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Re: First Layer Laterite -- Layin out 1st thoughts
Jerry Baker gave some very nice drawings and descriptions of how to
minimize water clouding with laterite-loaded substrate. I think it
would apply to any substrate the has dust and fines in it.
I bought up a bunch of First Layer when Aquabotanic had a special on
Even calcined, as it and Flourite are, I think it's a good substrate
material that obviously has lots of surface area compared to much of
what's out there offered as substrate material. And there are lots of
choices including cheap gravel and backyard dirt -- the archives are
replete with posts on this stuff, the good, the bad, and the cloudy
A key thing about laterite is to get it in the bottom layer of
substrate -- it's much less of a clouding problem then. Also, the less
you disrupt the gravel the less of a problem it is -- so if you fill
your aquarium quickly or slowly can make a difference.
And lastly, I haven't had any cloudiness last more than a day, usually
less, with laterite or Flourite. In fact, I don't rinse Flourite
nearly as much as I used to. I used to rinse and rinse and lost lots
of the fines. Now I just take off the dust. Flourite fines settle
very quickly. I imagine the dust does too, but there's so much of it,
you really need to rinse it off.
I'm considering, for the next Flourite tank I set up, to barely rinse
it at all and to run a diatom filter after I fill the tank. After all,
I got my System One back from warranty work at Aquarium Products a
month or so ago and haven't tested it yet. I'll need to wipe the glass
and later replantings will produce more cloudiness than otherwise, but
I think it will still settle pretty quickly.
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