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I am thinking about removing the substrste in my 75g tank and replacing it with sand or some fine gravel so that I can add some loaches. My question is if I replace the substrate will I need to cycle the tank all over again? I was thinking about leaving an inch of the gravel to seed the new tank. Does any one know how deep dojo loaches burrow? I don't want to cap the gravel just to have the loaches mix the two substrates together. The tank has been up and running for almost a year.
 

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there are a number of threads on this, might be worth searching them out to get more info on changing out substraits...

I think as long as you keep the same filter running that will provide most of the biological filtration. and if you heavily plant it right away and keep an eye on the water chemistry for the first few weeks you should be fine.

from my experience sand over anything whether gravel, topsoil, or whatever will mix to some extent. More so if you have fish that root around in the sand. Plus with a planted tank, any replanting or moving will also shift the soil. For me its not that big of an issue, but if you are looking to never see anything but sand in the tank, you will just need to push the gravel down when it mixes up or go all sand.
 
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