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Hi. I am working on reading through all of the information here, but it is going to take me a while to sort it all out.... In the meantime, I have some very basic questions. I have two 10g tanks with eco-complete substrate and marineland double bright LED lights. I also have a 2.5g with eco-complete and a 10w compact fluorescent aquarium plant bulb. No co2. Looking for a simple solution to fertilizing. Lots of different plants, low and medium light, some floating. My understanding is that eco-complete contains a good range of minerals. Are most of the micro-nutrients that plants need minerals? The root tabs seem to all include trace elements as well as macro-nutrients, but it seems like an easy way to go. What about the floating plants? Does some of the nutrients from the root tabs end up in the water column or do I need to use a liquid as well? The 10g are too new for me to have much of a feeling for how the plants are doing. A lot of the plants in the 2.5g seem to think that the betta that is in there with them is providing plenty of nutrients! (One 10g has 8 rasbora, the other one is still cycling).

Thank you for any help!

Leah
 

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Unfortunately, despite EcoComplete's claims, it is inert. It has nothing your plants need. So add root tabs to your heart's content.

Fortunately, EcoComplete does have a high CEC (think: ability to absorb good stuff) rating. So, use liquid, or dry, ferts (NPK+Micro), as well as substrate ferts. Do your weekly water changes, and don't ever worry about testing.
 

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I have Eco complete in my 55 gallon tank. I have never used root tablets. I did use flourish comprehensive 1x a week. Even then I have messed some weeks that i didnt add anything. Have never had any problems growing the plants that I have in this tank. Most of them ( well all but duckweed and rotala indica are substrate rooted plants.) Hopes this helps some.
 

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Yeah Eco isn't really nutrient rich, it is just a source of cation exchange capacity (CEC). CEC is the measure of the ability of a soil to exchange cations from solution (the cations in the water in the tank) and bind them to sorption sites in the soil where they can be taken up and used by the plant's roots. Most aquatic plants can also take up nutrients through their foliage, so a good CEC in an aquarium soil is not as important as it is for plants growing on dry land. But that's not to say that having a good, nutrient rich substrate isn't a good thing in the aquarium.

I use Eco in my tank, and I dose liquid ferts twice a week, and I dose fert tabs every month. So far it is working well.
 

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I have a 75 with Ecco Complete. I dose water column for stems and use root tabs for heavy root feeders like Amazon Swords. The Sword plants REALLY improved after adding root tabs - the Ecco Complete does not have enough for heavy root feeders.
 
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