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Eco-Complete Vs Aquasoil?? JUSTIFY PRICE PREMIUM

Discussion in 'Substrate' started by scorpio19, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. scorpio19

    scorpio19 New Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Madison WI
    I recently bought a 75gal bow front aquarium. I'm planning to have a heavily planted setup with Co2 injection and good light. I'm really torn between Eco-complete and ADA Aquasoil for the substrate.

    Please help me justify the price difference between these two.

    ADA Aquasoil:
    ADA recommends 4 x 9 liter bags of Aquasoil + 3 x 2 liter bags of Power Sand for 75 gal setup. That costs around $217 shipped. That's a lot. [​IMG]

    If I choose to buy just the 4 x 9 liter bags of Aquasoil, that'd be $150 shipped. (I'm not sure if that'd be enough for 75gal, please correct me)

    Eco-Complete: I guess I have to use 5 x 20 lb bags (please correct me if I'm wrong) for 75gal. It costs less than $130 (Cheap price of $105 shipped at petsolutions.com. Can someone vouch for them?)

    As you can clearly see, the price difference is a lot. Would you justify the price premium of ADA Aquasoil? Is it going to make a huge difference if I use Aquasoil over Eco-complete??

    Please ENLIGHTEN me, Planted Tank GURUS [​IMG]
  2. chillaquaplants

    chillaquaplants New Member

    May 19, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Gainesville, FL
    I used 4 9L bags of AS on my 75 gal tank. no sand. I think its enough. I have approx 2 1/2 - 3" in my tank.
  3. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

    Oct 30, 2007
    Likes Received:
    I consider both of those substrate premium substrates. Those cost of both types are pretty high but well worth it.

    I haven't seen a noticable difference of planting when using the PowerSand + Aquasoil substrate combination. So without purchase the Powersand, the cost of Aquasoil is close to buying similar amounts of Eco Complete.

    The reason why I would go with Aquasoil is because it allows you some wiggle room when dosing your fertilizers. The clay base soil as you may know leaches out nutrients over time. Aquatic plants will be able to adjust more readily to the nutrients available to them with the Aquasoil, especially in the beginning.

    Eco Complete will not have leaching nutrients for your plants. So you'll have to dose fertilizers regularly in your "good light" tank. But the think I like about Eco Complete is that you can be really rough while replanting without worrying about crushing the clay Aquasoil grains if you were to use that substrate.

    In the end, Aquasoil grows plants a better than Eco Complete does in my experience. Don't get me wrong, I've grown great plants with Eco Complete, but the fact that Aquasoil helps lower pH and KH, provides nutrients, and is soft enough for roots to get deep makes it the better option.

    -John N.

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