Differing opinions are great, differing facts not so much.
There are definitely a lot of opinions on EC on the forum.
Nothing wrong with the products for growing plants but a lot of people get mislead not realizing it's basically inert.
As always YMMV. Good Luck!
Just when Eco was getting some love, a complete takedown
Certainly not complete in any stretch of the imagination just wondered if it is completely (pun intended) inert.
I think this is absolutely right for the experience level of the tanks that populate this forum. There's no way to argue that either of these substrates are "comprehensive" in the sense we're talking about. I still use root tabs in the low tech I have with a 50/50 mix of EC and Fluorite for my swords.
That being said, there's some context I don't usually see that is good to remember. It's kind of a trick of marketing ethics because the demographic both Seachem and Caribsea are targeting are customers at big box stores like PetSmart and PetCo. They make their sale by mapping with other products in retail to sell a complete package to people in the store. The idea being, "All of our [store's] plants will grow well with that substrate." And most of the time they do. Most of the plants those stores sell are low tech items like swords and anubias, with the odd crypt TC thrown in. Of course this language doesn't translate well to virtual storefronts or small businesses. In this sense, they are providing "comprehensive care for [low nutrient demand] aquatic plants by providing the minerals [not present in many municipal soft water supplies] for optimal growth [with natural fertilization by the nitrogen cycle]." Of course pitching their fertilizers doesn't hurt either. "This product will work 'best' when supplemented with....."
All that's to say be an educated consumer and look out for who those companies are targeting and the language they use. It's easy to fall for marketing language that's specifically designed to make a targeted pitch to a single demographic apply to the broadest audience
. I personally think these tricks are pretty skeevy. So I studied it. Bottom line is the more you learn about horticulture and hydroculture, the better off you are. Decide what your plants are going to need first, then get substrate to match.
All of this discussion is all why I originally wanted to try Amazonia or Tropica, but damn that price is steep. I have my son looking for me in Phoenix. I'm still going to need it shipped all the way up here to the northern nowhere.
Since you're planning on injecting CO2, are you dead set on aqua soil? You won't need any of the carbon from decaying organic compounds, and if you're going high tech anyway, it might be worth considering inert options. Some are quite nice and your plants will do really well with root tabs and/or EI dosing. That's all this tank
is. I know it might feel like a step back since you're trying to get away from the PFS but I wouldn't rule it out.