Quickcrete all purpose sand at Home Depot ok to use?

Gerlon2fingers


042CB7CC-4901-4F6A-8C35-DC9447130AF1.png I'm preparing to set up a new 20 gallon tank. I have a 20 lbs bag of Carib Sea eco-complete for my plants. I’d like to put a layer of sand on it. People mention using pool sand. I’ve found quickcrete all purpose sand at Home Depot that is labeled pool sand. I’m not sure if they would suffice? I’ve attached a photo of the two sand choices that I’ve narrowed it down to for my new tank. I also plan on transferring my current 10 plants from my existing 20 gallon tank that only has aquarium gravel. I would like to add more advanced plants now that I have my Fluval 3.0. Thank you for any assistance that you can provide.
 

Bryangar

Eco complete doesn’t need a cap. You can add it straight into the tank. But for sand, I have never used that all purpose sand, hope someone can help you with that.
 

Gerlon2fingers

Ok. Can I add it to my existing tank, on top of my grave? Or should I remove some of the gravel first?
 

IHaveADogToo

The quickcrete all purpose sand is what I use and it's just fine. I have that sand in several tanks, and the plants don't seem to mind. Granted, I have easy plants, but with a layer of eco complete underneath it IDK. I can't speak for that. It's a pain to wash, because it's super fine sand, but I haven't had any negative effects I can attribute to the sand except for the first time I used it I didn't wash it and I killed 2 filters trying to clear the water. In fact my bottom dwellers that sift through the sand seem to love it. I would think the sand would fall down into the gravel though, so if you're looking for defined layers this plan might not work. Agreed that Eco Complete doesn't need a cap. In fact, I believe it works better *as* a cap. I have Eco complete in 2 of my tanks. One of them has a bottom layer of soil. The other is just Eco Complete. The soil with the Eco Complete cap is the tank my plants are doing best in. What is your reason for wanting to use sand? Is it because of the fish you plan on putting in the tank?
 

Gerlon2fingers

The quickcrete all purpose sand is what I use and it's just fine. I have that sand in several tanks, and the plants don't seem to mind. Granted, I have easy plants, but with a layer of eco complete underneath it IDK. I can't speak for that. It's a pain to wash, because it's super fine sand, but I haven't had any negative effects I can attribute to the sand except for the first time I used it I didn't wash it and I killed 2 filters trying to clear the water. In fact my bottom dwellers that sift through the sand seem to love it. I would think the sand would fall down into the gravel though, so if you're looking for defined layers this plan might not work. Agreed that Eco Complete doesn't need a cap. In fact, I believe it works better *as* a cap. I have Eco complete in 2 of my tanks. One of them has a bottom layer of soil. The other is just Eco Complete. The soil with the Eco Complete cap is the tank my plants are doing best in. What is your reason for wanting to use sand? Is it because of the fish you plan on putting in the tank?
I’ve read that you should cap soil with sand or another substrate.
 

Bryangar

Ok. Can I add it to my existing tank, on top of my grave? Or should I remove some of the gravel first?
Sure, if you want to mix it, go for it.

I’ve read that you should cap soil with sand or another substrate.
Eco complete is not a soil, in fact, it’s completely inert. Eventually you will need to start dosing ferts.
 

IHaveADogToo

Soil should indeed be capped with another substrate. Eco complete is not soil. It comes in gravel and sand forms.
 

Gerlon2fingers

I appreciate all the good information. I see that I don’t have to cover the eco-complete with a cap. Will a 20 pound bag be enough for a 20 gallon tank? I was assuming I would be using pool or aquarium sand originally.
 

IHaveADogToo

Get 2 bags so you have a deeper gravel bed. Plant roots need room to grow. Eco Complete comes in a sand version if you have fish that prefer sand, or if you prefer the look of sand.
 

Gerlon2fingers

Get 2 bags so you have a deeper gravel bed. Plant roots need room to grow. Eco Complete comes in a sand version if you have fish that prefer sand, or if you prefer the look of sand.
Ok. Will do. I really appreciate the help.
 

Silister Trench

I’ve read that you should cap soil with sand or another substrate.

Like others have already said you don't need to cap ecocomplete. It's not a complete substrate with an abundance of nutrients that Would otherwise release into the water column such as top soils used in gardening or substrates that may release high levels of Ammonia, which is why a good chunk of people who cap substrates do so. In fact, capping a substrate like ecocomplete with something like pool side would absolutely negate the benefits of a substrate that works so well because of its high cation exchange capacity. Also, over a period of time all the sand cap will sink to the bottom between the cavities of the larger sized ecocomplete substrate.

Ecocomplete is a fairly good investment for a long-term substrate due to it's cation exchange capacity and lifespan, which is dictated in substrate value at how it breaks down or loses cation exchange capacity or nutrient value, all by itself. Ecocomplete will last as long as you want it to, never breaking down. Think pea-sized black lava rock, but inert for the most part. When I've played with it I sometimes noted an initial rise in ph when the substrate was new. The rise in ph I observed stopped after a short time, and since this substrate really has no high nutrient value by itself I had best result by picking up osmocote plus plant food for roots in the gardening section and spreading about 15 of the time released pellets in a 6 inch grid section beneath plants that root into substrate. I've also bought osmocote plus root tabs that come in capsules on eBay and inserted these deep into ecocomplete.

Ecocomplete works by maturing. Fish waste turns into nutrients/plant food and is held for plant roots when they uptake these nutrient via photosynthesis. It lacks a good deal of nutrients plants require, which is the reason I supplemented what it lacked with root tabs. New ecocomplete will not be a adequate source of macro nutrients until nitrifying bacteria is cultured in the substrate bed in order to convert waste into No3 and other nutrients it lacks.
 

Redshark1

Take care when lifting. Lift with your back straight and bend your legs to lift because sand is very heavy and you look a little slightly built.
 

Gerlon2fingers

Take care when lifting. Lift with your back straight and bend your legs to lift because sand is very heavy and you look a little slightly built.
Lol. Thanks for the tip.
 

Redshark1

Always looking out for the little guy...
 

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