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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-17-2012, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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I need expert advice

I just ordered 40lbs of eco-complete. I dont have it yet but I intend to setup my 20g tank as a low tech planted tank. Having never used this stuff before, I am not sure if I should buy new sand or the typical aquarium gravel to cover the eco-complete.

What suggestions can people give me? I expect that I will need to wash the eco complete, or should i set it up and fill the tank and run the filter for the first week or so before adding plants and fish?

I dont yet have the light I ordered for the tank yet, soI will set thinks up in stages.

All comments Welcome.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-17-2012, 10:17 PM
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Im not a expert but i can tell you from experience... sand will eventually seep though the Eco complete and mix with it.

Smaller particles will always drop to the lowest portion...

And unless u dont like the looks of eco complete being black, which then u can go another type of substrate, just have a single substrate.

If you want a beach effect.... half your tank 1 substrate and the other half another, you need a divider so they wont intermix.

But yeah i didnt do research the first time with eco complete and mix'd it with sand to create a bicolor effect... well needless to say that didnt last very long.. :P

Also no need to wash it... just dump it inside your tank... add water, run a filter.. and start your cycle...

Lastly, i suggest u get some root tabs... and plant them inside your substrate after u have cycled.
Eco complete does not all the required ferts inside it like AquaSoil does.
Its a very high CEC substrate, so root tabs work really well with eco complete.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-17-2012, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thats great, thanks for the comment. So it is ok to simply just have the eco complete as the only substrate? I am cool with that, I was under the impression that I had to cover the eco-complete with something.

Thanks for the input on the root tabs as I think that makes good sense as well.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 02:38 AM
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I use all eco in 3 of 4 of my tanks and it's just fine. It's inert and doesn't contain ferts but if you fert the water column over time it will absorb it and release it to roots of plants. Just shove some root tabs in with a 6 inch radius between them and you should be good to go for quite a while.

I love eco, it's heavy enough to hod stuff, looks great, and plants grow excellent in it.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 05:04 AM
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You don't need to cover the Eco-complete unless you are going for a different look and you do not need to rinse it, I think too many peaple are rinsing good substrate down the drain, after all do you rinse the dirt in your vegtable garden? Before you add any water to the tank cover the substrate with a a good layer of news paper and put a plastic grocery bag over the end of your fill hose and turn the water on slowly and let it fill slowly. Afterward remove everything slowly and you will have crystal clear water with in the hour if not right away.

This isn't my photo but look how clear his water is, here a link to the thread


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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by 150EH View Post
You don't need to cover the Eco-complete unless you are going for a different look and you do not need to rinse it, I think too many peaple are rinsing good substrate down the drain, after all do you rinse the dirt in your vegtable garden? Before you add any water to the tank cover the substrate with a a good layer of news paper and put a plastic grocery bag over the end of your fill hose and turn the water on slowly and let it fill slowly. Afterward remove everything slowly and you will have crystal clear water with in the hour if not right away.
I agree, i wouldnt rinse substrates designed for aquarium use either. Never have and not a problem yet, just a little bit of cloudiness to filter out with some clarifier. Hell, rinsing flourite can make things worse, even.

Yukon, isn't 40lbs of ecocomplete going to fill your entire tank? I've got about 25lbs of FloraMax black in my 20 long and it has a 6 inch hill in a couple of spots.


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-05-2012, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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You are right, I put the two bags of eco complete into the tank and was shocked to see how much it filled the tank.

I think I am going to remove some and put it in a small 5 gallon tank I am setting up as well. No sense not putting it to good use.

On another not I bought one of the aquarium logs for the tank and after soaking it, it has still turned the tank water dark brown. Everything I have read tells me it will not affect the plants or fish, but I am still a bit concerned with how dark the water looks. There is no plants or fish in the tank as I am just trying to get the cycling going. Any comments welcomed.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-05-2012, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YukonCaper View Post
Samamorgan
You are right, I put the two bags of eco complete into the tank and was shocked to see how much it filled the tank.

I think I am going to remove some and put it in a small 5 gallon tank I am setting up as well. No sense not putting it to good use.

On another not I bought one of the aquarium logs for the tank and after soaking it, it has still turned the tank water dark brown. Everything I have read tells me it will not affect the plants or fish, but I am still a bit concerned with how dark the water looks. There is no plants or fish in the tank as I am just trying to get the cycling going. Any comments welcomed.
regarding your aquarium log/brown water: it's just releasing tannins. it will lower your PH, so keep your eye on that, but the brown water itself isn't harmful. you can add purigen or carbon to your filter and it'll get rid of it, if you don't like how it looks.
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