The Planted Tank Forum - View Single Post - root tabs vs column dosing
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:56 PM   #1
Dave-H
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Default root tabs vs column dosing

An interesting discussion happened about the best way to dose ferts for a low light, low tech tank and I wonder if anyone wants to chime in.

My low-light, low-tech tank is doing well, but I'm noticing some minor issues with some of the plants (i.e. some holes, etc.) and I think that I will try some light fertilization.

My assumption is that because I'm not doing EI, constant water changes, have CO2 or high light, I really don't need much in the way of ferts. I just want to make sure there are no major deficiencies so something simple should suffice.

It was recommended to me that I simply do a 50% water change every now and then, and then drop in a 50% dose of the high-light EI dosage for my tank size. That seems sensible enough - I WC about every 2 weeks.

For my root feeders, it was recommended to me that I do nothing, because the safe-t-sorb substrate was capable of absorbing/holding nutrients from the water column, and over time the substrate would become nicely fertilized because of the regular dosing.

It was then mentioned that it can go the other way, too. Root tabs can be used, and those ferts will slowly leach out into the water.

The premise was that ferts in the substrate get into the water, and the reverse. So, if you are in low light/low tech you don't need much ferts and one or the other is fine.

Any opinions on this? I like the convenience of root tabs (just apply them now and again) but I really dont' like it when the little granules resurface and scatter around the tank! It drives me crazy

Any ideas for a low-tech, low-light, low-fert approach much appreciated!
thanks, dave
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