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Re: Flourite and mulm

In regards to what to do to an existing tank, I would say, save all the old
mulm from the old gravel, and add it back to the bottom of the flourite.
This works great and will seed your substrate better than anything else. You
can add laterite or peat etc to the bottom also.
I'd add to a 55 gallon at least 50 lbs or 4 bags if you wish to have a
homogenous substrate. Some folks have a good time mixing varying other sands
on top etc also. You can get away with less in this manner if this is what
you want. I personally don't like sand mixed with it due to moving the
gravel around and replanting etc. Eventually it will mix together. Can you
separate it later? Perhaps, but it would be ugly to say the least. This
might not bother you though(mixed gravels).......

The color of Flourite is the same if not very close to mulm generally so
mulm doesn't show up.
Sand tanks are much more mulmy than Flourite only tanks in the several of
each kind I've done.

Snails will help your tank and add more mulm but also mix the mulm back into
your substrate if you have MTS snails which burrow. I'm a firm believer in
using snails for plant tanks. I only started using SAE's and other critters 
in the past year or so, besides the snails and Otto cats which have done
great service for 10 years plus. 

Flourite tends not to flatten out like sand does so you can slope it and
make nice flowing hill sides with it also. This is another reason I like
Flourite only and no sand with it. Sand on top works if things are "flat".
Add some contour and things will go "bald" on top of the hill after a few
months time. If you get a nice lawn of say Glossostigma going very little
shifting will occur and you will have a nice hilly slope that looks very
attractive and stays put.

Don't rinse it more than 2-3 times. Any more and your wasting time and
water. It's very dusty(and they claim to pre-rinse it! yeah right!) but
settles fast.

Tom Barr