Eco complete to cap dirt? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-28-2013, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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Eco complete to cap dirt?

Hey guys, i have had dirt tanks for about two and a half years now and have only used pool filter sand to cap my dirt. The thing is that in my fifty five i seem to have a lot of silt like dirt finding its way up to the top of the sand. Given this is a goldfish tank but most of the silt seems to be coming from around my plants where the fish dont pick at the sand as much. Has anyone used eco complete to cap dirt and if so what were your results?

Also has anyone every used any kind of mesh or netting between the dirt and cap to help prevent such a thing from happening?

Thank for your reply!
Jasmine


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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-28-2013, 08:45 PM
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Eco complete works great. Never used a mesh or anything. I think that would make it a little hard to plant the plants through a mesh.


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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-28-2013, 09:30 PM
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I had really bad issues with capping dirt with Eco, the dirt kept settling on top and it was a nightmare to keep cleaning it. If I were you, I would get fine black gravel 1-2mm in diameter. There are too many different sizes to Eco and its really light! By itself with root tabs is a better way to go, imo.


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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-01-2013, 11:21 PM
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This has me worried. I plan on using eco to cap sand.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-02-2013, 06:08 AM
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I use plastic mesh between my dirt and black sand. It helps when I plant I'll feel the mesh and not screw things up. Don't go with an eco complete cap. Go with sand or gravel.


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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-02-2013, 06:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyK View Post
This has me worried. I plan on using eco to cap sand.
Isnt this backwards? Lol


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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-02-2013, 02:23 PM
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Sorry, I should have said eco to cap the dirt.


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Isnt this backwards? Lol
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-02-2013, 02:32 PM
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i capped my miracle grow with eco

im happy with the results so far

plants are growing well and i have no considerable build up of mulm

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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 02:51 AM
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I had some bad experiences with this combo, but it was my fault. Most people have a problem with mulch rising to the top, but you can prevent this by sifting the dirt. This fiters out the large mulch chips and allows the small particles of dirt to pass through the holes. You could also add the mulch chips to a grinder or blender to crush it into small pieces. I found this much more easier to vacuum if the dirt ever raised above the gravel.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 02:52 AM
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I did that. Works well. Just have a decent thick cap


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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 12:15 PM
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I've have done it with no issues, but I've used a mesh in both instances. The mesh does make a huge difference in keeping the soil under the cap. I used that "plastic canvas" stuff from Walmarts craft section. It does make planting a bit harder because it is difficult to get a stem inserted in through the mesh as the holes are kind of on the small side and Eco complete is very light weight so it doesn't really want to hold anything down. The only real problem I've had is when I decide I want to transplant plants with big root systems like swords. They will have grown through the mesh so much that when you go to pull then up they lift the mesh and the cap for half the tank up I've got a couple swords in my 55 that I have dared uproot because of it

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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-08-2013, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
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Hmm, ok maybe I won't do Eco with my dirt then, I love the idea of the mesh though, I only have rooting plants crypts and swords in this tank....I would just have to make the sand cap thick enough to plant in to keep them in there till they root. Maybe I'll do black sand too, what brand/ where can you buy a heavier black sand? I use pool filter sand and like that as soon as the fish pick it up and spit it out, it sinks to the bottom immediately.
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-08-2013, 11:36 AM
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Black Diamond sand blasting grit from some place like tractor supply is probably your cheapest option and a number of members have used it successfully.

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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 02:37 AM
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Mine is: Non mineralized topsoil, then a THIN layer of play sand, then Eco Complete over both. I have not had much problem with silt making its way up. I DID have some initial problems with the topsoil not settling down, but eventually it came clear (two or three days). Check my journal linked below to see what I did.

HOWEVER: Watch the depth of the substrate...NON MTS, plus too much substrate equals gas bubbles, which I have a lot of, now. I have to skewer the substrate every couple of days to release it.

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Link to my first planted tank, 37 gallon tall, topsoil, sand, Eco Complete
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 08-11-2013, 03:31 AM
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In my tank I put the topsoil down first then a thin layer of black sand and then the eco complete and it has worked great. I haven't had a problem with dirt rising to the top and my plants are growing great.
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