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375 Views 1 Reply 2 Participants Last post by  RWaters
Hey everyone,

My name's Jay, I'm from the UK and I'm just starting out in keeping fish. I currently have a 20l nano cube which is unplanted but reckon it'll look much better with a few plants as to be fair it looks a tad... rubbish.

Since the tank has just cycled and contains livestock is there an easy way to switch to plants (I'll need to replace the substrate as I'm currently using gravel) without causing too much stress to the fish?

Anyway, glad to have found this forum and I look forward to hearing from you all :)

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Welcome! There are a few options you have.

You can take the easy approach and just use plants that don't require a different substrate. For example, mosses, anubias, java ferns and bolbitis will do fine tied to hardscape (wood, rocks, bubbling pirate treasure chests >:)).

A second approach is to temporarily remove water and the fish to a clean bucket (not anything that's used with soap or other cleaning supplies) and replace the substrate. You'll want to keep an eye on the water parameters as this option may have a detrimental impact on your beneficial bacteria.

A third option is to use shallow containers filled with planted tank substrate that you can bury in the current substrate. Just add plants, cover this with your current substrate for a consistent look, and you're done.

I wouldn't recommend completely changing the substrate with the fish still in the tank. As you point out, it will lead to stress and could even introduce harmful irritants into the water column. That leads me to my last option. Leave your tank as is and buy another one that you can make a planted paradise! :grin2:

Good luck with whatever you choose to do.
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