Eco-Complete vs Seachem Flourite

Discussion in 'Freshwater Substrates - Gravel, Sand' started by K3NN3TH, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. K3NN3THNew MemberMember

    I was thinking of replacing my inert gravel with one of these in my 12 gallon.

    Does anyone have a preference?

    I have heard a lot of good things with Eco-Complete. The Flourite bag come in a 15lb bag and the Eco-Complete comes in a 20lbs bag I believe. There is only a $5 difference though so I don't really care. I also tend to like Seachem products for fertilizing so I'm at odds with myself, but might be leaning toward Eco-Complete.

    Anything else I should know about using this type of substrate? Does it affect my fish or stocking levels? Should I use fertilizer tabs or liquid fertilizer just the same as before (currently use flourish complete, iron, and excel)?

    I have Low light plants: anubias nana, a java fern, an amazon sword, anacharis, wisteria, and some corkscrew vallisneria. Trying to get a hold of some cyrpts or java moss.

    I have an established tank and want to take out my inert gravel and put in the new substrate. Will this mess with my pH levels or water quality? I figured I would take all my plants and deco out, and about 1/3 of the water, and leave the fish in (or not what do think?) while I replaced the gravel.

    Last edited: Dec 22, 2009
  2. acolli51Valued MemberMember

    Last edited: Dec 22, 2009
  3. NutterFishlore VIPMember

    I've got tanks set up with both & in all honesty there isn't a great deal of difference between the two. Both need fertilization with substrate tabs for your substrate rooted plants though I do know some people who use liquid ferts instead with reasonable success. I just prefer tabs because it puts the nutrients back into the substrate without the risk of excess nutrients causing algae problems. If you have lots of floating or attached plants they may still need a small dose of liquid ferts occasionally. The substrates do leach a small amount of nutrients into the water column though & in most cases this is enough for floating & attached plants without the need for extra ferts. I did have a spike in my GH for the first week after setting up my tanks with the Eco but a couple of extra water changes took care of that & I havn' had any issues since. I do like the way you can just dump the Eco straight in without rinsing it or anything. You can supposedly do that with Flourite as well but when I did I had a horribly coudly tank for a week or so. I've read that others have had the same problem but for even longer than I did. All up though they are both pretty good & it's mostly up to your own personal tastes. If you can't decide between the two though, maybe you should use both. I've also done that before & it worked great. Niether substrate will make any difference to your stocking levels. Best to install both kinds of substrate into a bare dry tank as you will get very murky water if you add it while there is water in the tank. The fish won't approve of it very much.

  4. funkman262Well Known MemberMember

    I was about to add a new thread with this same question but found this thread, so please help and add your :;2cents. Pretty much, the Petsmart near me has Flourite but not Eco-Complete, so I'm wondering if it matters (don't care about color or the fact that flourite takes forever to rinse, I just care about the usefulness as a plant substrate. Also, I have cories so let me know if either would be an issue there). Thanks all ;D

    EDIT: Oh yea, and I'd be mixing with play sand which is already in my tank.

    EDIT 2: I'm also reading about Blck Flourite Sand. Does anyone here have experience with that?
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2010
  5. NutterFishlore VIPMember

    There are two forms of Flourite. Performance wise there is no difference between the two. Rinsing the sand version is an absolute nightmare & I will never ever do it again. The sand is good for Corys & for shallow rooted foreground plants. The regular Flourite has larger coarser grains & I've read they can do damage to the Corys barbels. I havn't kept Corys on it before so I can't confirm if that is true. Regular Flourite is a pain to rinse but nowhere near as bad as the sand. Eco-Complete has a mixed texture. Fine through to very coarse sand & is fine with Corys. In fact mine love sifting through the stuff. Performance wise there is little difference between Eco & Flourite products. All of them can be mixed with sand though the fine grains of sand will settle under the larger grains of Eco & regular Flourite. I think the Eco perhaps performs slightly better. I pick the Eco everytime now because it is just so much easier to use. Open the bag & pour it in. No rinsing (tank must be empty or one shocker of a mess). It is also $26 a bag cheaper where I am than Flourite is.
  6. sirdarksolFishlore LegendMember

    I would go with EcoComplete. I hope to never have cause to play with fluorite again. I just hated the stuff.
    Once it's set up, it's great, of course, but it's just such a pain to mess with. And around here at least, the two products cost the same, so I see no reason to use fluorite. ;)
  7. FishVixenValued MemberMember

    Hey thanks, I just resealed a 55 gal and wanted info this morning on substrate and here it is. I've been leaning toward the eco-complete also. Now my quest is where to get it the cheapest.:;dk
  8. funkman262Well Known MemberMember

    I called like 6 or so pet/fish stores in my area and nobody had eco-complete so if I were going to get that, I'd have to order it over the internet. Petsmart had regular flourite and only one of my LFS had black sand flourite (for $30 per 15lb bag...:shock:). After doing some more research about this black flourite sand, the consensus was that it works just as good as eco-complete but it's got a nicer, more black look in the tank, it has finer grains which should be good for my cories, and it is heavier so it holds plants better (the only drawback being that it's a pain to clean). I don't mind the time needed to clean the sand if it will end up being better for the tank in the long run so I decided to order 3 bags of it (ended up being about $70 after shipping for 3 bags). After I get the sand and start planting the tank, I'll give some feedback about what I think about it.
  9. NutterFishlore VIPMember

    I've used both & there is little difference in appearance or performance. Each to thier own though. Have fun cleaning it. :) I wouldn't be complaining aobut the price of the Flourite either. That same 15lb bag would cost me $76 from one of my LFS. Eco-Complete is $55. Even ordering them online only saves $15 a bag on each product.
  10. funkman262Well Known MemberMember

    Jeez if that were the case for me, I either would've stuck with adding more play sand or just not planting the tank. And I plan on devoting an entire day to cleaning the sand from what I've heard :;fru
  11. humantestkitNew MemberMember

    I am removing Flourite ater 2 weeks. Black cloud mess. If you have any fish or move stuff around or vacuum you get a black clound mess. The Flourite breaks apart easily and the finest I see is equivalent to dirt/dust. I spent about an hour rinsing the stuff before I added it.

