Eco Complete vs. CaribSea FloraMax Pros, Cons, and how much do I need??

eaking
  • #1
Thinking of setting up a ten gallon planted with just a school of neon tetras. I've been doing some reading and a few people had noted that they use the eco complete sand and end up not having to gravel vac, they just do water changes.

Pros and Cons of eco complete vs. CaribSea FloraMax?
What input on not vacuuming the sand it there?
And how much would I need for a decent base?

The CaribSea FloraMax substrate is the only product I've used...
 
Graphix
  • #2
No idea, not experienced with either. That sounds awesome though, good luck
 
scotty b
  • #3
ive never used ether, I like dirt and clay , there are mineral analysis on planted substraights you can find on line,.. I never vacuum heavy planted tanks ,but results may vary
 
escapay
  • #4
I've not used that sand before, but I still do use my gravel siphon for water changes with CaribSea sands. I stir the sand a couple times a month and let it sit for a few minutes before taking the siphon in. I just hover around with the gravel siphon to do my water changes, as the detritus is on the surface.

My tank is not that heavily planted, so I still vacuum above the substrate.
 
eaking
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
ive never used ether, I like dirt and clay , there are mineral analysis on planted substraights you can find on line,.. I never vacuum heavy planted tanks ,but results may vary

Was also thinking dirt as well. But where do you get the dirt and clay? I would assume that you don't Vac the dirt at all???
 
scotty b
  • #6
any organic dirt without added chemicals will work most people use miracle grow organic, as for clay I use "special kitty natural unscented cat litter works like a charm
 
junebug
  • #7
EcoComplete is not a sand... I have it in several tanks. It's a dirt/gravel-like substrate. I don't vacuum mine personally.

If you really want to go for it, Miracle Grow organic potting soil is a great medium to grow live plants. That you don't vacuum either, but you'll need to cap it with something.

As far as substrates for tanks go, EcoComplete is among the best
 
EvanLedford
  • #8
I have floramax in 3 of my tanks and I cap them with pfs. I never gravel vac my tanks. I have my current set up where all the gunk accumulates in a corner so all I have to do is hover over the corner and poof all done.
 
endlercollector
  • #9
I researched this for months before deciding not to go with the miracle gro. It was complicated and going to take a lot of time, and I can only go about 3 days before I need gratification. This is why I go to an organic grocer instead of starting a backyard farm.

Eco complete and Flourite are ideal because you get all the nutrients for your plants, don't need a sand cap, and can have as close to instant gratification as possible. They are worth the money when you consider the labor involved with using soil. There's a good substrate calculator online--just Google "Eco complete substrate calculator," and it will come up. You can find out how many pounds of Eco complete, Flourite, gravel, or sand you'll need for your tank's footprint.

A few simple rules:
1). Do not rinse Eco complete or Flourite--that's just getting rid of nutrients you paid for.
2). Put Eco complete or Flourite into a clean, empty tank.
3). Put a small plate level with the new substrate and add water through an air line. I like to put a fish net to keep the line aimed at the middle of the plate.
4). Start adding your plants when it's half full. Plan out their placement ahead of time because moving them will cloud up the water.



Have fun with your plants!
 
escapay
  • #10
^ I thought you were supposed to rinse the flourite?
 
endlercollector
  • #11
^ I thought you were supposed to rinse the flourite?

No. There's no need for rinsing if you put in the water gently.
 
eaking
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
good stuff thanks for the input!
 
escapay
  • #13
No. There's no need for rinsing if you put in the water gently.

Good to know. I might end up using Flourite in a future tank again since I have a lot of it.
 
Akari_32
  • #14
A note on the FloraMax: it doesn't come with any nutrients in it. It's designed to HOLD nutrients that you add, and give the plant roots something to grab on to.

Also, EcoComplete brakes down into mud over time. Something to think about.
 
eaking
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
I'm thinking flourite the black sand I'm only using it in a 10 gal so a normal 15 lb bag would give me a little over a 2 inch base.
 

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