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!)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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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