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Gabez 10-11-2012 12:09 AM

Soil Under eco-complete?
Hey guys ,anyone think using a garden soil flourite and peat mix as a first layer under my eco-complete is a good idea ? Or does anyone have a better idea , heres the plants I plan on keeping

Red tiger lotus
HC, Hemianthus callitrichoides
Myriophyllum mattogrssense
water wisteria
ludwigia repens
contorsionist val
orchid lily
anubias barteri coffeefolia , petite and nana
green gecko cryps
hydrothrix gardneri

Politikz_Amore 10-11-2012 02:02 AM

I am using a forest hummus and coco mix with other additives also.
So far the results are good. I added the bottom layer about 6 months
ago, then replaced the established eco-complete as a cap.

CatSoup 10-11-2012 02:08 AM

I just got a bag in the mail today. After reading the whole bag this time I noticed that it says not to use it as a capper because it could be harmful to fish. It said to mix it in a little at a time instead. I bought it to cap what I have already established, so now I am confused about why the heck it says this.

Politikz_Amore 10-11-2012 03:05 AM

I researched this further, and can find a large number of people on other forums using an eco cap. A few people say not to, but without any facts to support their argument. I have used eco-complete and activ-flora for years without problems. Personally I am considering using a base of MTS capped with eco-complete in my next project.

Rivercats 10-11-2012 03:42 AM

I have a few tanks with Organic Potting Soil and Eco as a cap. My latest was a 220g using the afore mentioned and has been fine and going strong for a year now. I've done this for a long time and never had any problems. Personally I like the growing results I've always gotten.

Gabez 10-11-2012 11:10 AM

Thanks guys , I plan on getting the soil out of my yard is there any special prep like boiling that I need to do before adding it to the tank

CatSoup 10-11-2012 01:58 PM

I'm still scratching my head over the warning label.

Politikz_Amore 10-11-2012 03:23 PM

My theory is simple. The company says don't use eco-complete to cap because then you wouldn't
purchase a few more bags for that new tank. I am going to Petsmart today to read a bag again
now though.

As I stated earlier, since learning about Mineralized Topsoil I will be adding it to my repertoire.

Rinsing your yard dirt to remove wood and floaties, plus sifting out larger pieces of rock, etc would be
a good idea. I have seen people do everything from shoveling dirt straight into a tank to boiling it on
the stove first. Do a quick forum search and most other questions will be answered.

Gabez 10-11-2012 04:52 PM

Thanks a lot will do

wheatiesl337 10-11-2012 05:16 PM

I would recomend purchasing a bag of organic potting soil instead. It's fairly cheap and requires no prep. The labels are usually pretty detailed, so you can make sure you are getting a good balance of nutrients. I particularly like mixes using bat guano and earthworm castings. I dampen it a bit, add it straight into my tanks, and cap it. Never thought of using something like eco to cap. I have always used inert caps.

dougolasjr 10-11-2012 05:18 PM

I don't see how using it as a cap could be harmful to fish.

Gabez 10-11-2012 06:49 PM

good ideas

Mostro 10-11-2012 11:30 PM

As I understand it, Eco IS inert, but with a high cation exchange capacity to bind nutrients for plant use. I can't see how using it as a cap would be any different from using it for the entire bed in terms of "fish health."

There are loads of tutorials online which explain the mineralization process with how-to steps. The premise is that organic nutrients are converted to a inorganic form through repeated wetting and drying with exposure to oxygen. This allows bacteria the opportunity to remove or convert excess organic compounds which could contribute to nutrient spikes, excessive algae growth, etc.

However it seems as though there are plenty of people having good success using potting soil and similar dirts with loads of organic content.

I'm planning a tank build using MTS with an Eco cap and would be interested to hear others' experiences with growth, dosing and maintenance. The fish, I'm confident, will be just fine.

CatSoup 10-12-2012 12:37 AM

I wonder if it is the fear of blocking out the good bacteria in the established soil. I don't see that being possible. Even if it was, in a healthy established tank there should be plenty of other places for bacteria to thrive.

Gabez 10-14-2012 11:43 PM

Thanks guys , I decided not to use soil as my plant choices don't really need it , I have gravel and flourite mix first layer with eco on top , with a sand "river" down the middle , looks great and should grow well with root tabs I hope.

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