Actually in my right now in my dwarf puffer tank I'm using Eco Complete. I'm actually not a big fan of the look of it. I'm trying to stay away from black and maybe even white (does pool filter sand only come as white). Plus when I first put Eco Complete in my tank it was solid white to the point that I couldn't even see anything past the front glass of the tank for the better part of 4 days, and that was with at least 2 or 3 30%+ water changes a day. Then for months after that everytime I up rooted a plant or did a water change more white escaped from the substrate again. I've heard great things about Eco Complete and that is why I tried it. But I've also heard of people getting "bad batches" and maybe that is what happened to me. Either way it was enough for me to steer clear of it from here on out. As for florite I don't really favor the look of that either and I've heard that it is very dirty and has to be rinsed over and over.
I am thinking about using root tabs for the plants the need nutrients from the substrate. I don't plan on using very high lighting on this tank. Currently it is running at 4 wpg with CO2 and weekly ferts, but I'm probably going to take that down to 2.5 wpg with no CO2 and very low ferting. I was looking planting Java Ferns, dwarf Sag grass, and maybe even some type of anubius.
I've started to read a bit on this forum about Soilmaster. Is that a heavier substrate? Would anyone mind maybe posting a picture of what it looks like in a tank? I was also looking into that 3M Crystal colored stuff, but I haven't really gotten that far in researching that yet though.
Thank you for the reply deeplove. I know I don't need sand so much for my dwarf puffer tank, but I know my Khuli loaches in that tank would appreciate it. For the future shell dweller tank I'm planning I'd pretty much need sand for sure. Since the shellies I'm looking at (N. Brevis) pretty much require it for a substrate. Any further comments or thoughts would be gladly considered!