Eco-Complete Red vs Black? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 03:00 AM Thread Starter
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Eco-Complete Red vs Black?

Hello.

Can anyone tell me what is the difference between Eco-complete Red vs Black?

I called the CaribSea company but the women who answered the phone said that one one there knows the different and they have to contact some special team to get back to me,

So apparently they are confused by it also. It would be nice if they listed the difference on the website.

The black which I have used in the past appears to be crushed lava rocks. The red from the pictures appear to be random stones but that is just a guess.

Can anyone let me know what the eco-complete red is made from?

Thanks.

Last edited by Merriallynchian; 03-06-2019 at 03:12 AM. Reason: .
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 11:51 AM
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https://www.chewy.com/caribsea-eco-c...hoCWTcQAvD_BwE

I would take all Carib Sea's statements of "rich in minerals and essential elements" with a grain of salt. Make it a pound of salt.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 12:37 PM
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The actual granule's are likely made with essential plant elements, so the statement is true. However the granules do not break down and release these elements in plant-available forms, so plant's can't use them.

They also claim 5 nutrients plus another 25 elements to "nourish" your plants. Last I checked there were only 16 / 17 essential plant elements, 3 of which we do not supply from fertilizer or substrate (O2, H and C).

I'm getting a bad used car salesman vibe from Carbsea's end....
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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The actual granule's are likely made with essential plant elements, so the statement is true. However the granules do not break down and release these elements in plant-available forms, so plant's can't use them.

They also claim 5 nutrients plus another 25 elements to "nourish" your plants. Last I checked there were only 16 / 17 essential plant elements, 3 of which we do not supply from fertilizer or substrate (O2, H and C).

I'm getting a bad used car salesman vibe from Carbsea's end....

My question is if eco-complete red and black are the same product but with different color and size?

Or is red a completely different type of substance ? My understanding is the black is crushed lava rock with a bunch of additives.

Thanks
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-08-2019, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
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I found out the answer if anyone is interested.

The black used crushed lava rock type substance whereas the red is a shale rock.

The website is very poor to not explain this.

Makes it seem like they are both the same except for color however the picture of the red clearly look like a different substance than the black.

So I guess my next question is if shale rock can absorb things from the aquarium like a sponge and provide it back to the roots on the plant like the crushed lava rock can?

Thanks.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-08-2019, 12:24 PM
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So I guess my next question is if shale rock can absorb things from the aquarium like a sponge and provide it back to the roots on the plant like the crushed lava rock can?

Thanks.
Neither of them will (in significant quantities).

Both will have very low cation exchange capacities.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-09-2019, 06:20 AM Thread Starter
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Neither of them will (in significant quantities).

Both will have very low cation exchange capacities.
Are they both equally bad ?
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-09-2019, 07:13 AM
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Are they both equally bad ?
Yep.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-09-2019, 07:49 AM
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I really dislike the look in the one tank that I set up with the red. Doesn't look natural at all. Random jumble of colors. I got a partially split bag at a local Petco for cheap and figured why not, but I regret it now. When I get a chance I'm taking it down and changing it out.

Black doesn't look bad but no real benefit especially relative to cost. I like the BDBS much better for a black substrate. Much easier to plant in. Things grow just as well or better. Fish seem to like routing around in it better. Much less expensive.
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