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CaribSea Eco Complete Planted Black Aquarium Substrate

Contains all the mineral nutrients required to help nourish aquatic plants Helps increase plant growth without the nuisance of algaeWith no added dyes, paints or chemical coatings unlike most synthetic aquarium rocksEnhances the vibrant colors of aquarium plantsNatural looking fish tank rock substrate that is long-lasting Contains essential live bacteriaMade in the USA
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Questions & Answers for CaribSea Eco Complete Planted Black Aquarium Substrate

Question

How many bags of eco complete do I need for a 20 gal aquarium

asked 1 year, 11 months ago
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Newbie02
Chandler
on Eco Complete Planted Black Aquarium Substrate
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answer 1
It depends on whether or not you plan on top dressing with sand or gravel, and how deep you want the substrate. I usually go pretty deep with mine and topdress for asthetics. Having said that, two bags would be ideal IMO, but one bag topped with gravel would be sufficient.
answered 10 months ago
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indynicolas
Broad Ripple, IN
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0out of 0found this answer helpful.
answer 2
2 20lb. bags would do it.
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answered 10 months ago
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KRS07650
New Jersey
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0out of 1found this answer helpful.
answer 3
About 2 bags if not less depending on how think you want it. You'll be doing gravel filtration with a tank this small and if you're not aquascaping it might be better to do only a 1'" 1/2 to 2 inches of substrate.
answered 1 year, 6 months ago
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Zynthesis
Gainesville FL
-3points
1out of 5found this answer helpful.
answer 4
Probably just 1, but 2 bags will make it deeper and will give more room for plant roots to grow.
answered 1 year, 11 months ago
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FishNHamsterLuvr
+5points
5out of 5found this answer helpful.
answer 5
It's recommended you have 2 inches of substrate. Two bags of eco complete would be ideal, maybe mix 1 small 5lb of bag of petco color gravel to style it to your liking.
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answered 1 year, 11 months ago
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Plankton127
Frederick, MD
+6points
6out of 6found this answer helpful.
answer 6
Depending on how deep a layer of substrate you want, somewhere between one and two bags will be enough.
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answered 1 year, 11 months ago
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mistervagabundus
chicago
+1point
1out of 1found this answer helpful.
Question

Can I add this to an already established tank?

I have a 180 tank and I have recently decided to plant it. All my plants are looking nice except for my amazon swords. They are just not getting enough nutrients. I have a lot of fish in this tank (mostly babies) and was wondering if this would be a good option to consider. I have sand in there now and If I got this I would be using 4 bags to put under neither that sand (if that would work). However I am worried about my fish. Would this hurt them if I added it while they were still in the tank? The fish are mollies, BN plecos, platies, and sword tails. Like I said, I have a lot of fish in this tank so it would be very hard for me to get them all out. Thanks for your advice!
asked 1 year, 11 months ago
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Anonymous
on Eco Complete Planted Black Aquarium Substrate
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answer 1
Technically you could do it but it would really stress the fish, and you would be taking a chance of killing really small fish that get in the way. I have never added substrate with fish in the tank because of this. One possibility would be to work on areas where you intend to plant and do it in small pieces. This product will temporarily cloud the water, so I would think going in small pieces with good filtration would be the way to go. Using flourite and grdually mixing it into the existing substrate might not be a bad idea either.
answered 10 months ago
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indynicolas
Broad Ripple, IN
+1point
1out of 1found this answer helpful.
answer 2
Your supose to Drain it out, The bacteria and Water is in the Substrate package. Adding it would mess up the Cycle of the tank somewhat. Once you do that I would add it alittle at a time mixing it into the sand or create a beach effect, by moving the sand to the middle or the whole front of the tank. All the fish you have are rather hardy guys. Good Luck
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answered 10 months ago
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KRS07650
New Jersey
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answer 3
This substrate won't make your swords grow better. You'll need to supplement your swords diets with root tablets. To keep your planted tank in good balance you'll need to add suppliements, Flourish, iron, and potassium. Keep in mind that you'll have to do regular water changes, as excess minerals will induce algae growth if not maintained properly.

You can add eco substrate with no problems to your fishes health. Keep in mind that there will be silt in your water and need to be filtered out, however there is no harm to your animals.

