I've got an eclipse system 6 that's been up and running for a while now, and I've been thinking about going from plastic to live plants. I've gotten some good ideas for low-light plants from a bunch of threads on this site. It currently houses a fancy male guppy, a pair of harlequin rasboras, 3 neon tetras, and a pair of tiny pygmy corydoras. Anyway, it's my only tank, and I'm curious about how I'd make the transition to a planted tank without taking a toll on my existing fish.
Currently the substrate is the pretty good sized epoxy coated gravel (I think this is it: http://www.petco.com/product_info.as...sku=3465210501
), which sounds like it's not ideal for planting. I'm willing to go to a substrate like flourite, but I need advice on how to make the switchover.
If I take the fish out and put them in a temporary container with most of the tank water, and then take out all the gravel and replace it with another substrate..will the tank settle quickly enough to replace the fish before they get in trouble in a bucket? Will I lose too much of the good bacteria (or is there enough in the filter and biowheel)? Should I mix the existing (pretty large) gravel with a substrate?
Thanks for your help!