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View Full Version : "Dead" rock from old tank: acid bath or not?


Hal
06/23/2017, 12:11 PM
I took down my tank for my last move and am ready to set it up again. My (formerly) live rock has been sitting dry in 5 gal buckets for over a year. I'm wondering if I should give all my rock an acid bath to take care of any organic residue. I didn't have a phosphate or other issue in my last tank setup as far as I know.

On the flip side, I'm constantly amazed at the resiliency of life, so I'm not against putting the rock in the tank and seeing if anything survived. In theory, the answer should be no, but you never know.

I'd imagine that leaving the organic stuff on the rock would help cycle the tank.

Thoughts?

Bpb
06/23/2017, 12:55 PM
I would do the acid bath just to get that top couple millimeters off the surface to remove a lot of inorganic phosphate bound to the rock
Regardless if the tank previously had an issue. It'll be there.

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hann1bal
06/23/2017, 01:07 PM
I would do the acid bath just to get that top couple millimeters off the surface to remove a lot of inorganic phosphate bound to the rock
Regardless if the tank previously had an issue. It'll be there.

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I agree 100%. Just did this myself and am super happy I did.

Hal
06/23/2017, 01:20 PM
In addition to my original question I'm curious whether an acid bath will noticeably reduce the size of the rock.

Why not just use lanthanum chloride to get rid of any phosphates?

It seems like a typical procedure is:
1. (optional) bleach: removes organics
2. (optional) muriatic acid: removes phosphates, any metals, but will also eat the rock
3. (optional) lanthanum chloride: removes phosphates from what it contacts, and then any phosphate in the rock can leach into the water to be removed with subsetquent lanthanum chloride

You can use any 1 or more of the above depending on your goals.