Bottom line, if you plan on changing substrates, take a day and remove all your fish into 5 gallon buckets. Remove substrate if you can with water still inside. If not Drain your tank to about a 50% water, and remove substrate with a cut off milk jug. Add the new substrate, and treated water then put the fish back in.

Good Luck
answered 1 year, 6 months ago
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Zynthesis
Gainesville FL
+1point
1out of 1found this answer helpful.
answer 4
Provided you do things in very small batches, it could work. It depends if you'll kick up a lot of debris, which would irritate the fish's gills. Also, the sand will mix with eco-complete over time. That happens whenever you mix materials of different sizes. Although it might not look pretty, consider adding eco-complete in the areas for your more needy plants.
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answered 1 year, 8 months ago
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wingyuu
NYC
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answer 5
It may be that the sand is too dense for the root structure of your swords, but that being said, I would just go with fertilizer tabs 4 inches from your swords. If you place Eco under your sand, it will settle and end up mixed, don't know what that might look like.
answered 1 year, 9 months ago
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TOA51
Columbus, Ohio
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0out of 0found this answer helpful.
Question

How many bags of Eco Complete Planted Black Substrate would I need for a 50 gal. tank that measures 15x36"?

I'm wanting to plant different live plants this time around, I wasn't happy with the look of plastic plants when I use to have tanks.
asked 3 years, 1 month ago
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Big2Dog
on Eco Complete Planted Black Aquarium Substrate
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answer 1
To figure it out multiply length times width, so (36x15) and then divide by 10, that will tell you roughly how many pounds of gravel you need to cover the tank to a depth of 2 inches. For your tank you need 54lbs of gravel/substrate. So you will need 3 bags. That will give you a little extra.
Best Answer
answered 2 years, 3 months ago
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KirstenA70
+7points
9out of 11found this answer helpful.
answer 2
standard amount is 2 pounds per gallon. I'd go with 3 bags maybe?
answered 2 years, 10 months ago
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junko
RI
-4points
1out of 6found this answer helpful.
answer 3
Get 60 pounds. Most sand will sink but some might float. Just have extra just to make sure.
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answered 3 years, 1 month ago
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Fishowner931
0points
2out of 4found this answer helpful.
answer 4
you should use 50 pounds. a good rule of thumb is 1 pound of gravel per 1 gallon. the bag usually tells you how much pounds there are in it
answered 3 years, 1 month ago
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fish123456789
washington
+2points
6out of 10found this answer helpful.
answer 5
I have about 5 bags (50lbs) in my 15x36, which is about 2 inches of substrate.
answered 3 years, 1 month ago
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analfetus
-1point
5out of 11found this answer helpful.
Question

What is the grain size of this substrate?

Looking for a good substrate that's heavy enough to stay at the bottom and keep plants down yet small enough for a peacock eel to burrow in.
asked 2 years, 6 months ago
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Sigfried
on Eco Complete Planted Black Aquarium Substrate
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answer 1
It's definatly not fine enough for a a fish to burrow into. Not even snails. They try to go for it buy can't do it. I suggest a Patch of Sand, White, off white, or even Black. In a conner or a center patch. wide in the front narrow to the rear of the tank.
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answered 10 months ago
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KRS07650
New Jersey
-1point
0out of 1found this answer helpful.
answer 2
The grain is small 2mm-5mm. This would be a perfect match up for your ideal substrate.
answered 1 year, 6 months ago
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Zynthesis
Gainesville FL
0points
0out of 0found this answer helpful.
answer 3
If you check CaribSea'a website, grain size varies from 0.25mm to 7 mm. It's essentially a mixed bag of sand, small gravel, and pieces in between.

