Is capping substrate necessary?? What I mean does it effect how good the plants will grow, or do we just do it for looks? Being a somewhat newbie, in my 80gal i put 2" fourite mixed with eco-complete and capped it with 1" of 1/8"dia gravel. The plants are doing pretty good but was just wondering if they could be doing better....without the top layer of gravel!!! I'm get'n ready to start a 180gal planted with eco-complete and just looking for a few suggestions...