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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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Substrate?

Well, im planning on (finally!!!!!!) ordering fish and some more plants (i had a bunch but unfortunately a lot died- i guess due to lack of nutrients or something) so i figured before i do that and make my tank untouchable for a while (a lot easier to change substrate when its practically empty as apposed to when its full with 80 fish and totally planted and all) i should change the substrate. I was an idiot and spent tons of money on plain pea gravel which is extremely hard to properly grow plants in (stupid idea- i rushed instead of waiting til i could get PROPER substrate and wasted tons of money on Petco brand substrate.. like 15$ per bag.. D soo, anyhow, i figure, well, since its fun (i honestly can say i often enjoy cleaning and rearranging my tank) i should pull everything out and change the substrate!! I have a green hydra problem anyway, so i might as well! Take everything out, clean it in hot water, put alla the gravel in a giant bin and just store it outside or something, put in new substrate, and just put some dewormer in the empty tank and wait a day till everything dies, and then put new gravel in..

PLEASE BEAR WITH ME lol..

ANYHOW, HERES THE QUESTION!!:
Should i EMPTY the tanks water (close the filter's input so that the suction isnt lost and power them off) and THEN put substrate in and THEN refill it, OR, should i just empty everything, and just slip the whole bag of substrate into the water, to the bottom, and slowly pour it out to try and prevent kicking it up too much (as apposed to spilling it from the top of the tank lol).

ALSO,
What substrate should i use? Found some Flourite on ebay for around 17$ plus like 10$ shipping per 15lbs. How much do i need for a 75g planted? assuming you need like 2-3" of it? i really dont know.. all i know is its not as dense as rock so you dont need 100-125 lb of it like you do gravel lol. Is there something better than flourite that isnt a total ripoff? Let me know pleasee! if i do this i want to order it asap so that by the time the meds get here ill be ready to rock and can just do everything in one weekend. thanks!


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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 11:04 PM
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I personally like Eco complete better than flourite. Petco.com has a sale going on OR the Dr.s will ship as many bags as you want for $7.99. For either Eco or Flourite id use 6 bags.

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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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6 bags? so 90 lbs? FYI i have lots of rock formations so like 1/4 of the tank will have less soil than the rest (thats how i have it set up right now). will be moving the formation around and splitting it in two or three though because the fish im planning on ordering require seperate terretories (german blue rams ) soo yea.. only around half of the tank is actually going to be planted. im gona look into it though thanks man!


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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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heya guess what. whenever you buy something always google for coupon codes. to boost sales like 99% of major stores post coupon codes online. Just found one for free shipping on any orders 50$+ so 5 bags of eco complete ship for free on petco.com !!

Anywho, these are the options (eco complete is cheaper than the caribsea stuff- you get 20lb instead of 12 lb of caribsea for the same price):

http://www.petco.com/product/111994/...elandSubtrates

http://www.petco.com/product/111998/...elandSubtrates

There is also this

https://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.c...70&pcatid=4870

So which one of those should i go with? is there anything cheaper thats available in more places? such as the local home depot? maybe basic potting soil or something? I know that there are certain soils that are cheaper however theyre impossible to find in which case its easier for me to just order this and have it shipped. let me know!


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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
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-Btw i just read that Flourite is horrible.. Apparently tons of people have problems with preventing it from clouding the water.. up to 1 hour per bag just to properly clean it.. Is eco complete any better, or is it also a pain to clean/rinse it properly?


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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 01:17 AM
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I have both Echo Complete and Seachem black fluorite in my tanks. I actually like them both.

The Seachem is a sand so it will cloud but that is not a problem in the long run. Beneficial bacteria LOVE that dust. Echo Complete is more like a gravel and is wet packed. Less fuss.

I personally like the sand. At first it looks ugly but it will settle and with water changes will look fine.

On a side note, both are $$$$$. If you can provide alternatives (root tabs etc..) that may be better than buying the "brand" stuff and having it wash out after 6 months.
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 01:48 AM Thread Starter
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i have root tabs- plenty.. rootmedic ones.. ordered a few bags when i decided to go with gravel.. i plan on dosing regardless but i dont want the hassle of having to change ita ll the time. are you sure the flourite is a sand? its clay based like eco complete.. personally im not really a fan of sand.. and bacteria really isnt my problem as im running 2 eheim 2217's which leaves Tons of room for bacteria to grow in. so thats not really a concern. i think i might go with the eco complete :O. Im gona talk to this guy that lives by me.. guy im getting fish n stuff from. see what pricing he could give me.


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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 01:51 AM
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the Seachem Black Flourite is sand. Echo Complete is more granular.
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 06:17 AM Thread Starter
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yea so ima go with the eco complete lol or the floramax stuff from the same brand (the floramax comes in 40lb bags and eco complete is only 20lb bags.. probably could get a better deal on the 40lb bags). anywho.. im not a fan of sand really..


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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 06:29 AM Thread Starter
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does anyone know the difference between eco complete and floramax? are both any good or do they run out of nutrients after a few months?


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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AquariumNoob View Post
does anyone know the difference between eco complete and floramax? are both any good or do they run out of nutrients after a few months?
I have flora-max midnight (black) and although I cant tell you anything about the value it has for the plants, because Ive never tried anything else, I haven't had any problems with it and It looks GREAT. I am pretty sure that eco-complete is different though. I would get eco-complete, more people use it and love it, rather than floramax. And BTW Floramax is a PITA to plant in. I know that floramax doesnt run out of nutrients either, neither does flourite. Not sure about eco though.
And also GO NJ !!!
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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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im gona try and find out what the difference is. Why is it a PITA to plant in? and trust me it cant be as bad as the grazvel i have now..lol.. although i suppose it could be since its mud as apposed to solid stuff lol. anywho, i suppose the difference is the grain size or something. the flora-max midnight is what i was thinking of getting. Im gona try to dig around and see what i can find out. if the price difference isnt much then ill just go with eco complete tho.


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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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Aments I don't know if it matters but there will be bottom feeders in my tank.. Probably 8 sterbai corys and a pair of bushynose plecos.


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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 04:39 PM
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Its actually not that bad. When I first had just flora-max, it was a hard to plant in because I guess the shape/size or something but I also didnt have a thick layer. If you have a good layer of like 3 inches, you should be fine. i use sand under mine now about 50/50 mix. The sand all goes to the bottom though, so the substrate looks all black, with some red specs. Really nice.
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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 12-11-2010, 05:31 PM
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FWIW Seachem flourite is definately NOT sand. It has roughly the same grain size as Eco complete. The only difference that I can see between Eco and Flora max is grain size with flora being slightly larger. I have tanks of all 3 and cant tell a descernable difference in the ability to grow plants. I am not a good judge for these though since I use wormstrate under my substrates. If youre using root tabs and water column ferts youll be fine.

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