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Re: Add Flourite, Rinse, Repeat

David S. Brown noted about Flourite that:
>   The stuff is so dirty you cant even see
> your hand 
> in the bucket until about the 4th or 5th rinse.  
>      I had half of it in the tank before I discovered that it will
> eventually 
> rinse clean.  Just put about 3 pounds at a time in a bucket, angle
> the 
> bucket, and run the hose on it until it runs clear.  Plan on spending
> hours.  
> Get a TV or radio and a 6 pack.  
>      Unfortunately, since I discovered this late, I now have a very
> messy 
> substrate in my tank.  I may start a new style, with this my first
> heavily 
> planted tank, called "Muddy Waters."  Very natural.  
>      I hope this helps you someday.

I have gone through quite a few pounds of Flourite since it came on the
market.  It is indeed dusty -- it is clay and not epoxy coated like
that Topfin and Estes gravel in LFS.  Being clay, I think it gets dusty
just from normal handling even while in the bag.

I found the fastest way to "clean" it for use is to do a little at a
time rather than a lot. I put a few handsfull into a plastic collander,
rinse till the water runs clean, set aside the rinsed Flourite, repeat
with another batch.  The larger the batches, the longer each rinse step
takes.   I'm sure there's a calculus formula that tells you the optimum
amount to rinse at one time to minimize overall duration -- but I think
the math takes longer to do than the rinsing itself.  Or maybe that's
just me.  

Once put into the tank with water, you initially will still see a lot
of dust in the water even if you have rinsed very well.  But that
residual dust settles very quickly.  Some of that dust might be just as
useful to the plant roots as laterite.  At least, my plants sem to
think so.

Scott H.

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