Eco-Complete questions? - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 16 Old 08-11-2011, 05:27 PM
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I agree with DKRST. I ran my tank with eco complete for about 4 months with out having MTS in the tank and it was fine. The reason I got some was I like the idea that they would "clean" the substrate and keep it aerated.
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post #12 of 16 Old 08-11-2011, 09:44 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DKRST View Post
Regarding the MTS, it's not a "gotta have it now or else" issue. I have a 55g with ecocomplete. I just added some MTS about 2 months ago. The tank was set up in January. You can always decide to add/not add the MTS at a later date. They help, but won't make-or-break the tank's success.

I could send you some MTS (just pay shipping), but I have a problem with some "oops" snails in my tank that came in with a recent plant, even after a potassium permanganate dip. They are really tiny, but definitely not MTS! I'd hate to accidentally send you some with the MTS.
Ooh. How much would shipping run, would you estimate? I dont want to pay too too much for them. I'm a little on the broke side, hah! (College kid)

If you'll still have some in a month or so, once my tank has been set up again in the dorms, I might take you up on that offer.

If I dont get any, though- how else to keep soil aerated? Im sure my fat nerite and betta wont be much help, haha!

When I siphon my tanks, every so often I shove the siphon's neck down into the substrate. I tend to get lots of those little white worms up when I do it, so I do it on occasion.

Would that help?

Never had such finnicky soil! lol!

Thanks, guys :)
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post #13 of 16 Old 08-12-2011, 08:56 AM
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With ecocomplete, its a very light substrate and kind of a pain in the rear to vacuum without lifting a bunch into the siphon tube. Generally, you only want to vacuum the surface of the substrate in a planted tank. Don't jam your hose or vac down into the substrate - plant roots don't appreciate it a bit!. The idea of dead spots in the soil is an important one, but again, there is some debate over how big an issue it really is. The plant roots themselves will help decompact the soil and there is evidence that some (small) anaerobic pockets are not necessarily a bad thing.

Note - once you plant, leave the plants alone for a month or more. No moving, no pruning, let them get established unless there is some obvious problem.

Send me a pm in a month or so, or whenever you need them, I should have some MTS I can hand pick out for you to minimize the risk of any unwanted snail species. Shipping should be about $6-8 depending on where you live and how many snails I have available to ship. Last time I sent out snails, I ended up sending 100+ to another forum member, but my "shippable" snail population is down right now for several reasons (I stopped overfeeding, medicating a tank, transferred to my other tanks).
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post #14 of 16 Old 08-12-2011, 11:50 AM
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I would not vacuum the substrate at all in a well planted tank. And with the enriched substrates (Flourite, Eco-Complete, etc) you should not touch them. They "work" by co-operation with the mulm and detritus that naturally settles on them and works its way down into the substrate. The plant roots and slow water movement through the substrate are part of this co-operative venture. The MLS also work in this process, not only by aerating parts of the substrate but by breaking down the waste faster into smaller particles that the bacteria can more easily handle. There is quite an amazing biological process occurring in the substrate of a healthy planted tank; best to leave it alone.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #15 of 16 Old 08-12-2011, 04:30 PM
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I agree with Byron. The only time I actually vacuumed my substrate was if I overfed and had some obvious issues. That has not happened to me in months (I'm trying to be good!) and the MTS do make short work of any excess uneaten food.
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post #16 of 16 Old 08-15-2011, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
Thanks, guys! I'll vacuum less, and redo my vacuuming style with the new substrate. My tanks dont get a vacuuming too often, only when things die and get....err...fuzzy. Yuck! Mulm is in no short supply there, lol!

And thank you- If I need them still in a few weeks, Ill be sure to contact you. That's a really reasonable price, I appreciate the offer :)
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