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In my tank I just have the run of the mill blue rock, it is getting rough looking and some of it is turning white, which I am sure is not a good thing. Anyways, is changing it just as easy as taking out the old and putting in the new or is there a special way to do it. Also, what is everyones opinion on the best stuff to use (without spending a ton of money). I do have live plants if that matters. I have seen a fair amount of people using some kind of sand. What are the pros and cons of different types? thanks!
 

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Will you want to save all the gunk that is in the gravel now... as that is the largest amount of Bio-Colony, so gravel vac and save it in buckets. After you replace the gravel add it back to the tank.... It will look messy for a day or so but thats good let it sit and then after a few days clean it up. Your tnak will go into a mini cycle, so have you test kit handy.

As far what gravel to use: you say you have live plants, is it a planted tank or you just have a few in the tank because you like live better than plastic. If it a planted tank you should if you can afford it get a gravel thats for planted tanks. If it just a normal tnak with some plants than you can get away with 3mm gravel so the roots will hold. Sand looks nice but it makes vacumming difficult because in most case you will vacume up the sant into the bucket, than your making sure you don't loose to much when you empty the bucket. You can add a wood dole to the end of you gravel Vac tube about 3 to 4 inchs and use it to stir the sand and suck up the gunk.
 

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Ok than use 3mm gravel for the roots system and use fert tabs about an inch around the root bulb. I good fert tab should last you a month before needing to add another one.
 

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As far what gravel to use: you say you have live plants, is it a planted tank or you just have a few in the tank because you like live better than plastic.
Sorry to hijack, but I thought I almost had this figured out. Where do you draw the line for a "planted tank" or one with "some plants" in it. thanks
 

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I'd go to your local hardware/landscape supply for gravel. Boil it first and then throw it in there....Some lava chunks will make a home for lots of good bacteria......Don't use any soft type of rocks....Sandstone is good......You can test rocks with some muriatic acid to see if they foam...if they do they're too alkaline.....And you can set rocks in a glass of water for a few days to make sure they aren't the kind that dissolve stuff into the water....anything that comes from the ocean, or a river should be cool..........z
 

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OK... heavly planted tank is more like SW tanks they become high tech with CO2 injection High wattage of lighting specail gravel designed for plants densily planted adding weekly ferts trimming and prunning.... alot of decor and plants with fewer fish....an aquarium with plants in them have alot of the same requirments but the plants are second to the fish. they have alot a beneifts to have any live plant in you tank.So a few plants growing here and there.
 
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