01-24-2013, 05:56 PM
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Either, as was noted by previous post. But mixing substrates does not always work, as the finer (sand) will end up on the bottom with the larger (gravel, Eco-complete, etc) on top.
Another problem with this is fish, substrate fish especially. If you intend corys or loaches, I would not use this or any similar substrate, but stay with fine gravel or (preferably for corys) sand. I have Flourite in my 70g, which is near-identical to EC, and I choose it because it felt less rough than EC in my fingers. But my corys in this tank began having issues and I ended up removing them to the sand substrate tank; they recovered nicely. I have also been advised by a catfish breeder never to put corys over EC or similar substrates. I think that is good advice.
Plain sand will be better (with substrate fish), and plants grow fine in it. And that's another issue; I spent $180 for Flourite for my 70g, and now after almost 2 years the plants are and have been no better in this tank than in my other 5 tanks with sand (some of the same substrate-rooted plants, same light, same fertilizing, etc). It would have cost me a grand total of $15 for sand. Actually, I have the sand, and any day now I intend tearing this tank down, throwing out the Flourite, and using play sand.