If your tank is going through a bacteria bloom and establishing a cycle (which is what it looks and sounds like), ideally you need to keep water changes to a minimum until the ammonia and nitrIte start dropping and keep dropping. Otherwise you end up making the cycle take longer because the tank has a harder time peaking and then finding equilibrium.
However, since you already have fish in there, I'd recommend small water (25% or less) changes daily just to try and keep things from getting too toxic for your fish to survive. If you can possibly relocate all of them to another established tank, I would.
If you can possibly relocate all your fish, you can then do fishless cycling. It's simple and more humane to fish- all you do is throw a cocktail shrimp (literally the dead deveined ones you put on a shrimp cocktail) in there and then wait out the cycle. No water changes. Once the ammonia and nitrIte have dropped and stay dropped, do a 50% PWC. Next day check your parameters again. As long as they are still low, do another 50% PWC. If they've skyrocketed again, wait it out again, then follow the same procedure until the levels stay low through the 50% PWCs. Do the PWCs daily till your readings reach 0ppm- then you can add your entire
bioload all at the same time.
If you're thinking about switching out your substrate alltogether, my advice would be to take the whole tank down and start all over again. Your fish are already stressed and may not make it as it is, I strongly doubt they would survive a complete tank substrate overhaul.
That gravel looks very large- it's definitely not going to support root growth for those plants. Tanks set up like yours typically leave the plants inside pots, and then bury the pots in the gravel- that might be a cheaper way to go if you don't want to start all over?
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