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100 gallons behind a wall

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That rock has been soaking for 6 days, so today I decided to pour the water out and make a couple of gallons of saltwater out of it (to properly test it). To my surprise, I noticed a distict ammonia smell; so I decided to test both phosphate and ammonia. Here are my results:

 

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This rock had been previously pressure washed. I used to think that you could just add "clean" dry rock to a system without it impacting a reef tank. I'll always prep dry rock from now on.

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WOW! I am really surprised. Thanks for sharing this info. It is good to know.

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For my aquascape, I considered mortar, nylon threaded rod, or other methods to build a rock structure. But instead, I opted for a more nano-like approach and just picked some of the larger rocks that I had. I'll simply place larger individual rocks in the tank.

 

To stabilize and orient the rocks the way that I wanted, I had to shape them.

them.

Plan A:
I brought out the Dremel and diamond wheel. Alright, that didn't work all that well, so I thought I could just score the rock and use a hammer and chisel to break off pieces. However, that took way too much time and I used up an expensive diamond wheel in minutes.


Plan B:
So I went to the store and bought a 4 1/2" angle grinder and a couple masonry wheels (for about $1 a piece). I had given my grinder away about a year ago. This worked quite nicely.

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I must have swept up a couple pounds of rock dust and rubble.

 

Here's what I ended up with:
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It's not spaced the way I want, but you get the idea. The tallest rock is 16" high (with the tank being 20" high), so it should fill up the space pretty well.

 

Next steps, a batch in SeaKlear Phosphate Remover, an acid bath, Dr Tim's One and Only bacteria, and Dr Tim's Ammonium. Oh yeah, and finish the stank.

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I like that scape. A lot of good spots for corals. Can't wait to see this tank wet.

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:lol: Well, it will have an arcade cabinet that I refurbished, and a little Pepsi vending machine fridge. We'll see what else I can get away with.

still voting for a bar near the tank. and back to reading pages 2-4

 

 

I think you need a beer mister behind your wall and a tap sticking out of the wall next to the tank.

 

Where spongebob meets pacman. epic!

 

If you turned that arcade cabinet into an aquarium you could be in Tanked. lol

 

 

+1 on tap

and I LOVE Tanked!

 

and video games and arcade games and I think I like man caves even though I'm a lady.

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I started with an 18 gallon tub, then rinsed all the rock in a solution of SeaKlear Phosphate Remover.

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Here's half of the rocks ready for the acid bath. Then I added half a gallon of muriatic acid.

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After about 15 minutes. Then the other half of the rocks.

Finally, I added a 16 oz package of baking soda to neutralize the acid. I plan on repeating this process again (when weather permits).

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How long do you leave the rocks in the acid? I'm debating on doing this too. Might as well zap any potential phosphate problems before they show up and its just too late with the tank filled with livestock.

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How long do you leave the rocks in the acid? I'm debating on doing this too. Might as well zap any potential phosphate problems before they show up and its just too late with the tank filled with livestock.

Until they stop bubbling. The reaction usually lasts around half an hour.

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Until they stop bubbling. The reaction usually lasts around half an hour.

 

Thanks benny! =) Another question too. Can you just dump this junk down the drain when you're done with it? Is that legal? lol The only place I could do this is my backyard and I have a dog, so there's no way in hell I want this stuff sitting around where he could get into it. Also, what kind of protective gear do you need?

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I was in a bit of a hurry and didn't wait for it to stop bubbling. I slowly added the baking soda around 15 to 20 minutes into the acid bath. I might leave it in a little longer on the second round.

 

I wore protective glasses and rubber gloves. I was careful and nothing splashed on me, but I will continue wearing protective gear next time. It' seemed safer than I thought it was going to be.

 

Use baking soda to neutralize the acid when you are done. Then you can then dispose of the water safely.

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Thanks benny! =) Another question too. Can you just dump this junk down the drain when you're done with it? Is that legal? lol The only place I could do this is my backyard and I have a dog, so there's no way in hell I want this stuff sitting around where he could get into it. Also, what kind of protective gear do you need?

 

 

I was in a bit of a hurry and didn't wait for it to stop bubbling. I slowly added the baking soda around 15 to 20 minutes into the acid bath. I might leave it in a little longer on the second round.

 

I wore protective glasses and rubber gloves. I was careful and nothing splashed on me, but I will continue wearing protective gear next time. It' seemed safer than I thought it was going to be.

 

Use baking soda to neutralize the acid when you are done. Then you can then dispose of the water safely.

 

 

I, too, wore goggles, rubber gloves, and a respirator mask as a precaution, and I would recommend that anyone do the same.

 

Once the reaction is finished, I just dumped the entire contents of the bucket I used onto the grass in front of my house. The grass has not been affected by it at all (versus if I dumped saltwater on it, it would have wilted already). The rock is reacting with the acid, so I would imagine that once the reaction is done, the solution isn't all that acidic anymore (but I could be wrong on that).

 

I would not recommend even taking any of it inside your house, whether it has been reacted or not.

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I would not recommend even taking any of it inside your house, whether it has been reacted or not.

