Gravel cleaning suggestions

Discussion in 'General Freshwater Fish Discussion' started by Soundline, Jul 30, 2017.

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  1. Soundline
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    Soundline Member

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    My fiance and I are setting up a new tank and will be using some gravel he picked up for me on his trip to AZ. Just wondering the best way to clean it? Just rinse? I was thinking vinegar. Also have two pieces of wood I want to clean and put in as well.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
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  3. sir_keith
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    sir_keith Well-Known Member

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    Water, water, water... Lots of rinsing is all you need.
     
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  4. VickiK
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    VickiK Well-Known Member

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    @Soundline - I'm a germaphobe so I'd finish off the whole rinse-a-rama with a tea kettle full of hot, hot water. Done and DONE.
     
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  5. Soundline
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    Good idea
     
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  6. sir_keith
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    sir_keith Well-Known Member

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    I disagree. I taught microbiology at USC for 10 years (and have all kinds of other qualifications that I won't bore you with), and your hot teakettle is not going to do anything other than kill maybe 80-90% (at best) of the microflora in the gravel, and the remaining organisms will come roaring back in no time at all. Furthermore, not all of those organisms are 'germs,' as we all depend on biological filtration to keep our tanks healthy. So IMO, this hot teakettle idea is misguided, and a waste of time...
     
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  7. Soundline
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    So what would you recommend? Obviously all rock comes from some place and we out it in our aquariums, suppliers ha e to clean it some how before packaging it and selling it.
     
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  8. Soundline
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    Lol nm.
     
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  9. sir_keith
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    sir_keith Well-Known Member

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    Not so much; they just put it in bags and sell it. Obviously, you need to avoid rocks that will alter the chemical parameters of your water; for example, you don't want coral or limestone in a tank unless you are trying for high pH.
    Most gravel, and most rocks (shale, granite, etc.), are largely inert at neutral pH, so you just have to wash them.
     
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  10. VickiK
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    VickiK Well-Known Member

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    I don't think killing 80-90% of what you don't know is there (2nd hand gravel carries all kinds of surprises) is all that bad a pay off.

    But I'm no microbiologist either.
     
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  11. sir_keith
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    sir_keith Well-Known Member

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    Problem is, the reamaining 10% (or even 0.01%) will repopulate the gravel in a matter of hours once water is added, so you're back to where you started. No getting around those 'germs!'
     
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  12. VickiK
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    VickiK Well-Known Member

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    Wow. No kidding? I had no idea.

    As an expert, I'll bet you are saying "Told ya so" now that the new parenting thing is "let your kids be dirty and don't worry about germs and washing hands so much". Germs are good, they say, and these parents that keep their kids sterile are defeating the purpose of such a thing.
     
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  13. Loren
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    Loren Well-Known Member

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    @VickiK : You hit the nail on the head.
     
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