Salty Q&A: Should You Scrub New Live Rock?

Indiscriminately scrubbing live rock can destroy much of the life you paid for, and thus the benefit of doing soQuestionI’ll be receiving a shipment of live rocks in a few days, and I could use some advice on how to clean them up before putting them in my tank. Do I just need to give them a good going over with a scrub brush?” – Submitted by Chuck S. Answer I wouldn’t use the term “good going over” with respect to cleaning your new live rocks. Remember, you paid good money for the organisms encrusting those rocks, so you don’t want to scrub the entire surface of each rock indiscriminately. Rather, what you want to do is very selectively scrub/scrape/pluck away any obviously dead/decomposing organisms, slimy films, unwanted algae, and clinging sediments or debris. Encrusting sponges that have been exposed to air will also need to be removed, as they’re likely to die and decompose. Otherwise, if a rock looks pretty “clean” and healthy right out of the box, all it needs is a good rinse.