Finding eco-complete on the cheap...

  1. Phishphin Well Known Member Member

    So a 20lb bag of eco-complete goes for around $22 retail. I'm looking to get 3x 20lb bags. Does anyone know of a supplier or reliable site that I could get my substrate on a budget?
  2. _Fried_Bettas_ Well Known Member Member

    I've spent a reasonable amount of effort looking for deals on EcoComplete and found the price is fixed by Caribsea. Retailers are not allowed to discount it below that price, this is the reason that when sites like have 30% sitewide, Ecocomplete is not eligible.
  3. Phishphin Well Known Member Member

    Ah. Worth a shot at least... :-/
  4. Rivieraneo Moderator Moderator Member

    Isn't eco complete and floramax pretty much the same stuff except one has beneficial bacteria in it ? I know I picked up a few bags of Caribsea floramax for around $8 a bag a few months back.
  5. Phishphin Well Known Member Member

    You may be right... I heard someone once say that floramax just holds nutrients, but doesn't come with it, but that couldn't be right.

    And since eco complete is wet in the bag, I would imagine you are getting more substrate with a 20lb bag of floramax than a 20lb bag of eco complete.

    See... this is why I like to talk it out with all of you. :)
  6. _Fried_Bettas_ Well Known Member Member

    I was just reading elsewhere that the main difference is the presence of bacteria and that floramax is coarser grained. Oh and that ecocomplete is pre rinsed and floramax is a pain to rinse before using it. Sounds like Floramax is more like Fluorite. I have some red Fluorite and I will never use that stuff again, the pieces are so coarse they are more like rocks than gravel and everytime I dig around in it it clouds up my whole tank even though I rinsed the heck out of it. Although about 10 years ago I used the regular natural colored Fluorite and it was finer grained and not so muddy. Maybe it is just the red stuff.
  7. Rivieraneo Moderator Moderator Member

  8. Phishphin Well Known Member Member

    That's a good resource! So do folks still use root tabs? I'm doing some research and others say you have to, but it looks like tabs contain the same things that floramax and eco complete use. Some have also complained of their substrate turning to mud. Is that something to worry about? I'm planning on having the whole tank carpeted, so I'm not sure.

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  9. Dang Well Known Member Member

    I have Eco complete in my tank, I started it end of last year but really just now put plants in it. I like it, the plants seem to like it some are already growing well. I'm sure it would have been different if I put the plants in when I first put the Eco complete in. I just started dosing flourish and I'm going to see how my swords do before I try tabs.

    just adding to the conversation :]

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  10. _Fried_Bettas_ Well Known Member Member

    I use root tabs along with EcoComplete, but it is probably overkill, at least during the first couple years.
  11. Marie1 Well Known Member Member

    Totally off topic, but... Have you considered using potting soil, and capping it with sand or gravel? I've done it. I've also used Eco, and there is no difference in my opinion. The soil took awhile to stay clear, but, was much cheaper. If I remember correctly, it stained the water yellow. But after 10 days or so with daily 50% water changes stayed clear. If you are going to have a carpet, you could cap it with play sand. It's not like you will see it.