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Hello everyone,
I finally decided that I would like to give Eco Complete a try. However, I have more questions:

1) I still don't have the plants, and I am trying to design the rock, etc (hardscaping). If I lay out (out of the bags) the Eco Complete, does it have to be filled with water right away? or can it wait for several days before I plant and fill up water?

2) I would like to create hills and valley with Eco Complete. Does this substrate move around and becomes flat as they are somewhat rounded gravel?

3) How do you plant on Eco Complete? Planting first, then filling up water? or Filling up water, then planting? Does it hold your plant well? because I am planning to have some Dwarf Sags.

Thank you.
 

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1) You can just leave it in for however long without water. Eco-complete is inert. It doesn't come with nutrients in it, and it's not important that it stays wet or anything.

2) All substrate eventually becomes flat over time. It's the same with anything. I wouldn't worry about trying to compare how long different substrates take to become flat. Just pick whatever substrate you want and use it.

3) Stick the plant into the substrate. Before or after water doesn't matter. You might find it easier to plant before filling the tank so your plants don't float away if you misplant. You just have to be careful not to uproot the plants as you are filling your tank with water (hard if you are pouring from a bucket, easier if you are filling from a hose). Eco-complete is a little light, but it holds most plants fairly well. Dwarf sag is not a problematic plant to hold in, I wouldn't worry about it.
 

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Eco-Complete IS inert but the packaging does include what CaribSea calls beneficial bacteria. Those may or may not disappear if the Eco-Complete dries out. If you're not worried about that (and I wouldn't be), then there shouldn't be any problem.

Eco-Complete isn't rounded at all. It's rather rough compared to substrates like Fluval Stratum and Aquasoil. I use all three and Eco-Complete holds up better when scaping and supporting heavy rocks.

VeeSe is correct about planting. Though, I've found it easier to plant dry so you can spend time arranging without constantly getting wet and struggling to see through water. Just use a spray bottle to keep plants wet as you work.
 
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