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Old 10-22-2011, 05:45 PM   #1
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How do I Safely Nuke a Tank?

My current 55g sw seetup, that is playing the part of QT tank is about to become empty and ready for sale BUT I have an awful, I mean awful aiptasia problem.

There are probably hundreds of them sprouting from the substrate, some large some small. I don't want to invest in peppermint shrimp and lord knows I can't nuke each one so I was thinking of "nuking" the tank. I was planning on draining most of the water and putting in regular unsalted water. I figured that would kill off anything in there. I will of course remove the snails and hermits that are in there first.

Is there an easier way? Like could I overdose the tank on kalkwasser or something? What about overdosing the tank with ammonia, would that kill off the aiptasia? I don't want to cause any permanent damage to the tank so no copper or anything like that. lol

I also realize the live rock will most likely die as well as the sand but this infestation is really bad and like I said I plan on selling the tank immediately after it's cleaned up.

Any ideas would be appreciated or opinions on the thoughts I have already.

Thanks everyone!

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Old 10-22-2011, 05:49 PM   #2
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I'm thinking that if you put in a ton of ammonia, everything would die (including the beneficial bacteria) and would also be the safest way to do it.
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Old 10-22-2011, 06:01 PM   #3
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Yep, I was just rethinking this and I think that might be the best way to go. I realize it will kill everything, but there will be nothing in the tank in a few days and it should hopefully kill off all the aiptasia. I also will be selling it off as soon as the vermin are gone so I won't be needing it again.
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Old 10-22-2011, 06:10 PM   #4
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Yep, I was just rethinking this and I think that might be the best way to go. I realize it will kill everything, but there will be nothing in the tank in a few days and it should hopefully kill off all the aiptasia. I also will be selling it off as soon as the vermin are gone so I won't be needing it again.

If you are just selling it, why not just drain it and let them all dry out?
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Old 10-22-2011, 06:13 PM   #5
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I tired the rock drying thing before with this tanks rocks, I poured boiling water on them, and let them soak for a few days in straight water then left them out in the florida sun for another 3-4 days. Put the rock back in the tank and bam, more aiptasia. I don't know how they survived but they did. I just want to be able to sell a clean setup tank with no pests to someone.
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Old 10-22-2011, 06:39 PM   #6
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Have to agree with the above. Dry it out. I have just done the same and it worked great. Albeit on a smaller scale.

Couple of weeks is best though, to make sure. .

What about making the tank very very cold? Chiller?

What are the thoughts on that?
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Old 10-22-2011, 06:44 PM   #7
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Hmm i don't have a chiller, but would the reverse work? Just raise the heater to like 90 degrees?
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Old 10-22-2011, 06:50 PM   #8
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I find it ironic that you want to safely nuke a tank... safely and nuke don't belong in the same sentence IMO lol
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Old 10-22-2011, 06:57 PM   #9
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I know right? LOL Ironic in a way since everyone wants to AVOID a tank nuke.
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Old 10-22-2011, 07:02 PM   #10
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I know hot water doesn't work. I've known some to leave rock outside for a month and they add them back in and the pest is still there!

Calcium Hydroxide works although it has to be directly applied over the aiptasi, and reading that there's hundreds I don't think that's practical lol.
Some have gone as far as lye, if the tank is empty with just aiptasia, why not. Fill it with muriatic acid, although I don't know if it's safe for the tank itself LOL.
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Old 10-22-2011, 07:10 PM   #11
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if you're going to bath it in ammonia why not just pull it all out and let it dry out. either way all the bacteria will die so why not do it the cheapest and easiest way
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Old 10-22-2011, 07:14 PM   #12
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Adding a cup of ammonia is alot easier than emptying the tank, removing the rock, removing the sand and then scrubbing all the aipatasia off the glass and the filter...they really are everywhere....
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Old 10-22-2011, 07:18 PM   #13
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donno about that the ammonia would then be all over the rocks and sand and there when the next person has to cycle. either way i see it all of it has to be scrubbed and cleaned before reusing it. and the ammonia is no sure way of coing this as the system has bacteria colonies that break down the ammonia
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Old 10-22-2011, 07:18 PM   #14
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Adding a cup of ammonia is alot easier than emptying the tank, removing the rock, removing the sand and then scrubbing all the aipatasia off the glass and the filter...they really are everywhere....
I have a feeling you are going to need a **** of a lot more ammonia than a cup for a 55g tank.
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Old 10-22-2011, 07:20 PM   #15
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I was thinking 2-3 gallons of ammonia. At some point, the pH will crash and everything will cease to live since it will become too acidic for even the bacteria that consume the ammonia to live.
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Old 10-22-2011, 07:33 PM   #16
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At some point, the pH will crash
Not with ammonia....ammonia is a base, not an acid.

In order to drop the pH you'd have to add vinegar, or another similar acid. Having accidentally done that to a SW tank, I can say it does effectively kill stuff, but creates a godawful mess in the process - and don't even start me on the smell.

I would suggest drying and then boiling or baking the rocks, and ditch the sand. Not sure how the rocks will react to such treatment. LR is surprisingly brittle stuff when dry. Rinse the empty tank out with vinegar and then water.
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Old 10-22-2011, 07:42 PM   #17
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Right right, ammonia is definitely a base, my bad lol.
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:42 PM   #18
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To Nuke a tank why not literally microwave your rock and sand or even bake it surely the apitasia cannot live through 350 degrees
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:51 PM   #19
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Hmm i don't have a chiller, but would the reverse work? Just raise the heater to like 90 degrees?
That's the problem with living in florida. It's easy here. Turn the heating off in the house and it'll be chilled before u know it
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Old 10-22-2011, 08:53 PM   #20
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I used something called joes juice for mine. Got rid of the little pests pretty well!
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