I agree!

 

If you are unsure if the acid has been neutralized by the rock, add some baking soda; if there is a reaction, the water is still acid.

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The brand of acid that I used was from The Home Depot. They claim that "Klean-StripGreen safer muriatic acid has 90% lower fumes than standard muriatic acid and is safer to use and store". If you read the reviews on their site, you see that people complain that it is weaker than other brands. It might be a little more expensive to acheive a desired concentration, but I am perfectly fine with this, as it seems to work well for this type of application (and safety was a concern).

Under the description, it says that it's not biodegradable and must be rinsed.

 

BTW, it cost $8 a gallon. I'm not sure about the perfect concentration. A guesstimate of what I used was 1/2 gallon to 10 gallons of water (or a 1:20 ratio of acid to water). This is just how it worked out for the one gallon jugs, my tub size, and doing it in two batches.

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The concentration most people shoot for is 10%. Here it is sold $11 per two gallons.

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I was able to do a second round of washes (of lanthanum chloride, and then muriatic acid) yesterday. I let them dry overnight (for no other reason than not having time to do anything else).

 

After carrying them around again today, I decided to weigh the semi-dry rocks. The largest weighing in at 43.7lbs, the next largest weighing less than half that at 21.4lbs. And the remaining rocks totaling roughly 56lbs. That's a total of 121.1 lbs of damp rock. I'm not sure if I'll be using all of them just yet, but that still remains a possibility.


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Final acid bath yesterday. Here's the tub today, after one last rinse in a RO/DI SeaKlear solution.

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I put the rocks in a 33gal Brute and added a bottle of DrTim's One and Only (and about a dozen drops of DrTims Ammonium). The bacteria isn't a clear solution, and makes the water a little cloudy.

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Would have be interesting to weigh the rocks before and after the acid bath. Wonder if it would have made any different. lol Probably stupid small, but that's like something dorky that I would do.

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That would be interesting. Although it might be hard to determine if the moisture content changed (which will affect weight). Some tiny chunks also get knocked off just by handling them.

With the concentration of acid that I used, I would say that the amount of rock removed by the wash was negligible. I was tempted to double the concentration based on MasterBen's post; but was happy enough with how the first round worked out, that I did it the same way again.

Also, I was going to use one of the rocks to retest if phosphate was still leaching, but they all went in the Brute container to get a bio-filter established. I'll pull one out and check it a little later.

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Okay, one more question and then I swear I'm done. lol

When you do the bath, is there any specific plastic you need to do it in? Will the acid burn through anything, or can I just use any bin I have layin' around?

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Any plastic container should work; acid won't react to it. However, it will react with a metal handle.

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I'm seeing just a few random bits of organic material floating around (and a few more on a couple of the rocks). It's hard to imagine that anything was left on the rock. I kind of wish I did the final wash in a 1:10 acid to water solution. Oh well, I'm not going to worry about it; the rock is pretty clean. Anything left can be broken down by the bacteria.

 

I added a second powerhead and a heater.

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You can see the flattened base of the rock in the bottom left corner of the picture. Also, the water has cleared since the addition of the bacteria; although it has developed a slight tea color. I'm sure that a soak in some bleach would have taken care that. Again, I'm not too concerned about this either.

 

I've been adding DrTim's Ammonium. It's kind of hard to get single drops from the bottle, so I'm guessing how much I've been putting in (I'm currently shooting for around a dozen drops a day).

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Looks like a little more than 0.50ppm. This was like an hour or so after I added the ammonium today. Tomorrow, I'll do a test before I add more.

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This just seams like too much work for some rocks. lol

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Prior to adding more ammonia. It looks like 1.0ppm now.

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I actually didn't expect a higher reading. But since there is no livestock in it, I'm not concerned. Then I added another dozen or so drops of ammonium.

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This just seams like too much work for some rocks. lol

 

Rocks are the foundation of an aquarium, though! If he's taking this much time with the foundation, imagine the finished product!!! =O

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If he's taking this much time with the foundation, imagine the finished product!

:lol: Well that might be over selling it. I'm not planning on investing a bunch of money into it. I just want to try and avoid some potential problems.

 

 

Hmm... I'm a bit disappointed. The phosphate level of the water, in the container with my rocks, is testing at 0.21ppm. :mellow: I wonder if I need to do a stronger acid wash. Maybe it's the organic bits that I noticed, which are releasing the phosphate; and the problem will go away after they are broken down (and the water is changed). Maybe a soak in bleach would help. SeaKlear Phosphate Remover should be able to bind what is in the water, but I've soaked them in a lanthanum chloride solution three times already.

 

I tested a newly mixed batch of saltwater (some old IO mix that I've been trying to use up) just to rule that out. It was 0.05ppm; which is pretty poor, but apparently not the main problem. The only additions I've made were Dr.Tim's One and Only and Dr.Tim's Ammonium. I wonder if the bacteria in a bottle could be a source of phosphate; however, I've never heard that to be the case, and it just seems logical that the rock is causing it.

 

Thoughts anyone?

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