Hey there, I've been looking to change my substrate to eco complete but damn that thing is expensive! So while browsing craigslist, I noticed this guy was selling 40 pounds of eco complete at a discount + some free plants (Probably breaking down his tank). Anyways, I wanted to know if it's safe to buy used eco complete or if it's still viable as a good planted substrate.
Doing that would kill all beneficial bacteria inside the substrate won't it?
Yes. But it prevents the transfer of unwanted pests like snails and any harmful bacteria. If you really want to kill whatever might be still in the eco-complete, soak it in a bucket with some hydrogen peroxide.
Eco-Complete does not have nutrients in it but rather it takes in nutrients and holds them for your plants. All it basically is,is volcanic rock.Sure it does contain "live bacteria" when you buy it new, but I wouldn't take that as a skipping of cycle.
Thing is, it was used by a guy with a high tech planted tank so it should've had plenty of ferts in it. Anyways, I took Monster_Fish's advice and rinsed it out but only let it dry for a day. There was tons of roots and random java moss inside the eco-complete and enough muck to turn the water black when I poured it off.