Weird Reef Trends – Bleach

Best reefy use for bleach?


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mcarroll

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One of the weirdest trends in reefing has to be the increased use of bleach in the hobby.

Once upon a time it was only (mis-)used to clean dirty filters and such.

These days the most common use for it seems to be soaking live rock in it — to kill it.

Did we flashback to the 1960s when this would have been normal????

Sometimes it seems like we have forgotten everything we ever knew about live rock. Does anyone else get this feeling?

If there are any old schoolers left who have recovered dirty rock by methods other than killing it, I'd love to hear from you in this thread. How'd you do it? :)
 

TheEngineer

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The "old way" of sitting it in a barrel of salt water with a pump and forgetting about it for months :)

I don't like the whole bleach and acid thing that's gotten popular. I think people are seeing it as another shortcut...
 

ihavecrabs

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One of the weirdest trends in reefing has to be the increased use of bleach in the hobby.

Once upon a time it was only (mis-)used to clean dirty filters and such.

These days the most common use for it seems to be soaking live rock in it — to kill it.

Did we flashback to the 1960s when this would have been normal????

Sometimes it seems like we have forgotten everything we ever knew about live rock. Does anyone else get this feeling?

If there are any old schoolers left who have recovered dirty rock by methods other than killing it, I'd love to hear from you in this thread. How'd you do it? :)
I started my most recent tank about a year back with dry rock (bleached it to remove all of the unwanted detritus and organic material).. About a month ago, I ordered in some live rock and have it in a QT tan where it will stay for 76 days minimum while I monitor it for pests and allow for anything else unwanted to die off, while maintaining the microfauna and healthy bacteria.

Then it'll go into my display where the added natural bacteria will be welcomed by all!

Bleaching live rock sounds like a total waste of money.. why not just buy dead rock and bleach it only if it is full of organic material. End result is the same!
 

ihavecrabs

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The "old way" of sitting it in a barrel of salt water with a pump and forgetting about it for months :)

I don't like the whole bleach and acid thing that's gotten popular. I think people are seeing it as another shortcut...
In all fairness, if used properly, bleach is a great way to remove organics and phosphate from dry rock. I did this and (after rinsing repeatedly) also let it sit in a barrel of saltwater for months with my current dry rock.

I agree that is isn't to be used as a shortcut though. Still need to build up the beneficial bacteria..

But bleaching live rock!!! What?? o_O
 
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Retro Reefer

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I have never tried to sterilize live rock.. long term soaking in heated saltwater with lots of flow along with frequent shaking and blasting with power head followed by a water change in the holding container.
 
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Sallstrom

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I don't even like to treat dry live rock before putting them into a tank. Maybe rinse them under tap water, but when starting a large tank it's too much work and time :)
I much rather remove the extra phosphate from the tank the weeks after adding them.

So far it has worked out fine. Got some post about this somewhere in my build thread. I'll try to find them.

There are a lot of "nuking" this or that, rock/algae/sand, nowadays :)
 

TheEngineer

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In all fairness, if used properly, bleach is a great way to remove organics and phosphate from dry rock. I did this and (after rinsing repeatedly) also let it sit in a barrel of saltwater for months with my current dry rock.
Actually tests have shown that bleaching rock only changes the color of the detritus white. It doesn't actually remove it. IIRC there's a Melev's Reef video about this. I'll look for it.
 

Hitman

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It just seems no matter who or how often it is sai nothing good happens fast in this hobby most companies as well as new people to this hobby seem to looking for or producing the next make it happen now item. Personally I don’t care if it’s a free fish or a million dollar fish my job is to do the right thing and give it proper care. I don’t feel like filling a tank with water today and putting fish, corals, etc in tomorrow do to using some magical bottle is right. Just my 2 cents.
Now back on topic back in the 90’s I used bleach to clean stuff for my tank then in the late 90’s citric was introduced to me and that or vinager have been all I’ve used for cleaning items like powerhead a, pumps, etc. I can’t speak about filter socks as I’m one of those against them even know they have been proven to be useful in some situations.
 

4FordFamily

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I only really use it to sterilize quarantine tanks or equipment, I agree I don’t know that I would use it on rock.
 

Retro Reefer

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Actually tests have shown that bleaching rock only changes the color of the detritus white. It doesn't actually remove it. IIRC there's a Melev's Reef video about this. I'll look for it.
I have seen this also regarding filter sock cleaning.. I don’t buy it, the oxidizing effects of bleach will break the surface tension of water which facilitate the ability of particulates to float free, of course detritus is not going to magically get up and walk away so agitation is required.
 

