What's this on my base rock?
I got some base rock while I was walking on the beach the other day (It's a little flat, but should work good for the bottom levels) and currently have it curing (It's been about a week or two now), but I've noticed some light grey stuff growing all over the rock, that wasn't there a few days ago, or at least I didn't notice it growing up then.
I found most of the rock a short distance from the water, one or two pieces partially buried under the sand
The beach is not a safe place to collect base rock or any other kind of rock. There is so much pollution and so many contaminants in and on it, there is no way to be sure it's going to be safe for an aquarium. On top of that, it could very well contaminate everything it comes in contact with, and anything the water its in comes into contact with.
Adding that to a home aquarium is going to be very dangerous. The stuff shown on the rock doesn't look like anything I'm familiar with, its hard to tell from a photo. The only thing I can think of that it resembles is white sponge. What kind of texture is it?
Even if that is sponge growing on it, I still would not suggest using that in a home aquarium.
If you really want to risk using it, the safest thing to do would be to bleach it, along with the tank and equip that are being used to cure it. Let it soak in bleach water (1/2 cup of bleach for each 5 gallons of water) for at least a good week. Then rinse it really well, air dry in the sun for a good 3 - 5 days, and then go thru the rinsing process again until all odor of bleach is gone. Sun drying it is very important after bleach treatment.
Once it has been properly bleached, then it can be cured. While bleach won't guaranty to get rid of all pollution issues, it will help with a good number of things, and will also help to rid the rock of any type of parasite that may very well cause problems to aquarium fish.
Base rock & live rock that is found in pet stores and gathered by the licensed collectors is typically farmed from at least 5 - 10 miles out from shore, in open water, where the risks of pollution is much less. There is also a permit required to collect it, so you might want to be careful what you pick up and take home. In most places, if you get caught removing things like that from the beaches, there is a heavy fine involved.
Thanks for the help, the stuff wipes off easily, like a foam, so I doubt it's a sponge. I went to my LFS and they said that I should probably scrub the live rock, and if I wasn't sure, use the bleach solution, but I don't think I'll risk putting pollutants in my water.
It doesn't sound like anything good. Best to put it back on the beach where it belongs, spend a little money, and buy cured live rock from a reliable lfs or dealer.
I'm glad your lfs at least knew to tell you that. Many out there don't know themselves.
Good luck to you!
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