Caribsea eco-complete substrate

Discussion in 'Freshwater Substrates - Gravel, Sand' started by superawesome, Jul 20, 2015.

  1. superawesomeValued MemberMember

    I made a major overhaul in my tank where I changed pretty much the way everything was arranged originally. That includes new rocks, cleaning the driftwood which by the way was full of poop and decaying remnants of bark, and it stunk pretty bad. I also drained the entire tank and cleaned up the substrate which was purely nastyness and black stuff that I thought the monster from the black lagoon was gonna come out from it. Don't worry guys, I had the fishes in a quarantine tank and 32 gallons of the existing water held in a container. I got this !
    I bought "Caribsea Eco-Complete Planted Aquarium Substrate" and followed the directions on the bag. Even with a couple of washes the water still turned black but I didn't worry, those are good nutrients flowing. Anyways, I replanted everything in patches using the new substrate. Whatever was left over I sprinkled on top of the existing substrate sparingly. The water parameters were good since like I said, I put 32 gallons of the old water back plus whatever was in the sump. The next morning I made a 25% water change and later acclimated the fish to the new environment using the drip method and they are doing great, a little lost but great.
    Has anyone used this substrate before? Have there been any improvements with the plants? I'm hoping I didn't waste my money.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  2. Emily CaldwellValued MemberMember

    I used it in my 5.5 gallon. Meh. I don't love it. This is my only planted tank so I don't have anything to compare it to. Plants seem to like it ok but I still need to use fertilizer. I wouldn't use it again. I'm going to redo this tank with sand. I just don't love the look of the Eco-Complete. Looks like dirt to me, and the only plants that have really THRIVED in it are anubias which can live in anything. That said, I'm a novice with aquariums and a total noob with planted tanks. Your mileage may vary.

  3. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    I use it on my 75g planted tank and I'm seeing great results on my plants. I also use Flourish and Excel but I like the look of the sand, its all black. When I use substrate for my tanks, I want to buy authentic stuff. The added bonus of this kind of substrate is that it supposedly contains live bacteria.

  4. superawesomeValued MemberMember

    Oh I didn't know about the bacteria. That's a bonus for sure. This substrate is not black it's the one that has that cool brick color to it. The cool thing about the color is that it looks like a natural river as if a flood washed out pieces of bottom rock. I also use Excel but I'm hoping to start seeing results soon.

    If it's only plants you have in the tank then you need fertilizers as well, otherwise they don't have anything to assimilate nutrient wise. So it's kind of living without food and just water.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 20, 2015
  5. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Oh you bought the red version of it, I have the black version.
  6. ClearEyesWell Known MemberMember

    I'm kind of curious how live bacteria can live in dry substrate in a sealed bag.

    Also, I tend to be skeptical of combo-type products like this, not just with fish, but in general. Sort of a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none type deal.
  7. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    It's not dry, if you feel the bag at the store, it still feels moist and theres liquids moving around when you move the bag.

    As you can see on their website, it comes in both black and red. I believe the black has smaller granules though.

  8. superawesomeValued MemberMember

    That's cool too.
  9. superawesomeValued MemberMember

    It's true like Dom said, it's not dry. So if you're planning on buying a bag be careful where and how you open it. You'll have a nasty mess and the water stains too.
  10. ClearEyesWell Known MemberMember

    Well, that makes more sense. I was picturing the typical dry bag of dusty substrate and was like :;sh
  11. BDpupsWell Known MemberMember

    I've used if with great success in the past. I had it in a co2 injected tank and had an awesome carpet of HC.

    Depending on your plants, lighting, and whether or not you use co2 would determine if you need to still dose ferts with it.

    I have also used it in lowlight tanks with wonderful results. I had no need to add anything else for the plants. Just had the light and Eco. The plants thrived.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  12. superawesomeValued MemberMember

    Cool. I also use fertilizers so I'm hoping this change makes them grow the way they're supposed to. Thanks
  13. Emily CaldwellValued MemberMember

    It's in a betta tank. Honestly, I think the issue is that it's a 5.5 gallon and it's really hard to maintain a tank that small. That tank has been nothing but problems and I can't wait to get my betta into a 20 Long so I can kiss this stupid small tank goodbye! So disregard my opinion, it seems like people who are into planted tanks like the Eco-Complete and I would listen to them over me :)
  14. superawesomeValued MemberMember

    I don't know if it's a visual illusion, but I'm seeing the plants perk up a little after I put Eco Complete substrate. This is what they look like now in the picture below. Note that the right and left sides of the tank in the rear have plants. I had to trim them about a month and a half because they were chewed out by angel fish I had. Now they are finally growing back but when they get full size I'll post more pics. imageimage
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018

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