claims of eco-complete changing formulation/what it is? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 03:14 AM Thread Starter
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claims of eco-complete changing formulation/what it is?

He all. I was in at one of the LFS today and looking to get some new substrate for one of my tanks not set up yet. Been looking at eco-complete. But then the manager of the store and their supposed plant guy tells me he won't recommend or use it ever again. That its been changed. It caused issues with some of their tanks and some of their clients. He said it is made from basaltic volcanic soil. Key on the basaltic part. He claims it is causing the plants to not utilize the co2 being injected into the water and that he gets no ph swing when injecting co2 in these tanks. He claims its the substrate. I claim he has other issues like not enough light and co2.

Ive never used Eco complete. Would love to hear some info from those who have. Thanks..

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 03:40 AM
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I've only ever used Eco complete, though I've never injected CO2 so I cannot comment on that.
However, I will say as well that even in the lowest of low tech and low light, you can maybe only go a year and a half, maybe a few months longer, without dosing anything. However, if you are doing hi-tech or are just plain serious about plant growing then you'd be dosing regardless of substrate anyways. I like the color, even if its only available in black and red, I like it lol

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 03:52 AM
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In my honest opinion, I think thats not true. Should be fine in a CO2 injected tank, and in high-tech.

However, if I were you, I would spend the extra $10-$20 and get ADA amazonia. Its pricey, but SOOO worth it. If its a large tank, I would save and do eco-complete, for for 20g or under, 9L of ADA amazonia is the way to go.


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 04:25 AM Thread Starter
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I had already figured that the LFS guy was full of it. He was trying to elude that it used to be the same fire baked clay like florite. Then it was changed to basaltic volcanic soil. He was trying to convince me that because it was basaltic volcanic soil, that it had higher calcium content and raised the kh. He also used this to say that the co2 being injected wasn't having an effect on the plants because of the substrate. That basically the co2 was working the calcium in the substrate to raise the ph so when running the co2 it was being consumed by that and not the plants and no ph swing was happening. Personally I think he may have been out of his mind.


Well, beyond all that. Im setting up 2 larger tanks. A 125 gallon and a 150 gallon. Budget wise It's a bit pricey. But I'm looking for something like this or similar that we can use.

Looking for any input. Both tanks will be medium to low high light with co2 injection and EI dry Fert dosed like my other tanks.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 04:31 AM
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Hi Aquaticfan,

The LFS guy may have been blowing smoke up your ... as to the cause, but there have been some issues noted with Eco-Complete raising your dKH (and PH).

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 04:32 AM
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So why not use coal slag? save some cash for whats really important PLANTS id rather not see u waste ur cash on eco over slag if u want mix sized u can get diff size grain and its black. any reason ur trying to stray from the easy and cheap solution over storebagged?

idk what city u live in but im sure i could find some for ya if u cant.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 05:05 AM
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Last time I used it in a new tank the KH/pH value increased through 3 water changes. After that it didn't effect parameters. As a planting media I'm not a fan though.


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 05:23 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi Aquaticfan,

The LFS guy may have been blowing smoke up your ... as to the cause, but there have been some issues noted with Eco-Complete raising your dKH (and PH).
Yep. I've seen that info. But that's not an issue for me or at least one i see being an issue. I also think its a temporary situation like noted below that changes after a few water changes. I'm sure that the calcium content in the substrate is higher. Thus it effects the kh. But not in the smoke blowing way that the lfs guy was saying. I'm sure his issues lay with not enough light and not enough co2 to get the results he wants.


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Originally Posted by HypnoticAquatic View Post
So why not use coal slag? save some cash for whats really important PLANTS id rather not see u waste ur cash on eco over slag if u want mix sized u can get diff size grain and its black. any reason ur trying to stray from the easy and cheap solution over storebagged?

idk what city u live in but im sure i could find some for ya if u cant.
Hey hypnotic. Were up north of you in Fort Collins. Personally, I'd like to just use pool filter sand. It's what I've got in several if my tanks. It's cheap and easy and works very well with my high light co2 set ups and my lower light set ups. The wife saw the stuff and liked it and was interested in the Eco complete. Sigh...... Me I'm just trying to live ny the old rule. Happy wife. Happy life. Lol. But I think after I told her how much it would cost to do her 150 gallon she is now thinking pfs. LOL.


