I do also like the look of the eco-complete, especially when compared with the Fluval stratum. It's much more natural compared with the little round balls. But after some time I am getting used to the Fluval. My pH did drop from 7.5 to 7.0 now that the substrate change is complete. I probably should have made the change more gradually but so far my fish seem OK.
I believe the ph of my tap water is around 6.5. So if having the rocks in brings it up to 7.0-7.2, then I think the tank is in good shape.
My nitrates are still high though at about 30ppm. I was feeding the fish 2x per day, which I am learning is probably too much. I slowed it to 1x per day, did a 25% water change last night and haven't fed them at all so far today. I'll test again tonight. If I don't see any progress, I guess i will need to reduce feedings to every other day. Hoping this is not the case, since my daughter really enjoys feeding the fish
For acclimation, I did the following:
1) Float them in the bag from the LFS
(top open) for about 20 mins
2) Add about 10ml of tank water to the bag and wait for 20 mins
3) Add about 10ml of tank water to the bag and wait for 20 mins
4) Use a net to bring each fish into the tank
Thinking about it now, I should have tested the water from the bag to see how far off their parameters are to my tank. Do you think my method was too fast?