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Re: adding first layer laterite to a tank in use

Mark Trueman asked:

> Is it possible to add the laterite with the fish in the
> tank or will the 'dustiness' harm them.

It's probably going to be very messy, but the mess will
clear up.  First layer is a bit crunchy, so that helps
lessen the dust, don't know if it helps or hurts laterite's
performance.  You might try reaching a tube, a inch or more
in diameter, down into the substrate -- make a hole in the
substrate first with the end of the tube, then pour in some
laterite, then slowly withdraw the tube and spread
substrate over the laterite.  Make the next dump site far
enough away from the first that you don't disturb it while
making the next.  Don't fill to the top,; if the laterite
is near the top fo the substrate, it'll dust up every time
tyou fiuddle the least bit with the gravel. 

> What about my filter, will this amount of muck clog up my
> filter and damage it.  Not if your impeller is *after*
the media, but it will load your media.  You might try
running a load of packed floss to help clear the dust and
then dump that right away.  Diatom filter would work
better.  A couple of water changes can help.

> What about methods of mixing the gravel. 

Don't worry about this too much.  If it's down there, it
will get mixed up over time whether you want it to or not. 
Seems to work as well in pockets as when thoroughly blended
in a bottom layer, ime.

> Should i just
> mix the laterite and gravel up uniformly or should i take
> a load of gravel out, mix the
> laterite and remaining gravel and then replace a layer of
> gravel on the top.

Wherever, however you put it in there, you want gravel over
it to help keep it down.  Besides you don't want to go to
all this trouble and vacuum the stuff up the next time you
you use your gravel tube ;-)    .
> Hope someone here can help me.

I hope that is some help -- I think some would say the
value of the laterite might not be worth the trouble --
especially if you a  nice porous substrate like Flourite. 
If you have epoxy coated gravel like they like to sell in
the lfss, it's probably gonna help.

Scott H.

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