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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if it is worth it to change my substrate cause I have the silly blue and black aquarium Walmart gravel that I bought when I thought the tank was gonna be fake plants.

Well now I want live plants in there. Of course... lol.....

I know with most of the plants that I will be using I can put them into this crappy substrate but is it worth it to go through changing it all and put in a better substrate? i.e. Eco complete, so the plants do better in long run and just in general growth.

Or can I add some Eco complete to my old crappy gravel? will this help at all?

If I do change all of the old crappy Walmart gravel and start over will the tank go through a mini nitrogen cycle? It sounds like Eco complete starts cycle mmmm???? Sure lol I will be using my established filters of course.

I would also be using root tabs and I have some java moss on some driftwood already so I do dose the tank with flourish once a week. I will probably get c02 device in long run too. O and my lighting is HO T5 so I can do any type of plant but will be sticking to more hardier, easier ones as this will be my first attempt.

Thanks for your help in advance....
 

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Well the substrate is one of the toughest thing to change, so if you plan to I ject co2 and go more down the planted route I'd change the substrate now. It's easier when you don't have any plants yet.

In terms of the cycle. Theres bacteria in the substrate so when you're changing it of course you'll lose some ability to convert ammonia and nitrite. I'd keep the filter running, feed sparingly and if you have an overstock tank, I might setup a temp tank w the old substrate and let the new tank cycles. If not monitor the water closely and do water changes more often.
 

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Just change the substrate to get it over with. Once you start planting heavily you will grow to strongly dislike the artificial look more and more. Once you change to a more natural substrate, add a bit of watersprite and/or wisteria to help absorb any ammonia or nitrite from the mini-cycling effects from the substrate change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
O yea completely didn't think about the plants and them sucking out ammonium and nitrites and all that great stuff lol. Plus I'm gonna be using java moss and wisteria for sure so that should help that problem of mini cycle and I am leaning towards all of your recommendations of just getting it over with and changing it. I would prob end up hating it in the long run. I do have a QT tank that is up and going and my tank is not overstocked. I have a 29 gal with 2 aqua clear 30's on it and my QT has a filter on it too that is seeded. I'm staining a stand and gonna be cycling a 55 gal this week. (fish less and seeded media)
So I thank you all for all the responses and for confirming what I figured would be best course of action. Was just hoping to be lazy and get away with what I have lol.
Thanks Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wkndracer
Sorry about you having to go back and forth but thanks especially to you following me through both threads. I figured I would make a new thread after I had already put the questions in the other one...
 
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