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Caribsea Eco-complete Live Planted Substrate

Home Forums Fresh and Brackish Water Fishes Caribsea Eco-complete Live Planted Substrate

This topic contains 7 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Bluedave 8 years, 12 months ago.

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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  • #300432

    rob
    Participant

    hey guys

    #315598

    Bluedave
    Participant

    It fine, safe for fish and great for plants. You need to heavily plant from the start as the substrate is full of nutrients – no plants (or not enough) means that the nutrients may just leach into the tank (possibly affecting water stats) ready for algae to use!

    Make sure you get some deep rooted robust plants like Ech. Bleheri etc as the loaches will just dig everything up. Stem plants are ok but be prepared to keeping replanting them until they root. You can forget carpet plants – I tried growing Riccia, Glossostigma, lilaeopsis, Ech. Tennelus and Hairgrass – the clown loaches just thought it was funny digging them up and watching them float away – gave up after 6 months of trying and planted anubias at the front on wood.

    Good luck with it – would love to see some pics when done.

    #315602

    Matt
    Keymaster

    You might want to plant it up first and let the roots get established before adding the loaches too mate. Looking forward to seeing the result!

    #315604

    Eyrie
    Participant

    Slightly off topic, but a 180L tank isn’t big enough for clowns in the long term, although it is fine for kuhlis and striata.

    #315605

    Bully
    Participant

    Eco-Complete can raise the pH of soft acidic water but, after several water changes it will go back to normal. It even states this on the packaging or, at least it did, they may have re-formulated it? It did have an effect on my pH, it buffered the water to pH 7.5 instead of the normal pH of 6.8 although, my water is soft out of the tap with a GH&KH of 3.

    I’m not sure it’s suited to Pangio species either, it’s quite a coarse substrate. The Caribsea website lists it as “Soft Belly Safe” but, not “Burrower friendly”. I had it for some time in a tank, without loaches, and it did sustain good plant growth (in conjunction with liquid ferts and liquid carbon). Topping it with sand won’t be effective for long, especially if you do keep the loaches in it. They will soon have it all turned over and, as is natural with grains, the larger grains will eventually make their way to the top and you will have a sand/Eco-Complete mix. You may find otherwise but, personally, I wouldn’t use it in a loach tank.

    http://www.caribsea.com/pages/products/planted_aquar.html

    My pH and KH went up after I put Eco-Complete™ Planted in my tank with RO water, what’s going on?

    #315606

    Bluedave
    Participant

    I have never noticed that intial rise in pH but I was using pressurised CO2 with a pH controller so this may be why? The softer your water the more of a swing you will get with the pH. If your woried about it, get the tank set up and planted and then leave it for a few weeks and do a few water changes before adding fish or doing your cycle.

    Good point from Bully about the substrates mixing.

    You don’t need to spend a fortune on expensive substrates to grow plants well Rob (it seems to be all the rage nowadays!).

    If you wanted to just use sand as a substrate then plants would root perfectly well in this – add some plant fertiliser tabs (Dupla used to do some good ones or JBL root balls) around the roots of the greediest feeders and dose the water column with ferts regularly, occasionally add root tabs into the substrate. The thing you need to remember with these substrates is that they are full of nutrients at the start – what happens in 12 or 18 months time – no nutrients left in the substrate so you need to add root tabs or replace the substrate anyway.

    If your going for greedy root feeders like Echinodorus species that like a lot of iron then mix some laterite into the sand – they always do better with this in my expereince.

    #315613

    rob
    Participant

    thanks a lot for all the replies, really appreciated

    #315616

    Bluedave
    Participant

    Looking forward to the pics and diary mate

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