Billdogg

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I don't even like to treat dry live rock before putting them into a tank. Maybe rinse them under tap water, but when starting a large tank it's too much work and time :)
I much rather remove the extra phosphate from the tank the weeks after adding them.

So far it has worked out fine. Got some post about this somewhere in my build thread. I'll try to find them.

There are a lot of "nuking" this or that, rock/algae/sand, nowadays :)
^^^This^^^

All I've ever done is rinse dry rocks in tap water, and then only if there is obvious crud that needs top be removed.

Actually tests have shown that bleaching rock only changes the color of the detritus white. It doesn't actually remove it. IIRC there's a Melev's Reef video about this. I'll look for it.
^^^And This^^^

Think about it - it may turn it white, but it isn't going to remove a thing



I only really use it to sterilize quarantine tanks or equipment, I agree I don’t know that I would use it on rock.
^^^And this, x 1000^^^

The only real reason to use bleach anywhere near your tank is to sterilize equipment. I find it to be quite useful when using TTM.
 

reefwiser

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I have been talking to several advanced hobbyist dosing Bleach in their tanks the last few years now. But still in the research phase not ready for the average hobbyist to use it though.
 

reeferfoxx

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Bleaching live rock? Why would anyone buy live Rock just to bleach it? :confused:
 

count krunk

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I agree! I don't get all the hate for live rock and pests. I'm getting TBS liverock for my upcoming 40 breeder. Good live rock like that is the shortcut. It helps I can drive over to tampa and pick it up myself as well. But i have my fingers crossed for all sorts of pest hitch hikers and the like.

If you have live rock that is filled w/something nasty. Let it soak soak soak in saltwater w/a powerhead. Eventually, it will be good to go again. And be much better than if it was bleached or killed in some other method.
 

lapin

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Bleach is cheap and avail everywhere, is why it is used and misused. It is made from sodium chloride (common table salt), which is converted to bleach through electrolysis and combination with water, chlorine and sodium hydroxide. It has many ways to attack bacterial organisms making it very effective, without the need for extremely long contact times. It breaks down quickly so it does not cause your local sewage plant to spend a lot of money getting rid of it. If they did you would see big restrictions on its purchase and use. People are in a hurry these days. Many have no time to even sit down and enjoy food much less scrub a rock that has some dead material on it. As we become more of a "take a pill to cure you" society people will be putting more junk in their tanks as well as the ocean.
There is no reason to put rocks in bleach other than to remove deadly pathogens. (rocks in raw sewage comes to mind).
In my opinion; If people are worried about stuff on live rock they should get one of those fake coral /rock inserts or by dry mined 1000 year old coral rock.
 

ajhudson15

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I don't like the idea of bleaching live rock or any rock. However, I bought live rock from a friend that his whole tank crashed for some unknown reason. I bought the rock off if him and decided that I was going to bleach it for a day and then rinse and put into a tub with salt water and a pump so get the bacteria back. I did not want to take the chance in leaving whatever killed his tank on the rock and have it do the same to mine. Plus it turns the rock white which looks really good(for a few months anyway).
 

siggy

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Wow I am surprised by the comments so far. What I was led to believe is that, the Boat loads;) of pukoni rock that is popular has a lot of organics and to limit the new tank ugles or high PO4's bleach and acid could reduce if not eliminate most of this.
Now Back in the 90's Dry rock was a decoration, if you wanted LIVE rock you shipped it in or bought a purple rock from LFS. I still did that this time getting back in, but after 8 months I had a Bubble and algae problem (ugly s ) and pulled most of the rock and did a acid bath. Dont Knock it until you try it! It cleaned out the pours of dust and detritus leaving a very OPEN rock, now the algae was still present but wiped away with little effort and to my surprise was Coraline instantly started colonizing shortly after. Im actualy going to acid wash when I rescape shortly.

@mcarroll With the way our systems run ULM, I now have to dose NO3....... Is LR still that Important?
 

ihavecrabs

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Actually tests have shown that bleaching rock only changes the color of the detritus white. It doesn't actually remove it. IIRC there's a Melev's Reef video about this. I'll look for it.
I would love to read/watch that to compare.. It seems to be the opposite of what BRS did a test on a while back.

They tested curing dry rock with four methods and the impact on phosphates. Bleach was the best at phosphate removal without using acid and bleach (I did not want to use acid)..

BRS Rock Curing Video - Phosphates

BRS Test Results - Dry Rock.JPG
 

TheEngineer

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I’m tried finding it quickly earlier. I’ll try again later. It had a picture under heavy magnification.
 
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