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Re: Washing Flourite gravel

> Well I think I rinsed flourite gravel all after noon (130lbs).  I never
> did get it clear.  I understand what this stuff is and as I clean the
> gravel I may be making more clay dust just by swirling it around.  The
> first rinse is needed since there is some nasty floating material that
> just makes sense to remove.  It sticks to everything.  After a few more
> washings there is this fine silt that ought to be ok - just like the
> clays people use on purpose for their plants.
> It is so fine though - won't it clog up gravel?  What do others do?
> Also - what about washing this gravel with chlorinated water - could
> this be of any concern?  I was thinking about what effect it might have
> chemically on holding iron etc.

Depending on how much it has been manhandled during shipping, the 
Flourite sometimes can have a higher than average (for Flourite) 
amount of residual dust. You want to get the bulk of the excess dust 
off, but don't expect it to run 100% dust free (it would eventually, 
but you're talking about diminishing returns in relation to how many 
washes this would take). An undergravel filter is excellent for 
accelerating the process of settling the dust, but even without one, 
the dust will eventually settle back into the gravel within 24 hours 
(usually sooner). In relation to the total surface area of the 
gravel, a bit of dust is not going to do much clogging, so I wouldn't 
worry about it.

When using Flourite in our tanks here we rinse with our (highly!) 
chlorinated tap water all the time without any problem. However it 
would probably be prudent to treat the final rinse water with a 
dechlorinator (such as Prime or Safe ;-) and stir it up a bit, let 
sit for awhile, then place it into service. The chlorine in the tap 
wouldn't have any effect on the iron in the Flourite.

-Greg Morin

Gregory Morin, Ph.D.  ~~~~~~~Research Director~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Seachem Laboratories, Inc.      www.seachem.com     888-SEACHEM