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Re: bleaching vs baking

>>>Would bleaching Flourite destroy its chemistry and render it useless in
>>>regards to its iron-bearing property?

>>Don't do it. On anything porous for that matter. Hard as hell to get it
>>out afterwards.

>I have to diaagree with you on a couple of points, Thomas. First, no
>gravel used in an aquarium should be "porous" as to me that implied
>it's soluable. Ignoring that, if you bleach gravel and can't get rid of
>the bleach, simply use sodium thuisulphate

Porosity and solubility are two different things. One does not necessarily
go with the other. Flourite (and Profile/Turface) are indeed porous, but
they are not soluable in water to any great extent. The process of firing
the source clay from which these materials are made introduces a fair bit of
void space within the particles - it can take a while for liquids to
displace the air which initially fills these voids, but it will eventually
happen. Following a soak in bleach solution, there _could_ be residual
chlorine trapped inside the voids which a quick dip in thiosulphate could
miss. And chlorine bleach will not necessarily kill everything that could be
living in the gravel.

I like Paul's suggestion of baking the material in order to sterilize it.
The highest temperature possible in a domestic oven (around 500F) is not
likely to damage the chemical or physical properties of the Flourite, but it
should be more than enough to kill anything living in the gravel. Just make
sure that you choose a fine day to do it - you might want to keep the
windows open for ventilation.

But you can't bake any gravel which is coated with plastic...

James Purchase