08-24-2012, 08:53 PM
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You won't have ammonia or nitrite issues with live plants. I have changed five of my tanks during the past 2 years from gravel to sand with no issues. The wood/rock in the tank will carry a host of bacteria with it (don't rinse it), as will the plants, and the filter as someone mentioned, though I always thoroughly rinse the filter media (under the tap too) when resetting a tank as it is easier then to dismantle it. The plants will handle this anyway, but the bacteria on the leaves and the wood, etc take up any slack.
I really would not mess with soil, but that is up to you.
Especially with your loaches that will dig down, at least mine do, they remarkably have dug tunnels down 2-3 inches between river rocks. That will make a real mess with soil.