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RE: Newbie Design (week 2 update)

homogenous surface. I tried to vacuum it, but the water quickly became too
cloudy to see again. Plants are arriving today, but I am scared to plant,
because I know it will stir up the mess all over again.

Probably won't be a problem for the plants, but some of the dust will likely settle onto the plants and will look strange until the water currents get rid of it once the tank is running.

If I let it go, will the fish eventually cause the silt to settle down
further into the substrate, so it isn't so much an issue anymore? Should I
take it all out and rinse it better? If I leave it and plant, will a fine
coating of Flourite dust hurt the plants (other than making them nice and
red, and blocking out some light)?

If you wash it again you will just make more dust. What I have done in the past is to just rinse the gravel in a bucket without churning it, and then wait until the water runs clean. If you churn the "natural" gravels they grind together and make more dust, with the result being a mass of gravel that you can never completely "clean" since it is making more dust as you clean it.

The dust in the tank will eventually settle to the substrate. Normal Flourite that I've used in the past is similar to the Flourite Red, although I've heard that the Red is significantly dustier. If you have a thick layer of fine silt you could try vacumming it out with a siphon, being careful not to suck out the larger grains, which should help your long-term dust-in-the-water problem.


***************************** Waveform Technology UNIX Systems Administrator