Originally Posted by DogFish
Jim - If your cap is 1" + and you work carefully you cam have a pretty clean tank with a dirt subfloor.
Removing plant - many people, myself included, when they start go too fast in uprootinging. I get a hold of the base of the plant and basically wiggle it out. On very heavily rooted plants, some get them out with 1'2" root exposed and cut the roots...leavng the bulk of the roots in the substrate.
Planting - I use my tweezers grasp the roots and pull/wiggle them down into the substrate. I trim new plants to about 1" of root. If that makes a Crypt too top heavy I'll trim a few of the older leaves. That will stimulate new growth.
Couple other tips:
> filters off
> lower water level for larger plant moves/maint.
> Pics in a photo album help reduce unnecessary moves
photobucket is great for that.
Thanks for the tips, all sound like things I should try. Is the dirt add big benefit to plants? Or if I don't want to deal with it, would it be that bad to pull it out and just use sand?