CaribSea Eco-Complete Planted Aquarium Substrate - The Planted Tank Forum

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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-29-2010, 06:15 AM Thread Starter
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CaribSea Eco-Complete Planted Aquarium Substrate

I am planing to start 55 GAL Fresh water Planted Aquarium and I can really use this community members help in finishing my project.


I am planning to purchase CaribSea Eco-Complete Planted Aquarium Substrate 20 lb bags
  1. Please suggest howmuch do I need for my 55 Gal (48x13x21).
  2. Do I need any Fertilizer underneeth this Substrate?
  3. DO I need to cover this Substrate with any gravel? Do any one know how soft it is? and how it is working out for them when doing gravel cleanups?
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-29-2010, 06:50 AM
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im not an expert in anyway... but i used eco complete in my 29gal tank.. i used a 20lb bag... i think the rule is 1lb of gravel per gallon of water. i shouldve used 1.5 bags but i didnt wanna buy a 2nd bag

eco-complete is hard.. its like black gravel. i did research on it long ago, and i forgot most of it, but to me its just black gravel soaked in ferts and nutrients.. (probably isnt)

at first it worked really well, but then i got clado algae from someone's plants.now i have a huge duckweed problem.. and it blocks all the light so my plants melted.

u can always add rootmedic tablets to your tank or dose liquid fertilizers if u wish.

i learned the hard way about mixing substrates and gravel.. its real easy to mix, real hard to separate =x
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-29-2010, 07:00 AM
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I also learned the hard way, but I have alot of experience. I used Eco and osmocote and it wasnt enough. Im used to the Mineralized top soil method(although my recipe isnt the same). I highly recommend putting something for root ferts down first. I feel like ive wasted 6 months by not doing something that ive always done.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-29-2010, 11:59 AM
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I have 80lbs in my 55 gallon and I want more depth...
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-29-2010, 02:46 PM
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I used 60-80lbs in a 40 breeder. I liked it but was never completely satisfied. I could not get HC or other smaller/finer plants to root.
It's basically black gravel of varying sizes, only it costs more. I like more uniformity or consistency in size.
I'll still use it but i won't ever pay for it again.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-30-2010, 04:38 AM Thread Starter
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Do you have any other substrate or gravel in the same tank or Just Eco-Complete?. Is it soft or Rocky. How long have you had it in tank. What is your openion .

Thanks
Varma
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-30-2010, 04:54 AM
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I use 1.5 bags of it in my 10g, the other half went into my 5g. I like it, it is pretty good. Stem plants tend to escape it though, so you need to use strategy. Make sure you don't have trumpet snails or any other snails that dig or else you'll have a hard time with stems.

It is like white gravel with this black porous stuff covering it I think. I had some black pieces that have some white parts exposed. Use some root tabs will be great!

I use it for several months now. It doesn't really afect your water parameters. It doesn't melt away either. Depending on what fish you plan on stocking this may or may not be the substrate of choice for you!
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-27-2012, 04:15 PM
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I'm a newbie and thinking about using Eco complete in my 10 gal betta tank. Not sure what plants to use or if I will need any kind of liquid fertilizer.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-27-2012, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Varma View Post
I am planing to start 55 GAL Fresh water Planted Aquarium and I can really use this community members help in finishing my project.


I am planning to purchase CaribSea Eco-Complete Planted Aquarium Substrate 20 lb bags
  1. Please suggest howmuch do I need for my 55 Gal (48x13x21).
  2. Do I need any Fertilizer underneeth this Substrate?
  3. DO I need to cover this Substrate with any gravel? Do any one know how soft it is? and how it is working out for them when doing gravel cleanups?
if you can afford Eco, that mean you can spend the same on aquasoil, i had a bad experience with Eco and highly recommend Aqua soil over any other substrate, i use 3-4 bags of Aqua soil in my 50g. if you still want Eco, i have used 5 bags in my 50g, so you get an idea about how much you need.

Eco does not have anything in it, its just high in CEC and you must add root tabs from day one for any benefit. Aqua soil on the other hand is full of fertilizers and high in CEC. it is also peat based soil which will be more beneficial for the plants anyway.

i hope this info helps
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-27-2012, 05:48 PM
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What was your bad experience?
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-27-2012, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carpalstunna View Post
What was your bad experience?
i decided not to discus it, it could change people mind toward Eco.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-28-2012, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happi View Post
i decided not to discus it, it could change people mind toward Eco.
Why don't you want to discuss it? If a product worked or didn't work, you should say why so the community can get some insight.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-28-2012, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vincenz View Post
Why don't you want to discuss it? If a product worked or didn't work, you should say why so the community can get some insight.
there are mixed answers, you will find some agree with me and some dont.

Read here:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/su...ete-sucks.html
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-02-2012, 02:01 PM
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For reference, I just used 3 bags (total of 60lbs) of Eco-Complete to fill my 40g hexagon long to an average depth of 2.5-3". It's essentially a similar size to the standard 55g but with the front corners cut off. I would suggest at least 4 bags for a 55g, and realistically 5 bags (total 100lbs) would make a nice substrate layer.

I have no issues with vacuuming it (it does not suck up into the hose), and overall I do like it. It is a bit light though, so unless your plants have a good root structure you may have some trouble getting them to stay planted.

Some people suggest a thin layer of peat beneath the Eco-Complete.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-04-2012, 03:44 PM
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I have been using Eco-Complete for years and have never had any problems with growing things with it. As others have stated, sometimes stem plants have trouble staying down, so I started planting more that one in the hole and that seems to work okay. You definitely have to use root tabs for your root feeders. It holds up well though and I would recommend it.

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