A heads up on Eco-Complete Planted substrate
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:25 PM   #1
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Default A heads up on Eco-Complete Planted substrate

This stuff claims not to alter pH, KH or GH so I thought it was a safe bet for a good plant substrate.

I was told that several years back, this substrate had a few reports of altering the water but obviously the Eco-Complete Planted substrate still has an issue with raising pH. I say this because I have added a total of 100 lbs of this stuff to my tank since I've been rescaping things, and my pH went from 6.4 to 7.2 after completing the substrate transfer. I did this slowly over the course of a three-four weeks thank goodness otherwise my fish may not have had time to adjust. I have Mopani Driftwood and Manzanita Driftwood in the tank, and still the pH is 7.2. The KH raised from 1 to 3 and the GH is about the same at 5.

I just thought others should be aware that when adding this stuff to your tank, you might have some bags that will toy with your pH, KH and GH, so use caution if you have fish in the tank.

I have Angels and others that appreciate a lower pH so I am hoping it will gradually settle back down just below neutral at least.
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:35 PM   #2
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i think it says on the bag somewhere that it will raise the Gh/Kh which also raise PH, i got rid of Eco complete and switched to ADA soil, i was not seeing much benefits from Eco beside raising my gh and kh for long time.
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Old 11-22-2012, 05:47 PM   #3
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Eco-Complete is inert. Though, the junk (liquid) they add to the bag can cause problems. Folks typically have no issues as long as they do a solid rinse - or even a soak - prior to using it.

I've used it several times and have never had an issue of hardness alteration.
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Old 11-22-2012, 06:38 PM   #4
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I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed then soaked for 24 hours (got busy doing something else) then rinsed again and again until the water poured off crystal clear. So there wasn't a drop of the liquid left.

It does specify its important to rinse thoroughly if there is fish in the tank but no where on the bag...even the fine print I did not find it to say it would alter things.
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Old 11-22-2012, 08:05 PM   #5
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I have had the same problem with ECO When I bought it 6 years ago. It claims to be inert but it isnt. I have had it alter my chem for about 6-9 months before it evened out and started to drop back down. I havent used any since and probably wont anymore. It isnt a bad substraight but when you try to keep softwater fish it isnt good. Just my 2 cents,

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Old 11-22-2012, 08:15 PM   #6
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It is inert. That's based on experience from tons of Planted Tankers and from data provided by CaribSea.

It does have a high CEC, though, which means it can absorb things and release them slowly over time. Which seems to be what's happening.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
It is inert. That's based on experience from tons of Planted Tankers and from data provided by CaribSea.

It does have a high CEC, though, which means it can absorb things and release them slowly over time. Which seems to be what's happening.
Ok then how do you explaine having water that was 6.6 ph out of tap with a GH of 2, and a KH of 4. Going up to a ph of 7.4, Gh of 6 and Kh of 8 in 24 hours with a new bag of ECO rinsed about 2 hours till water was clear then soaked over night, and rinsed again? It happened to me on 2 seperate occasions with 2 seperate tanks, 6 years ago. And didnt even out for 6-9 months before I was able to get the numbers to drop again.

Im not saying this is a bad substraight an mabye I had a bad bag, but 2 times in 2 tanks that were built 6 months appart?

Just saying,

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Old 11-23-2012, 01:08 AM   #8
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It's the junk they add to the bag.

Since the material itself has a high CEC, it absorbs the junk and then allows little bit of it to flow out into the water column.

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Originally Posted by Curt_914 View Post
Ok then how do you explaine having water that was 6.6 ph out of tap with a GH of 2, and a KH of 4. Going up to a ph of 7.4, Gh of 6 and Kh of 8 in 24 hours with a new bag of ECO rinsed about 2 hours till water was clear then soaked over night, and rinsed again?
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:42 AM   #9
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It is suppose to be inert, therefore expected to be so, but it is obviously not always the case. Seems half of us have had no change using the product while others have had the same experience as I did.

