CaribSea Eco-Complete Planted Aquarium Substrate

MPN: 770
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Description
This mineralogically and biologically complete substrate is for planted aquariums and comes in live water that contains purifying bacteria. Mineralogically complete means it contains iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulfur plus over 25 other elements to nourish your aquatic plants. It contains all the mineral nutrients needed for luxuriant aquatic plant growth without nuisance algae.
Summary
Product Title CaribSea Eco-Complete Planted Aquarium Substrate
Manufacturer CaribSea
Lowest Price $22.99 from PETCO
Power Score 4.8 | 38 Reviews
User Reviews
PetStore.com
Ehh
3 Star Review   By ANDREW COYLE on PetStore.com - Mar 17, 2014   

Its an ok substrate, but for the price go get a bag of dirt and pool filter sand and you will have even more growth from you plants than with eco incomplete. After about 2 months all the nutrients are all used up so save the money and get something better

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Avoid! Raises pH. Kills Fish
1 Star Review   By SU NU on PetStore.com - Feb 27, 2014   

I have been having problems with maintaining a stable pH of my water so I removed everything except the eco-complete, live plants, 4 otos, 4 wag-tails, 2 bamboo shrimp, and about 8 assassin snails, yet the pH keeps going up to 8.2. I did 50% water changes twice - 4 days apart, had the CO2 off during the entire time, and just had the filter and lights running as normal (I have an Eheim 2260 filter with coarse and fine polyester floss - mostly used for water clarity rather than biofilter). I have noticed White Rocks in the substrate since the beginning but I figured that since the eco-complete wasn't supposed to raise the pH, it didn't matter. Several fish have died and the only species surviving appear to be the ones that tolerate high pH, as listed above. I searched the web and saw that there was a problem with a contaminated batch in 2005 also with "white rocks" that also caused problems with another customer's pH. I purchased 160 lbs on November 27, 2012 from a local chain. I thought ecoComplete wasn't supposed to increase the pH; however, I suspect that this batch was contaminated. I tested the white rocks this evening with diluted muriatic acid and they fizzled like crazy. The other non-white rocks in the mix had no reaction, even after I increased the concentration, except for a smaller white rock that I missed when trying to remove all the white rocks so I could test the non-white ones. So, if you get this and notice white rocks in it, AVOID. Or, if you want to take a chance, at least test it with some dilute muriatic acid (you can find the concentration on the web when you search for "test rock safe aquarium muriatic acid concentration). I have contacted Carib-Sea to let them know and hope they can help me get the substrate replaced with non-contaminated stuff or at least something similar that won't kill fish! Will keep you updated of their response.

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Terrific
5 Star Review   By Lovemyfishies on PETCO - Mar 18, 2012    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

I just started out a 75 gallon aquarium and I added Eco-Complete as my substrate. This stuff looks amazing with the black background (I painted the back glass). Went in nice and easy, no mess, and contrary to some reviews, it did not cloud my water. So far, almost a month into the new set-up, my plants are thriving and everything is going very well. My tank measures 48x18 (LxW) and I bought six 20-pound bags, and I say that is more than enough, I am getting pretty close to a 3" bed. You can probably easily buy 5 bags and have that be suffice, but a little more will not hurt! I love this product, will use it again should I start up any new tanks, and I would recommend to anyone!

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Great Substrate for Plants
5 Star Review   By Ghpr13 on PETCO - Feb 20, 2012    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

Right after I changed over to Eco Complete my Rosette Swords and my Red Melon Swords just took off growing. Also, I received many complements on the look of my tank with Eco Complete Black Substrate, and how it made my fish and plants stand out. I recently upgraded from a 29g to a 75g and order a few more bags of Eco Complete so I would have enough for the 75g tank.

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Fish tank extras
5 Star Review   By Fistunfolding on PETCO - Feb 18, 2012    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

Works good so far, it did give way to my pumps so I had to move them up higher. Plants look good, I haven't seen any chage one way or the other. No clouding what so ever. It gets a natural conture with the current, I like it.

