Muriatic acid, Live Rock and Vermetid snails... oh my !!!

Trickman2

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 31, 2018
Messages
429
Reaction score
376
Location
Poway, Ca
Randy,
Muriatic acid, Live Rock and Vermetid snails... oh my !!! How long after acid before you can use the rock again?
I tore down my 90 gallon and was doing a reset when decided to go bigger. I had infants and had a big battle with vermetid snails, the tank went into maintenance mode only for a while. My kids are a little older and decided it was time to upgrade. At this point my live rock had been sitting in a dormant tank for about 5 months and then was transferred to a drum of salt water for a month or so. The issue is those dang snails....The old rock is encrusted with hundreds of calcium tubes and I am looking into drastic measures. At this point no Vermetid snail is coming into the new 280 if I have my way about it. https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/trickman2s-280-gallon-upgrade.369124/

So the rock is outside now sitting on my patio cover baking in the sun, etc for about a week and 1/2 now with mixed weather. It is still encrusted will snails and at this point (which I think are dead by now) Still I think it is time to break out the Muriatic acid. I would like to burn all those dang snail shells off and clean the rock completely.

Online information is all over the place but a 10:1 ratio seems to be standard and 15 minutes or so.
So my current thoughts are as follows get geared up. Have baking soda, acid, a large 55 gallon drum, add water, rocks and then acid. Let brew for 15 minutes. Dump a large amount of baking soda in. Drain and refill with fresh water, add more baking soda, Drain again....Pull Rock and place in Sun for a day or two. Rinse one last time.
Now would the rock be okay at this point to go back into the tank?

Any information on this would be awesome and understand that it needs to be done carefully and with precaution.

Would love to hear your recommendation for dilution ratio and time in acid. Best way to neutralize acid afterwards. Also how long and the fastest and safest way to get the rock back into the tank.
V/r
Terry
 
Last edited:

Cnidoblast

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 29, 2017
Messages
435
Reaction score
216
There is a very interesting evaporation table on Wikipedia for Hcl
Might I recommend letting them dry outside for two weeks in the sun followed by a RO water soak before returning them to the tank??

hvl28283838344343.png
 

Cnidoblast

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 29, 2017
Messages
435
Reaction score
216
it seems the higher percentage of hydrochloric acid to water - the more it will evaporate (so try to get strongest acid you can find)
'
I'd try to get like 35-40 percent if you can
 
OP
Trickman2

Trickman2

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 31, 2018
Messages
429
Reaction score
376
Location
Poway, Ca
Interesting, I wonder why that would be the case.
 

siggy

just keep swimming
View Badges
Joined
Feb 16, 2017
Messages
4,579
Reaction score
11,414
@Trickman2 please excuse the cut-in. I found all the directions troubling and just added acid until I seen a reaction then reacted and I will never Hesitate to do it with any rock. First time is nerve racking!
I did the acid baths a couple of times and worked well. I covered rock with water from garden hose in rubbermaid then added acid from hwd store until the water became violent (rolling) using hose I sprayed foam (mist) to keep foam from spilling over, thus reducing pointicy let sit 15-20 min then add more acid to get rolling again. First time I used baking soda to neutralize other times just diluted and let sit for little ( no soda ) and drained at the road drain rinsed then soaked for a week in old tank water. Question for the chemists the reaction between Acid and aragonite at some point doesn't it equalize and become neutral?
 
OP
Trickman2

Trickman2

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 31, 2018
Messages
429
Reaction score
376
Location
Poway, Ca
@Trickman2 please excuse the cut-in. I found all the directions troubling and just added acid until I seen a reaction then reacted and I will never Hesitate to do it with any rock. First time is nerve racking!
I did the acid baths a couple of times and worked well. I covered rock with water from garden hose in rubbermaid then added acid from hwd store until the water became violent (rolling) using hose I sprayed foam (mist) to keep foam from spilling over, thus reducing pointicy let sit 15-20 min then add more acid to get rolling again. First time I used baking soda to neutralize other times just diluted and let sit for little ( no soda ) and drained at the road drain rinsed then soaked for a week in old tank water. Question for the chemists the reaction between Acid and aragonite at some point doesn't it equalize and become neutral?
Yeah, would like to understand the chemical perspective before I give this a shot.
 
