Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Terre Haute, IN
I like eco complete. It has a lot of holes in it, so it's easy for plants to root in. It's also a lot cheaper than ada. Flourite isn't a complete balance of stuff, so you'd need to add a different substrate along with it and fertilizers, too. Between ADA and Eco Complete, ADA probably is a little more "complete" with the amount and variation of nutrients, but I don't think you'll notice a difference if you are just starting out. Once you start fertilizing(which you will eventually have to do no matter which substrate you choose), it won't make a difference either way. And it you like black substrate--eco complete is black lol.
I've never used fluval stratum, so I can't compare. Sorry.
By the way, I would say to not worry about shrimp and CO2. Shrimp are more sensitive than fish to pretty much any thing--whether it's ammonia, copper, or CO2. As long as you don't overdose and keep your tank clean, the shrimp will be fine. Crank up the CO2 especially if you want carpeting plants to grow in densely. Just don't let the drop checker go to yellow (and you definitely need a drop checker if you don't have one). I keep my tanks at light lime green colored. All my shrimp are happy.