Eco-complete, Flourite Sand, or Gravel & Sand?

Discussion in 'Freshwater Substrates - Gravel, Sand' started by redgal, Dec 6, 2009.

  1. redgalValued MemberMember

    Just when I thought I had made upi my mind on Flourite Sand....

    I'm planning on a 10g planted community tank with cories included. I like the look of black substrate and heard that Flourite Sand was great for cories but now I'm reading that it's not great for plants. I was planning on a 1" layer ( using one 7kg bag) to prevent gas bubbles ( but I'll still stir weekly) but this won;t be good for plants. I've also read that eco-complete is great for plants but isn't as good for cories, and that a mix of gravel and sand can build up gas/trap debris/mush together so the sand goes on the bottom and gravel on top and can be more dangerous in terms of gas build up...arrrrrrrrrrggggghhhh!

    I'm going crazy with this decision so, which do you use and what are your experiences with it and bottom-dwellers and plants? Thank you!
  2. TFA101

    TFA101Well Known MemberMember

    I just use the traditional "pea gravel", or rounded pebbles for substrate. It allows plant growth, and the cories can still grub for food and not catch their barbels on anything sharp (the pebbles are smooth).
  3. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

    Hello Redgal. I have river rock for my substrate and my Anubia plant is thriving. I haven't done anything special for the plant other than my normal water changes for the tank. Have you thought about Marimo Moss Balls? Floating moss balls?
    Best of luck!

  4. Butterfly

    ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    I have used eco-complete for corys and kuhlis without a problem. It is an excellent plant substrate. The only thing I know to tell you is to try it and see but have a place to move the corys if you need to.
    The other block sands seem to be really sharp and fine so I wouldn't recommend it.
    Just my 2 cents worth.

  5. TedsTank

    TedsTankWell Known MemberMember

    I have been using mixed sized gravel and am doing good with plants. Occasionally add some liguid ferts, and cut down, and add some pieces of plant food pellets, pressed deep in the gravel, under the plants. Matching the lighting to the tanks is the hard part for me, so I just stick to low light plants.
    Personnally I think all the subsrate stuff has it's place, but not necessarily in the average community tank. It is great for a show tank etc. and a natural species tank where super plants are critical for the show. IMO only!! I don't want to start nothin here so that is JUST my opinion!! for the least cost and work.
  6. sirdarksol

    sirdarksolFishlore LegendMember

    EcoComplete is my favorite planted substrate. There's no rinsing, no sharp edges (which can be harsh on cories and kuhlis), and it's great for plants. Add a few Malaysian trumpet snails and you don't have to worry about anaerobic bubbles (that last goes for sand, too).

    Tahitian Moon sand isn't good for bottom-dwellers (there are plenty of other sands that work fine, though), so if that's the kind you were looking at, reconsider it.
  7. eiginh

    eiginhWell Known MemberMember

    I agree with eco-complete, I am using that for my substrate my cories love digging in them. My rooted plants also thrive in eco substrate too. Every time I trim and replant new stems the roots grow substantially well.
  8. Regal

    RegalWell Known MemberMember

    I have plants growing in Eco Complete (99% sure - used tank), a gravel Flourite mix, and have used play sand. The plants do well in each tank. There may be a difference but not major enough that I can tell. I don't know why Eco Complete would be bad for Cories. I would go for the Eco if you want black substrate.
  9. OP

    redgalValued MemberMember

    Thanks so much everyone! I think I'll go with the Eco then and I'm not chnaging my mind this time, lol. Good to hear positive experiences with it.

    Do you think a 20lb bag will be enough for a standard 10g tank - that should give me about a 2inch layer right?
  10. eiginh

    eiginhWell Known MemberMember

    That is totally fine, that's what I purchased for my 10g. :)
  11. OP

    redgalValued MemberMember

    Thanks eiginh - you mean you used one 20lb bag for your 10g? Did you mix it with anything?

    I'm using different substrate calculators and according to them if i wanted to grow plants i would need a 3 inch layer at least which would warrant two bags and that's way beyond my budget- espciallialy because I have shipping on top!
  12. Nutter

    NutterFishlore VIPMember

    One 20lb bag will be heaps for a 10g. Will give you between 2/12 to 3 inches. Substrate calculators don't work in my experience. I had one tell me I needed 120kgs gravel for a 60lt tank. Obviously incorrect. You also have to allow that any wood or rocks you may use will take up space that the substrate won't need to fill.
  13. eiginh

    eiginhWell Known MemberMember

    two bags is too much! that'll be about a bit over 5 inches in your tank lol. Like what nutty said go with one bag, I only used that one 20 lb. bag for my 10g. It's about 2 1/2 inches of substrate which is a good height for rooted plants. Do not rinse the eco-complete once you get it, just dump it in your tank right from the bag.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2009

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