That's what the tank has pretty much appeared like for the the last 3 years, so it was time to switch things around.
So, without removing all the fish, and wanting a nicer color for the gravel as well as a finer grain sizing, I removed all 500lbs of flourite and added black flourite.
I did this in two stages:
1. Uproot, clean off the plant roots of old flourite
2. Remove and store in trash bags, remove all wood
3. Remove all Rock
4. Water changes while mucking the tank up(3x 70%)
5. Rinse, add new flourite
6. Fill, run filter over night, add Seachem Prime, purigen, Zeolite, Matrix carbon
1 50% water change
2 Wood placement
3 Wood secured
6 50% water change
And after planting:
I'll touch up plantings later now.
The plants will straighten up and I'll fill in various sections.
I removed about 40% of the plant biomass that was there prior in this picture.
Lot of work, about 12 hours worth.
Still, worked pretty fast redoing an entire 350 gallon tank and lost only one rummy nose in the process. I can touch up later after things settle down and the tank goes through its cycle a bit.
BTW, I cannot have Gloss, whimpy frail plants, Amano shrimp, moss etc, the plecos will maul and eat it.
With this stocking, I have to contend with trade offs.
I did manage to get some gloss going for awhile, I might try again later.
The flourite is really nice, much better than the Eco complete....which if you mat recall, I removed all the ADA As out and replaced with EC in a 1600 gallon tank not too long ago, so I am very well versed with each and every type of sediment at a large scale.
I learned the hard and large way I suppose