Mixing Eco-Complete?? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 06:27 AM Thread Starter
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Mixing Eco-Complete??

Hey everyone! I'm new to the forum...

I started my first real tank (bigger than 5 gallons) September 07. I did my research, or at least some of it. Now I'm wishing I had done just a bit more...

I'm trying to plant my tank. I've been trying since... maybe November? Nothing is working. I started out with regular gravel with laterite mixed into the first layer. I upgraded the lighting that came with the tank to a GLO t5 HO fixture. I've tried fertilizing the couple plants I have, but just a little. I think I need to now upgrade the substrate to something like Eco-Complete. I really want to have a moderatly planted tank, but so far it's been nothing but frustration. The couple plants I have managed to keep alive (for a couple weeks/months) are some wisteria and an amazon sword. The amazon sword is not growing, and is being covered by algea. So it's obviously not working.

I would like to use Eco-Complete, but I was wondering if I could mix one bag with something else. The tank is a 28 gallon bowfront. Eco-Complete is just so expensive... What could I mix in with it and still get good results? Or do I need to just spend the extra money and do all EC? I don't want to skimp out like I did with the laterite. Being a student, I'm trying to save money where I can. I'm also wanting to upgrade my Penguin 200 to a Magnum or Filstar, so that will be another cost. And then add in cost of plants, and flourish & flourish excel, plus something to lower my incredibly high pH, filter media, fish food... It all gets expensive.

Any advice would be great.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 06:36 AM
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I am not a fan of mixing substrate. Many people however, do mix it and have good results. Remember, smaller pieces, like sand, etc. will work their way to the bottom with the larger pieces staying on top.

As for filtration, if those are your options, either a Magnum or a Filstar, I would go with the Filstar. I have used Magnum filters in the past and don't care for them much. If it was my tank I would throw an Eheim Classic 2215 on there.

Are you or do you plan on injecting CO2? How often are you doing water changes?

Ehfipimp #273 ( Eheim Classic: 2260, 2217, Eheim Ecco: 2236, 2232 ) Fluval FX5

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 06:41 AM
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you shouold have enough eco in one bag to do your tank, if not you can mix it with black gravel, I do with NO problems, another suggestion, out one handful of peat in the bottom 1st b4 adding the eco and gravel, this works great for me, every now and then I buy fert tabs, once every 6 mths ... but no worries the eco will do its job, if you have algea move your tank away from any sunlight, use the light less often, and you can add a diyco2 for really cheap !!! and buy a few scavengers, and algea eaters, everything should be fine... pm me for any questions, i would me glad to help with what I know that works.... good luck !!!! ~~~ the black estees rocks as metioned , that is also what gravel I use, you can buy it at most of your lfs, and it is usually about 16.99 for 20 pds, at petsmart, and you will buy NO means need that much !! I would say with a 28 gallon 1 bag of eco, and for almnost 3 " of substrate you can add about 10 pds of estees bl;ack gravel, it is a fine gravel not too big but not too small, fits right in with eco, and just works great !! I buy the seacem root tabs aka as fert tabs you place these in the gravel right beside a root system , I would say about 3 for your 28 spread away from each other, and put the rest of the 3 in about 6 mths later, this will make your planst soar!!!!!!!!! my tanks are all growing great !! now i also do some liquid ferts, BUT I do not do them everyday, its more like everyother day, then somtimes on the weekends I dont dose at all, (water changes) So you will find what works for you , ...

BTW ~~~~~~~~~?????? what kind of algea are you battling ?? any pics>?? I am sure more help could be just on the algea problem with more info !! keep us posted ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Last edited by starsunmoon; 05-26-2008 at 06:40 PM.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 06:49 AM Thread Starter
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You guys make is sound so easy... I do have ottos, no sunlight exposure, lights aren't on long, I do big water changes often, and I have the stuff for DIY CO2. I haven't set it up on that tank yet, since It only has two plants.

