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Back when I began my tank (60g tall) I had no plans on making a planted tank. Now a year later I have upgraded lights pressurized CO2 and I realized I really need better substrate. I have just standard aquarium gravel and I'm wondering if anyone out there has ever switched out their substrates. I would like to use Eco complete but I don't know how to switch my substrate without making a complete and utter mess. The tank is full of fish and shrimp and I can't imagine even trying to remove the gravel let alone adding something new. Any advice?
 

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I went through the exact same thing, I put all the fish into a bucket and then drained the entire tank, I scooped out the old gravel, added the new stuff, then filled it back up. I had no mini cycle or deaths,
 

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I have about 200bucks worth of eco-complete in my 120......I am completely "meh" about it.....no better, no worse than black diamond blasting sand which costs about 7 bucks for a 50 pound bag..


imo save your money and put down; "whatever" and cap it with Black Diamond
 

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If yo change just make sure to keep all the decorations for at least 4 weeks.

You could actually drain the tank 1/2 way and about all the gravel to one side then do half your substrate change. Wait a week or two and remove the gravel then replace the rest.

Sent from my XT1575 using Tapatalk
 

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If you don't want to go through a big production you could just try doing some root tabs. Otherwise your best bet is to just bite the bullet and do a full tear-down. There is no good way to get out all your old gravel without stirring up a year's worth of detritus. Scoop out the fish into another tank/bucket/plastic tote. Fish can survive just fine in temporary housing with a cycled sponge filter. Just don't feed them for a couple days beforehand, or while they are in their temporary home.
 
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