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I think it really depends on other factors. How much lighting you're planning to use. If you have higher light (more than 2.0wpg) you'll most likely have to supplement co2. If you supplement co2 i think ferts are very important.
 

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Eco-Complete can last a long time, don't know how many months or years but it should last you a long time.

Having eco-complete in your planted tank doesn't mean it's the only solution to make your plants grow. There are more nutrients that plants need, it is always good to fertilize your tank with dry or liquid ferts. Lighting is also a major factor of keeping a planted tank, also what plants you decide to get.
 

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Just a reminder:

EcoComplete will:
- Buffer your pH at about 7.4
- Raise the Calcium disolved in the water 60-90 ppm

--Nikolay
 

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niko said:
Just a reminder:
- Buffer your pH at about 7.4
- Raise the Calcium disolved in the water 60-90 ppm
Hi Niko... will it raise calcium or magnesium? I seem to be reading conflicting reports here. And how long does Ca leech out for? I have more problems in my Flourite tank, EC tank is completely problem free. I'm trying to trace this difference down... Also see my recent post on the AGA member list about Mg...

Cheers,
Jeff
 

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JLudwig,

Ca or Mg?
From my experience with Eco only the Calcium is increased. No Magnesium at all.

How long it leeches?
In the tank I have Eco the increased GH (13 at present) has been way high for at least 6 months. I didn't do water changes in that tank that often in the first 4-5 months. From what I gather with weekly water changes the pH and GH go down in about 3 months.

Is the leeching bad?
I cannot say yes or no. The tank I have Eco as substrate has been the most carefree tank I have ever had. I hated the pH being stuck at 7.4 (and having no idea of the CO2 in the tank) as well as the GH being 10-13 (with no Magnesuim at all). I consider the buffered pH and the monstrous increase of GH due to Ca only as things that a planted tank substrate should not do.

--Nikolay
 

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From my experience root intensive plants do poorly in EC. Especially swords- I have had major problems with Amazon swords of all plants! I mean, it hardly gets any hardier than an Amazon sword. Very poor growth. Also, they have a real tendency to raise up out of the substrate- a problem I never had before. I am sure that does not help the nutrient intake situation. Also crypts have performed awfully when planted in the stuff. Could be a bad combo just here in Texas/Houston, as Navarro has experienced the same. Neither one of us will ever use it again. Perhaps it ties into the Ca or Mg increase and our water here- I just feel compelled to share anytime I see discussion about this particular substrate. I know some swear by it though. I just swear at it.
 

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It does indeed have some problems like no mag and in my experience low iron, and is a decent substrate, I am moving on to experiment with onyx, florabase, and aquasoil. Not flourite thought because I just can't stand the color even thought it'll eventually be covered up and everyone likes it.
 

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I've had Eco-Complete in one of my tanks now for around 18 months, how long the nutrients last I don't know. To be safe after about 6 months I started adding root tabs to those plants that like to feed from their roots. I also found for about the first 3-6 months the KH ran high at around 9, now the KH stays at 3-4.
 

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Turtlehead,

Onyx is a mirror image of Eco.. almost. It releases only Mg (no Calcium at all) and raises the GH to 6-8. It does not buffer the pH.

It's disheartening to see Onyx at the pet store packaged for planted tanks and walk 10 feet to the SaltWater department and see it packaged as a great saltwater substrate too.

Folks have had success with Onyx too just like with EcoComplete. But if you have access to AquaSoil why not try that first and then maybe try other substrates.

--Nikolay
 

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jsenske said:
From my experience root intensive plants do poorly in EC. Especially swords- I have had major problems with Amazon swords of all plants! I mean, it hardly gets any hardier than an Amazon sword. Very poor growth.
My tank with swords uses EC exclusively. I have extremely good growth there. My amazon outgrew the tank in a mater of months. My kleiner bar and autumn leaves (Luthario) sent up several flowering stalks and I now have a surpluss of their plantlets. My Red flame is small, but it also has been growing in really low light shaded areas of the tank. My Horizontalis is giant and is literally growing EMERSED through the little slot that I use to feel my inlet/outlet into the tank!!!

I have also had really good crypt growth and have even flowered my wendtii submersed in eco.

NOTE: I do NOT use any sort of root tabs...just EC, the mulm that naturally built up, and normal liquid ferts.

YMMV
 
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