Sand vs. Eco-complete
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:30 PM   #1
AlecFish
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Sand vs. Eco-complete


I honestly cannot decide between black diamond sand or Eco complete gravel.
Anybody who knows which option would be better in a planted tank. I already have substrate (ferts) on the bottom as an added layer.


I already have the sand but I've been told that eco-complete requiers less work and looks slightly better. I sort of have to agree with that. But eco-complete is quite expensive.

What should I do?
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:48 PM   #2
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Well, the black diamond won't absorb ferts like the eco is supposed to, but it is a fraction of the cost. If you use it to cap dirt or something else, then it doesn't really matter I guess.
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:50 PM   #3
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As far as looks, which looks better?
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Old 04-25-2012, 09:58 PM   #4
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The black diamond is a smaller grain size than the eco. I have both, the black diamond is in my big tank capping some dirt and the eco is in my little fluval edge because it took less than one bag to do that tank with. The way I had it figured it would have cost me upwards of $250 to do my big tank with eco, where as it only cost me like $17 for the 100lb bag of black diamond. To me the black diamond is easier to plant in, the eco is kinda light. I'm sure others will chime in on this thread soon.
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:08 PM   #5
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Does your black diamond sand have a 'shine' to it. I bought the black diamond and it seems like there's a shine like glass. Not sure how it'll look under light...
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:09 PM   #6
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If you have lots of money buy Eco or Florite either works excellent especially as it ages and absorbs nutrients. You still will need to add root tabs.

If you like to save money use Black Diamond as a cap for some MGOPS or MTS.

In terms of looks - I like either, it is personnal preference really. But they both look very nice IMO.
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:45 PM   #7
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I like my black diamond tank. If money were no object I would probably use eco-complete (well, if it were no objectI would probably use Aqua Soil). I like my Fluorite, too, but buying from scratch the advantages, to me, are too small to justify the cost increase. If the tank were smaller I would say buy the best, but a 75 will require enough that I would just buy black diamond. It does have a bit of shinyness, but I don't reallynotice and when I doI don't mind it.
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Old 04-25-2012, 11:09 PM   #8
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I have flourite black sand and love it.. so do my plants.. I had eco complete previously and think the sand is much easier to plant in and looks alot better

Just make sure you rinse the hell out of flourite sand (people will say differently but i had to)
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:27 AM   #9
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Yeah I'll just stick with black diamond. Hopefully the shininess won't be to noticeable when in-tank. I just looked up prices and its $20 a bag of eco-complete. Being a teenager I just can't get $80 worth of it. I actually snagged the sand for $16 and that's 100 lbs. worth so its a killer deal.

How do you suggest I rinse the sand?

I have 100 lbs. how much should I use? How many inches should I do?

Any scaping methods that go well with a black substrate?
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:28 AM   #10
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You gotta rinse that black diamond alot too, that will get some of that shiney out. When you rinse it you will notice tiny small shiney flakes all in the water.
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:31 AM   #11
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I usually rinse that stuff one 5 gallon bucket at a time, fill the bucket about half to three quarters full of the gravel and just take the water hose and run water into it and turn it over repeatedly with your hands. Just rinse a little and dump the water off and then rinse it again and again until there is little to no shiney debris in the water you pour off of it.
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:41 AM   #12
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Alright, I'll try that tomorrow and see if I can make it run clear.
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