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I would NOT replace the substrate in portions. It's a 10 gallon tank after all - that's tiny. :mrgreen:

You can avoid the new tank syndrome by planting heavily right from the start, which you are already planning to anyway. Furthermore, the liquid in which Eco-Complete is packaged in is formulated to cycle the tank instantaneously. Although I do recommend that you DISCARD this liquid as it contains buffering agents that will temporarily raise the pH; thereby interfering with the pH controller (if you have one).

Green water due to lack of bacteria is a non-issue IMO because the initial heavy planting will suppress any NH4 and/or nitrite buildup.


TIP: If your plants are not faring well due to the new substrate system, then perform a 50% water change with water from a mature established tank. That will perk up the plants.
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