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Happy so far
5 Star Review   By IanG on PETCO - Jan 5, 2012    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

Ordered this substrate because I was looking to change out my white gravel to something darker that would better support plants. Thought it has only been two weeks, thus far, I'm very happy with it in the tank. I used 2.5 bags to create a 4" base in my 30 gallon tank. My fish (rainbows, ram, black neons) have responded positively and the plants seem to be doing better. If you are thinking about a new substrate, give this a shot.

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Eco-complete
5 Star Review   PETCO    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

After two decades of using an undergravel filter and pea-sized gravel, I switched to Eco-complete. I tore apart my 90g aquarium and placed the rocks, wood and fish into a big tub with my original water. I scooped out the gravel and removed the undergravel filter (UGF) and tubes. I place the 4 bags of Ecocomplete on top of the mulm to ensure there would be plenty of bacteria. I replaced the rocks, wood, original aquarium water, and fish. I pace several plants in the new substrate. I started up my canister filter. To my amazement, my aquarium never developed ammonia or nitrites. My plants are looking good and I only lost one glass shrimp. I noticed I do have more particulates circulating in my aquarium without an UGF but it eventually settles down when I place my large fish net in front of my powerhead's flow. My plecos, farowella, and shrimp spend hours feeding on the new substrate's surface. For a bonus, my bushynose pleco filled with eggs and is waiting for the male to lead her to a cave. I suggest Ecocomplete for your planted aquarium.

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Excellent Product
5 Star Review   By ThiVo on PETCO - Dec 25, 2011    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

Best of the best Product I had ever use!!! This the best thing I have ever use, product dose work

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Great Product
5 Star Review   By davelasco on PETCO - Oct 21, 2011    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

I love this substrate! The dark coloring really made my fish stand out and my plants just looove it. If anyone is looking for a great substrate for a planted aquarium this is it. It didn't cloud my water and really helped cut down on the cycling time.

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Good Quality and Packaging
5 Star Review   By petsap on PETCO - Oct 20, 2011    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

This stuff worked out great. I was actually able to remove existing gravel and replace it with this substrate with the fish slill in the tank. Very nice quality and clean...just follow instructions provided.

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Today's Average: $38.12
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Product Details
Description
This mineralogically and biologically complete substrate is for planted aquariums and comes in live water that contains purifying bacteria. Mineralogically complete means it contains iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sulfur plus over 25 other elements to nourish your aquatic plants. It contains all the mineral nutrients needed for luxuriant aquatic plant growth without nuisance algae.
Summary
Product Title CaribSea Eco-Complete Planted Aquarium Substrate
Manufacturer CaribSea
Lowest Price $22.99 from PETCO
Power Score 4.8 | 38 Reviews
Additional Specifications
cat food ingredient: fish
Color: Black
food size: 20 lbs
Today's Average: $38.12
Today's Lowest: $30.01
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User Reviews
PetStore.com
Ehh
3 Star Review   By ANDREW COYLE on PetStore.com - Mar 17, 2014   

Its an ok substrate, but for the price go get a bag of dirt and pool filter sand and you will have even more growth from you plants than with eco incomplete. After about 2 months all the nutrients are all used up so save the money and get something better

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Avoid! Raises pH. Kills Fish
1 Star Review   By SU NU on PetStore.com - Feb 27, 2014   

