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How to clean dead coral?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
What is the accepted way of cleaning dead coral (crushed and ornamental)?

Would it be a organic solution (snails) or a mechanical solution (elbow grease and a chemical cocktail)?

If you suggest a mechanical solution, please indicate what tools/chemicals you would use.

My tank is relatively new and I have a great deal of brown diatoms covering just about everything except the glass.

Thanks all!
post #2 of 11
My advise on dead coral skeletons would be to toss them in the trash and get some LR or at the very least some good baserock.

Those coral skeletons are just a place for algae to grow, they are very old school saltwater aquarium decorations.

You can keep cleaning them though, take them out and clean them with a new toothbrush in some saltwater. Or you can use a vinegar solution if that still doesn't get them clean.
post #3 of 11
Bleach, just make sure to rinse it until you can not smell bleach at all.
I use dead coral to mount frags or just leave it in the tank, after all it is rock and it will become LR.
post #4 of 11
I just take my coral out and let it air dry for a few days to a week depending on the temperature, rinse it off, then put it back in the tank.
post #5 of 11
I took my dead corals and put them in a bucket of 1/3 bleach to 2/3 water. Let them sit in there for 24 hours. Then I emptied the water out and refilled it with clean water every day for three weeks to be sure that the bleach was completely gone. That may have been overkill, but I felt better safe than sorry. They came out perfectly clean and white, but I have to tell you...it doesn't take that long for them to get algae on them all over again.
post #6 of 11
Personally I agree w/ Birdy. Replace the dead coarl w/ LR.

But if you insist on the dead coral bleach is a great way to go.
I used to just put them in a 5g bucket w/ enough bleach to cover the bottom about 1/8" - 1/4" and fill it w/ water. As everyone else has said make sure you rinse off the bleach thoroughly and I always let that air dry for 24 hrs (any left over chlorine evaps). Might help to have 2 sets of coral going one in the tank one cleaning

It sounds like you might not be using RO or RODI water. I would strongly recommend using it if not. It will help w/ the diatom/algae problem, but if your bleaching/rinsing them in tap water it will dilute your efforts w/ RODI.

Best thing is live rock, that's how nature does it.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replys guys and gals...

I may try some *highly* diluted bleach mixture on them only after I give them a mechanical scrub. I have a phobia about using such a harse chemical in this environment.

I just started using RO/DI about a week ago and have done about a 10-15% water change so far. I will continue to do that every week for a while. I too hope that may clear up some of the diatoms.

I am currently collecting the LR in small chunks. I dont know how you people can afford to put in 100lbs of that stuff in a tank at $6/lb. you all must be independently wealthy or live in Fiji ;-)

Thanks all!
post #8 of 11
You buy it from this site! it is $3.78 a lb right now for 50lbs.
post #9 of 11
I have learned from years of problems that bleach is not the answer to cleaning anything related to a tank. If you want to clean the coral, just let it sit in the sun for about three days and the sun will bleach it naturaly. If you use bleach, it will seep into the coral and slowly be released into you tank. Your fish will have short lives and die from mystry diseases. The mystry disease is long term exposure to small amounts of bleach. Just let the sun do your bleaching.

On a side note, it is better to let your dead coral be covered by coraline algea. It then become live rock and LR is much metter for your tank inhabitants.
post #10 of 11
How do you convert your dead coral to coraline algae? What are the lighting requirements?
post #11 of 11
You need a piece of LR or live sand to introduce the coraline algea to the tank. Once it is introduced, it will spread throughout your tank.

As for lighting, the brighter the better.
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