Turface is a great substrate on a budget. It plants well, the diameter of the grain is nice and it is not bad looking, either. Just like all substrates, there are benefits and tradeoffs.
I have the all sport pro league in two tanks. It is a smaller size granule version of the regular turface according to the vendor I called. I have the one that is the tan color, which is very nice in my opinion. I wouldn't buy the sand, it will eventually end up on the bottom like mine did. Turface does mess with your water parameters at first, so it is important to know the Kh can drop which can lead to pH crashes. I remedied this by adding baking soda temporarily.
I added flourite to an already established tank and had no problems doing this. I added a baggie full at a time. However, if you disturb too much of your gravel at a time you could end up with untraceable ammonia spikes, so add the laterite slowly. Take a few days/weeks if necessary.
Yes, laterite is basically an iron source.
If you didn't know this already, I will forewarn you. Turface is very lightweight and will be easily disturbed, so I recommend capping with a generous layer of gravel slightly bigger in diameter than the turface.
As far as eco-complete and flourite go, they are the same as far as being an excellent substrate for plants. The eco-complete comes packaged in a liquid with nutrients and flourite does not. Flourite looks more like gravel to me, and eco is more rounded. This may be an overstatement on my part, but I believe the purchase of one over another is price, availability and preference. Both will grow plants well.
Without Algae, death of mankind would be inevitable.
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