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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, first time post, thanks in advance for your guidance.

I have a high tech planted discus tank with flourite black sand capping mineralized topsoil. Because of my dark substrate, which I love the look of and the plants thrive in, my discus are dark. This is a known phenomenon and not the point of this post.

My idea to fix this problem is to cap my current cap with eco complete red. I like the look of the red and have it on another planted tank, and figure its biologically active so there is less of a chance of messing with my cycle. I have about .75 inches of mts and about the same of flourite black sand. I would add about a half inch of eco complete. I figure the black sand would stay put under the eco complete in the same way mts does (as long as i don't rearrange plants).

Any flaws with my logic? Anything concerns I am missing?

Thanks!
 

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Eco is inert. If I'm not mixing Eco up/w something else, it says don't rinse and that
the water in the bag/w it is/contains active bacteria. Companies have no shame today
and will tell you anything they think you want to hear to sell their product.
I would just cover one fourth of the bottom at one time. Allow a few days between
before adding more. I believe that the top half inch of the sub in a tank has as much
bio-action/bacteria as the filter does. I just wouldn't take a chance of killing that
much bacteria at one time by covering it all at one time.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your note and the great suggestion to do it in stages. That will save me some stress about the biofilter.

Can you clarify the statement about eco complete being inert and not mixing it?

I agree about biological claims associated with eco complete or any filter "seeding" product.
 

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Well, certain filter seeding materials are not hype, but valid claims. Nitrospira was identified over 15 years ago, and they figured out how to package it. This is the real nitrite oxidizing bacteria.

However, EC claims might be valid if it has decomposer or other species of microorganisms that enter a dormant or resting phase. It does not have nitrifying bacteria. I do not bother to keep the water it comes with, though, and just rinse it like any other substrate.

EC is inert in the sense that it should not affect the mineral levels or pH of the water. Many years ago it did raise the pH, but I think they figured out what was going on and fixed it. I still hear stories though...
 
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