miracle gro organic potting soil is what is usually recommended.
personally I wouldnt bother with eco complete with potting soil just because the soil itself has a decent level of cec (ability to hold nutrients) which is eco completes only advantage, it would be cheaper to just buy sand or something.
I have Eco-complete in two of my tanks. My plants LOVE it. I supplement with a dose of Flourish Potassium every couple of weeks because my water seems to have a deficiency.
Eco-complete is not a sand, though; the texture is closer to a lumpy potting soil (somewhere between sand and gravel).
I do not have trumpet snails and I would never deliberately add them to my tank. You have to be certain that you will always want them (and lots of them!) if you go in that direction. I recommend setting up the tank without the MTS for a while. If, after the tank is established, you think that your plants are suffering from not having the substrate burrowed through, then consider (carefully!) the addition of a trumpet snail.
from their website:
Eco-Complete™ Planted will last indefinitely. It won’t break down or turn to mud. Eco-Complete™ Planted will supply trace elements that the plant needs but does not supply a fertilizer component ie. N,P or K. You either need to add the fertilizer or have fish in there that you feed regularly.
If you read threads on plantedtank.net most people dont trust it to give much other than micro nutrients for any period of time, and those nutrients dont last that long from what I have read.
Well seeing as MTS reproduce sexually, I'm not worried about just having the one.
Also I will be upgrading the tank to a 5 gal next week (not starting the NPT just yet) I'm kind of excited about this whole NPT thing. I already ordered the eco complete, so I'll just use it as a cap for the soil like OFL suggested.
Do you rinse the soil or...? what do you do with it before/after you put it in the tank?
Oh lol whoops, stupid websites giving bad information XD
Anyhow, I'm still not worried, I've done the research on them and as long as I don't over feed it should be okay, I'll still keep an eye on it of course, I'm not an idiot xD
I was under the impression that this tank would have fish in it. If it's a planted-only tank, then it will need supplements for sure.
I'm not sure if I said, but it's for my DTHM, so yes there will be a fish, and I am still debating on adding a couple of shrimps because I like them :) (not too many, I'm no stranger to bioload issues)
I know it's just anecdata, but I had plants that were getting steadily smaller/dying in one tank with a gravel substrate. Once I shifted them to a tank with eco-complete, they revived quickly and are thriving.
My tanks are still quite young, so I'll need to monitor developments carefully, of course. Other people who have had tanks for years have told me that they use eco-complete and recommend it. They do supplement for their own water deficiencies, of course, as I mentioned that I do for the potassium.