Should I bleach cure live rock that's had no load for 2 months?

Should I bleach cure wet rock that has had no load for over 2 months for aesthetic reasons?

  • Yes, it will look much better, and you're only going to have rock to look at for a long time

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Absolutely not! There's still enough valuable life on the rock that will help cycle the tank faster

    Votes: 6 85.7%
  • Doesn't matter, the bacteria establishment/cycling will take the same amount of time either way

    Votes: 1 14.3%

  • Total voters
    7

dbugg

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I recently purchased a second-hand 260g reef with a few fish, coral and live rock. During the move, the tank developed a leak. The tank is now resealed and curing, but it's been a long process and the fish and coral died within a few days after the move.

I spent a whole weekend scrubbing hair algae off the rock with a toothbrush. I kept the rock in RODI salt water, conducted a few water changes with RODI, and kept them in 2 garbage cans with a powerhead for movement/aeration. The rock hasn't had any die-off for over 2 months. The water has been stable and clear. The rock is very old and still discolored from old growth, but hasn't had any load for bacteria growth.

I think I'd like to bleach cure the rock for aesthetic reasons. When I fill the tank, there will be nothing but the aquascape for a long time so I want the rock to look pleasing.

Deal with ugly rock because there might be life left even after 2 months? Or bleach it because I'm only looking at rock for a long time?
20231014_124456.jpg
 

KrisReef

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Why drop a nuclear weapon on the ground when the rock will eventually discolor again in your tank?

You will lose all the life value, wreck the cycled rock and have to start over and set yourself back a long time before the nuked rocks are ready for use again.

Otherwise, put them back in the aquarium and add light to watch the coralline algae start to grow and have them look proper in short time. You can add fish immediately as that live rock is alive now/still!

What I would do is test the water in the live rock bucket for phosphates and treat the bucket with lanthanum chloride if it is elevated. This will help prevent algae growth from excess P adhering to the rock, if it is present. From your description I would assume that it is, but maybe not after the brushing?
 
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dbugg

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Why drop a nuclear weapon on the ground when the rock will eventually discolor again in your tank?

You will lose all the life value, wreck the cycled rock and have to start over and set yourself back a long time before the nuked rocks are ready for use again.

Otherwise, put them back in the aquarium and add light to watch the coralline algae start to grow and have them look proper in short time. You can add fish immediately as that live rock is alive now/still!

What I would do is test the water in the live rock bucket for phosphates and treat the bucket with lanthanum chloride if it is elevated. This will help prevent algae growth from excess P adhering to the rock, if it is present. From your description I would assume that it is, but maybe not after the brushing?
Thank you for the advice. Is there anything else I should test for before cycling?
 
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dbugg

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I forgot to mention... I also want to take my time mortaring sections of the rock for the aquascape. This would obviously be easier with dry rock.
 

KrisReef

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I forgot to mention... I also want to take my time mortaring sections of the rock for the aquascape. This would obviously be easier with dry rock.
Then why not sell the live rock for $2 /pound and buy dry rock at $1/pound that is already clean because it came out of a quarry with no marine life in n it for 10000 years or more? That would be much easier to find the best pieces for you to mortar together?
 

vandy

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Then why not sell the live rock for $2 /pound and buy dry rock at $1/pound that is already clean because it came out of a quarry with no marine life in n it for 10000 years or more? That would be much easier to find the best pieces for you to mortar together?
Where you getting dry rock at $1/lb?
 

Subsea

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I forgot to mention... I also want to take my time mortaring sections of the rock for the aquascape. This would obviously be easier with dry rock.
When you mortar your rock together, you have eliminated the option of being able to remove an individual rock for cleaning outside of tank.
 

Tim'sReef

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When you mortar your rock together, you have eliminated the option of being able to remove an individual rock for cleaning outside of tank.
Great advice my old aquascape was also one solid piece and getting it out of the tank was no option. My new scape has sections together so I can pull those out if needed.
 

mfinn

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I like to do the bleach soak for problems such as unwanted palythoa growth ( the ugly stuff) uncontrollable algae, majanos, etc. But I'm not inclined to do it just because the rock is dark colored.
IMO white rock is ugly. And it is the perfect medium for growing new algae.

I've used mortar for glueing rock together, but never the entire rock structure.
Just groups of rock. This definitely would make it harder to remove rock, but not impossible.
Another option is to get a masonry drill bit and drill holes in the rock where you can and use zip ties.
 

KrisReef

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Where you getting dry rock at $1/lb?
I haven't got any recently but my buddy at the LFS had it by the ton. Store was sold, but the value of live rock should still be at least 2x the value of dry?
 

vandy

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I haven't got any recently but my buddy at the LFS had it by the ton. Store was sold, but the value of live rock should still be at least 2x the value of dry?
i usually see dry rock at $3/lb and live at 4/lb. Wish I had a buddy like yours to get it at $1 haha. That $1 difference would be worth it to me to have the peace of mind that I’m not bringing in any unwanted critters or algae that survived though
 

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