11-16-2008, 12:37 PM
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I just have to add that if you do go with sand or pebbles from a non-fish (home depot, etc.) store, you will need to check to make sure that they are inert. I have play sand in my soon to be planted 29 gallon (rinse well if you choose to do this) and it was inert. Later I tried to use some gravel from home depot and when I tested it I found that it was not inert :( So, always test just to make sure. The price is definitely worth it though!
The best way to test is to put a drop of your nitrate test solution #1 bottle on the substrate in question. Vinegar is not really strong enough to be affective, and the nitrate test is made from hydrochloric acid so it is MUCH stronger.
I also have one tank with eco-complete which is doing well. As of now I have nothing to compare it to however.
Hope this helps. :)