BUT, for any eel, you'll want to go with complete sand (if you don't mind him burrowing everywhere). If he digs into gravel, he's likely to scratch himself on something and it might get infected. The eel is likely to uproot any plants, but you can hedge your bets by using eco-complete in the planted portions of the tank and have a separate sand-only portion for him to burrow into (should be rather deep, since he'll get BIG). Separating the two portions can be tricky, but people use everything from stones, tank dividers, to plastic sheets and then some. For the sand, research it's grit, since many sands can be abrasive.
answered 1 year, 8 months ago
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wingyuu
NYC
+2points
2out of 2found this answer helpful.
answer 4
The grain size at the largest is around 1/8th of an inch going down to a powder that settles underneath the larger particles. It's heavy enough to stay on the bottom and keep plants down (provided you know how to plant correctly). Your peacock eel will definitely be able to burrow in it, though I would worry that the chards may be too sharp for your eel. I would recomend some sand for your eel. Just to be safe.
Best Answer
answered 2 years, 3 months ago
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ECW44
Honolulu, Hi.
+3points
3out of 3found this answer helpful.
Question

how much of the CaribSea Eco-Complete Planted Aquarium Substrate 20 lb do I need to buy if I want to set up a 200 gallon tank

asked 2 years, 3 months ago
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Tuan
on Eco Complete Planted Black Aquarium Substrate
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answer 1
10 bags minimum to get enough of a substrate to root in, but more would be better
answered 10 months ago
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indynicolas
Broad Ripple, IN
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answer 2
One bag is good for a 10 gallon in my opinion. I like 3" or more. 2" in the front at least more sloped to the rear of the tank for larger plants. Larger plants = Larger roots.
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answered 10 months ago
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KRS07650
New Jersey
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answer 3
Depending on your tanks bottom area, around 20 bags. It takes about half to 3/4 a bag to fill a 10 gallon tank to about 2 inches in substrate.
answered 1 year, 6 months ago
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Zynthesis
Gainesville FL
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0out of 0found this answer helpful.
answer 4
20 bags I go by 2 pounds per gallon
Best Answer
answered 2 years, 1 month ago
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Fishowner931
+1point
1out of 1found this answer helpful.
Question

Do you need any regular gravel with it and how do you clean it?

Wish I would have found this stuff when I got my 28 gallon from Pet Co but my next five or ten gallon I will definitely use this stuff.
asked 3 years, 1 month ago
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gat896
on Eco Complete Planted Black Aquarium Substrate
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answer 1
I never add any other substrate with it unless I create a sanded area for burrying fish or snails. You can clean it wit a Syphon cleaner. If you have alot of plants, like me I just stir it up gently with my fingers as to not disturb my plants roots and do a 25% water change. This pic of my show tank is over 6 years old. Never cleaned the substrate. Moved plants around, took some out added new ones. I just let the filters clean up the disturbed Substrate cloudyness. Barly do water changes. Once every 6 months or so. I just top off the water with RO DI Water.
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answered 10 months ago
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KRS07650
New Jersey
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5out of 5found this answer helpful.
answer 2
If you place anything with the Ecocomplete it will eventually mix and change the structure. I noticed many folks on the web use various layers of material. I used it straight from the bag with 3" in the back and 2" in the front. I have only been vacuuming the unplanted areas. I have NOT been inserting my gravel vacuum into the substrate. I do a short sweep over an area without hitting a gravel then vacuum up the particles that are displaced. I do suggest seeding the Ecocomplete with material from an established aquarium's filter.
Best Answer
answered 2 years, 6 months ago
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PlecoDad
Hutchinson, KS
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13out of 14found this answer helpful.
answer 3
It needs no rinsing when you first put it in the aquarium. A well planted aquarium will need little cleaning of the gravel- just vacuum up any debris on top.
answered 2 years, 10 months ago
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junko
RI
+7points
8out of 9found this answer helpful.
answer 4
I too already had regular gravel, and mixed the two to create an interesting, naturalistic texture. They are so light and easy to clean, and the colors are so pretty, I'll probably never go back to smaller gravel.
answered 3 years ago
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patricia17
Charleston, SC
+3points
6out of 9found this answer helpful.
Question

Safe for Pleco???

