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Flourite vs Eco Complete – Which one is better?

There are certain things that every tank requires to stay healthy, happy, and look good. These things include filtration, lighting, and substrate.

Selecting the right base substrate for your new aquarium is, in fact, one of the most important and difficult decisions you will make.

Substrates form an important layer that remains settled at the bottom of an aquarium. It is necessary as it provides helpful bacteria to the tank water.

Also, it helps filter out toxins, contaminants, and unwanted bacteria.

Furthermore, if you add substrates to your aquarium the fish feces will not float freely but instead will remain settled at the bottom.

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Flourite vs Eco Complete Comparison

Now, there are many types of substrates and needless to say you have to select the best if you want to enjoy an amazing result.

Seachem Flourite Black Gravel Substrate and CaribSea Eco-Complete Black Substrate are our top two picks.

We shall first learn about these products in detail. And then, through a Flourite vs Eco Complete comparison, we shall learn about the similarities and differences between the two.

Seachem Flourite Black Sand Review

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Seachem Flourite is not sand and nor is it any type of soil. It basically is clay that has been grounded to a sand-like consistency.

It looks pretty nice and is beneficial for your tank in many ways about which we shall right now.

Perfect for rooted plants

The best thing about [amazon link=”B0019J0ISU” title=”Seachem Flourite Black Sand” link_icon=”amazon” /] is that it offers rooted plants a perfect base to develop a healthy and strong root system. This is something you naturally will be interested in.

The Seachem Black Sand has an even porosity and good consistency. It will be easy for roots to grow in this type of base.

Owing to the porosity, the nutrients, water, and other important components will be delivered to the roots of the plants easily. This will ensure they grow fast and in a healthy way.

It is not so loose that it would allow the roots to move around and neither so dense that it will come in way of quick root development.

Looks attractive

Many people are quite impressed with the color of the Seachem Flourite Black Sand. It has a really nice, rich, and deep black color.

Chances are, you might first be unsure if or no to add black colored sand to your aquarium. However, once you do, you will only be glad.

It is because of this deep black color that the fishes and the bright plants look all the more attractive. Basically, it contributes to the overall appearance of your tank in a big way.

Offers many nutrients

What attracted me most about the Seachem Black Sand is that it is rich in many nutrients that are beneficial to the plants.

All of us know that plants need nutrients to stay healthy and grow well. But, the fact is that not every tank substrate offers enough nutrients for such healthy growth.

Thankfully, [amazon link=”B0019J0ISU” title=”Seachem Black Sand” link_icon=”amazon” /] offers all the important ones that your tank plant requires.

This sand has a lot more nutrients for your tank plants compared to the various other substrates. Also, it holds nutrients pretty well. Nutrients present in substrates do get used up.

So, after a while, you will need to add liquid fertilizers or nutrients. This sand absorbs and retains these nutrients and is thus great for your plants.

Ease of maintenance

This Seachem sand does not require much of your time and effort as far as maintenance is concerned. You just require a nice tank gravel siphon and using it you will get rid of any debris.

Instead of replacing the sand each time you just need to clean it yourself.

Your fishes will be happy too

You know it provides the right nutrients for your plants and is thus beneficial to them. But, you will be more glad learning that your fishes will like this substrate too.

Fishes that enjoy to tunnel and dig will absolutely love the Flourite Black Sand.

Easy to set up

Flourite Black Sand is pre-washed. However, it may get dirty in transit and thus you need to rinse it before adding it to your tank,

When you add water to your tank, make sure to be slow to avoid disturbing your bed of Flourite substrate. You can keep a bowl in your tank and pour water over it. Give it the chance to softly overflow in your tank bed.

Pros and Cons

There are pros and cons of Seachem Flourite Black Sand which have been mentioned below.


  • The black color will make your plants as well as fishes pop out and look beautiful.
  • It is great for rooted plants.
  • It contains a lot of nutrients.
  • It absorbs and retains nutrients pretty well.


