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So, I currently have a 55 gallon tank with not too many plants; eco complete substrate; fluval aquasky lighting and no co2.

I am thinking about changing the substrate - but not sure of it.
I want to add a lot more plants.
I want to start with co2 - i think it is referred to pressurized co2 with the regulator, bubble counter, etc.

In what order should I do all of this?

thanks
 

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I don't think there's an order you absolutely have to do it in, except that some plants require co2, so you'll need to go high tech before you try them out. Are these long term goals, or are you ready to deploy them back to back?
 

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I would personally do these in this order:

1) Change out the crushed coral / Eco-Complete substrate to an inert sand / gravel.
2) Install pressurized CO2 and purchase more plants - get used to running CO2, dial in a good CO2 / fertilizing / water change regime.
3) Increase / upgrade lighting
4) Purchase more plants
 

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I would probably do it more or less like @Quagulator suggests. The big thing is to anticipate what you're getting yourself into with changing out the substrate and adding CO2 as each has its own challenges. Then get more plants as a reward to yourself for upgrading.
 

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Side note- when upgrading lighting don't jump too high with intensity for too long without having the fast growing, light loving plants in play as slow growing low light plants will get covered in algae, so will everything else.
 

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I would change the substrate first, just because that makes the most sense logically (why would you plant all of those plants...only to uproot them later?). Then I'd add the plants (why use CO2 when you don't have nearly enough plants to utilize it?). And then CO2. Although, I know very little about plants as well.
 
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