Does anyone know if this substrate is safe for bottom feeders like Plecostomus? After reading all the good reviews, I decided to order it online and now I realize that I did not know if it's safe or not.
It came today and there some water in the bag, is this normal?
I am really expecting some answers, thank you!
asked 9 months ago
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Hany
on Eco Complete Planted Black Aquarium Substrate
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answer 1
It has been four months since your post, and I would have to say, if you have used the substrate, your Pleco is probably perfectly fine and growing to be about the size of a dinosaur. These creatures are rugged and can withstand a lot, just as long as they have food! I have two Dojo loaches and a siamese algae eater with this substrate and they love it. I was worried that the gravel would be sharp for the Dojo's bellies, but they have had no issues.
answered 5 months, 1 week ago
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Shorty86
White Mountains, NH
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answer 2
I have used EcoComplete for years in several of my aquariums. I've kept a variety of plecos (L200, Gold Nuggets, Clowns, Bristlenose, L333) in my tanks over the years and have never had a problem with this substrate.

EcoComple is packed in water because it contains beneficial bacteria. Unlike other substrates, you do NOT want to clean this in tap water before using. Add it to the empty aquarium, place a plate/dish/saucer on top of the gravel, then slowly add pre-conditioned/de-chlorinated water onto that plate so you don't disrupt the substrate.
answered 6 months ago
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SaltedPeanut
Bolingbrook, IL
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answer 3
My bristlenose plecos don't care about substrate. Mine prefer the glass, rocks, leaves, wood, etc. to feed off of. They will pick up some subtrate when I drop algae wafers in the tank but they drop it quikly. Baby plecos will clean algae off of subtrate. They are always busy cleaning mine even though my substrate looks like pea-sized lava rock. By the way, you need real wood for plecos as the wood in used in their digestive system
answered 7 months ago
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PlecoDad
Hutchinson, KS
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answer 4
i have eco complete in mine. Pleco's are doing fine. It did come wet, keeps the bacteria alive, i think.
answered 9 months ago
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brokenarrowjbe
ocala, Fl
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Question

How many bags of caribsea eco-complete do i need for a 55 gallon tank to reach a 3" depth?

asked 2 years, 11 months ago
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mrfixit09
on Eco Complete Planted Black Aquarium Substrate
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answer 1
I would use 4 20lb. bags.
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answered 10 months ago
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KRS07650
New Jersey
+1point
1out of 1found this answer helpful.
answer 2
About 6 bags should do.
answered 1 year, 6 months ago
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Zynthesis
Gainesville FL
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answer 3
I would guess a bit more than four based on my use of it in a 30 gallon tank. I used two.
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answered 2 years, 3 months ago
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mistervagabundus
chicago
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Question

Does this product contain copper?

Does this product contain any copper? Even trace amounts? Thanks!
asked 2 years, 8 months ago
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TrialMIx
NYC
on Eco Complete Planted Black Aquarium Substrate
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answer 1
No copper. I use it in my shrimp tanks. As you might know Copper Kills Crustations and Bacteria. Plants do need trace amounts of Copper. My Ferts. Contain it, but the plants absorb it rather quickly. Keep in mind all the good and bad things plants absorb, get released back into the water when they Die or start dying.
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answered 10 months ago
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KRS07650
New Jersey
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answer 2
No copper in this substrate. I use this substrate to breed invertebrates.
answered 1 year, 6 months ago
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Zynthesis
Gainesville FL
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answer 3
Not that I know of. I use it with Cherry shrimp which are extremely sensitive to copper and we haven't had any issue with them at all. None of the other copper-sensitive plants or animals react to it either.
answered 1 year, 11 months ago
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Nimy
Poulsbo, WA
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Question

Can you use the Eco Complete Planted Black Substrate in with a Turtle? All the reading I've done says not to put gravel in the tank

