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Cleaning Outside Rocks for My Enclosure?

Discussion in 'Cage Furniture - Accessories' started by SpidaFly, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. SpidaFly

    SpidaFly Elite Member


    I'm preparing to replace most of my ecoearth substrate with large flagstones/river rocks, and also replacing the river stone "ramp" in my WD's pond with stacked flagstones for ease of spot cleaning.

    I have an array of flagstones selected, and I need to clean/disinfect them before putting them in my WD's water pond. After I get done scrubbing off standing dirt and lichen, should I just let them dry, then bake the rocks for a half hour at ~300f? Or would a bleach solution be a better option? I personally hate bleach and am afraid to use bleached rocks in his pond for fear of poisoning him (the rocks are pretty porous)!

    Any suggestions are appreciated, thanks!
  2. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    If you have a dishwasher you can run it through without any detergent.
  3. SpidaFly

    SpidaFly Elite Member

    Hey that's a great idea, i didn't even think of that. (I did end up baking the rocks, but they'll get another treatment this weekend when I clean his water. I do a full water change every few days, and spot cleans daily.)

    And that brings up my next question: What's appropriate for disinfecting enclosure furniture? Specifically, what's appropriate for disinfecting his water pool and the rocks/waterfall in it?

    I've been soaking rocks in bleach, then letting them sit in a bucket under a running faucet to rinse for about a half hour... the tub I've just been scrubbing with soap and rinsing well. However, this NEW pool is so big it's a real pain to move out of the enclosure (and freaks him out bad since its large and requires moving his sticks)... so I'm looking for something herp-friendly to surface disinfect the empty pool. Any suggestions?

  4. SpidaFly

    SpidaFly Elite Member

    PS. by "soaking rocks in bleach", I meant "bleach solution". After the soak, I sun dry them (easy to do in the desert) and and sniff-test them thoroughly before putting them in his enclosure. (I suppose the sniff test is fairly effective for me, since the odor of chlorine makes me gag... it's the primary reason I don't know how to swim xD)
  5. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    What type of reptiles are these rocks going in with?
    I ask as some are more susceptible to chemicals and a sniff test of bleach won't tell you anything.
    Bleach is nasty dangerous stuff and I never ever use it. Whatever is on the rocks will pale in comparison to introducing bleach into a habitat.
    It's just my opinion that people go way overboard in disinfecting things. It's not a sterile environment you'll be creating anyway.
    Disinfecting rocks kind of makes me giggle a little :)
    No disrespect. Just stating my position having never disinfected anything during the duration of my 23 yrs in the hobby.
  6. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Personally, all I`ve ever done is pour some boiling water over them, perhaps scrub with a wire brush if they`re still dirty, then put them straight in, no problems so far....
  7. SpidaFly

    SpidaFly Elite Member

    None taken :)

    The reason I do this is that the rocks are slabs going into my Water Dragon's pond. His water is about 4.5" deep, and the pond is a polyurathane mortar tub. So the water is deeper than his SVL, which is good because they love to take dips, but bad because he can't grab the surface. So there's a deep-ish area he can swim a little in, and the shallower area for ease of defecation and sitting comfortably to soak. They like to splash around, sit, drink, and defecate in their water.

    Here's what it looks like. So the entire water feature is about 20x27", and over 4.5" deep.

    Because he defecates directly onto the rocks, and because the poo/urates may sit on the rocks for many hours before I get to do my daily spot cleaning, I want to take the rocks out weekly and scrub/disinfect them, and disinfect the empty pool (it feels a bit slimy after a week).

    In my opinion, disinfecting will help eliminate odor and help avoid eye infections, etc.

    I let the rocks run under cold tapwater for a good long time, and then allow them to air dry before putting them in his water. I do whatever I can to make sure bleach doesn't make it into his pond. I even double filter the water that goes into the pond.
  8. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    As far as sanitising and deodorising, I use a hand held steam-gun, it lasts around 8 minutes before refiling, and no chemicals, again, I get them on ebay, very cheap, at around £15 ($24 U.S).
  9. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    This is basically what I do.

    If I'm concerned about how clean the rocks (or branches, etc.) are, then I boil some water and then boil the submerged accessory for a few minutes. If it's a branch and doesn't fit in the pot completely submerged, then I'll flip it over and make sure I boil all parts for a few minutes.

    I would imagine that spraying a non-porous accessory with a herp-safe disinfectant like nolvasan (chlorhexidine) would be sufficient as well.

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