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I have an established tank with straight flourite red. What I would like to do is tear all the plants out, remove flourite from tank, put in about half inch of soil and replace most of the flourite.

Then I would clean the string algae from the plants and rescape.

I would have to put my 8 neon tetras, 3 Chinese algae eaters and mystery snails into a bucket while I do this. Would I need to put an airstone into the bucket?
 

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I wouldn't use Miracle Gro, it's a terrestrial mixed fertilizer for non-aquatic conditions. I've used it in two tanks and while the results can be good it's to easy to break your cap and cause a algae bloom when the fert is mixed into your water column.

I use non-fertilized top-soil from landscaping or orchard supply stores it doesn't have anything but dirt and will not cause algae blooms plus it's much cheaper.

- Brad
 

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I'll have to check out the non-fertilized topsoil. Thanks for the suggestion.
You live in an area where you can just dig some soil from a river bank, or even you own back yard, if you have one. Just avoid areas where there is a good chance that solvents, poisons, or other contaminants have been poured or used. I had very good results using soil that I dug from a river bank made up of river silt. It cost only a little physical labor.

You can either try Diana Walstad's el natural type of substrate - no mineralizing of the topsoil, or you can mineralize the topsoil, which gives you a lot more options for the rest of the tank setup. My opinion is that mineralizing is the best way to go.
 
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