Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
I just dampen it enough so I am not breathing the dust and put it in the tank. Other people wash it. It takes a lot of washing if that is what you want to do.
Arrange it with driftwood, stones and other things. It will not hold a slope, so if I want a split-level display I make a retaining wall with rock and expanding foam filler 24 hours earlier.
OK, damp substrate, rocks, driftwood.
Plant it, misting the plants.
Put a plastic bag or plate over the substrate and fill the tank slowly, allowing the water to run over the edge of the plate and seep into the substrate. This will minimize clouding.
Turn on the equipment when there is enough water.
Fish can be added right away, this material does not leach ammonia.
It has high cationic exchange capacity, and will remove the carbonates from the water. If you want, you can add something to the substrate like coral sand to replace the carbonates, or you can add carbonates to the water such as from baking soda.