  • Initially, it might create a thin film on your plants.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

CaribSea Eco-Complete Planted Aquarium Substrate Review

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If you are interested in a substrate that looks as great as it is beneficial then the [amazon link=”B0002DH0QM” title=”Eco-Complete Black” link_icon=”amazon” /] Substrate makes a good choice.

It contains the same volcanic soil that is found in places like Costa Rica and Hawaii. This will prove to be immensely beneficial to your aquarium.

Let us discover more about this substrate through the below-given review.

Looks attractive

The substrate looks attractive and will make your tank look gorgeous as well. The volcanic soil has a nice black color.

It will make the fishes, the plants, as well as the ornaments in your aquarium pop.

Contains beneficial bacteria

It may take a while before you can see a colony of helpful bacteria growing in your aquarium. With Eco-Complete, things are different.

It is pre-cycled and beneficial bacteria are already growing in it when you are introducing it to your tank.

As the material is pre-cycled, you will see it is wet but do not let this surprise you. The product has been packed wet intentionally so that the bacteria keep on growing.

You should not wash the substrate before adding it to your tank, or else you will disturb the colonies of bacteria that it contains. Also, the substrate is very porous and this too helps support the bacterial colonies.

Naturally rich in nutrients

[amazon link=”B0002DH0QM” title=”Eco-Complete” link_icon=”amazon” /] is rich in nutrients that are great for your tank plants and fishes. They prevent the development of algae and keep the aquarium water balanced.

Some of the nutrients that it contains include zinc, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, and so on. Since your tank is getting all the necessary nutrients, your fishes will stay healthier and happier.

Also, it contains no dye, coating, or chemical, and is thus completely safe. These nutrients are a part of the natural buildup of the substrate and so you will never have to replace them.

Is bi-modal

One thing that is quite interesting about Eco-Complete is that it is bi-modal. It has large as well as fine granules. They sort themselves naturally. The bigger ones stay on the surface and the smaller ones settle at the bottom.

This arrangement offers more dimensions to your aquarium. The small granules also look sparkly, which in turn will make the tank look more attractive, particularly when light falls on it.

The finer granules that settle at the bottom are great for the plants to root in. The plants get deep-rooted and have better stability.

Pros and Cons

Let us now learn about the pros and cons of Eco-Complete Planted Black Aquarium Substrate.


  • It is rich in nutrients
  • It is made using volcanic soil, which supports the healthy growth of plants.
  • It does not contain chemical coatings, paints, or dyes.
  • It helps the plants form finer yet deeper roots.


  • It might raise the water pH to an alkaline level.

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Flourite vs Eco Complete – Which one Should You Choose?

To conclude, let us draw a basic comparison between the two substrates and help you decide which one to opt for.

What makes them similar?


Both support great plant growth.


Both are black in color.


Both are rich in nutrients.


Both support the development of deep and strong roots for the tank plants.

What are the differences?

1Flourite requires rinsing as it may have attracted dirt during transportation. On the other hand, it is suggested not to rinse Eco-Complete to avoid disturbing the natural growth of bacteria.


Though both are black in color, Eco-Complete comes with a kind of sparkle that makes it look attractive.


Flourite completely settles at the bottom but Eco-Complete is bi-modal. It contains two types of granules. The smaller ones settle while the bigger ones float on the surface.

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Now that you have gone through this basic Flourite vs Eco Complete comparison, you can clearly see that they share quite a lot in common. Yes, differences are also there but they are nothing too major.

Which one should you opt for?

Well, both of them are good, and people have liked both. So, which you shall select among these is more a matter of personal preference.

Either way, you will be happy with the results. Your tank plants will get all the nutrients that they need and will grow very well.

Your fishes will be happy too. Overall, your tank and the lives within will be healthy, happy, and look attractive.

Aaron Boyd
Aaron Boyd

Hello, I’m Aaron Boyd, the proud owner and author behind Aqua Movement. I hope my article was able to answer your questions. If you want to learn more about me, click the home icon above.

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