I have been having problems with maintaining a stable pH of my water so I removed everything except the eco-complete, live plants, 4 otos, 4 wag-tails, 2 bamboo shrimp, and about 8 assassin snails, yet the pH keeps going up to 8.2. I did 50% water changes twice - 4 days apart, had the CO2 off during the entire time, and just had the filter and lights running as normal (I have an Eheim 2260 filter with coarse and fine polyester floss - mostly used for water clarity rather than biofilter). I have noticed White Rocks in the substrate since the beginning but I figured that since the eco-complete wasn't supposed to raise the pH, it didn't matter. Several fish have died and the only species surviving appear to be the ones that tolerate high pH, as listed above. I searched the web and saw that there was a problem with a contaminated batch in 2005 also with "white rocks" that also caused problems with another customer's pH. I purchased 160 lbs on November 27, 2012 from a local chain. I thought ecoComplete wasn't supposed to increase the pH; however, I suspect that this batch was contaminated. I tested the white rocks this evening with diluted muriatic acid and they fizzled like crazy. The other non-white rocks in the mix had no reaction, even after I increased the concentration, except for a smaller white rock that I missed when trying to remove all the white rocks so I could test the non-white ones. So, if you get this and notice white rocks in it, AVOID. Or, if you want to take a chance, at least test it with some dilute muriatic acid (you can find the concentration on the web when you search for "test rock safe aquarium muriatic acid concentration). I have contacted Carib-Sea to let them know and hope they can help me get the substrate replaced with non-contaminated stuff or at least something similar that won't kill fish! Will keep you updated of their response.

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Terrific
5 Star Review   By Lovemyfishies on PETCO - Mar 18, 2012    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

I just started out a 75 gallon aquarium and I added Eco-Complete as my substrate. This stuff looks amazing with the black background (I painted the back glass). Went in nice and easy, no mess, and contrary to some reviews, it did not cloud my water. So far, almost a month into the new set-up, my plants are thriving and everything is going very well. My tank measures 48x18 (LxW) and I bought six 20-pound bags, and I say that is more than enough, I am getting pretty close to a 3" bed. You can probably easily buy 5 bags and have that be suffice, but a little more will not hurt! I love this product, will use it again should I start up any new tanks, and I would recommend to anyone!

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Great Substrate for Plants
5 Star Review   By Ghpr13 on PETCO - Feb 20, 2012    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

Right after I changed over to Eco Complete my Rosette Swords and my Red Melon Swords just took off growing. Also, I received many complements on the look of my tank with Eco Complete Black Substrate, and how it made my fish and plants stand out. I recently upgraded from a 29g to a 75g and order a few more bags of Eco Complete so I would have enough for the 75g tank.

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Fish tank extras
5 Star Review   By Fistunfolding on PETCO - Feb 18, 2012    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

Works good so far, it did give way to my pumps so I had to move them up higher. Plants look good, I haven't seen any chage one way or the other. No clouding what so ever. It gets a natural conture with the current, I like it.

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Happy so far
5 Star Review   By IanG on PETCO - Jan 5, 2012    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

Ordered this substrate because I was looking to change out my white gravel to something darker that would better support plants. Thought it has only been two weeks, thus far, I'm very happy with it in the tank. I used 2.5 bags to create a 4" base in my 30 gallon tank. My fish (rainbows, ram, black neons) have responded positively and the plants seem to be doing better. If you are thinking about a new substrate, give this a shot.

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Eco-complete
5 Star Review   PETCO    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

After two decades of using an undergravel filter and pea-sized gravel, I switched to Eco-complete. I tore apart my 90g aquarium and placed the rocks, wood and fish into a big tub with my original water. I scooped out the gravel and removed the undergravel filter (UGF) and tubes. I place the 4 bags of Ecocomplete on top of the mulm to ensure there would be plenty of bacteria. I replaced the rocks, wood, original aquarium water, and fish. I pace several plants in the new substrate. I started up my canister filter. To my amazement, my aquarium never developed ammonia or nitrites. My plants are looking good and I only lost one glass shrimp. I noticed I do have more particulates circulating in my aquarium without an UGF but it eventually settles down when I place my large fish net in front of my powerhead's flow. My plecos, farowella, and shrimp spend hours feeding on the new substrate's surface. For a bonus, my bushynose pleco filled with eggs and is waiting for the male to lead her to a cave. I suggest Ecocomplete for your planted aquarium.

100% of readers found this review helpful.

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Excellent Product
5 Star Review   By ThiVo on PETCO - Dec 25, 2011    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

Best of the best Product I had ever use!!! This the best thing I have ever use, product dose work

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Great Product
5 Star Review   By davelasco on PETCO - Oct 21, 2011    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

I love this substrate! The dark coloring really made my fish stand out and my plants just looove it. If anyone is looking for a great substrate for a planted aquarium this is it. It didn't cloud my water and really helped cut down on the cycling time.

