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Thread: Cooking live rock?

  1. #1
    Hermit Crab

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    Cooking live rock?

    So I have around 40 lbs of live rock that I want to cook. But first I have some questions about this process!

    1. Are water changes absolutely necessary? Will not the bacteria still thrive and consume detritus off of the rock?
    2. I am doing this mostly to kill pest algae and aiptasia before this stuff goes in my tank, with the side benefit of possibly improving the overall condition of the rock; How long is this process needed to kill algae and aiptasia?
    3. If water changes are necessary, Will using fresh water still achieve the same end result of shedding nutrients and detritus from the rock while killing algae? (I realize that I would need to re-cycle the rock after this if I used freshwater)


    The rock is currently cooking in saltwater, half of it in a 5 gallon bucket, and the other half is a 20 lb piece too big to fit in a bucket, so I am using a styrofoam box.

    Thank you ahead of time for any advice!

  2. #2
    Blenny
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    Are you cooking it to clean it or to make it live again?

    When I cleaned mine of all pests. I also did mine in a five gallon bucket.
    I soaked mine probably in 5/95 bleach to water ratio. For 24 hrs.
    Next day I rinsed with water then filled te bucket again with 10/90 vinegar and water, let that soak for 24 hrs.
    Then make sure the next day to rinse rinse rinse. Maybe for two days. Filling with cold plain water or rodi water whatever you prefer just make sure you are comfortable with getting them clean from the bleach and vinegar.
    Then let it dry completely.

    Next step is to make up some salt water to your specific gravity and throw your now clean dry rock into the water you've made along with a heater and a powerhead for circulation. Along with a already live rock or sand big enough to get the bacteria cycle process running.
    Now I personally put a lid on it cracked open and set it and forget it. Lol
    I don't even test it for 2 weeks at this point with no light or anything. Then I start testing every 3 days or more just as you'll see you levels going whacko And eventually your ammonia with come down to 0 and your nitrates should come to a halt. Once a month or so goes by and ur sure your cycle has ended. Before I put them in a tank or if you want to move them to a tank with light do a water change and begin water changing every other day or 3 days until everything is beautiful level wise.

    Now you have pest free clean beautiful white rock that will begin growin diatoms under lighting that will be ready for a clean up crew

    I hope this makes sense as this is the way I've always done my nasty rock and have never had any problems with making clean new live rock.
    Good luck
    Steven

  3. #3
    Hermit Crab

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    awesome thanks! It was purchased as "live rock" on craigslist and an lfs, but it has pests and things on it that I definitely do not want to introduce to my tank. I have an established tank I want to add it to. I will switch to a bleach solution tomorrow! This will kill hair algae yes?

  4. #4
    Blenny
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    All pests. Clean and clear. I haven't added any to my established tank yet because I made the mistake of throwing a few pieces of dead rock in and it gave me a mini cycle. But u should be able to throw it in once it's full clean and cured.

  5. #5
    Hermit Crab

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    Started soaking in the bleach solution tonight! I couldn't fit my 2nd 20 pounder in, but i have a good 40 lbs soaking in a new tub i got today. I will let the rock dry after this process, I am going to add it all at once when i start the cycle on my new tank.

  6. #6
    Kevin
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    google muriatitc acid bath for live rock if you really want to "cook" it. help to remove organics that would end up breaking down in your tank.

  7. #7
    Blenny
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    Nice. Bleach one day then vinegar the next then rinse the $;@! Out of them till u feel their clean.
    Then dry

    Then maybe even rinse again and start your cycling.

  8. #8
    Hermit Crab

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    Put it in the vinegar last night, it was REALLY white after 24 hours in the bleach solution, and I did not see any algae!

  9. #9
    Blenny
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    Rinse rinse then let it completely dry for a few days. Then rinse again to make sure
    Then start curing buddy

  10. #10
    Hermit Crab

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    Yup, rinsed it off for 5 minutes tonight and put it back in the crate full of fresh water! 2 more rinses yea?

  11. #11
    Copepod

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    Sounds like you're on the right track. If it were summer, drying the rock in the sun is a great way to get rid of the chlorine - I usually do 3 thorough rinses when cooking LR

  12. #12
    Hermit Crab

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    Well, it is going to have some time to dry while i get my new setup going. I still have to buy a refugium tank, skimmer, and lighting!

  13. #13
    Copepod

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    Just get the lights! The rest of that is optional at first

  14. #14
    Blenny
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    You can cure it without the lights. The light just start the algae bloom. Yeah rinse rinse rinse until you personally feel comfortable with it being clean.
    Let it dry
    Then start the cycle process.
    Do you have a already live rock you can throw in your buckets to get it all started?

  15. #15
    Hermit Crab

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    i have probably 70 lbs of live rock in my current setup, once i get my 55g in a week or two I will set it in that with one or two small pieces of live rock maybe. it wont hurt it to let it dry for a few weeks though.

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