eco complete life span? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-24-2011, 06:07 AM Thread Starter
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eco complete life span?

Hi gang, I have been using the Eco complete black gravels for approx. 2 years now.. My plants doesn't seem to grow much as of late after each trim? Could this be sign that I may need to change out my substrate? What is the typical life span of this soil for those of you who are using it?

Lastly, What would you guys recommend as far as a substitute for eco complete? I was thinking ADA aqua soil and flourite black.. any reputable shop online stores who carry them for a decent price?


Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-24-2011, 06:11 AM
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I don't know the lifespan, but I renew my eco by using pfertz root tabs every 6 months instead of buying brand new substrate. however if you want to switch it out, aquasoil is really good after the initial ammonia spike and water discoloration

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-24-2011, 06:19 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the reply.. so i guess my substrate is running out of nutrients hence the ultra slow growth on my plants... I'll think about getting the tabs for time being as the aqua soil is very pricey..
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-24-2011, 06:48 AM
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Ecocomplete is inert so it has no nutrients in it persay. It does have a high CEC and provides a perfect place for plants to root in. We can say that eco-complete has no life span because it never provided nutrients for the plants. We can also say that eco-complete's life span will be longer and outlive all of us.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 02:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Danh Vu View Post
Ecocomplete is inert so it has no nutrients in it persay. It does have a high CEC and provides a perfect place for plants to root in. We can say that eco-complete has no life span because it never provided nutrients for the plants. We can also say that eco-complete's life span will be longer and outlive all of us.
Yep.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 04:41 AM
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i think the life span of Eco is forever. long as you are dosing fertilizers and adding root tabs it will continue to absorb the nutrients.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by johnnybellion View Post
I world always be worried about something to use environmental issues, such as fungi, bacteria, bad etc. Eco complete is much more difficult to clean and sterilize the sand or gravel, and I think it would be safer to just buy a new one.
I hate spending the money for more gravel when it is (as pointed out by other posters) inert. It can be cleaned. I use a large 3 gallon tub that was bought at Walmart for $3.00 (The kind with rope handles on each side). It doesn’t take long under a garden hose. You do lose some of the finer sand. EcoComplete also holds up to bleaching. One part bleach to nine parts water. Stir often and wait an hour. Use lots of water to rinse. I let it soak overnight in water ,drain add more water and then hit with lots of declor. Drain again, dry or back in the aquarium. Additionally, SeaChem plant tabs have worked well for me.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 03:33 PM
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I world always be worried about something to use environmental issues, such as fungi, bacteria, bad etc. Eco complete is much more difficult to clean and sterilize the sand or gravel, and I think it would be safer to just buy a new one.
This concern can be eliminated cheaply and easily.
Placed in buckets or a large tub using water pressure to stir the substrate and wash out the loose organics takes only a few minutes.
Hot water and H2O2, over the counter Hydrogen Peroxide 3% mixed >10ml per gal. will kill most anything.

Dried in the sun does the rest.


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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnybellion View Post
I world always be worried about something to use environmental issues, such as fungi, bacteria, bad etc. Eco complete is much more difficult to clean and sterilize the sand or gravel, and I think it would be safer to just buy a new one.
No it's just gravel you rinse it and your done, there's no magic involved.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-26-2011, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happi View Post
i think the life span of Eco is forever. long as you are dosing fertilizers and adding root tabs it will continue to absorb the nutrients.
It can turn to mush after 4 or 5 years of constant use (not always but sometimes). I've got a tank now that hasn't been changed in 4.5 years that has turned to mush but it's fine until I dump the tank.

That goes for any substrate some will last longer than that but eventually it will go back to mud. Most of my tanks I dump and redo after about 2 years I just rinse the substrate well and reuse until it goes mushy.

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-02-2011, 01:48 PM
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It can turn to mush after 4 or 5 years of constant use (not always but sometimes). I've got a tank now that hasn't been changed in 4.5 years that has turned to mush but it's fine until I dump the tank.

That goes for any substrate some will last longer than that but eventually it will go back to mud. Most of my tanks I dump and redo after about 2 years I just rinse the substrate well and reuse until it goes mushy.

- Brad
I had a 110 that I recently striped down to make way for my new 250 when it arrives,there was 2" of eco complete capped off with 2" black sand 1-2mm,That tank had been up and running 3 years and when i took the substrate out there was a few recongnisable grains of eco complete the rest had turned to mush.That is the main reason I am looking into alternative baked clay media such as bonsai browing media and various hydroponics growing medias that are much cheaper than the aquarium stuff,they are all inert and will not affect PH and all have a good CEC which should help the roots ability to access nutrients.
I certainly dont intend to put around 200 of eco complete in the new tank to have it turn to mush in less than 3 years

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