View Full Version : Thoughts on whether I can salvage my live rock following tank poisoning

08/26/2017, 10:59 AM
I have a finished stained wood stand and matching canopy on my 225 g, which decided to slough (peel off) the interior sides of the canopy. I did not notice any damage to the canopy prior to finding wood pieces "dripped" into my tank. Upon finding this, I discovered that there was some swelling at the back corners of the canopy and the wood on the inside sides of the canopy had began to slough and peel off.

Although I immediately removed the wood from the water and actively sought to prevent any additional materials from getting into the tank, I had to pull materials out of the tank several times. During this time, I lost several well established fish some of which had been in my systems for 10+ years with no noticeable decline, diminished appetite, or signs of sickness. At the time, I did not even consider whether the wood could have caused the deaths, I just chalked it up to unknown reason.

After speaking with several people, I have determined that the wood getting into the water likely caused the deaths of the fish due to the chemicals in the wood, the stain and possibly lowering the pH (although I did not notice any pH change).

Currently my tank is completely fallow, but I am concerned whether the live rock/sand may now be poisoned by whatever got into the water. I do not want to add new fish just to have them die due to contaminated rock. Does anyone have any idea whether the rock is salvageable?

Given the size of my system it is a lot of rock to replace, especially since it contains a lot of branch tonga. I would prefer not to have to replace all of my LR and LS, but I am concerned that not to replace the LR is going to result in the chemicals leeching back in from the LR.

If I have to replace the LR (worst case scenario) I will attempt to resurrect it by drying it out to ensure nothing is left alive and seeding it for a year in the Atlantic. (My thought process is that the water volume of the ocean will remove any contaminants if left underwater long enough. Once there is sufficient new growth it would seemingly indicate that it is safe.)


08/26/2017, 02:56 PM
First thing I would do is put in a few poly filter pads. Let them do there thing and see if they change to any weird color. I don't think I would be too terribly worried about the LR/LS. I think repeated water changes would remove most anything that got in the water.

09/22/2017, 07:03 AM
Read the label for the stain. What warnings does it have? Some wood preservatives contain some really nasty chemicals, such as arsenic. If so, getting it all out may be tough.

In addition to a polyfilter, I suggest activated carbon and two complete water changes. After that, test it with a small number of sensitive animals, such as a sea urchin.

Vinny Kreyling
09/22/2017, 11:24 AM
If it is in fact arsenic GFO is used for this in fresh water.