Originally Posted by DoctorWhoLuver
Okay thanks!! :) my mom says leaving unused supplies and tank outside would kill Marine bacteria..... Is this true?
Outside? Probably not.. unless the bacteria in question is an obligate anaerobe and cannot preform it's normal biological functions in open air.. I wouldn't leave something outside and then assume the bacteria are dead.. not to mention you'll run the risk of introducing new bacteria and mold spores to your tank equipment.
I would soak everything in a 10% bleach solution for about an hour and rinse the living crap out of it before placing it back in the tank. Bleach will kill everything except for mycobacterium. You could also boil whatever you have that is boil safe for at least 5 minutes.
Some bacteria can withstand crazy amounts of stuff, and survive in spore form, so that's another reason leaving them outside won't help..
If you don't want to use chemical or heat methods to sterilize, you could try scrubbing all the bacteria off... but even then I'd feel better using a bleach solution or very hot water.