100% of readers found this review helpful.

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Good Quality and Packaging
5 Star Review   By petsap on PETCO - Oct 20, 2011    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

This stuff worked out great. I was actually able to remove existing gravel and replace it with this substrate with the fish slill in the tank. Very nice quality and clean...just follow instructions provided.

100% of readers found this review helpful.

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Worth the investment
5 Star Review   By klucburg on PETCO - Oct 16, 2011    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

I've always had a regular aquarium with colored gravel and fake plants for 10 years or more. So I decided I wanted something natural and something that would be its own circle of life, but was afraid because I had purchased live plants and they always die. I’m VERY pleased with Eco-Complete. My plants are thriving with noticeable growth every week. It brings a whole new level to my freshwater tank. My fish are also very happy and I enjoy watching them play in the plants. DO NOT rinse the gravel, and when doing water changes, do not vacuum. The gravel contains nutrients that break down fish waste and make it useful to the plants. Another perk of a natural tank. On another note, i went ahead an invested in better lighting for my tank...you really need to use both for your plants to grow well.

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Great product!
5 Star Review   By Roots on PETCO - Sep 26, 2011    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

Eco Complete has proved to be all it says. My plants have shown an improvement over regular gravel. Petco rates high as well with fast turn around, great price and shipping.

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Pricey but good
5 Star Review   By junko on PETCO - Sep 19, 2011    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

This substrate had a lot of people recommending it, so I bought it for my daughter's planted aquarium during a sale. It's very convenient- no rinsing- we just dumped it in and it did not cloud the water a bit. It's very natural looking and not painted like a lot of gravel is. After a week we are seeing growth in her newly planted amazon sword.

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One bag is great for a 10 Gallon!
5 Star Review   By CherryShrimp on PETCO - Sep 11, 2011    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

I'm using this bag for my Red Cherry Shrimp Aquarium and they love it! The Black fine gravel is great makes the fish stand out. It's really cheap here too! Can't find a product like this any cheaper, anywhere else.

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best substrate
5 Star Review   By Doug415 on PETCO - Aug 29, 2011    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

I purchased this substrate my 10g planted aquarium and it was money well spent! i read the reviews about similar products and they all made the water cloudy. I didnt want to spend hours doing water changes because of the substrate. My plants grow absolutely crazy now!

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Fantastic!
5 Star Review   By PewPewPew on PETCO - Aug 22, 2011    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

I bought this substrate for my small planted tanks. I was debating on Fluorite, but decided to go with this because it doesnt kick up as much dust and requires no rinsing. I got a 20lb bag and only paid $6 to ship! Fantastttiicc! Its a deep, rich black color that makes plants and fish pop. Perfection for planting as it easily responds to being pushed to the side or having plants pushed in. My swords (especially!) have never been happier. My only suggestion is to not mix with gravel, etc, because you will NEVER be able to separate the two again. Its also just not needed, its fantastic as is!!

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eco complete
5 Star Review   By SKLaser on PETCO - Jul 31, 2011    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

The price was far better than an store locally and the shipping was excellent.

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PetStore.com
eco complete black
4 Star Review   By MATT THOMAS on PetStore.com - May 27, 2011   

I do like this product I only with it was All black. It is about 5-10% brown mixed in. But oh Well my plants dont care

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Eco Complete
5 Star Review   By thekingofcali559 on PETCO - May 23, 2011    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

I purchased Eco complete for my 150 gallon aquarium that I setup for discus. Not only does it look awesome but the fish and plants love it as well. Most importantly Pets mart has the best price on it. Check out my aquarium on youtube and you can see for yourself my screen name is thekingofcali559.

