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Old 04-13-2011, 09:56 AM   #1
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Caribsea Eco Complete Substrate

I am considering removing my gravel and adding this Eco Complete with a fine sand on top.

Will this benefit me in any way?

Does the Eco Complete ever need to be replaced?

How do I stop it mixing in with the sand and making an awful mess?
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Old 04-13-2011, 10:25 AM   #2
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Why do you want to use Eco complete are you looking to do a planted tank?
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:17 PM   #3
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I have a heavily planted tank now.
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:21 PM   #4
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with a substrate like Eco, it will inevitably end up a mixed up mess, unfortunately. I would go with straight eco complete and skip the top layer of sand.
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:27 PM   #5
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What actually is the Eco, is it a soil ?
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:33 PM   #6
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It is a nutrient rich gravel. The grain sizes range from normal aquarium gravel to almost sand. I just put 40lbs in my 30g long and I couldn't be happier with the results I am seeing. My aromatica is growing like crazy now and and everything seems to be growing faster. From what I hear, Eco Complete will last you years.
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:38 PM   #7
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Does this harvest bacteria just like gravel does? I take it the fish waste just breaks down as normal in the Eco as it does with gravel?
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:45 PM   #8
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Actually they claim it contains "live bacteria" in their Amazonian water (or whatever they call it). IMO, no live bacteria will survive in an airtight bag with stagnant water in it. I drained most of the water out of the bag before adding it to the tank.

As far as the waste.... I've only been using it for like a week now. I can see my angelfish's waste but a quick gravel vacuum took care of that.
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:51 PM   #9
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You could use a organic top soil with adding some clay to the soil for iron. And top it with sand or whatever u want. Works well for planted tanks. And a whole lot cheaper too. Just my opinion.
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:52 PM   #10
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Or if you don't care about money then I would go with Ada Amazonia over Eco complete
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:52 PM   #11
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Yeah, I've been told by a few LFS not to use the gravel vac anymore because its food for the plants, plus it upsets the bacteria.
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loach23 View Post
You could use a organic top soil with adding some clay to the soil for iron. And top it with sand or whatever u want. Works well for planted tanks. And a whole lot cheaper too. Just my opinion.
There are actually several folks on the forum who are trying this method, and so far they are really loving it! mfdrookie and marconis have both started tanks like Loach described in the last 2 months or so.

I personally prefer ADA Aquasoil over Eco Complete... but having used both, they are really both excellent imo. There is a noticeable difference with plants vs. something like plain gravel or sand--but it is relatively expensive. I can't comment intelligently on the dirt method, as I haven't done it, but like I said, it looks very promising.
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Old 04-13-2011, 04:55 PM   #13
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Yeah, I've been told by a few LFS not to use the gravel vac anymore because its food for the plants, plus it upsets the bacteria.
I would say this is false. I gravel vac all my planted tanks, always have. Now, I don't jam the vac way down into the substrate (you can't find any bare substrate in my tanks anyway )... but I wave the vac in and around the plants, and push it down in to get any sediment/waste directly off the plants.

The part about it upsetting the bacteria is nonsense. The vast majority of bacteria live in your biomedia in your filter--not the substrate.
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:08 PM   #14
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I have been using the gravel vac but there are several shops recommending I don't need to. I would say that 60% of the gravel doesn't get touched anyway because of the plants, and I want to add more. If the fish waste breaks down, why do we need to vac it anyway?
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:15 PM   #15
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Not all of it is going to break down... there will inevitably be some mess left over. It is not vital that you do it every time you do a PWC, but occasionally it is a good idea for touch up, so to speak.
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:42 PM   #16
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Moved to FW planted tank.
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