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Last time I used it in a new tank the KH/pH value increased through 3 water changes. After that it didn't effect parameters. As a planting media I'm not a fan though.
What things made you not a fan?

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquaticfan View Post
What things made you not a fan?
Mostly the bang for the buck. The ad gab is very misleading.
Like flourite original smaller plants have issue rooting in it.
Again like flourite it has a higher CEC than inerts like sand but that also contributes to BBA liking it for an attachment point. I can eliminate BBA to the point I can find none of it within a tank system then weeks later guess where it appears growing first?
The ads all state;
Eco Complete (and Flourite) contain nutrients that are needed by plants.
Tap water contains minerals, fish food both uneaten and waste products contain minerals. Those are much more available for plant uptake than anything supplied by EC.

I think it's more than safe (and fair) to place Eco-Complete in the same category with Fluorite original. EC is advertized in a very misleading way (got my money once) to many entering the hobby. Flourite original is simply crushed brick (along with the dust) and EC is fractured volcanic rock. Dispute of that is silly (imo) that is what it is. Neither 'rock' can release any appreciable amount of useable mineral as it's bound into the structure of the rock. Unless the rock dissolves and breaks down similar to limestone (which it doesn't) where is the release action for ongoing mineral support for plant growth? Neither product 'supports' plant growth (imo). If you believe the science behind CEC and ion exchange binding that is what you bring to the table buying them. For practical tanking purposes EC lasts forever, how can it last forever and provide minerals for uptake without structural break down? I consider it an anchorage point or base material. Many things do the same for less. Currently still using it but adding coal slag blasting media in a fill with it and plants seem to root better. Also using it as capping material over soil mixes with high organic content.

While it has a reported high CEC and is porous to promote binding beyond that I would post EC is in the inert category rather than considering it anything that enriches a planting substrate or is a rich base by itself for growing plants. Spent the $$$ years ago on both Flourite original and Eco Complete hoping to have a lush planted tank. Shorty after wasting that money I found this site, bought D. Walstad's book and found Rex's site realizing as I became better informed just how far I had been misled. Or allowed myself to be tricked by ad-gab and a flourish of wordy text and pictures.

Are Eco Complete and Flourite completely safe to use? absolutely!
Do they hold plants well and contribute in part to a good planting base? you bet! (within limits)
Are they worth the money? that's a personal choice I've grown away from as have many others. Without adding root tablet supplements or a soil base layer I never saw meaningful support to plant growth.
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? ?


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 10:23 PM
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you know, now that you say that
it makes a ton of sense, what you are saying about eco complete being more or less inert
as a substrate, I don't have any issues with it and I have yet to get BBA anywhere on the gravel (though I have it in other places but I blame the combination of high light, low nutrients, and no co2...but that is slowly changing)
this might be off topic a tad, but I get the feeling that the best substrate will either be ada, mts, or just plain dirt, and cap it with sand over anything else.
I wouldn't say eco is bad, but I guess bang for the buck, since you would end up dosing ferts with eco-complete regardless, you might as well just get pool filter sand or small inert gravel

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-30-2012, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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Well.... The good news is I talked the wife in for doing pfs. So that saves some money and I've been using it with great success. Is it Ada no. But it works.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-31-2012, 12:49 AM
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Hi I am new to planted tanks. I set mine up 6 months ago and I used eco complete. I haven't used any fertilizer until just the other day I saw some Flourish root tabs and decided to try them. I also don't use CO2 and all though I haven't been consistent with it I have used Flourish Excel. I wastold the light I have is too much for my set up but I wanted enough so I could go to CO2 if necessary. Anyway I just wanted to say that I've been testing my GH and KH recently and mine has actually gone down since the first time I tested it. My pH tends to rise without frequent water changes but it does that in my other unplanted tanks that have regular colored substrate. So I really don't think eco-complete has made my parameters change.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-31-2012, 03:08 AM
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I use ADA and PFS. I love both. Do what you think if best. Honestly, with substrate, it really boils down to what you want and how much you are willing to pay for it. I thought about doing ADA in my 210g. I would need 99L to get 3" of soil. After thinking of the price, that scared me into MTS and coal slag.


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