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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm considering ecocomplete for a redo of my 46g planted (med-light, no CO2) tank. I've seen varying reports though about ecocomplete raising the ph of the tank. My tanks (and tap water) already run 8-8.2, so something that is going to increase my ph is obviously out of the question! Anyone have first-hand experience with it?

Thanks!
 

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I'm considering ecocomplete for a redo of my 46g planted (med-light, no CO2) tank. I've seen varying reports though about ecocomplete raising the ph of the tank. My tanks (and tap water) already run 8-8.2, so something that is going to increase my ph is obviously out of the question! Anyone have first-hand experience with it?

Thanks!
IME i had a very bad experience with it, i also had a hard water and it makes the water even more harder and raise GH/PH and bit of KH as well.

it is nothing but a high cation exchange capacity (CEC) holder and you will have to dose the water in order to benefits the plants. i had a good results with aqua soil in my hard water.

i used to use peat moss as bottom layer and it works very well, peat moss also absorb nutrients from water, making it good soil in aquarium.
 

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I used it in my 29 to cap topsoil, and everything worked well for me. I'll admit that I *very* rarely tested my PH, but my tap was around 7.6 and fairly hard, and I had no visible issues with fish or plant health. Plus I think it looks fairly good and is easy to plant in.

Aqua soil is definitely better, though, and I'm currently using Fluval's plant stratum, which was a cheaper option for me, with good results. Though if Eco is the look you want, out of everything I would recommend topsoil capped with a black gravel or large grained sand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies. I do like the look of the ecocomplete over the look of the stratum (plus, it looked like the ecocomplete would be more pocketbook friendly than the stratum for a 46g tank). The ammonia spike (and the cost) associated with the ada make it a not good candidate for me. May have to consider the topsoil idea a bit. Thanks!
 

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i like the stuff but dont use this with any kind of ug filter or get it sucked into your filter! it does have some magnetic particles that did a number on a few of my powerheads but if you dont have a intake near the bot then no worries.
 

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It seems to work just fine and the color and grain size seem to be good for most usages but after getting it I just ended up wishing that I had gotten a nutrient rich soil instead. The same would apply to flourite and other high CEC/no/low nutrient substrates so it isn't just eco-complete that would produce this result.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok, that brings up a good question. I currently have floramax capped with black gravel in the tank. I'm replacing it simply because I don't like seeing the red, and if I'm going to have to work conceal that, I'd rather just replace all of it. Is there a significant difference (in terms of affecting hardness/ph) between ecocomplete and the floramax?
 

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I've never once had Eco-Complete alter my water parameters on any tank in any setting.

Always surprised when people claim it's responsible for ruining hardness or something else, as it's an inert substrate. Not saying they're wrong but have never had it happen in the several years I've been using the stuff.

It's by all means not perfect and isn't my favorite substrate. But it sure looks nice and holds fertilizer well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks guys! It's still more the look I want, so think I may just buy a small bag and try it in an unoccupied tank just to make sure it doesn't have an effect on anything. I'm not really worried about my ph at this point as all of my fish are adapted to it apparently (including a lot of various rams), I just doing want to do something that is going to make the situation worse.
 

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I am confused when reading the responses to the OP. I have used eco complete for many years. I have never seen the pH rise and have never had any problems with it. The color and grain size is great. Plants do very well in this substrate.

Why are yall saying it has no nutrients? It is packed with tons of nutrients. That is why they called it a plant substrate... Right on the front of the bag is where it lists everything contained inside. Great for planted tanks and a good starter plant substrate.
 

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Eco-Complete is inert. Meaning it is not nutrient-rich. There are no nutrients in the substrate itself.

It does come packaged with water that contains some nitrifying bacteria, however, but no nutrients of note. CaribSea's product manager regularly says so via email, as well. You can also look at the ingredients on the bag.

That said - it doesn't alter water paramters, again, as it is inert. If you're having parameter issues, you can't necessarily blame the substrate in this case beyond the added bacteria.
 
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