safe to bleach and re-use? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-26-2012, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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safe to bleach and re-use?

I have a 50G starfire rimless that had GW so bad I finally had to just tear it down (I fought it for 6 months at least).

Now I would like to set it back up in a room where no sunlight hits the tank (Im sure that was the problem)

What I'm wondering is if it's safe to bleach the substrate before I re-use it. Its a mix of aqua soil, EcoComplete, and Power sand.

I was thinking rinsing thoroughly in small batches in a bucket and maybe soaking in a light bleach mix as well.

I just want to make sure that any spores of any algae are dead and gone before rebuilding the tank.

(the GW was so bad it would go brown!)

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-27-2012, 04:15 AM
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I don't see why not, as long as you rinse well afterwards and then soak in dechlorinator at twice the recommended dosage.

Be sure to agitate the substrate often as well.


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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-27-2012, 01:47 PM
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You could also use straight h2o2 if you are worried about bleach. Its cheap enough that dumping a coiple of bottles will not break the bank.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-27-2012, 06:50 PM
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If the weather is OK, soak in bleach, then rinse in double dechlor, then spread it out and air dry. Any remaining chlorine will become a gas and leave.

You could follow up this with mineralizing (or at least pre-loading) the substrate so it is very fertile when you reuse it. This can minimize the water column dosing that may have played a part in the green water problem.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-01-2013, 11:59 PM
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Some suggestions for such a large tank (pretty much what has been state above). I would try other options before giving up so quickly, this is more so a learning experience than a road to perfection.

How old was your tank?
Light setup(distance, length, bulb type)?
Water alkanity and hardness?

1) UV sterilizer (18W?)
2) Soak & Rinse substrate.
3) Inject ferts into substrate instead of water column.
4) Circular or some sort of consistent pwrhead circulation and aeration(maintaining redox is critically dependent on your tank's alkanity/hardness)
5) Depending on your tank setup, did you try a riparium setup or floaters to absorb light/nitrates.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 12:06 AM
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Safe to Bleach

I have used bleach to clean items on many occassions. Do know that you must use a high diluted mixture and you must go through serious rinsing. I let my items soak in plain water after the bleaching process and change the water at least three times with a dechlorinator added to the water.

I've used this process to clean items in the reef tank as well with no problems
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-02-2013, 03:40 PM
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Yes, bleach is pefectly safe. Clean the tank well, triple rinse, let it air dry. Then you'll be good to go.
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