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I have placed four bags or fluorite, seven lbs.of pure laterite and two lbs of natural pea sized gravel to total four in. in a 56 gal.tank. I cleaned the substrate with the gravel vac. and this causes a huge mess due to the dust that I could'nt rinse away in the beginning.I have'nt cleaned the substrate for somtime now,so what is the worst that could happen? I do 30% changes biweekly, run CO2 and ferts.
 

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If your tank is planted heavily, you should need to gravel vac much. I can't even get to my substrate in my 20 gallon since I grow hairgrass and chainswords for foreground. If you are concerned about coarse material, I would just swirl the hose around to kick up dirt during the water change. This works for me.
 

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I understand what happened. I had a 100% flourite substrate one time. What a mess. Just stay light with the vacuum and pickup what comes off the top without disturbing the top couple of millimeters .
 
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