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Cleaning live rock during water change


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#1
ReefTankForMe

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During a water change - Is there any harm in taking rock quickly out of the tank, dropping into the bucket of water removed during the water change, and shaking to knock off all the detritus in the nooks and crannies?

My live rock seems to get a lot of detritus, I think primarily from filter feeders etc that live in the rock. I know that some people use turkey basters etc to blast a lot of gunk out during water changes. I have an 8 gal which makes this a little difficult due to small water volume (by the time i suction out everything floating there would be no water left!) I only have 4 pieces of LR, 2 of which are in contact with the sandbed - top 2 can come out and go back without major disruptions.

Anyone practicing this method? Had good results with this? really bad idea for some reason I am not thinking of?


Thanks

#2
altolamprologus

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That would be fine for now, but once you start to add corals to the tank it's going to be pretty difficult to keep taking them out. I would try to find a better way to clean them. You can siphon them or just use a turkey baster and let your filter floss catch all the particles.

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#3
AFRobert568

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I want to say no, but I can support my reasons against manipulating your rocks with a respectable source. The only “supported” advice I can give is to get a turkey baster and blow your rocks every now and then to allow the detritus to be removed by your filter. I find the less you disturb your tank the better off it is.

#4
patback

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+2 above. Not to mention, have you ever tried to recreate your rock work to look the same as before? Damn near impossible.

#5
AirportFF

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have you ever tried to recreate your rock work to look the same as before? Damn near impossible.



+1,000,000

#6
lowlevel

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+2 above. Not to mention, have you ever tried to recreate your rock work to look the same as before? Damn near impossible.


:lol: I tried this twice and failed miserably.. even with taking step-by-step photos!

#7
Scorched

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I used to do this with every water change when I had a FOWLR nano. I used a toothbrush to scrub everything off. The rocks were nice and clean however algae almost always came back. Its best to attack the problem before it happens so you never have to take the rocks out. With my new reef nano I run GFO to lower phosphate and a good size clean up crew and have been algae free from the start.

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#8
PinkDamsel

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I occasionally remove my rock to scrub it and/or clean the sand underneath. It doesn’t hurt anything.

My problem w. getting detritus suspended in the water column is it doesn’t all get sucked into the filter, most of it seems to redeposit on the rock or into the sand. I have the same issue as you with siphoning it out only more because my tank is just 3 gallons.

I’ve recently discovered a new technique that might help. Basically it’s regulating the rate of the siphon and stopping/restarting by pinching the tube. I haven’t tried it yet – my ½” vinyl tube is too tough to pinch, am getting a softer ¼” one. These guys have videos demonstrating how they siphon stuff out of the sand using this technique:

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#9
Alexraptor

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+2 above. Not to mention, have you ever tried to recreate your rock work to look the same as before? Damn near impossible.


This^

I have never... without any exceptions, been able to perfectly re-create a disturbed aquascape.

#10
PinkDamsel

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I have never... without any exceptions, been able to perfectly re-create a disturbed aquascape.

I have ALWAYS, without exception, been able to perfectly re-create a disturbed aquascape.

Of course, I only have one large ceramic rock . . . . :P
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#11
ReefTankForMe

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Thanks for the thoughts. I did try this once already, and with just 4 pieces of rock i couldnt get the same arrangement. I ended up messing with it for 10 mins which wasn't good for my fish likely. I guess I will try to turkey baster. I already put a thumb on the end of the siphon to only suck the water out when the siphon mouth is best placed to grab the most goop.

#12
Lawnman

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+2 above. Not to mention, have you ever tried to recreate your rock work to look the same as before? Damn near impossible.

I agree you move 1 rock and its over

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#13
lowlevel

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I’ve recently discovered a new technique that might help. Basically it’s regulating the rate of the siphon and stopping/restarting by pinching the tube. I haven’t tried it yet – my ½” vinyl tube is too tough to pinch, am getting a softer ¼” one. These guys have videos demonstrating how they siphon stuff out of the sand using this technique:


I found the 1/4" tubing to work pretty well if I can get a good strong flow going through it... and as long as I don't suck up a tiny shell and clog the tube...

#14
PinkDamsel

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I found the 1/4" tubing to work pretty well if I can get a good strong flow going through it... and as long as I don't suck up a tiny shell and clog the tube...


Just got my Aqueon mini siphon w. tube diam of 5/16". Am looking forward to seeing how it works.
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