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scrub the rocks with a wire brush, then put them in a 10 to 1 water to bleach solution. you can use a large bucket. let them sit for 24 hours then rinse each rock under fresh cold water for a minute or so. the rocks are ready to go after that. just make sure that you rinse the rocks very well.
 

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I've wondered about the wire brush thing, most rocks are harder than steel, the steel rubs off on them, brass brushes are even worse.
If they are porous rocks, they'd soak the bleach in. Best to soak them in treated water after the bleach soak.
I've heard of people baking rocks in the oven on low heat with success.
 

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bulldogg7 said:
I've wondered about the wire brush thing, most rocks are harder than steel, the steel rubs off on them, brass brushes are even worse.
If they are porous rocks, they'd soak the bleach in. Best to soak them in treated water after the bleach soak.
I've heard of people baking rocks in the oven on low heat with success.
I had heard of the baking as well but then someone posted a warning that some rocks can explode when subjected to heat. So I'd be a little nervous about that. I used to boil mine but now I'm not too sure about that either.
 

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zugbug said:
bulldogg7 said:
I've wondered about the wire brush thing, most rocks are harder than steel, the steel rubs off on them, brass brushes are even worse.
If they are porous rocks, they'd soak the bleach in. Best to soak them in treated water after the bleach soak.
I've heard of people baking rocks in the oven on low heat with success.
I had heard of the baking as well but then someone posted a warning that some rocks can explode when subjected to heat. So I'd be a little nervous about that. I used to boil mine but now I'm not too sure about that either.
The only way a rock will Explode from heat is if it is like -50 cold then you drop it in boiling hot water. They use to blast rock in the old days like that in northrin Canada and Alaska. You oven if it is a typical one will not go aboube 500F unless the thermostat is broken. A rock at that temp canot explode, but my be a bit hot to handel. Hot potato any one? :p
 

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I don't use bleach on anything with alot of holes (like lava rock) unless you want to rinse forever. I don't know bleach just scares me.

Baking soda has always worked well for me and I've never had any problems.

I would say boiling would be the best bet for lavarock just to kill any critters.
 

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Basolisk said:
zugbug said:
bulldogg7 said:
I've wondered about the wire brush thing, most rocks are harder than steel, the steel rubs off on them, brass brushes are even worse.
If they are porous rocks, they'd soak the bleach in. Best to soak them in treated water after the bleach soak.
I've heard of people baking rocks in the oven on low heat with success.
I had heard of the baking as well but then someone posted a warning that some rocks can explode when subjected to heat. So I'd be a little nervous about that. I used to boil mine but now I'm not too sure about that either.
The only way a rock will Explode from heat is if it is like -50 cold then you drop it in boiling hot water. They use to blast rock in the old days like that in northrin Canada and Alaska. You oven if it is a typical one will not go aboube 500F unless the thermostat is broken. A rock at that temp canot explode, but my be a bit hot to handel. Hot potato any one? :p
False. IF a rock has any water in it(river rocks, sitting in water, etc) then baking it could risk explosion. I have seen rocks explode that were on the edge of a fire ring.
 

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I've never done more than rinsed my rocks off with a hose outside and then brushed them off if they seemed dusty at all... and I have never had an issue.

I would be more worried if I had bleached my rocks than if I just picked up a rock from outside and put in my tank... That being said... bleaching rocks is very common practice, I just think it's overkill in most cases.
 

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In my opinion a medium nylon brush and dilute hydrochloric acid with a scrubbing motion works best. If the rock is porous at all despite thorough washing bleach is WAY too risky. When done scrubbing with the dilute HCl solution wash under running water and the rocks are ready to use. I did this for my 180 after purchasing rock from a stone quarry. I had about 600 pounds of rock in the tank and everything was fine.

Good luck.

ExCasaPres
 

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If you did go with a bleach wash, I would go with 100:1 ration not 10:1 - that is very strong.

The reason you would use a bleach dip is to get rid of any foreign bacteria or parasites which would be an obvious problem. I would guess 95% of the time its not necessary, but who knows where those rocks have been? And even if you know where they have been, who knows whats on them?

A short soak in a diluted bleach solution, a wash only heavy water flow, and a decent soak in dechlor solution really isn't that much work. Most of time you want to wash the dirt off anyways, so its not that much more work. Aquariums are not lazy peoples hobbies. But then again I also make beer in my other spare time, and rule number one there is "clean and sanitize" - so maybe I am biased. And washing rock is certainly not as bad as rinsing sand!

By the way, there are at least two other methods to sanitizing stuff you are going to put in your aquarium so you might want to search online. Bleach is the easiest, but the most potentially dangerous (especially if you already have fish in the tank). The bleach dip is also a great solution for anyone who is going to put plants in their tank. Just use the same recipe. It's a quick way to avoid introducing diseases and evil snails.
 

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Why would you put a poison (Bleach) that can kill your fish on a rock you plan to put in a tank? Boiling them is also a waste of time. A good spray with the power washer and puttig them in is all that is needed. Really people, this is not a complicated process. I have never put bleach on a rock in my life nor boiled one. Don't overthink it.
 

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Foreign bacteria or parasites that live in water are different from foreign bacteria or parasites that live in the air (Land rocks). Pesticides would be more of a concern and a power wash would take care of it.
 

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Not to be contentious, but I don't buy that argument.

First, just because bleach is a poison does not mean it should not be used. That is not logical for two reasons. There are many uses of things that are considered "poison's" in a tank. You need to think f the function and purpose. For instance you can't say don't put ammonia in the tank to cycle it, ammonia is a poison. In fact that is the whole point. The bigger flaw is that we are not putting bleach in the tank, so its not fair to say that we are putting poison in the tank.

Second, its not complicated to wash rocks. And I think the plants is the more important subject.

Third, case in point: why do you quarantine fish? Same reason. You want to make sure they don't have any foreign parasites on them.

But everyone has their own way of doing things for their own good reasons. If that was not true I wouldn't spend so much time reading this forum.
 
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