Eco-Complete Planted Aquarium Substrate - 20 lb.

SKU: 203870
Manufacturer: Carib Sea
MPN: 013015

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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. This iron-rich substrate eliminates the need for laterite.

Biologically complete means it contains live heterotrophic bacteria to rapidly convert fish waste into natural food for your aquatic plants; creates a natural biological balance which makes cycling a new aquarium faster and safer; packed in Liquid Amazon buffered Black Water solution for immediate organic water conditioning; unsurpassed MacroPorosity for healthy roots and bacterial efficiency. You would need to buy 4 bags of ordinary gravel to equal the surface area of this one bag of substrate.

Other features include: nitrate and carbonate free-will not increase pH or carbonate hardness; there are no artificial dyes, paints or chemical coatings; the natural black substrate encourages the most vibrant coloration in fishes and reduces fish stress; spherical grains for optimum diffusion performance; supplies calcium without raising the pH; lead free.

The Bi-Modal grading 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.

The size and color of the gravel and substrates listed can vary due to natural availability and the resolution of your computer monitor.

For help selecting how much gravel you need for your aquarium, check our Aquarium Substrate Buying Guide.


Carib Sea
Package Size20 lb.
Grain Size0.25-7mm
Internal Id

Ratings & Reviews

11 reviews

  • 3 stars
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  • 2 stars
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  • 1 star
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Eco Complete-Excellent Substrate!


Beautiful substrate. Excellent price. My local stores sell the same bag for 30% more. I recently removed my 15 year old substrate of laterite and pea gravel and was concerned about the effects on my heavily planted tank.The transition has had no negative effects on the plants or fish-they are thriving and beautiful.

My own first planted tank


I've got a hit and miss history with fresh water plants. I recently bought several of 8 different types of plants and bought this product to help unsure that this time I'd get a hit. It's been 6 months and my params are as follows - Nitrates 10-20ppm
Phosphates 1.0-2.0 ppm
Iron 0.1-1.0 ppm
Potassium 10-20 ppm
I haven't had to dose with anything even once since I added 3 x 20lb bags of this stuf to a 50 gal. long with a reverse flow undergravel filter set up. About 30% old gravel was mixed in, 3watts per gal of T-5 full spectrum

Great for planted tanks


No need to dose ferts if you have Eco-complete, at least not in early days. It is a great substrate, and it looks great.

My only criticism would be that it isn't very good at holding down plants with small roots, like carpeting plants. MIx it with a bit of black sand and that problem is solved.

Best freshwater substrate on the planet...


Just dump it in, wait an hour, and begin aquascaping. What you say you want to change things up a bit? No problem, this substrate allows you to make changes as often as your heart desires without any worries. Don't know how much you need? Go to the CaribSea website for a quantity calculator...

Alows More Water Flow Through It


I believe the water stays cleaner when the gravel has less resistance for water to penetrate. I have not vacuum it yet but I suspect that job will be easier to do. I had to use plastic pots with some heavier gravel to hold down my plants as currents can pull them out because Eco Complete is a much lighter gravel.

55 gallon planted aquarium


I'm back after 3 yrs hiatus I used eco complete and it was magnificient! No cloudy tank stayed right where I put it!!! Well worth it! I paid less for it at the pet place!

Great Plant substrate


Combined with Flourite, Eco-complete is a great substrate, the downside is that it is quite pricey.



I love it so far. The only draw back is that since the color is black, it makes the illusion that there isn't enough light. But once I added plants, it brightened the tank up with reflections of the light green colors of the leaves.

Eco complete substrate


I have worked with this substrate always and like to mix it with other substrates. Great for plant's and great look for tank.

Good product/Could have been packaged better


I put this substrate in an empty cycled tank that is currently growing a java moss carpet. Luckily I didn't have fish or shrimp in it, as it caused a bit of an ammonia spike. I mixed with other black substrate, but the java moss has really brightened up since adding. Packaging could have been much better, the bag was wet, causing a huge hole in the box and the Fedex guy said he had to keep an eye on it to make sure nothing came out of the hole in the box.

Good stuff, as advertised


Highly recommended substrate for any planted tank. Once of the best.