Eco Complete versus gravel with fluorite? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Question Eco Complete versus gravel with fluorite?

Hi everyone!

I have a question about substrates for the planted tank I am starting this month. I want a lot of cool plants in it, and I know substrate is important. I bought CaribSea stuff, but apparently it just helps the tank cycle faster... I had thought it had nutrients for plants as well. BUT, it is a nice natural brownish color, which my fiance and I like. I have heard good things about Eco Complete, but I can only find it in black, which my fiance specifically does not like very much. Is gravel plus flourite as good as Eco Complete? Does anyone know where I can get non-black Eco Complete? I don't even know if they make it. I read on here that root tabs and regular gravel are not as good as better substrate.

What are your thoughts about this?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 12:16 AM
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Gravel period is horrible for plants. I would suggest flora max in the red/brown color if you want something like that. It is the same volcanic rock as eco but lacks the black water in the bag.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 12:26 AM
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Pretty sure eco Complete is only black and red. Carib Sea is fine if you like it, just add root tabs for nutrients.

You can look on fosters and smith if you want to see the red eco complete.

55 gal heavy planted low tech south American tank
38 gal bow front live bearer tank
20 gal Marineland led brackish puffer tank
14 gal cf newly planted
10 gal Marineland led low tech low light
10 gal Marineland led qt tank
6 gal snail breeder
5 gal fluval chi dust collector
3 gal beta tank

Last edited by Darkblade48; 08-03-2013 at 07:21 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 01:53 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pantherspawn View Post
Pretty sure eco Complete is only black and red. Carib Sea is fine if you like it, just add root tabs for nutrients.

Are the root tabs in gravel just as good as planting in Eco Complete?

Quote:
Originally Posted by crice8 View Post
Gravel period is horrible for plants. I would suggest flora max in the red/brown color if you want something like that. It is the same volcanic rock as eco but lacks the black water in the bag.

I will check that out! Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pantherspawn View Post
You can look on fosters and smith if you want to see the red eco complete.

Thank you! I don't think I am a huge fan of red, but I will check out the color to see how I like it.

Here is what I got originally:

For the top level:
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...2&pcatid=21412

Then the same brand of sand for the bottom layer.

Last edited by Darkblade48; 08-03-2013 at 07:21 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 02:57 AM
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Any of the gravel and sand plant substrates are just a baked clay that are good at nutrient retention but do not have any added nutrients of their own. ADA aquasoil is a true nutrient substrate if you are looking for that. You will want to add root tabs if you are using anything but Aquasoil or a dirt substrate.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you!
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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I ordered a 20 pound bag of Eco Complete today. I am going to use that as a bottom layer, then put either just small gravel on top or sand then gravel on top.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by All that is Fishy View Post
I ordered a 20 pound bag of Eco Complete today. I am going to use that as a bottom layer, then put either just small gravel on top or sand then gravel on top.
That's what i did with my first planted tank as well. Eco capped with pea gravel and course sand. I know dark sand shows color better, but i went with a natural look. I call my aquascape organized chaos.

55 gal heavy planted low tech south American tank
38 gal bow front live bearer tank
20 gal Marineland led brackish puffer tank
14 gal cf newly planted
10 gal Marineland led low tech low light
10 gal Marineland led qt tank
6 gal snail breeder
5 gal fluval chi dust collector
3 gal beta tank
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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I just changed my mind. I think I am going to go with all Eco Complete to show the colors better.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-04-2013, 02:42 AM
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i like my eco complete so far, although it is fairly new. it helps cycle the tank quicker because it actually includes beneficial bacteria. when you get it you will see that there is water in the bag mixed with the substrate. eco complete black also isn't all black. it has red/brown pieces scattered in, so that may please your fiance a bit!
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-04-2013, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I think the mixed in bits of red and brown with make her feel better. She is okay with the black, but I looked at a bunch of tank pictures, and I now think it looks stunning. It makes the colors pop very nicely.
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