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Old 08-02-2004, 12:35 AM   #1
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I was tearing down my tank & bleaching my aquarium & was wondering if it was okay to bleach colored gravel?
I read somewhere that you can't because rocks absorb the bleach but I don't see how that makes sence.
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Old 08-02-2004, 03:21 AM   #2
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I wouldn't risk it. If the gravel or paint is porous enough then it would be a real challenge to get the bleach out.

I don't really mess with bleach, i just use hot water.

10 gal planted FW
2 adult Silver Lyretail Mollies
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many, many baby mollies
1 small clown loach (~2-2.5", returning to LFS in august)
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Old 08-02-2004, 11:33 AM   #3
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I've never had any problems with bleach, but I don't use it in high concentrations either. A 10% bleach/water solution should work. Just make sure that when you get done with it, rinse the gravel really well with tap water and then let it soak (stirring regularly) in water that has been decholinated. I usually do a little overkill on the dechlorinator whenever I'm cleaning up bleach just to be on the safe side.

Even if the rocks are porous, the dechlor-water will penetrate the pores just as much...
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Old 08-03-2004, 12:54 AM   #4
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The colored stuff is sealed to keep the paint from leaching out, so I would think that would keep the chlorine out too.

Anyway, I just bleached a bunch of natural gravel without problems. I use about a 1 to 10 dilution, then rinse lots, and finally with water & 5 times more dechlorinator added. To be paranoid, I left it out in the sun for a couple days (Sunlight is supposed to break down/release chlorine in a day or so - reason pond people don't have to use dechlor). I did this for 2 cubic feet of gravel & no problems at all (it is now 2 months).

I supposed if you are really paranoid, you can avoid bleach & go with salt - brine will kill pretty much all FW nasties.
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Old 08-03-2004, 01:02 AM   #5
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I, too, feared bleach for a long while, newaridiar...

But it's really not as dangerous as it sounds! It's a volatile chemical--which is why it has such a potent smell--and will quickly dissipate into the air over the process of a couple of days. If you wash with the a 10% bleach solution and then rinse thoroughly several times, and let the gravel to sit out over night or for 24 hours, you'll be fine.
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bleaching, chi, gravel, leaching

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