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what you've been waiting for
5 Star Review   By mistervagabundus on PETCO - May 20, 2011    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

I broke down and decided to try a planted tank again. This time a smaller tank but with CO2 and very high lighting. I chose the Eco Complete substrate and am so far very impressed. Unlike laterite which can affect your water clarity for many days, this product introduced almost no particulate to the water. The colors of plants and fish show up beautifully against this substrate. Most importantly, the plants, which have only been in place for about a week, are visibly expanding and thriving. Milfoil, baby tears, crypts, anubias: all are looking great and I feel that this tank will succeed beautifully. I used nearly all of two 20# bags, plus about ten pounds of red flint sand in the lower layer of my 29 gallon tank for a layer about three inches deep. So far, this is the best substrate for planted tanks I have come across. The results are so good I want to overhaul my 55 gallon cichlid tank and convert it into a planted tank, too.

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Love this stuff
5 Star Review   By kevo32 on PETCO - May 10, 2011    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

I had to break down my tank when I moved and knew from reading online forums that I wanted eco-complete when I started my tank again. My plants are growing nicely with beautiful color and my tetra's colors really pop against the dark color of the eco complete and my black background on my 29 gallon. I also have a 75 gallon that I will be starting up soon and I bought extra bags when petco had the free shipping and I look forward to seeing how my 75 gallon will look. Awesome stuff!

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Good product.
5 Star Review   By Ant2090 on PETCO - May 1, 2011    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

I bought a bag of Eco-Complete over 1-2 years ago and the grain size was fairly inconsistent - had large pebbles here and there. I reordered another bag recently as I mixed my old Eco-Complete with regular gravel and couldn't separate them afterwards. Well, my first impression was that the grain size in the bag I got was pretty uniform and small which my corydoras liked. Also, it did cloud my water for about 2-3 hours but it cleared pretty quickly once I had the filter running. In less than a day my water was back to normal. And as for plant growth, Eco-Complete is pretty popular among hobbyists. My plants are doing well provided I give them plenty of light, CO2, fertilizers every now and then. However, some say Eco-Complete messed up with the water parameters. I do not own any kH or gH kits to test how it affected my water column. As a final note, I wish my local Petco carried this. Shipping costs can get ridiculous.

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Just a word of caution
5 Star Review   By cjohn2979 on PETCO - Mar 24, 2011    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

This works great but be careful if you use a magnetic algae scraper. This stuff has iron in it and it can stick to the scraper and scratch your tank. Learned that the hard way.

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Excellent Substrate!!
5 Star Review   By doyourfishthriveorsurvive on PETCO - Feb 9, 2011    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

I bought this substrate because it was time to change out the old for new in my 20 gallon long (30in x 12in). The tank is moderately planted and this is the first time I have tried a substrate that is specifically designed for live plants. I needed to make sure I would have between 2-3 inches of substrate so I bought two 20lb bags of the black, and I'm glad I did. One would not have been enough for proper rooting. Not only have my plants shown healthy improvement, but my plants, fish and inverts really stand out against this black substrate. This substrate has an even mix of medium, small and fine grains. I have cory cats in the tank and their sensitive barbells do just fine with it. The only caution (just a caution, not a negative) is that when you first add this substrate to your aquarium it will discolor your water some, but it will settle down in about 24 hours. I chose not to add my animals back to the aquarium until the water cleared. Highly recommended.

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i love this acid buffer
5 Star Review   By discus on PETCO - Jan 24, 2011    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

it will not alter the ph or kh or gh my plants are growing fast

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Eco-complete
5 Star Review   By Sweetness78 on PETCO - Jan 15, 2011    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

Its the best substrate I've ever purchased, getting amazing results! Got free shipping which made this deal a steal!!! Such a good deal, almost want to buy another tank cause price so good!

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Best substrate for planted tanks
5 Star Review   By BlueTongue on PETCO - Jan 2, 2011    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

This substrate is one of the best available for planted tanks. It costs near the same as standard black painted gravel but provides nutrients for plants, looks much more natural and you don't have to worry about the black paint that is on standard gravel wearing off.

