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Old 06-18-2007, 06:49 PM   #1
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Eco-complete vs. Layered substrate - for newbie

Which one would be better for a plant noob? Right now I have sand, and that hasn't worked out to well. I have some time to switch out the substrate and want to get more into plants. There's 2wpg of NO fluoros right now, w/o CO2.

The tank is a 20 gallon long 30 x 12 in. So I was either going to go with 3 bags of eco-complete or a bag of Soil Master Select, peat, and laterite.

Obviously, the eco-complete route is going to be more expensive. But other than the $ is one better than the other? Is one going to give me more problems as a noobie? Which one would you recommend?
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Old 06-18-2007, 07:03 PM   #2
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I'd say go with the eco.........you'll only need 2 bags in that size tank and the other route is gonna be messy.

Maybe it's just me but the layered option just aint worth the trouble.
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Old 06-18-2007, 07:24 PM   #3
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I would go with Eco Complete. It's all I use. I do have one tank with Volcanit as well, and it does very well too. And I like the color.
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Old 06-18-2007, 07:53 PM   #4
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Alright, sounds good, thanks for the opinions.

Glitch, you said only 2 bags for a 20 long? Will that give me 2-3" depth?
The substrate calc http://www.plantedtank.net/substratecalculator.html there called for 3 bags (60 lbs) for a 3" substrate for a tank w/ a 30 x 12 layout.

But I'll take your word for it if it's worked for you.
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Old 06-18-2007, 08:00 PM   #5
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The calc is right......but ya only need 2"

I have 1 bag in a 20 long and its shallow......bout 1".........but doable.

So 2 bags oughta give ya 2".
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Old 06-18-2007, 08:27 PM   #6
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You'll want 3 bags in a 20 long. I agree, the eco is a better solution. You can also consider the schultz aquatic soil from Lowe's or Home Depot. Much cheaper, and so far I've been very happy with the results. YOu'd only need 2 bags for that 20 long of the schultz
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Old 06-18-2007, 08:36 PM   #7
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I have 2 bags in my 29G, and it's more than enough. I think 2 bags will be plenty for you....
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Old 06-18-2007, 11:16 PM   #8
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2 bags will get you there. 3 is nicer.

I find that deeper substrate is easier to plant in.
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Old 06-19-2007, 12:03 AM   #9
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I used 1 and 1/4 bag of Eco in my 10 gallon tank. It has a depth of about 2 inches, I think. When I had large Pogostemon stellatus plants, I had no problem keeping them rooted. Buy 2 bags first, and then see if you want a third bag.

The Eco Complete, in my opinion, would be nicer than the Schultz aquatic soil. I tried the Schultz and it was very dusty. It took almost a week to settle in the tank. I ditched it at this point for the Eco. Every time you replant a stem, you'll kick up some of the sediment and cloud the water slightly, for awhile. I don't know how the plants grow in the Schultz - I'm sure they will grow fine. My main reason for changing over to Eco was because the Schultz was too dusty for me. I had a coughing fit as I put it in the tank! It is cheaper then the Eco, but if dustiness would be a problem for you, then be aware that the Schultz is extremely dusty.
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Old 06-19-2007, 12:18 AM   #10
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I agree with the Eco....and also to start with 2 bags and if you really think you need another to get one later. I have 4 bags (80 lbs) in a 55 and it is about 2.5" throughout the tank. 1 bag in a 10g gives about the same depth. I have had no problems rooting any plants, for that matter the plants love the Eco so much they grow roots like crazy!
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Old 06-19-2007, 07:44 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by An t-iasg
I tried the Schultz and it was very dusty. It took almost a week to settle in the tank.
I agree, it was very dusty. But a quick water change after the initial fill cleared mine up within a day, and I haven't seen any dust since, even when planting deep in it. I think I've got like 5" of depth at the back of my tank too.
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