Heavy Root Feeders need Liquid Ferts??? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-20-2004, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
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Heavy Root Feeders need Liquid Ferts???

I got a question...say...I just had a tank full of Amazon Swords, or something that is a really heavy root feeder...would i need to dose ferts into the water column (do they take in lots of ferts through leaves as well as through roots???) or would i be able to only rely on root tabs?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-20-2004, 02:35 AM
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Good qustion... I just got my first swords. They are in eco and have root tabs, how much of a burden are they going to be on my macros and micros?

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-20-2004, 03:05 AM
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Yes, you would continue to dose the water column. The plants you are describing are heavy root feeders, but they do not feed exclusively through their roots. They still absorb some nutrients through the water column.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-20-2004, 03:06 AM
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Check your package of root tabs. See what they contain. I have a package of Seachem tabs right here. They are mostly calcium and sulfur. Even heavy root feeders need nitrates, phosphates, and potassium. Unless you have found a way to keep the water column out of the substrate where do you think those macro nutrients come from? I can tell you it's not the vast majority of root tabs.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-20-2004, 06:41 PM
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Hmmmm.....

Rex, do root tabs add any benefit for root feeders? My assumption (which appears to be incorrect) was that the root tabs contained macros as well as other things. Is water column fertilization enough for root feeders? Is there something else to put in the substrate to provide macros? I've read of people putting jobe's fertilizer sticks in their substrate, but this always seemed like an algae problem waiting to happen to me. What fertilizer regimin would you recommend for root feeders?

FYI, my tank has swords, vals, and tiger lotuses as root feeders.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-20-2004, 06:54 PM
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I have used root tabs in the past and do not use them now. In my 29 gallon tank a few weeks ago I pulled out three gallon sized zip lock bags of Crypts. Everyone says Crypts are root feeders but that starting crypt never had a root tab. In my 55 gallon tank I have a Ozelot sword that has never had a root tab and is threating to take over the tank. It's putting out a new leaf about every 3-4 days right now.

I'm really divided on the need for root tabs. Flourish tabs do have a good amount of iron 2.8% so they are a ready source of iron in a newer tank or in one that doesn't have an enriched substrate. I guess if I had a new tank with an inert substrate and plants that are heavy root feeders I might use them.

But I also seem to recall a message on APD from Tom Barr about how even "heavy root feeders" are more apt to take up nutrients from the water column than the roots.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-20-2004, 08:00 PM
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well I use homemade root tabs...some plantex CSM+B and a clay powder. I could add chelated iron too if i wanted.

If I transplant crypts, I stick a root tab under them...but I don't replenish the tab. I simply find it helps reduce melting (usually to no melt).

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-21-2004, 12:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg
But I also seem to recall a message on APD from Tom Barr about how even "heavy root feeders" are more apt to take up nutrients from the water column than the roots.
I read this too. He said that he has not found any aquatic plants that do not feed primarily from the water column. Even the "root feeders" do well with just water ferts. I am strongly inclined to believe him. That being said, I find that IME a fert tab or two under these plants does them well. I suppose if you had a rich substrate such as soil, it might provide the required nutrients to a "root feeder" though.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-21-2004, 12:06 AM
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In the past, I've just used Jobe's spikes fro mHome Depot. They are dirt cheap. Pun intended

Convert my 125 to something new.
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