Eco-Complete Vs Aquasoil?? JUSTIFY PRICE PREMIUM - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-06-2008, 02:44 AM Thread Starter
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Eco-Complete Vs Aquasoil?? JUSTIFY PRICE PREMIUM

I recently bought a 75gal bow front aquarium. I'm planning to have a heavily planted setup with Co2 injection and good light. I'm really torn between Eco-complete and ADA Aquasoil for the substrate.

Please help me justify the price difference between these two.

ADA Aquasoil:
ADA recommends 4 x 9 liter bags of Aquasoil + 3 x 2 liter bags of Power Sand for 75 gal setup. That costs around $217 shipped. That's a lot.

If I choose to buy just the 4 x 9 liter bags of Aquasoil, that'd be $150 shipped. (I'm not sure if that'd be enough for 75gal, please correct me)

Eco-Complete: I guess I have to use 5 x 20 lb bags (please correct me if I'm wrong) for 75gal. It costs less than $130 (Cheap price of $105 shipped at petsolutions.com. Can someone vouch for them?)

As you can clearly see, the price difference is a lot. Would you justify the price premium of ADA Aquasoil? Is it going to make a huge difference if I use Aquasoil over Eco-complete??

Please ENLIGHTEN me, Planted Tank GURUS
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-06-2008, 02:50 AM
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Forget the Powersand.

With the 4x9L ADA AS, you get more substrate than the 5x20lb bags of Eco-Complete. (I used the PT Substrate Calculator to calculate the Eco-Complete volume numbers.)

You'd need a little over 3 bags of ADA AS to fill your 75g to a depth of 2", which is what 5 bags of Eco-Complete would give you.

I have never used Eco-Complete so I can't comment on it as a substrate medium, but ADA AquaSoil is a great substrate. I've been able to grow pretty much any plant I've wanted to keep. Keep in mind substrate isn't the only factor in planted aquaria. In fact, I'd say it's one of the lesser important ones, but it does contribute.

But if you're planning to have a heavily planted setup w/ pressurized CO2 and decent lighting, why not spring for ADA AS for "only" $45 or so more?
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-06-2008, 03:15 AM
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^ Agreed. Forget Powersand. It's smoke and mirrors.

As far as Aquasoil vs Eco - It depends on the kind of plants you want to grow.
I can grow more 'soft water' plants with Aquasoil than Eco. But there are plenty of plants that I can grow well in Eco too.

I just used 25L of aquasoil in my 75 - not the deepest bed, but plenty adequate. 4x9L bags would be great.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-06-2008, 03:31 AM
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You have to remember that eco comes packed in water, aquasoil is dry...besides, aquasoil is a much superior product right out of the bag; my plants thank me everyday.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-06-2008, 03:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColeMan View Post
You have to remember that eco comes packed in water, aquasoil is dry...besides, aquasoil is a much superior product right out of the bag; my plants thank me everyday.
they -thank- you? that IS pretty amazing!

I use the eco complete and am very happy with it. AS is nice, but i can't justify the price. You'll also get a huge ammonia spike with AS. One nice thing about AS that I can't say for Eco is that AS buffers your water to a lower PH.

Either route will suit you fine, I'm sure. I vote go eco and spend your extra bucks on the light/CO2 system.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-06-2008, 04:11 AM
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I have used just about everything and I cant justify the price, especially if you are dosing EI.

I switched from ADA ( due to constant cloudy water for 8 months ) to SMS and cant see the difference in my tank.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-06-2008, 04:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fshfanatic View Post
I have used just about everything and I cant justify the price, especially if you are dosing EI.

I switched from ADA ( due to constant cloudy water for 8 months ) to SMS and cant see the difference in my tank.
Original ADA does not do well with our hard water.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-06-2008, 04:23 AM
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1 bag of AS is almost a 1 1/3 more than a bag of Eco complete. Also have you seen the new Eco? It has a lot of red in it.

AS is well worth the money I don't fertilize much so it works great for me. Eco has a varying degree of coarseness from fine to 1/4 rocks.

Good luck, I'm sure both will work for you and it is just a matter of opinions.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-06-2008, 07:24 AM
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FWIW, I really like the red and grays in my eco... and I got the "bad" batch. Soooooo... perhaps my opinion is not what you want since i seem to be in the minority of actually liking the additional colors and some larger pieces.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-06-2008, 03:29 PM
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I think EC cost more by volume, you pay for water with EC just so you do not have to rinse it.

Shipping water?

That's nuts.

Cost?

2 bags of Ec per one 9 liter bag of ADA AS. That's the fair comparison.
Points that might lead you to EC: You move things around, ...a lot...and are a newbie.

ADA: grows the plants better and provided more wiggle room with any dosing routine as a backup.

I use ADA in all my personal tanks.

Regards,
Tom Barr




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 08:16 PM
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I just recently upgraded my substrate to Eco-Complete, and thus far I am happy with it. Only major con would be that it's size varies widely - from dusty crap I can't really use in my tank to pebble-sized pieces that I also can't use. For every 20 pounds, with the water factored in, plan on getting no more than 17-18 pounds of usable material.

As for petsolutions, I was quite happy with this S/H prices and speed...however 2 out of the 3 bags I ordered came ripped. In their defense, both of these bags were shipped directly in an Eco-Complete box, while the third bag came in a petsolutions.com box.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-08-2008, 03:47 AM
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If you cannot sustain a low KH (acidic) enviornment (<4-6dKH), you should not get Aquasoil. Aquasoil is by far my favorite substrate, but if I had to use it with hard tap water, I wouldn't see much difference between it or anything else. I would likely go with EC. AS is a 'specialist' substrate, used for particular reasons, primarily growing soft water plants. I think the benefits of using a soil-based substrate are a little greater overall.

I've noticed Power Sand being a controversial subject. I'll tell you this: it's a circumstantial addition. It's sole purpose is to jump-start plants in the early stage of growth. Its effects will wear off. Does it work? Absolutely--for what it's intended to do--there's a short time frame in which it works extremely well. It's not something to be measured over the long term because it doesn't influence the long term directly. I want you to keep in mind that AS and PS are planted tank substrates. Fish come after the fact. If you want to complain about ammonia levels, use another substrate. Is AS worth the price? Yes. If you're not willing to go 'all out' on your planted tank, then no, it's a waste of your money.
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