Eco-Complete is better than ADA Aquasoil for *MOST* Hobbyists
Ok, I have now done a tank with BOTH AS (29g link in sig) and ECO (55g link in sig). And I *DEFINITELY* WITHOUT A DOUBT recommend Eco to just about every hobbyist! Yes, my AS grows plants EXCEPTIONALLY well but its the other factors that make the decision easy:
I recommend Eco to *any* and *every* rookie or sophomore hobbyist *instead* of Aquasoil!! Its a) the easiest to plant in! (not too light like AS) b) it doesn't make your tank murky for a few weeks w/ daily water changes, c) and perhaps most importantly, you can rearrange your scape without angering the gods of silty water and crushed soil....which, for *MOST* of us is what we are going to end up doing with our tanks, rearranging things as time goes on (since we are new, you won't know how plants grow out, or how your scape preferences mature...its nice to not have to fear rearranging your scape) AS I think is for people who know ahead of time *what* they want their scape to be, which usually means you have a few years of experience w/ scaping, and know how the plants grow out, and you aren't going to be re-arranging your scape. Eco is easier to plant in as well, it has a nice weight to it. I have seen some amazing growth from my AS in my low-tech tank, HOWEVER I doubt Eco is going to be 'that' much worse, and its benefits far outweigh the growth advantage I believe (being able to rearrange w/o murky water and crushed soil, and its easy to plant in).
If your name is Amano, and you know exactly how your plants will turn out after 6 months to a year and know that you won't need to rearrange anything...go w/ AS for the better growth. But, if you are a mere mortal go w/ Eco it is much more forgiving...AS makes you realize your planting "skills" are lacking, while Eco makes you feel like a pro (and its growth is still going to be better than gravel, and I would imagine better than just flourite, plus it looks nice)
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