03-16-2007, 10:40 AM
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It all depends on what substrate you are talking about getting. Eco Complete is going to be almost impossible to do while the tank is full of water but tis doesn't mean you have to tear it down and recycle it. You will need to remove the fish and put them in another tank, cycled preferably, and then remove all the water and the gravel. Then you can add something like Eco Complete or a plant specific substrate. If you want to put in something like Onyx black sand or Fluorite the you can actually do it the same way or leave the fish in the tank if you do it right. You would want to remove half to 3/4 of the water, then remove the old substrate with a net or scoop and then slowly, with a funnel placed almost at the bottom add the sand or fluorite. It would be safer to remove the fish with all the tank water before hand but I know those that have done it without doing so and the fish were fine.
As for the lighting, it depends on the size of the tank. A larger tank may only need 2 w/g for hair grass but anything under 35 gallon will need a lot more light. Put the dimensions of your tank in HERE
and then you will know what you need. For hairgrass you will need at least moderate light. For the grass to grow it's best you will need high light if not a little more and you will need CO2 injection. Moderate light will grow it but it will take a long time for it to fill in like a lawn.
As for gravel vacs, just wave your tube over the top to remove the excess debris in the plant. Gravel vacs will only make a mess otherwise and uproot the plant.