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if i remember correctly eco complete is the same as fluorite a fired fractured clay product? but eco complete is soaked in bacteria and micro nutrients from the manufacturer so the only con to buying used would be that its not factory soaked. but other than that it still has a high cec value and can be used indefinitely i don't believe it breaks down over time and can reabsorb these things quite easily if its cheap i would buy it used
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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I'd clean it carefully before use, to make sure you rinse out/kill any bacteria growth/dieoff from being disturbed, and also just to be sure you don't introduce any parasites or diseases (or snails LOL) that could have been hidden in the tank the substrate came from.

Personally, I've bought and used "pre-used" substrates many times. I just rinse it very well when I first get it, let it dry out again, and then give it another good rinse before putting it in the tank.

Boiling wouldn't be a bad idea, either.
 

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i can certainly understand the need to "purge" the substrate of it's history by washing and drying it....but there is also a reason not to do that if you know the substrates history...you're buying a substrate that's already got it's good bacteria going, you don't have to cycle your tank....or don't have to cycle it as long. Lots of people like to start tanks with mulm and substrate from established tanks.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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i can certainly understand the need to "purge" the substrate of it's history by washing and drying it....but there is also a reason not to do that if you know the substrates history...you're buying a substrate that's already got it's good bacteria going, you don't have to cycle your tank....or don't have to cycle it as long. Lots of people like to start tanks with mulm and substrate from established tanks.
That works if you're moving substrate yourself. But if used substrate has been closed up in a box for days, the N-bacteria have most definitely gone through a die-off. They're aerobic so need good water flow to ensure they're getting the O2 they need. Using this without cleaning it first could very easily be toxic. Even just moving substrate around too much can cause a die-off in a tank.
 
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