Osomocote Plus in substrate
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:15 PM   #1
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Osomocote Plus in substrate

I started a new 29 tall and decided to try Safe-T-Sorb as a substrate instead of the pool filter sand I've been using. I sprinkled some Osmocote Plus in the bottom of the tank before adding the substrate, plants and water. I moved an established Aquaclear 50 from another tank and let it settle for a couple days. Then I tested for nitrates and was shocked to find it maxed out on the API color chart. I then tested for ammonia and nitrite and got the same results for those. Trying to find the source, I tested water from a bucket of soaking Safe-T-Sorb and got zero across the board. I put a few grains of Osmocote in a glass of water and tested the next day. No doubt in my mind now that the Osmocote is the source.

There are no fish in there, so no emergency in that regard. Should I just let this run its course as is, or should I do heavy water changes to bring this under control sooner?
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:11 PM   #2
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Yep, let it run its course. That way you don't have to restart.
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:46 PM   #3
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^what shocked said.. or plant like a mofo. fight it that way.

i really didn't like using the pellets in my tanks.. they're nasty to see half dissolved poking out of the substrate.. which will happen.

you can use small amounts in a filter bag or just layered in a canister type set-up. use your test kits to dial in your ideal ranges. I worked with pellets in a canister for a few weeks as an uncontrolled test and it seemed to give me uncontrollable growth.. i went to remove the pellets that i figured were all spent up, but they were still as pale yellow as ever. hadn't even began to swell really.
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Old 10-20-2012, 12:29 AM   #4
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Trickerie post 24-
The sts sucks carbonates out of the water like a vacuum. This will continue for quite a while since you used 40 lbs. My suggestion is to buffer it quite high each water change to let the sts charge itself quicker. I used only a cap of it, and it still took a few weeks to stop
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Old 10-25-2012, 01:01 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info. I did notice the water is incredibly soft to the point I can feel it. I measured 6 Ph, but I think that's just because the test kit doesn't go any lower. Hard water is easy to come by here, so I will just do lots of changes until it stabilizes.

My main concern was with the high ammonia output from the Osmocote adding to the bio load from the fish. I always wondered why my nitrates were so high in my 55g, and now wondering how much the Osmocote tabs contribute to that. I change 50% or more every week and find it difficult to keep below 40. Below 20 seems an impossible goal.
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