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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I like the natural look of sand, but since I plan on using some live plants(W/O co2) Im wondering how much having eco as a substrate will help me, I know either way I'll have to use ferts etc, but I'm not sure if the eco is worth buying over sand. I know theres other substrates, ,but Im particularly interested in these two. Opinions?
 

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the problem with sand and root feeding type plants is that the sand is so dense that it restricts alot of detrius to make tis way to the roots to allow for feeding. So to combat that you would need to have root tabs for plants like swords.
Sand needs to be cleaned ofter or it begins to look like crap. Eco on the other hand is good stuff that is seeded ith benifical bacteria to aid the breakdown of the wastes for the plants to use right away.

Hands down Eco is the better choice. however cost does prohibit its use.(upwards of 25 a bag) Vs 3 per of sand. however the nice thing about Eco is you do not have to rinse it at all.

I've converted all 4 of my tanks over to planted. Personally I would not use sand for my tanks except for deco. not for actual planting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ive heard that after some time, not sure how long exactly that eco's nutrients are depleteed and it really serves no purpose, also it turns to a mudlike subsatance, any truth to this?
 

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Ive heard that after some time, not sure how long exactly that eco's nutrients are depleteed and it really serves no purpose, also it turns to a mudlike subsatance, any truth to this?
By the time the nutrients are depleted you will have a nice accumulation of mulm, and I'm sure will be dosing ferts by then anyway. The other benefit of Eco versus sand is better cation exchange. I've had Eco in a 12g tank for 3-4 years, and in my 46g bow for 2 years. Plants still grow fine and I haven't seen any significant breakdown yet.
 

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I've had Eco in a 12g tank for 3-4 years, and in my 46g bow for 2 years. Plants still grow fine and I haven't seen any significant breakdown yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I also read somewhere that if you have low light plants and are not using Co2 injections that it really isnt necessary to use vitamin rich substrates like eco?
 
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