    I will try ECO complete next.

    I had fiji pink reef sand in a salt water aquarium and it was nowhere near as messy as Flourite. I think the Flourite is actually supposed to break down into fine dirt over time for plants.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2010
  12. NutterFishlore VIPMember

    Welcome to Fishlore. :;hi2

    Rather than replace the Flourite you might just want to cover it with an inch layer of gravel. Something in the 1/8-1/4" grade would be suitable. That way you will get all of the benefits of the Flourite but none of the mess. Beats spending more money on Eco & losing out on the cost of the FLourite to.
  13. funkman262Well Known MemberMember

    Welcome humantestkit.

    I've had the flourite black sand in my tank for a few days now and I love it. I need more time to delve into the benefits to the plants but my tank looks sooo much more natural now (I'm sure you would get similar results with eco-complete). The key is being sure not to disturb the sand. And even when I do and the tank starts clouding up, it doesn't take too long for it to settle or for the filter to take care of it. As Nutter suggested, covering the flourite with gravel or maybe even a layer of eco-complete should do the trick for you ;D
  14. humantestkitNew MemberMember

    I had 1" gravel over 1" flourite. Both are removed today. I am going with sand as it just looks better in my opinion. I believe the flourite is falling apart into dirt. I'd guess it would be a great plant substrate if you did not have fish that mouth the substrate or can deal with the dirt in the water column.

    I want a darker substrate anyhow, the gravel I had was earth tones.
  15. NutterFishlore VIPMember

    What sort of fish do you have in the tank? I'm rather surprised that you are having trouble with the Flourite breaking down. I've used it for a number of years & have never had a problem with it degrading. I wouldn't recommend sand for a planted tank myself. It can be done very successfully but the extra maintainance is too much of a pain for me to bother with.
  16. theGrynchNew MemberMember

    I don't mean to jump into anyone else's thread, but this is actually something I'm debating now as well. Is the cloudiness from intially putting in the flourite really that bad? I was using some white sand in another tank, that I washed for over an hour and it took 3 or 4 days to really clear up... Am I just looking at that same scenario again? Does it really cloud up that badly when you're vacuuming the sediment and detritus? I was really leaning towards Flourite Black Sand mixed in with the Pool Filter Sand I've already got in the tank, because I love sand (obviously) the work that goes into maintaining it and just the look of it, as well as having a dark substrate that would also be beneficial to the plants I'm trying to keep. I'm a little wary of it now after reading some of these replies... :confused:
  17. funkman262Well Known MemberMember

    For me, I don't think it was really much worse than when I put play sand into my tanks. I think as long as you rinse it off a few times, you just need to be careful about how you get it into the tank and fill it up with water. I don't think it's possible to completely clean if you continue to disturb it. So after several rinses, put the sand in the tank, and then put a plate on the sand and slowly fill it up so that the water is hitting the plate instead of the sand. You will still have cloudy water, but you can either do a few water changes, repeating the process with the plate, or just give the filter a few days to take care of it. My flourite black sand has been in for a few days now and I don't notice any cloudiness anymore. You may also want to look into eco-complete because that seems to be more preferred than flourite. I read a LOT of reviews before making my decision. The two are just as good as far as plants are concerned but the eco-complete has a more variable grain size. I went with the sand because my cories might appreciate it better (plus I just prefer sand ;)). I hope this helps any.
  18. theGrynchNew MemberMember

    It does, actually, thanks very much! I'll just take extra care to rinse, and to not disturb the sand when I refill the tank. I rinsed like crazy when I put the white sand into my other tank and it was still very cloudy, but I didn't empty the tank at all when I scooped it and laid it in, so I'm assuming that emptying the tank most of the way will help.
  19. humantestkitNew MemberMember

    Maybe I had a poor batch of Flourite but even after removal I had some in a bucket with about 1/2 inch of water over it and overnight it turned mostly to dirt.

    I do a vacuum of the gravel (over flourite) and notice I kick up a cloud of the fine black flourite. When I did my filter maintanence I seen quite a bit of flourite in there.

    I have an XP2 canister (which I like but requires careful attention to o-rings and hose alignment to prevent leaks) plus I use a Danner Mag 7 closed loop for creating turbulent flow near the surface for generation of oxygen in the water since a canister filter can remove dissolved oxygen. Perhaps with less flow or minimal substrate disturbing, flourite would be good ... in a heavily planted aquarium.

    Cichlids that mouth the substrate are bound to get to the flourite. I had 1" flourite and 1" gravel.

    Plants have to be your priority if you are going to use flourite.
  20. ElodeaWell Known MemberMember

    My flourite was that messy, too. I think that most batches are. For cichlids, I'd recommend a base of flourite then putting an inch or so layer of river rock on top.

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