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Hello! I recently got a 20 gallon high tank and I want to make a pearlweed carpet. Problem is, I need nutrient rich substrate for a good carpet. I looked into Fluval stratum, but decided it wasn't for me because I was looking for something that won't alter water chemistry.

Then I found Eco-Complete. However before I buy it, I'd like to know, Is there a real difference in the red and black one other than the color?

Thanks
-Hania
 

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Hello! I recently got a 20 gallon high tank and I want to make a pearlweed carpet. Problem is, I need nutrient rich substrate for a good carpet. I looked into Fluval stratum, but decided it wasn't for me because I was looking for something that won't alter water chemistry.

Then I found Eco-Complete. However before I buy it, I'd like to know, Is there a real difference in the red and black one other than the color?

Thanks
-Hania
There is no difference between the colors however, eco-complete is an inert substrate. They put some fertilizer in the water in the bag but as you might imagine that lasts a few days or until the first water change. The advertising is thus a bit misleading.

Good news is you don't 'need' a nutrient rich substrate for pearl weed. You can just use sand if you want, or a combination of sand and an aquasoil substrate (like fluval stratum), which is how I do it with a thin layer of aquasoil capped by sand. You will however regardless of what you use need a good fertilizer system. For tanks without co2 injection I like Nicolg ThriveC. It requires a 50% water change once a week (I aim for 70+) but that's just good practice regardless in my opinion. Good luck!
 

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Do not buy eco-complete. It is a marketing gimmick. I have it in my 120 (attached picture) but i have crystal river in my 40B both are inert both grow plants. I've not grown pearl weed so no comments there but CO2 will probably help ;) I also like thrive but any of hte major fertilizers will work equally well for green plants. Red plants are a bit more difficult and require more specialize treatment. I suspect pearl weed is going to be sensitive to amount of light and current. One problem i have with similar plant (monte carlo) is even slight fish disturbance create issues. I suppose once it gets established and good root system it might work better but my experience is most stem plants (and pearl weed is a stem plant at heart) do not develop strong root system.

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