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CaribSea Eco-Complete 20-Pound Planted Aquarium, Black



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  • Complete substrate for freshwater planted aquariums
  • Contains major and minor trace elements to nourish aquarium plants
  • Substrate encourages healthy plant root growth

Specification: CaribSea Eco-Complete 20-Pound Planted Aquarium, Black


‎CaribSea, Inc

Part Number


Item Weight

‎20 pounds

Product Dimensions

‎18 x 12 x 2 inches

Item model number


Is Discontinued By Manufacturer








Item Package Quantity


Special Features




Included Components

‎CaribSea Eco-Complete 20-Pound Planted Aquarium, Black

Batteries Included


Batteries Required


Warranty Description


5 reviews for CaribSea Eco-Complete 20-Pound Planted Aquarium, Black

4.8 out of 5
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  1. Amber W.

    My favorite substrate for the $!! My plants grow beautifully and it stays a nice rich black. Easy to clean and to plant in! So much cheaper than the alternatives!!

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  2. Wallys

    I am new to planted tanks. This is my very first attempt. I had a goldfish (Gunsmoke) as a dorm pet in college and then some guppies. I recently got a betta (Rupert Pad Kee Mao) for my desk at work, but he will need a home in my home when I need to be out of the office for extended periods. So I started research to make him a vaca home that rules. I spotted 

    CaribSea Eco-Complete 20-Pound Planted Aquarium, Black

    , just because I wanted black/natural substrate and started to read reviews. Honestly, they almost scared me away from this, but so happy I went with my gut. This stuff is amazing. Mind you I have a 5 gallon and it was daunting getting 20 lbs. of substrate. I worried that only using part would be a total mess. But guess what, it is fantastic. You are going to make a mess with any substrate, just head to your tub and work there.

    Placing into the tank it was NASTY! So nasty that I thought about all the reviews to rinse it, second guessing and extremely worried about double work. No worries though, seriously DO NOT RINSE this substrate and read the directions especially when adding to an established tank. My little tank was almost clear an hour after running the filter. By the next day the tank was crystal clear. Planting day (Red Cabomba, Water Sprite, Banana Plant, Bacopa and Java Moss) it was so clean (with a few floaties). Planting did kick up a bit, but not as much as I would have thought.

    It is now day four and the plants, even after all the stress I put them through, are thriving. I have not run chemistry on this tank yet, but will in a few days once it balances itself out (I don’t want to freak myself into a tizzy looking at readings). I will probably get another tank (do not tell my husband) to use what is left. It looks fantastic, very natural with bits of rose and tan. I’ll try to get back and update when Rupert moves into his penthouse in the next month.

    It has been over a year and I still love this substrate. I did have a large die-off of plants due to being lazy and not caring for my plants as I should. But both Rupert (he never did return to my office) and an Anubias that was added after the original review was posted are thriving. The other plants (micro-sword, Bacopa and Wisteria) after the initial die-off are also doing really well Yeah, I have had a Petco Betta for over a year and he looks great swimming over 

    CaribSea Eco-Complete 20-Pound Planted Aquarium, Black


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  3. Shane R. Glover

    Wow. What a great product. I had some plants that were just hanging on so I decided to buy this because it never goes bad and keeps actual live bacteria colonies in the substrate. This stuff brought my plants back and some they now have new sprouts and are so beautiful and the fact that this stuff lasts forever due to the nutrients its gathers and disperses ill never need another substrate. I mixed this with my colored gravel and its looks amazing. The black with the colored gravel makes my tank look like a huge Cosmic Brownie hahahaa but seriously don’t buy no other bullcrap this stuff is amazing. Oh and pour the water in the bag in the tank too cause it has the bacteria in it.

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  4. Wallys

    The media could not be loaded.

     This stuff is great, easy to plant in, and most important does nothing to your water parameters, well it has no effect on my water after 2 weeks. All reading are perfect, and ph is always around 7.2. Will be buying more for my 120 gallon planted tank project. Awesome stuff!!!!!

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  5. Elaine Bell

    For dirt, this is some of the best stuff you can get. But it does have some downsides.

    TL;DR: Good dirt, fish and plants love it. Expensive. Have some Prime and Zeolite for ammonia leaks.

    Pros: Contains great nutrients for plant growth
    looks great
    isn’t sharp (doesn’t hurt my corydoras)
    comes packaged in water/conditioner already so no need to wash which makes it very easy to use, just dump it in the tank as is

    Cons: the water it was packaged in was FREEZING COLD, so I could not add the water to the tank. I have no idea if the water had nutrients or if I was supposed to leave the water out, but I didn’t like the idea of putting random different water in my tank anyway. I just scooped it out with my hands instead.
    It is known to leach small amounts of ammonia into the tank for a while afterwards. I did have an ammonia spike of about 0.2ppm but I am not sure if it was from the eco complete or from the new plants (new plants tend to die off a bit, so they can also cause ammonia spikes). I added some zeolite to my filter and the ammonia went away very quickly. I recommend having some on hand just in case, as well as Seachem’s Prime conditioner.
    It is decently expensive.

    And my last point, which isn’t a “con” but it is something I had to mention – it clouds the tank at first. You are adding dirt to a tank.. it is going to happen. As you can see in the pictures, you can barely see in the tank at all. I couldn’t even see my fish at one point. They were fine, they were in the tank as I swapped substrate and they were very curious and happy fish. After a few hours of running the filter it was crystal clear again.

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    CaribSea Eco-Complete 20-Pound Planted Aquarium, Black
    CaribSea Eco-Complete 20-Pound Planted Aquarium, Black


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