle the rocks exactly like dentistry only they’re worked individually sitting on the counter.

https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/algae-identification.707457/

don’t buy live rock then kill it and start dry, you’ll get dinos. The rocks above are literally transformed.
 

Timfish

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. . . . cooking in boiling water . . .
As mentioned above NEVER EVER BOIL OR USE HOT WATER TO CLEAN ANY ROCK REMOVED FROM ANY MARINE ENVIRONEMNT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Palytoxin is a thermally stable toxin and hot or boiling water can aerosolize it and people have paid hospitals lots of money to stay in their ICUs after doing so. It also is made by a types of dinoflagellates and so it potentially can be on anything in an aquarium.




Who ever coined the jargon term "cooking" was an idiot IMO.
 
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