Using Live Rock That's Been in Buckets for 6 weeks

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by donteventrip, Oct 29, 2017.

  1. donteventrip

    donteventrip New Member

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    I recently moved and due to an injury decided not to set my 75 gallon saltwater tank back up in the new apartment. I donated the fish and corals to my local fish store and left the 100+ lbs of live rock in 5 gallon uncovered buckets of salt water sitting in my unheated garage for the past 6 weeks. Well, now that I am feeling better, I want to set up my tank again. Question is what do I do with the rock? Is it saveable? Cleanable? Reusable? Any input would be greatly appreciated!
     

  2. Robin Haselden

    Robin Haselden Turtle R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I'd give it a good scrub for any algae while keeping it wet and put it in the tank. Bacteria should still be good to go unless it froze.
     
  3. LobsterOfJustice

    LobsterOfJustice Well-Known Member

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    It’s usable. You will certainly have lost some of the life on it, but put it back in a tank with heat and circulation and you will be surprised what pops back up in a few weeks. I would definitely give it several weeks before adding any livestock just to re-stabilize and let the life on the rock get a little head start.
     
  4. mfinn

    mfinn likes zoanthids R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I agree, it's still good.
     
  5. donteventrip

    donteventrip New Member

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    Really?! That's fantastic! Now just to reiterate - there has been NO circulation/air flow in the buckets; NO heat- Nada. They have been sitting in tank water in 5 gallon buckets without covers for nearly 2 months. I assume that a great percentage of "live" material is now DEAD. But if I can still use the rock and reestablish it - heck yes I will give it a try! Thanks for all the input! :) Dana, Denver CO
     
  6. donteventrip

    donteventrip New Member

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    When you say "give it a good scrub" - what do you suggest? Do I use a wire brush and dish soap? No soap? Bleach? Sorry for my ignorance and thanks again! Dana, Denver CO
     
  7. LobsterOfJustice

    LobsterOfJustice Well-Known Member

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    No soap or cleaners or anything - just a physical scrub with something like an old toothbrush. However, I’m not sure that’s necessary, as without any lights over it there is likely no algae so worry about...
     
  8. brandon429

    brandon429 Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Before scrubbing and prep, if possible can you run an oxidation test on them as they currently sit

    We could use that info in a couple big cycling threads

    We want to see if bacteria survived the salinity shifting in storage

    If possible, use liquid ammonium chloride to bring the buckets and rocks up to 1 ppm free ammonia, only that level

    Take pic of test reading

    Then test ammonia one last time 24 hours later n post
    If possible this sure could be a neat glimpse into what bacteria tolerate or not

    I give the bacteria an 70% chance of survival though they don’t like high salinities
     
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  9. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Photo of the Month Award

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    ^^^^that.

    Use peroxide to clean it. Then Get some flow in to cycle.

    It's got to smell horrible at this point. That's ammonia and worse case sulphide fro the bacteria going anerobic.
    If it's been cold the decay process has been slowed so that's a good thing.
     
  10. Wbrian

    Wbrian Well-Known Member

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    I'd pour out 3/4 of the water in each bucket and replace with NSW. Add a power head and heater, or move the buckets to someplace warmer. Let them re-cycle.
     
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