Originally Posted by deman3
I am thinking of switching my 55 gallon to planted somewhere about a month from now. I really dont want to go throught the hassle of pulling all of the teal rock out of the bottom of it. Would I be able to just add the plants without using any kind of plant nutrient friendly substrate and expect any kind of results? I have never done a planted tank before but I love the looks of real vs fake. I am currently making some driftwood that will go in the tank along with some real larger rocks as well. Should I pull out all of the teal rock and go with a more natural colored substrate?
Plant's and fish will look much better over dark substrate but plant's would prolly grow in what you have depending on plant's selected and proper lighting. If substrate is too large in grain size,it could make it difficult for plant's to send roots out. But plant's such as anubia,javafern,and java moss which should be attached to wood or rock,,would not care about grain size.
Should you decide to switch colors and grain size,,I would rinse the new gravel really good and leave about one eighth inch of the old in the bottom of the tank and place the new on top. This will give bacteria a big head start developing in the substrate where it breaks down fish food and waste to make it more easily available for plants as food.