OP
Trickman2

Trickman2

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 31, 2018
Messages
429
Reaction score
376
Location
Poway, Ca
....and the thread goes silent. ;Muted Still hoping to get Randy Holmes to give us a answer.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
32,285
Reaction score
20,169
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
Sorry.

Yes, if you let aragonite rock or sand sit in acid, it will no longer be acidic when it stops bubbling and there's no concern about getting acid in the tank. If you want to double check; add baking soda, then no bubbling means it is neutralized.

The more acid you add, relative to rock, means more of the rock will be dissolved. I don't have any special ratio that I recommend. A full one gallon bottle of muriatic acid (35% HCl) contains enough acid to fully dissolve about 10 pounds of aragonite rock.
 
OP
Trickman2

Trickman2

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 31, 2018
Messages
429
Reaction score
376
Location
Poway, Ca
Sorry.

Yes, if you let aragonite rock or sand sit in acid, it will no longer be acidic when it stops bubbling and there's no concern about getting acid in the tank. If you want to double check; add baking soda, then no bubbling means it is neutralized.

The more acid you add, relative to rock, means more of the rock will be dissolved. I don't have any special ratio that I recommend. A full one gallon bottle of muriatic acid (35% HCl) contains enough acid to fully dissolve about 10 pounds of aragonite rock.
Thanks, I am assuming the acid will burn off all those nasty snail shells.
 

rockskimmerflow

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 21, 2013
Messages
609
Reaction score
572
Location
Socal
Thanks, I am assuming the acid will burn off all those nasty snail shells.
It may, but having acid washed a literal ton of rock I wouldnt assume that in the slightest. Itll surely soften them up so they can be popped off easier but I havent experienced a strong enough acid wash that they melted right off. Then again I only use about a half gallon of muriatic per 40gals of water.
 

Victoria M

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
3,353
Reaction score
11,076
Location
Sylvania, OH
I did this recently with new rock. It went well and was kinda fun. I did about one gallon acid to 20 gallons tap water in a brute for about 1o - 15 minutes all together. I added a container of baking soda to a gallon of tap water and put it in the acid bath and then started over filling the container of acid to dilute and drain it. You could try it on one rock to see what happens to the worm/snail shells.
 
OP
Trickman2

Trickman2

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 31, 2018
Messages
429
Reaction score
376
Location
Poway, Ca
Sorry.

Yes, if you let aragonite rock or sand sit in acid, it will no longer be acidic when it stops bubbling and there's no concern about getting acid in the tank. If you want to double check; add baking soda, then no bubbling means it is neutralized.

The more acid you add, relative to rock, means more of the rock will be dissolved. I don't have any special ratio that I recommend. A full one gallon bottle of muriatic acid (35% HCl) contains enough acid to fully dissolve about 10 pounds of aragonite rock.
So once it stops bubbling the acid is neutralized and the water is no longer dangerous? Not saying I going to pour it into my tank but trying to understand the risks.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
View Badges
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
32,285
Reaction score
20,169
Location
Arlington, Massachusetts, United States
So once it stops bubbling the acid is neutralized and the water is no longer dangerous? Not saying I going to pour it into my tank but trying to understand the risks.
Correct. It is then basically a calcium chloride solution. :)
 
OP
Trickman2

Trickman2

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 31, 2018
Messages
429
Reaction score
376
Location
Poway, Ca
Well that was interesting adding baking soda made it more volatile. Used one gallon of muriatic acid. Still everything went well and it is bubbling in the back still. Interested to see the final results.
 

Victoria M

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
3,353
Reaction score
11,076
Location
Sylvania, OH
The baking soda make it like a school volcano experiement. It started frothing and fizzing up like crazy. I started diluting it faster when that happened.
 
OP
Trickman2

Trickman2

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 31, 2018
Messages
429
Reaction score
376
Location
Poway, Ca
The baking soda make it like a school volcano experiement. It started frothing and fizzing up like crazy. I started diluting it faster when that happened.
Yep that describes it pretty well. It burned off the top layer of the rock but most of the snails shells remained. Going to take bone cutter to the shells
 

Victoria M

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 6, 2017
Messages
3,353
Reaction score
11,076
Location
Sylvania, OH
Figures. It was still good for the rock to burn off probably phos and what not. At least that is what we tell ourselves... :)
 

Online statistics

Members online
421
Guests online
1,887
Total visitors
2,308
Top