Deficiency in month old eco complete? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2020, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
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Deficiency in month old eco complete?

So riddle me this,

I set up a tank about a month ago using eco complete black. Plant growth was decent, decided to hook up pressurised co2 to see if I could boost the growth. So now I'm see light coloring between the veins on the plants, figure it's a magnesium deficiency. Could be wrong and if I am please correct me lol, but my question is, doesn't eco complete have enough nutrients in it to get more than one months worth of growth with out seeing deficiencies?

I know it's designed to have small grain material within to help plants break down soil faster for nutrient intake, so could it be an issue that I made a terraced scape so the beds are deep and all the fins settled past where the roots are currently?

I have pictures I can provide if needed
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2020, 05:31 AM
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are you not dosing any fertilisers? because you haven't mentioned what your dosing,
if your not dosing anything you should start especially with co2 . a month is quite while most of us dose ferts from day one, even with nutrients rich substates.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2020, 12:21 PM
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Eco complete is inert. You will have to supplement nutrients via fertilizers.


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2020, 02:36 PM
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Eco-Complete is made up of plant essential elements, Eco-Complete is inert meaning those elements are physically and chemically bound within the substrate making them completely plant unavailable.

It's very likely you are seeing deficiencies if you haven't been dosing any nutrients.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2020, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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I don't know, maybe im not thinking linear but if a company claims its product has everything a plant needs to thrive but you still have to supplement nutrients to make the plants thrive, isn't that kinda false advertising?

Sure, technically it's full of nutrients, but wouldn't it be better to advertise that it just has a high CEC then, that way the consumer can be prepared.

This isn't my first planted tank, just first time using eco complete, darn pandemic was making it hard to get what I really wanted. Really I'm just surprised that it didn't have enough nutrients within to push off supplementing for more than a month.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2020, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Spuddnick View Post
I don't know, maybe im not thinking linear but if a company claims its product has everything a plant needs to thrive but you still have to supplement nutrients to make the plants thrive, isn't that kinda false advertising?
Aquarium goods suppliers are masters at misleading the buyer. Think about filter cartridge's they want us replacing monthly, pH buffers they want us using in bulk to adjust the 1000's of gallons of water we go through etc.

Technically Carbisea never claims or advertises Eco-Complete supplies plant with nutrients, they claim Eco-Complete is made from plant essential elements, so they aren't lying.... Just misleading buyers.

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Sure, technically it's full of nutrients, but wouldn't it be better to advertise that it just has a high CEC then, that way the consumer can be prepared.
Eco-Complete actually has a very poor CEC, somewhere in the 5-6 meq / 100g range. Aquasoils for comparisons sake are 30-40 meq / 100 g which is quite good.

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This isn't my first planted tank, just first time using eco complete, darn pandemic was making it hard to get what I really wanted. Really I'm just surprised that it didn't have enough nutrients within to push off supplementing for more than a month.
Don't feel too bad about it, many including myself fell to Carbisea's lack of transparency in their advertising. It's still fine to grow plants in, you'll have to fertilize however if you are driving the tank with CO2 and stronger lighting.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2020, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah key word there, it HAS nutrients, not it SUPPLIES nutrients

And now considering that Eco complete has a low CEC, yeah i can see why Carbisea says it technically has nutrients in the rock, it wouldn't sell based on CEC alone
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2020, 04:06 PM
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I use EC and like it, but it is what it is -aquarium gravel of a good particle size and weight for most aquatic plants. Tea tree oils are marketed as antibiotic medicines, Glutaraldehyde is marketed as "liquid CO2" when it contains no CO2, baking soda is rebranded as pH Up (which that one at least actually does do), there are too many to name. But EC is inert and was the moment you opened the bag, it didn't offer anything the first month either, the plants are just now showing signs of deficiencies. You can grow gorgeous plants in it though, just need to fertilize which most of us do no matter the substrate, even in aqua soil tanks.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2020, 04:27 PM
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I had eco complete like 6 years back. Ended up fertilizing and my plants did okay. I do recall eco complete having a funky smell when you open the bag. It also had liquid in it. Now my go to is Black Diamond blasting sand. It's like silk compared to eco complete.


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2020, 06:06 PM
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The name complete is absolutely misleading. Even Seachem uses the name comprehensive on their main stream fertilizer Flourish. The meaning of comprehensive is complete. If it was really complete they wouldn't sell NPK and a ton of other stuff as well. I guess it could be complete in a tank with good fish stock that provides the rest.

I agree that eco is misleading, but do we know for sure it's 100% inert. I've never seen a real test on this. Isn't it possible that some nutrients are transferred from the rock through the roots. Just discussing, I'm not saying they do, but I do think some plants have the ability to take up nutrients thru porous rock.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-29-2020, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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One would think that you would at least not need to supplement Fe, based on the fact they use basalt rock crushed up. (I'm pretty sure I read some where it was basalt) being a magic igneous rock, it should have plenty of iron with in, as along as the roots can break it down, sadly you would need iron from somewhere first to give them the chance to start breaking it down

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-30-2020, 04:37 AM
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I despise eco complete. I only use ADA Aquasoil and Fluval Stratum


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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-30-2020, 03:05 PM
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So much hate for Eco, lol


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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-30-2020, 03:16 PM
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So much hate for Eco, lol
Don't get me started on the inconsistent grain size, fading colour, price and how it's hard to plant delicate plants into
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-30-2020, 04:48 PM
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Don't get me started on the inconsistent grain size, fading colour, price and how it's hard to plant delicate plants into
You know you love the challenge
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