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[AGA Member] Re: AGA Member - Digest V1 #122

Aaron Glass wrote:

> Does anybody have any tips on washing and rinsing Flourite in volume?
> I know that at the AGA convention I had heard somebody say they were able
to do a couple of hundred pounds in about 2 hours.

I agree with Rich Green's response completely.  I have found that the more
you "wash" Flourite, the more frustrated you get.<g>  Then when you give up
and just dump the darned stuff in, you do just fine!

To add to what Rich said, it is importnat for the Flourite NOT to be very
wet when you set up the substrate... No more than damp, if you do decide to
try washing it first.  The more water in the substrate when you start to
fill the tank, the more dust will get into the water column.  I'm not sure
of the dynamics involved, but experience hs born this out time and again. (I
suspect that is why Amano had us wash all the Onyx Sand he used in h9is AGA
demonstration ahead of time and let it dry completely)  This works with
gravel/laterite substrates too.  The dier they are when you start to fill,
the clearer your water will be upon initial set up.

I DO rinse the top inch or so of Flourite.  Flourite is a natural substance,
and stored out doors.  I have found that there is often a fair amount of
organic debris (tiny twigs, etc.) and while this does no real harm, the
stuff tends to float, and is a pain to get off the surface of the tank.  A
light rinsing will quickly lift this material right out of the Flourite.  I
put the first 2-3" in dry, just as it arrives, and cap with the 1" I have
rinsed and thoroughly drained.  One cool thing about Flourite is taht it is
somehwat absorbent.  So if you don't get your top (rinsed) layer completely
dry, the layers below will absorb any excess moisture, and you still end up
with a substrate that is no more than damp when you go to fill.

The best news is that even if you dump the Flourite and water in together in
a slurry, it my look horrible to start with, and you may have to manually
remove dust from the glass, but the particles suspended in the water settle
out relatively quickly (something that is not true of many commercial
laterite supplements).


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