Thank you, those are good ideas. I tried manually wiping/gently shaking everything, which helped, but there is still some dust left. I do have a powerhead that I've used with a sponge filter before. I worry that it would just blow more sand around creating more cloudy water/messy dust?
it probably will be dusty when the power head gets going at first, but if youve got some filter floss in your filter should take good care of the dust. thats what i did in my tank, keeps anything from settling and the filter just picks it up. and the power head will push all of the light stuff that shouldnt really settle down in your tank anyway