They can get barbel damage from bad substrate but I don't know if its this one in particular. I have dwarf cories on the same for about a year and I haven't experienced any problems. So in this case it might be water. Hard to say. Have you checked your water parameters lately?
Are there different eco-complete's? When I got mine I thought there was only one. Then again that was I think a little over 3 years ago so I could be remembering wrong.
I was a little worried when I decided to put cories in that tank but it's worked out well. They don't dig in it quite the same obviously but they still go face first into it and it doesn't seem to cause problems. And the oldest ones are the same age as the tank.
I would still look at water quality but who knows. Maybe the op's fish dig a little more vigorously than mine.
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