Restarting after complete tank failure? (Texas Freeze)

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MuscleBobBuffPants

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My tank was in the middle of the new tank uglies when the Freeze happened back in February. (delayed because it took me a while to buy lights) Anyway I lost the whole tank, my fish, and my Nano. It sucks but it basically killed my enthusiasm for the past 3 months and I was also in my last semester of school and had no time to restart the thing. It sat (return pump off) for months with algae, diatoms, whatever else was in there on the rocks. I finally got around to tearing the entire thing apart this past weekend. I disassembled the entire tank and did my best to clean every piece of equipment and the tank and sump with soapy water, vinegar, Windex. I didn't bleach anything. These steps were done separately, not all at once. I dried everything out and put it all back together and it's sitting dry now. At least it's not an eyesore anymore. (all of the above was done outside with my garden hose)

Questions:

Can I reuse my Caribsea life rock? there was a ton of crap all over them so I rinsed them off with water and let them soak in a tub overnight with 20-25 gallons of water and like a half gallon of vinegar. I took them out again and rinsed them off, and then filled the tub again with just straight tap water and I'm letting them soak. They were noticeably cleaner and I didn't lose that much color - if any. probably going to let them dry in the sun for a couple days. Can I re-use these or should I buy more?

Should I replace my Marine pure balls? I had three bags full of marine pure balls. They look gross and brown, haven't really touched them they are sitting in a tub outside.

New Sand? This one is probably obvious but I should get new sand right?

Is my tank/ sump/ equipment safe to use?, could I technically fill it with RODI and start up again whenever I'm ready?

Is there anything else I need to know about restarting this tank? Anything I'm missing?




I still feel really upset every time I watch YouTube videos, think about my fish, inverts, my cleaner shrimp.... all the effort I put into getting this tank set up and it was all for nothing. Now I'm starting over again from the beginning.
 
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AutumnReefs

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You can reuse the rock but what I would do is put it all in a bin with a heater and a pump as well as a bottle of bacteria (microbacter7 would work) for a few weeks. You can put some ammonium chloride in and that will begin to cycle it. However, if the rock needs to be cured, you can just put bacteria in and wait (microbacter 7 + microbacter clean would work well for that). The same goes for the marine pure. However, the marine pure if you want to reuse them.

You can reuse the sand if you rinse it well. I personally would just get some ocean direct and use that since its gonna have a lot of good bacteria for aiding in the tank's maturity compared to your dry sand.

I am not sure if it was a good idea to clean the inside with soap (not sure if soap residue remains or what not) but other than that I see no reason why you can't reuse your old stuff.
 

Rmckoy

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So everything got a bath in soapy water , vinegar , tap water ( which could potentially contain chlorine but bleach wasn’t used ?

im not sure if Carib sea life rock is the same as live rock but a good bath in bleach and dry in the sun always works for cleaning the uglies off .
Be careful using vinegar on pumps ...
it apparently can make them swell over time .

I’d make sure 100% all soap residue is gone before using .
 

ihavecrabs

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Bleach is fine to use to clean tanks and equipment. Just let it dry completely before final rinse.

As for the windex, that I would worry about and rinse that with vinegar again.

You can reuse the rock and sand for sure. Great suggestion above to throw it all in a brute with some bacteria in at bottle and let it do its magic.

good luck on the reboot!
 

Rmckoy

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Bleach is fine to use to clean tanks and equipment. Just let it dry completely before final rinse.

As for the windex, that I would worry about and rinse that with vinegar again.

You can reuse the rock and sand for sure. Great suggestion above to throw it all in a brute with some bacteria in at bottle and let it do its magic.

good luck on the reboot!
Windex is ammonia ?
 
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