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Should you rinse Eco-Complete or Eco-Planted?

The CaribSea Eco-Complete, also known as the CaribSea Eco-Planted, comes with dust and other particles due to the way it was manufactured. So, should you rinse this substrate before adding it to your fish tank?

You can find out in this article at Aquarium Blueprints.

Why you should rinse

The main benefit or rinsing your Eco-Complete or Eco-Planted is that the substrate won’t cloud your tank water when you put it in your aquarium. Otherwise, you will end up with hazy water immediately after adding the product.

Why you shouldn’t rinse

One of the reasons you should avoid rinsing your Eco-Complete or Eco-Planted is that the substrate contains live Heterotrophic bacteria. These colonies are designed to quickly breakdown any organic wastes in your aquarium, which is helpful if you are trying to cycle your tank.

For the uninformed, both of ammonia and nitrites compounds are toxic to our fish and other aquatic pets. Therefore, it is recommended that you have 0 ppm of both compounds in your tank.

If you have a brand-new tank, then it needs to go through the cycling process so that it is able to build a big enough population of beneficial bacteria colonies. The Eco-Complete or Eco-Planted should help kick start your cycle as it will help break down wastes into ammonia. Afterwards, the other beneficial bacteria species will then covert ammonia to nitrites and then nitrites to nitrates.

Another reason that you may not want to rinse your CaribSea substrate is that the liquid inside the packaging should also contain several nutrients that you may want to add to your tank water. If you decide to pre-wash the substrate instead, then you will miss out on these liquid fertilizers.

Should the Eco-Complete or Eco-Planted be pre-washed?

We don’t recommend rinsing your Eco-Complete or Eco-Planted as doing so may harm the beneficial bacteria living in the substrate. Furthermore, you may remove some of the liquid fertilizer that are mixed into the packaging of the product.

Even though your tank water will be cloudy at first, your filter should be able to clear it up rater quickly.

How to rinse the Eco-Complete or Eco-Planted

If you decide that you want to rinse the CaribSea Eco-Complete or CaribSea Eco-Planted, then we recommend that you take the following steps:

1. To start off, pour the substrate into a bucket or container that can hold water.

2. Next, we recommend adding a dechlorinator, such as Seachem Prime, to the substrate if you decide to rinse with tap water. By doing so, you will prevent the chlorine and/or chloramine of the tap water from harming the beneficial bacteria living in the substrate.

3. Fill up the bucket or container with tap water.

4. Swirl the substrate around in the bucket or container to knock the dust and other particles into the water column.

5. Carefully pour out the cloudy water from the bucket or container.

6. You can repeat this process over and over again until you see that the water in the bucket or container has become clear.

At that point, you should be able to add the Eco-Complete or Eco-Planted to your tank without having to worry about the substrate making your water cloudy.

To see what are the differences between the CaribSea Eco-Complete Planted Aquarium Substrate and CaribSea Eco-Planted Aquarium Substrate, you can take a look at this comparison guide.