Filstar and Magnum aren't my only options, they were just the two I was looking at. I'm open to anything - under $100. I don't mind checking ebay or Craigslist. I'll check out Ehiem. I was also looking at fluvals. How about a fluval 205?
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 06:54 AM
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The Eheim Classic 2215 is $109 at Petsmart.com and they have free shipping on orders over $50 + 10% off your order right now. Just looked and it would be $98.99 shipped to your house. They come with all the media, etc.

IMO this filter is the best you can get. Period. The 2215 is also rated for tanks up to 92 gallons. If you get a larger tank you wont have to get another canister. Plus they are designed to go extremely long periods with out maint. Basically, set it and forget it. I love all of my Eheims and would never consider another brand.

I have owned many a fluval and got rid of them. I don't care for them at all..

Ehfipimp #273 ( Eheim Classic: 2260, 2217, Eheim Ecco: 2236, 2232 ) Fluval FX5

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 07:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fshfanatic View Post
The Eheim Classic 2215 is $109 at Petsmart.com and they have free shipping on orders over $50 + 10% off your order right now. Just looked and it would be $98.99 shipped to your house. They come with all the media, etc.

IMO this filter is the best you can get. Period. The 2215 is also rated for tanks up to 92 gallons. If you get a larger tank you wont have to get another canister. Plus they are designed to go extremely long periods with out maint. Basically, set it and forget it. I love all of my Eheims and would never consider another brand.

I have owned many a fluval and got rid of them. I don't care for them at all..
I agree.


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 03:17 PM
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Your algae issues are probably due to the high lighting you have on the tank + small plant mass + no CO2. I'd prioritize getting one of those canisters (I've never owned an Eheim to date, but I love my Rena Filstar- maintenance can't get much easier) so you can get your CO2 up and running, and stuff that tank full of some fast-growing stems.

I personally like plant substrates, but they aren't absolutely necessary- water column ferts also will do the job as long as you make sure to provide the correct balance of the macro and micro nutrients that plants need. www.RexGrigg.com is a good site to read up on balancing out light, CO2, and ferts.





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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-26-2008, 06:17 PM
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i mix eco and blk estes rocks together. the substrate can be anything as long as you have good light and ferts, c02. many people here use shultz aquasoil for plants it has no nutritianal value at all just like rocks.

light-ferts -c02 are whats needed for plants
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-27-2008, 04:18 AM
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shultz aquasoil for plants it has no nutritianal value at all just like rocks.

\
simply untrue...it has a high CEC just like flourite and sms...

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-27-2008, 04:38 AM
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shultz aqua soil has no nutrional value at all, its plain natural ceramic and makes your ph go down and robs your water of nutirents. its great for certain plants but screwed my ph up and made my water really hard when i used it.

it is nothing like flourite or sms which botjh contain iron
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-28-2008, 12:33 AM Thread Starter
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Now I'm really confused.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-28-2008, 01:40 AM
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OK, substrate discussion aside for a min, let's talk just about your setup.

You have a 28gallon tank with very few plants, no CO2 (yet), and no ferts but very intense lighting. This is a recipe for algae, right here. You need to bring your tank into balance, and unless you're spending $$$ for ADA Aquasoil, no other substrate really will provide enough nutrients by itself to keep up with your current lighting.

You need to find a balance between lighting, nutrients, and CO2 in your tank so you can grow plants instead of algae. Without balance, algae is and will continue to win.

www.RexGrigg.com is a good place to do some research.





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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-28-2008, 03:02 AM Thread Starter
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I know that's it's not a good mix right now, I'm just having trouble deciding whether I should save up for a better substrate (I was thinking eco-complete) before going out and loading my aquarium with plants. Since I don't have a lot of plants, I haven't been dosing, or set up the CO2 on that tank. So I know why I have all that algea, I just don't know what step I should take first - new substrate and then plants, ferts, & CO2, or just plenty more plants, CO2, and ferts? I just don't want to get a bunch of plants and then decide I want a new substrate - then I would have to pull everything out. Since I only have a couple plants right now, it would be best to change the substrate before adding any more.

I'm a student, so money comes slowly. I add what I can, when I can. So perfect balance isn't a one step process in my case. I do know I've got a lovely mix for growing algae right now though.
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