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Good substrate
4 Star Review   By Sumira on PETCO - Dec 23, 2010    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

This stuff was recommended to me by people who are very knowledgeable about aquariums. This is my first tank so I'm still working out the issues; I added live plants and it's been two weeks although my pH is still pretty high. I'm reluctant to add any chemicals since the substrate contains a few things that are suppose to speed up the nitrogen cycle. I'm not exactly sure what contributed but I'm just going to wait it out, meanwhile it looks great- much better than regular gravel or sand.

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what a deal!
5 Star Review   By tankhappy on PETCO - Nov 30, 2010    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

Aquarium stores didn't stock as much as I needed. Found the best price on Petco.com and with free shipping...what a deal! It was like getting it for half price and it arrived three days after I ordered it. Got the 110-gallon tank set up that weekend and everything looks great. Petco.com will be my go-to site from now on.

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Good Stuff
5 Star Review   By JRAM on PETCO - Nov 11, 2010    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

No complaints here as of yet.

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Excellent
5 Star Review   By Sjkc on PETCO - Sep 29, 2010    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

Excellent product and best price on the web.

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SERIOUSLY THE BEST DEAL
5 Star Review   By sanjuro on PETCO - Sep 28, 2010    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

bought 6 of these. been using them on both my 55 gallons and they are awesome next to ADA substrate which costs 5x more! Free Shipping and for the price is the best bargain! super stuff! BUY THEM NOW WHILE THEY OFFER FREE SHIPPING ^_^

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Best Purchase Ever
5 Star Review   By shutupnhugme on PETCO - Sep 20, 2010    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

Eco complete is one of the top substrate in aquarium next to ADA soil, i recommend everyone to buy this if they put live plants in your tank. Ecocomplete last for a few years 3years at least until you have to change out and put new ones in. $16 bucks for a bag is the cheapest I seen, the most i seen are all $30 and petco is the only place you'll find that sells the cheapest bag of eco complete.

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Great Stuff
5 Star Review   By Holt on PETCO - Sep 12, 2010    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

I bought two bags of this when petco was having there free shipping when your cart was at $65 which is the only way i would buy this. $25 is harsh, but they are 20 pound bags. It looks great and does help the plants out. Carib sea is a great brand. Highly recommend them.

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Great product
5 Star Review   By NursePlaty on PETCO - Sep 4, 2010    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

Used this for my tank and have grown Baby Tears, Dwarf Baby Tears, Dwarf Hairgrass, Limnophila Aromatica, Crytocorynes, Tiger Lotus, stargrass and much more. This substrate is amazing and doesnt need to be rinsed like what you have to do with flourite. I hear it also lasts a very long time, up to 3 yrs.

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Great Plant Substrate
5 Star Review   By TrixyEnigma on PETCO - Aug 29, 2010    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

I made the decision to purchase EcoComplete after reading many reviews and advice from aquarium forums. I switched out my gravel about a week ago, along with a new light upgrade. This stuff is like plant magic. Right now I've got an amazon sword and anacharis planted in it and they are growing like they never have. My amazon sword sprouted new leaves after a week and my anacharis has new shoots coming off of it as well. It didn't cloud up my tank when I made the switch--the water cleared in less than an hour. And the black color looks great against my fish and plants. Awesome stuff!

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Best substrate for it's price if you want plants
5 Star Review   By Plague on PETCO - Aug 18, 2010    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

When you search for substrate for use with plants it doesn't get better than eco complete. This substrate is very soft and gentle enough for the barbs for cory's. If you get a deep enough bed the substrate will layers from the small sand like grains to gravel size rocks. It has a nice black color that actually helps with the coloration of the fish. The bag brings in a magnetic chemical to help clear the water from the initial set up. It's up to you if you use it. I didn't use it because it never made my water cloudy.

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Eco Complete Planted Black Aquarium Substrate
5 Star Review   By GTRdriver on PETCO - Jul 30, 2010    ( See more reviews from PETCO )

This is the best gravel period. Makes anything that you put into the aquarium look great. Grows plants like it was in liquid fertilizer. I have 215 gal. Oceanic reef ready, fresh water. Discus and Angles populate. Not one problem with cleaning or planting.

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