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starting at the bottom of the tank

616 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  EntoCraig
So i have had my tank set up for just under 2 years. Now i am ready to start planting. Currently i am using standard aquarium gravel and a under gravel filter set up. I understand that a lot of the bio filtering(bacteria) that helps keep a tank stable is in the substrate. If i pull out the gravel that is in the tank will it start a new cycling process in my tank? Or can i just lay down a more suitable substrate over the gravel? And which would be the best to use?

I am taking this change over in steps making sure that I don't get anything wrong and i figured the bottom of the tank was the way to go.
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Undergravel filters really only work with gravel. A more suitable substrate will be dirt, or sand, but that will clog UG filters, and so might plant roots. Plant roots are an underground filter. Yes, a lot of the bacteria is in the substrate. If you already have a different filter, and you take the gravel out, this may cause a mini-cycle, but nothing to be overly concerned about.
I have seen many successful planted tanks with UG filters, BUT i dont think they are really necessary in most planted tanks.

Plus with the plants you add, they should be pulling lots of nitrogen out of the water, which will majorly help during any possible mini cycle.
I plan on removing the under gravel filter. I figured it would clog. Can i leave the gravel in there and just mix in some other substrate in?
You can do either. I have grown plants in many types of substrates, including crushed coral:icon_eek:
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