Eco complete, soil, both? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 03:40 AM Thread Starter
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Eco complete, soil, both?

I'm getting a new tank very soon and it will be my first planted tank. I am trying to decide between eco complete, organic potting mix, or mixing them together. No matter what I do I will be capping it with gravel. What have you guys found works best? Also, to create a hill I'm thinking of taking the gravel from my current tank and putting it under whichever I choose for substrate.l to build up a hill. Then the soil/eco complete, then whatever new gravel on top. Thoughts on all of this?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 06:10 AM
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No need to spend the money for the Eco-Complete if you're doing soil. After using it in the past I'm not really a big fan to begin with though. I just don't see any real benefit vs other inert substrates.

If your old gravel is different in look vs what you'll be using on top then you might look for another way to build height. Any time you put one under another you may end up pulling it up as you move things around, vacuum, etc. And you'll likely never be able to separate it again if you want to change things. Also, if you have much of a slope putting soil on top of a hill made of gravel probably isn't going to work out real well unless you have some good way to make sure that everything stays in place and undisturbed.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 06:39 AM
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I would lean towards ecocomplete because it's really simple and you can just plunk it in. Just be aware if you cap things and stir up the soil, you may have ammonia spikes or disturb pockets of bacteria. But the soil might be better if you want a hill.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-21-2018, 08:17 PM
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Rachel O'Leary has a good video on banking substrate and making hills:

2x20-longs, one heavily planted. Platy rancher. They. Won't. Stop. Breeding.
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