Eco-Complete is a inert substrate, with no true benefits from what I understand(minus the aesthetics). Seeing that you are from Canada, I do not know what you have access to. But if you like a dark substrate at a good price, then black blasting sand is your best bet. Or since you like the PFS(silica sand) look as well, just got with that. In regards to the root tabs/fert, that all depends. If your only planning on having plants which do not require a strong root system (i.e. Java Fern, Anubias, wisteria) , you will be fine without them. I suggest planning out what you are putting in your tank and then research each plant thoroughly. This way you don't waste your time or money. Hope this helps in some small way. Cheers!