I'm afraid my turtle might eat it by mistake. I've also read not to put artifical plants as they could try to eat them. My turtle doesn't like anything floated except romaine letttuces and she eats her plants, meal worms and ghost shrimp
asked 2 years, 6 months ago
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buggum
NY in summer Florida in the Winter
on Eco Complete Planted Black Aquarium Substrate
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answer 1
Sand is the best substrate for a turtle. They will eat live and Fake plants.
Live plants are good for them once and awhile. Floating plants Like Frogbit is nice.Any substrate will be dug up even to the glass on the bottom of the tank. Most people just use Large Rocks for basking and climbing on. I belive your talking about Red Ear Sliders. Reguardless, there messy guys. Bare Bottom = easy Cleaning.
Sand Substrate, Looks Nice, with large dark rocks.
Good luck
answered 10 months ago
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KRS07650
New Jersey
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0out of 0found this answer helpful.
answer 2
Don't use anything in the bottom. Or put really large stones that the turtle won't be able to swallow. Owners have lost trutles to gravel swallowing.
answered 1 year, 8 months ago
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wingyuu
NYC
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1out of 2found this answer helpful.
answer 3
I don't think turtles graze on gravel in the wild, so why should they in the tank, unless really really stressed. I think it would allow you to plant her tank, and make a more natural setting, and less stressful on the turtle, but that's just my opinion. plant several fast growing plants, and try duckweed as a floater for her.
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answered 1 year, 9 months ago
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TOA51
Columbus, Ohio
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1out of 2found this answer helpful.
Question

how many bag need this eco complete subtrate for 110gallon high

asked 1 year, 11 months ago
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jalisco
on Eco Complete Planted Black Aquarium Substrate
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answer 1
I used 3 Bags with 15 Lbs. of Lava Rock in a 55g to get 2.5"-3"
answered 10 months ago
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KRS07650
New Jersey
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answer 2
About 20. To get 2.5" to 3" coverage for a planted tank. You might be able to get away with 15 bags. And purchase more if needed.
answered 1 year, 6 months ago
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Zynthesis
Gainesville FL
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answer 3
I used 3 bags with a 55 gallon and it was not enough for use with a planted aquarium, I bought a fourth. A 55 has 624 sq in bottom and a 110 high has 912 sq in, so I would start with 6 bags if you need the depth for plants. It will look better with a thicker base so you can have enough to slope the base so it is not just flat.
answered 1 year, 6 months ago
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scoutingdad
Illinois
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Question

Eco complete or seachem flourite which one is better for plants and easier to maintain?

For planted aquariums.
asked 1 year, 7 months ago
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Goku
on Eco Complete Planted Black Aquarium Substrate
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answer 1
Florite has it's uses. Its a rather dence compact substrate.
I find it a great Mix with other inert substrates. The pic is of a Stream type 20H tank of mine with local rocks, and Branches Covered in Java Moss. Growing Some Amazon sword in one coner, Some unidentifed Grass type plant, A Bronze Wendtii, and some Cambomba. I used ADA Substrate Addives, Florite Black, toped with Florite Black Sand.
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answered 10 months ago
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KRS07650
New Jersey
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answer 2
Flourite will need a lot of rinsing and will cloud the water for a few days. It's also a little bit harder to clean on a weekly. However, it is very high on iron and will do great in a high light aquarium.
Eco, you will just open the bag and pour it right into the aquarium, with the packing water and all. Good balance of nutrients and for some, more appealing to the eyes.
Either one will do great for a planted aquarium, it's just a matter of personal preference.
answered 1 year, 3 months ago
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Aquaman05
Massachusetts
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1out of 1found this answer helpful.
answer 3
They are both good substrates. However I would pick eco complete. Reasons are flourite needs to be washed several times to get the clay mud out of it. It's very dirty substrate. When it's all clean it's very nice, and a nice brown color. It works well with planted tanks. The eco complete needs no washing and is black, which brings out color in your plants because of the contrast. Also if you plan to have cory cats the barbs on the fish can get damaged overtime with flourite.
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answered 1 year, 6 months ago
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Zynthesis
Gainesville FL
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4out of 4found this answer helpful.
Question

Loaches....

Is this substrate fine enough for burrowing loaches so it doesn't harm their barbels? Will they be able to burrow easily in this?
asked 3 years ago
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Gourami
on Eco Complete Planted Black Aquarium Substrate
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answer 1
Nope. You can use Piles of rocks for them, or a sandy area Like I use for snails.
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answered 10 months ago
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KRS07650
New Jersey
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answer 2
I have 2 Kuhli and 1 Black Loache in my 30 gallon with this substrate. I haven't seen them burrow and it doesn't look like is fine enough for them to burrow. The substrate is probably somewhere between a rough sand and gravel.

