Eco-Complete only as substrate? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-18-2013, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 11
Eco-Complete only as substrate?

Hello everyone,

I have a really silly question....
I am well over the required cycle time for my tank but I don't want to add fish until I've got my aquascape looking just right. I have purchased a 20lb bag of Eco-Complete aquarium planting substrate. I used to use this with white sand, but I found my cichilds were overturning much of the eco-complete and it caused the sand to appear "dirty". Because of this, I decided to go with a black substrate - probably gravel, not sand.

But I'm curious - do I have to use any gravel at all? Or can I just use the eco-complete as the substrate for my tank? Will this cause the nutrients in the substrate to break down in the water rather than nourishing the plant roots? And will this harden my water (making it difficult to house soft-water fish?)

Any help would be appreciated!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-18-2013, 09:46 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Kelowna
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You can use straight eco-complete, it is essentially just a pours rock. I have one tank like that and it works well. the other is MGOPM capped with eco-complete. I believe it may slightly alter water parameters but I didn't really notice much of a difference in my tank.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-18-2013, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by shift View Post
You can use straight eco-complete, it is essentially just a pours rock. I have one tank like that and it works well. the other is MGOPM capped with eco-complete. I believe it may slightly alter water parameters but I didn't really notice much of a difference in my tank.
Great! Did you notice the substrate lose its effectiveness in taking care of your plants at all, or no?
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-18-2013, 10:33 PM
Algae Grower
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: US
Posts: 139
Re: Eco-Complete only as substrate?

Eco complete is an inert substrate. You will need to dose fertilizer and use root tabs with it. This substrate has a high cation exchange which means that is has the ability to absorb the fertilizer you are putting into the tank. This characteristic of eco complete doesnt wear out over time.

I have used it on several tanks with great success.
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