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Two Options For Aquarium Substrates

With so many options available to aquarists, deciding which substrate to use for your aquarium can be overwhelming. Even though a substrate's aesthetic appeal is important, it's not everything!

A wise aquarist considers the properties of each available substrate so as to make his or her aquarium more stable and ideal for the fishes within it. For more than three decades, CaribSea has been a pioneer in developing cutting edge aquarium substrates. In this article, we'll review two of their latest and most advanced substrates: Eco-Complete™ for African Cichlids and Eco-Complete™ Planted Aquarium Substrate.

Eco-Complete™ for African Cichlids

Why use Eco-Complete™ for African Cichlids? First of all, it's mineralogically complete. This substrate contains Aragonite, making it a perfect African cichlid substrate. Aragonite, which is unique to just CaribSea substrates, maintains the high pH African Cichlids need without the constant addition of chemicals.

When the pH in your aquarium falls below 8.2, Aragonite snaps into action, breaking down into calcium (great for water hardness), carbonate (your buffer), and various beneficial trace elements like Magnesium. Your pH comes back up and the tank stays healthy, all without ever adding a single chemical. Other types of calcium carbonate don't react until the pH is in the mid 7's. In fact, Aragonite holds the highest pH of any gravel or sand, and has up to 30 times the buffering capacity of Dolomite, Calcite ("crushed corals"), or Oyster shell! Plus, unlike ordinary substrates, Aragonite never needs replacement, buffering automatically for the life of an aquarium. Eco-Complete™ for African Cichlids has a unique composition that re-creates the African Rift Lake environment in your aquarium.

In addition to maintaining the pH of your African cichlid aquarium, Eco-Complete™ for African Cichlids is also high capacity bio-filter. Aragonite is extremely porous, about 20,000 square inches of surface area per cubic inch! Imagine the beneficial bacteria population you can maintain with it. This is why Aragonite is unsurpassed in reducing nitrates, nitrites, and ammonia, allowing a bio-load many times greater than other substrates. You would have to buy 4 bags of ordinary gravel to equal the surface area available for water purifying bacteria in this one bag of Eco-Complete™ African Cichlid Substrate!

Further differentiating Eco-Complete™ for African Cichlids from other substrates, it's biologically complete. Foremost, each bag of Eco-Complete™ contains live water-purifying bacteria. This makes for cycling a new aquarium faster and safer! This substrate also creates a natural biological balance to discourage nuisance algae in the aquarium. Most substrates require a tedious rinsing ritual whereas Eco-Complete™ African Cichlid Substrate! needs no rinsing at all. It's packed in a water conditioning solution for immediate results.

Eco-Complete™ African Cichlid Substrate comes in a dark color, encouraging the richest coloration in fishes. It's available in both fine and coarse grading. The fine grade is recommended for small cichlids, Featherfins, and Xenos. The coarse grade works well for all others. One advantage to the coarse grade is that you have the option of using an under-gravel filter. Or mix them both for Bi-Modal efficiency.

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Eco-Complete™ Planted Aquarium Substrate

This plant substrate is named appropriately. It is the complete planted aquarium substrate. It's mineralogically and biologically complete. This substrate contains all the mineral nutrients needed for luxuriant aquatic plant growth without nuisance algae: Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Sulfur and over 25 other elements.

It's spherical grains are designed for optimum diffusion performance. Iron rich Eco-Complete™ eliminates the need for laterite. It's carbonate free, meaning it will not raise pH or carbonate hardness. Furthermore, it supplies calcium without raising the pH.

It's nitrate free and contains no artificial dyes, paints, lead, or chemical coatings.

Eco-Complete™ Planted Aquarium Substrate contains live Heterotrophic bacteria to rapidly convert fish waste into natural food for your aquatic plants! This creates a natural biological balance which makes cycling a new aquarium faster and safer for your fish and plants. This substrate comes packed in Liquid Amazon™ buffered "Black Water" solution for immediate organic water conditioning.

Just like all CaribSea products, Eco-Complete™ Planted Aquarium Substrate has unsurpassed MacroPorosity, meaning healthier roots and enhanced bacterial efficiency. In fact, you would have to buy 4 bags of ordinary gravel to equal the surface area of this one bag of Eco-Complete ™ Planted Aquarium Substrate.

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Eco-Complete™ Planted Aquarium Substrate employs clever bi-modal grading, which naturally separates into 2 distinct layers: 1) Fine layer on the bottom for best root development, and 2) Coarse layer on top which conveys oxygen and nutrients to the roots.

Like Eco-Complete™ African Cichlid Substrate, this substrate comes in a dark color, encouraging the most vibrant coloration in fishes and reducing fish stress.
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User Reviews: Eco-Complete™ African Cichlid Substrate
User Reviews: Eco-Complete™ Planted Aquarium Substrate
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