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Does Eco-Complete and Eco-Planted expire?

CaribSea’s Eco-Complete Planted Aquarium Substrate, previously known as the Eco-Planted Aquarium Substrate, contains nutrients to help your plants grow as well as beneficial bacteria that will help break down wastes in your tank.

So, does this product have an expiration date? You can find out in this article from Aquarium Blueprints.

Is there a printed expiry date?

There is no printed expiration date, “best by” date or something similar, on the plastic bag packaging of the Eco-Complete or Eco-Planted. So, according to CaribSea, the substrate shouldn’t expire.

How to care for the Eco-Complete and Eco-Planted

Even if the Eco-Complete or Eco-Planted don’t expire, there are several things you need to look out for in order to maintain the effectiveness of the substrate going forward.

While these products come with over 30 nutrients for plants, these will be used up over time. This media is made of Basalt, which contains high CEC that will store from the water from the water and then release nutrients.

Some of these nutrients can be added from regular fish food. With that said, if the live plant you are trying to grow requires a nutrient not found in the food you are feeding to your fish and/or other aquatic pets, then you need to add a root tab or liquid fertilizer (such as Seachem Flourish).

Depending on the plants you are keeping, it can take weeks or months for the original nutrients to be used up. As long as you are able to replenish the lost nutrients with fish food and/or fertilizers, then you will be able to maintain the effectiveness of your Eco-Complete or Eco-Planted.

Another thing to look out for is the beneficial bacteria living on the substrate. This media should come with Heterotrophic, which is a species that will help breakdown organic wastes in your fish tank. This is especially helpful if you need to cycle your aquarium. Not to mention that your tank will look cleaner due to the absence of visible organic wastes.

For Heterotrophic to stay alive, it will need to feed on organic wastes. Therefore, we recommended putting the substrate into your fish tank as soon as possible. Otherwise, the beneficial bacteria colonies may end up starving to death if you left it in the bag for too long. They will also perish if the Eco-Complete or Eco-Planted is completely dried out.

You should also avoid rinsing the substrate before adding it to your aquarium. If you do need to rinse the media, then you can take a look at this tutorial to find out how to properly do so.