Eco-Complete questions - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-24-2010, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Eco-Complete questions

I have a 37g 30x12x22 tank that I wish to turn into a densely planted aquarmium. I plan on using Eco-Complete as a subtrate and had a few questions about it.

1. Is it better to just use only Eco-Complete or to have some other type of substrate with it aswell. Or even to just put gravel over top if it?

2. Do I need any additional tablets of any kind to keep my plants healthly that the Eco-Complete does not already have in it besides CO2?

Any responses are appreciated.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-24-2010, 06:15 PM
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Eco-Complete is really great from what I hear. Best you can get for the price, I'm getting some soon too. You don't have to put anything over it, but you can if you like the look of a certain kind of gravel. With substrates, usually the darker the better and it has more nutrients in the soil. So you'd be best off with the black Eco-Complete opposed to the red.
2. As far as I know, there are few plants that would need tablets. For redder plants you may need to dose iron and for some plants you do need to dose regular fertilizers into the water column. However, some people use root tabs. I personally would go for the water fertilizers because then all the plants can use it.

Make sure you have proper lighting for the plants you want. Look up the types of plants you are interested in getting and make sure you have the correct conditions for them.

hope that helps
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-24-2010, 06:18 PM
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after about 8 or 10 months, depending on plant load i would start to add root tabs...
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-24-2010, 07:40 PM
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I capped some MTS with eco complete, IMO you cant get much better than that.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-24-2010, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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Wow thanks for all of the quick responses. I wasn't expecting anything that fast. I believe the local fish store only sells the black Eco Complete so I will be sure to pick it up after dinner. I think I will just use that as a substrate it looks pretty cool on its own.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 12:25 AM
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I was just about to get a bag of Eco and it said that it would raise your ph for about 3-6 weeks. The guy at the store said he had customers that confirmed it. I passed on it since I didn't want to subject my fish to a drastic ph spike.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 12:39 AM
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I didn't notice any ph spikes when I used Eco complete
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-26-2010, 01:51 AM
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I would only put in eco complete as adding another substrate would ruin the nice look of it.

When i put it in my 29 gallon my ph went up from 7.4 to 7.8 for only like 2 weeks. So its not that drastic.

BTW i used three bags of in my 29 gallon.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-28-2010, 03:47 AM
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There are a couple discussions about the ph previously on this site in fact. They may be a little old, but I thought they were interesting info....

Thought you might like to check them out to be on the safe side.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 05:07 AM
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I upgraded my 3g tank yesterday to a 5.5g and used about 8lbs of eco complete strait from the bag, filled it with water, then put my RCS and guppies in without any deaths or problems. Today everything looks normal so i would highly reccomend eco complete.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 05:28 AM
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Eco-Complete (black) will intially raise the PH as it has high calcium content to it (look on the label for the caicum content).

The only substrate that will look good mixed into EC is Flourite Black (not the sand type).

Using pressurized CO2, will also help to keep your PH from spiking as high initially.

I am no expert, but I do know this system works well. I have a 29 gallon planted tank with 1 bag each of EC and FB, that uses pressurized CO2. I also run my canister with a small amount of crushed coral to stabilize my PH.

Best Regards,


Last edited by CRS Fan; 05-07-2010 at 11:31 PM.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-06-2010, 05:18 PM
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I would not recommend layering things, Eco is a perfectly fine plant substrate on its own. If you are like me and are always replanting and moving things around, layering will turn into mixing. Eco has different particle sizes and it is meant to settle itself. Thicker pieces on the top allow nutrients to the base of the plant, and the finer sand grained particles settle to the bottom to provide a nice dense area for roots to take hold.

I think the height of the tank may inhibit your ability to grow plants as densely as you desire.

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