I just think that it is important for everyone to be aware of the chance that the bags they are getting may very well end up altering the pH,KH/GH. Be it from the liquid or the substrate itself is a mute point IMHO. I rinsed the crap out of this stuff because it said to do so right on the package. I rinsed this more than I have ever rinsed any tank product because it took quite a long time for the water to run clear. Once the water was clear, I still rinsed a few more times just for good measure. So in my case, it was not the liquid junk in the bag that caused the altering of my water, but the substrate itself.

By posting this I am not meaning to bash the product. I would use it again because I really like it. I just feel folks should be aware of the possible effects the product may have in their tanks. That's all. No more, no less.
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Old 11-23-2012, 03:10 AM   #10
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this was my experience with Eco complete

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=128069

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=137695
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amandas tank View Post
It is suppose to be inert, therefore expected to be so, --- Seems half of us have had no change using the product while others have had the same experience as I did.

I just think that it is important for everyone to be aware of the chance that the bags they are getting may very well end up altering the pH,KH/GH.

By posting this I am not meaning to bash the product. I would use it again because I really like it. I just feel folks should be aware of the possible effects the product may have in their tanks. That's all. No more, no less.
point of view taken and respected.

nothing is perfect, never say never, never say always LOL
The heads up is valid and thanks for the effort.
(get a new cat? )
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:38 PM   #12
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One the bag of Eco Complete I purchased, there was a note saying it would raise KH for the the first month (or something simliar).
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:46 PM   #13
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EC substrate uses volcanic rock as a base material.
RobertH and several others (including me) have had disagreements on it effecting water parameters and what is it they wet it with??? Claiming that it contains things needed by plants and 'active bacteria' regardless of how long it sits on a shelf is just plain weird (imo) but hey it sells right?

ad gab:
CaribSea's all-natural formula makes the perfect substrate to not only enhance the look of your aquarium, but to also maintain the health of your live plants and keep them well nourished. Unlike most synthetic aquarium rocks, CaribSea Eco Complete contains a live Heterotrophic Bacteria, which is beneficial for sustaining a healthy aquatic environment as it helps to convert organic waste into a natural plant food. This Eco Complete fish tank rock gravel comes in a range of large and small grain gravel sizes that makes for a porous foundation for plants, which stimulates for healthy root growth and optimal bacterial efficiency. This substrate helps to maintain a healthy aquatic environment as it will not increase pH or water hardness as it is free of any carbonates and nitrates. This beautiful dark substrate creates a stunning contrast, which not only brings out the brilliant colors of your fish and live plants, but also helps to reduce fish stress. Add CaribSea Eco Complete substrate to your aquarium today and watch your plants flourish and your fish thrive.

Anybody else wanna throw a flag on this?
Experienced here was about a 2dKH rise in readings that lasted about 3 water changes. Not being a man made material I think the mined mineral composition can vary, that, added to whatever else is in the packaging soup it's shipped in. That said,, anything with a high CEC can be charged and if it's used in a water system of less mineral content the mineral salts and carbonate buffers leach until equilibrium is reached. Once the stored charge of mineral ions has been depleted the remaining rock is inert.

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Old 11-22-2012, 11:52 PM   #14
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I use this stuff for years now and will tell you that it doesn't even raise kh or gh at all.....I did all the test on it..when i got a GH and KH kit.

The tap coming out of my sink has a GH of 15. and when test in the tank...same thing with a slighly different of +1 .... this changes because the more ferts you add in the tank..the more it changes..

Before that I was dosing my tank heavly and the GH was well over 25. I stop dosing and limted it...now at GH 15 from the tap...woot!!
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:56 AM   #15
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The thing to keep in mind is that eco complete, as well as other clay substrate products, are made from natural raw materials mined from the ground which can certainly experience batch-to-batch variations. While the majority may have quite consistent composition, there will be some batches which may contain impurities like carbonates or other substances. It is just simply too costly to QC the materials on that scale. They may take and analyze once every couple tons, but within that batch may also contain slight variations on a smaller scale as well.
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