I set up a few shells for them to run away to.
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answered 2 years, 6 months ago
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IanG
New York
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answer 3
The rocks are really light so my betta can even kindda move them. However, they are really big and odd shaped so I am not sure it would be best for burrowing
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answered 3 years ago
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Heather3333
Young Harris, GA
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Question

eco complete planted black aquarium substrate

What is the size (weight) of the package? Is there a Petco employee discount available for online purchases?
asked 2 years, 8 months ago
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215307
on Eco Complete Planted Black Aquarium Substrate
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answer 1
The bags weigh 20 Lbs. As for a employee discount I have no idea.
BTW. It is cheeper online, rather than in store, and most stores don't carry it.
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answered 10 months ago
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KRS07650
New Jersey
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answer 2
Size is 11 x 18 Weight is 20 lbs. don't know anything about employee discounts, but it on sale so get it while you can. you could also call customer service and I'm sure they could answer all your employee questions.
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answered 1 year, 9 months ago
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TOA51
Columbus, Ohio
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I have a question as a complete fishtank novice. It is in regards to substrate.

I have heard and read from my research that any substrate you plan to add to your tank needs to be rinsed until the rinsing water is clear. Would I do that were I to buy Eco Complete Planted Black Aquarium Substrate?
asked 7 months ago
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MrsWoods
WNY
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I have a 29G and I did not rinse this substrate upon receiving it, just poured it directly into my tank. You don't really want to rinse this because the company has added water conditioners and other stuff to help with the cycle of your tank. Previously to addition, I removed my fish, and decorations, also removed about 3/4 of the water from my tank. I added the substrate and it clouded the water immediately, but I had expected this. I let my Fluval C4 filter run to help clear out some of the sediment, which ended up clogging my filter, but this was not a problem once I had detached the motor and cleaned it. I would say you can probably rinse it if you like, but it would probably defeat the purpose of the "Eco Complete" part of the product, and probably wouldn't clear much more out.
answered 5 months, 1 week ago
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Shorty86
White Mountains, NH
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I have used EcoComplete in several of my aquariums over the years and have never rinsed it prior to placing it in an aquarium. EcoComplete is packed with live bacteria to help breakdown plant waste and fish waste. Rinsing EcoComplete will kill/remove this beneficial bacteria. When putting this substrate into an empty aquarium, let the product and water from the product settle before you fill the rest aquarium with (conditioned) water. When the product is settled, place a dish or plate on the gravel and slowly add water onto that dish/plate so as not to disturb the substrate. This will keep the water from getting so cloudy.
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answered 6 months ago
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SaltedPeanut
Bolingbrook, IL
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Is this substrate safe for the cory catfish barbels?

asked 5 months, 3 weeks ago
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cajuncatfish
Rahway, NJ
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Many people say 'no". I have used it with loaches to no ill effect. They too have sensitive barbels and are doing great in a 29 planted tank for several years now. I would risk it, although I have heard and read claims that a smooth quartz sand alone or in combination with some milled peat are better substrate choices for cories.
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answered 5 months, 3 weeks ago
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mistervagabundus
chicago
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Do I need to add gravel or sand over this?

asked 2 months, 2 weeks ago
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fightingterp
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No, you don't need to add anything to the top of this substrate but you can if you'd like to (right off the actual bag).
answered 2 weeks, 6 days ago
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clippergear
Fort Myers, FL
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Is Eco Complete safe for an unfiltered 2 gal planted betta tank or 1 gal planted bowl?

asked 1 month, 2 weeks ago
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rockymtgirl
Princeton NJ
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I would say yes it is safe for smaller tanks. I put it in a 3 1/2 gallon tank and it's fine. If you're starting a new tank this stuff has everything you'll need in it to get the tank going, no need to buy other chemicals except a dechlorinator if you need one.
answered 2 weeks, 6 days ago
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clippergear
Fort Myers, FL
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how do i get eco aquarium for fish

i just started rearing fish for local consumption and am finding it difficult to get feed for my fishes,
asked 9 months ago
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Charliebay
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Is this safe for Betta fish?

I am trying to get some supplies for my future betta and would like to get some Freshwater Substrate. I do not know if this is safe for Betta fish. Please reply ASAP. :)
asked 7 months ago
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Bettalover358
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