I rinsed it THUROUGHLY I put it in a 5 gallon bucket filled it and stirred it with my hands about a minute or so and let it fill and drain clear. Then dumped all the water I could and repeated this process for about 2 hours. So idk maybe 15-20 times? It was time consuming and sucked but I knew it was necesarry.
I'm using seachem flourish brand. I was gonna use dry ferts but it was easier for me to acquire and store it since I have small children. I use nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and trace elements. I do what the bottles say except I only dose each feet once a week instead of the recommended dosage.
My parameters are as follows: GH 5, KH 9, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 0 (assuming plants are utilizing it), and temp of 77-78 F.
I take the water out using a plastic cup thatbinuse for aquariums only and when I replace the water I fill it on top of a plastic bag so as not to disturb the substrate. I haven't done a water change yet tho. Plants have only been in tank a week yesterday. Planning a 20% PWC bi-weekly or as needed. I test my parameters almost daily.
I'm using an Aquaclear 20 for filtration. Planning in getting a rapids pro mini canister soon tho. I live aquaclears as far as HOB filters go but it creates too much surface agitation and is releasing my CO2 I think. So in switching as soon as I get a few extra bucks.
If you need to know anything else let me know