ADA Amazonia Light vs Malaya vs Eco-Complete with Soil - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-29-2018, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Hello, first post here.

I am trying to get back into the hobby after a few years absence. My last tank was Eco-Complete. I did not have demanding plants so I had no issues with growth. I am trying to decide which route is the best for my new 40gal tank.

I tested my tap water the other day - will confirm it at LFS when I can get down there. pH 7.5, GH 180, KH 120, NO2 0, NO3 20

I am looking to have a planted tank, not planning on CO2 so nothing too demanding. Plan on having Asian nano fish species - C. marginatus (celestial danio), C. erythromicron (requires higher pH that other species I am interested in), B. brigittae, T. pumila, "rosy" loach, possibly other species as well but fleshing those few out may have me reach my limit. I would like to have some snails, shrimp and possible a thai crab as I have not had that species before

Any advice or tips?

BUMP - would love some advice

Any benefit to using eco complete over black diamond sand or black fluorite sand?

Last edited by Darkblade48; 12-31-2018 at 02:37 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-31-2018, 08:54 PM
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Not sure exactly what all you're asking as your title is a lot different than the body of your post. So, in response to the last line...the only benefits I know of of using EC over BDBS or flourite sand is the initial cleanliness and the little packet of bacteria they give you. Neither of these make much difference to me.

I have used EC and BDBS (also lots of flourite but not the sand) I would pay more for the BDBS if I had to, it's that much easier for me to plant in. The good thing is it cost a lot less.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-03-2019, 01:40 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry for the confusion - I am a bit confused myself. I appreciate you taking the time to write back.

I am really lost on which substrate to get. I was very interested in ADA Amazonia II or Malaya (which I cannot seem to find anywhere) as their impact on pH and ammonia release was less. My previous tank was Eco-Complete only, and I had no issue growing plants, although they were admittedly not very hard to grow - anubias, val, dwarf lily, hornwort. My LFS confounded things for me more by recommending black sand and eco-complete as one of their tanks is this mixture and the plants are growing well, although they do use ferts but no CO2.

I would ideally like a pH of 7 as a goal so I am cautious about substrates that increase or decrease pH. My previous tank held a pH of around 7.6 which is not much different than my tap water.

I have been leaning towards black fluorite sand with eco-complete on top to help with cloudiness, similar to what my LFS did, although I suspect they used BDBS (it is in a pack called Baracca Sand). I do not know if this serves a purpose in terms of plant nutrition, but I thought it would make aquascaping easier.

I did not agonize over this as much last time, so I would appreciate any advice.
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