Be careful with DIY Osmocote Root tabs!
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Old 12-27-2013, 11:14 PM   #1
elfofelm
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Be careful with DIY Osmocote Root tabs!


I made bunch of root tabs with Osmocote the other day following instructions from the forum.

The first time, I placed about 10 capsules on my 46 gallon and water parameters stayed fine. So, I thought it has no impact on water.
Yesterday, I placed about 25 capsules on the same tank; thinking that it would be okay to have higher density.

24 hours later, my ammonia and nitrite both skyrocketed!!! (both over 5 ppm)
Fortunately, no fish or shrimp died. Hope it did not cause any permanent damage to my tetras, guppies, and corydoras.

I performed immediate 50% water change and added Seachem safe to detox the ammonia and nitrite for the time being. I guess I will need to perform daily water change until it stabilize again. sigh...


Lessons learned. Be careful with DIY Root tabs!!! Your filter maybe able to handle some ammonia released from the Osmocote, but its capacity will vary!!!

Last edited by elfofelm; 12-27-2013 at 11:19 PM.. Reason: Typo fix
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Old 12-27-2013, 11:26 PM   #2
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Sound advice. I would think 10 in a 46 would be a bit much. I only put like 3-4 in at a time and every 3-4 months. Always placing in diff spots too. Are you heavily planted?
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Old 12-27-2013, 11:39 PM   #3
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since I have started growing plants I have found the ferts like you mention are at best given every three months. depending on how the plants are growing and looking. and usually at most I put 10 in 35 gallon and 5 in the ten gallon I am using for growing my plants I got off here. I have to cut mine back at least once a week else they cover the whole top.
now plants are in Tupperware so I can move them around and I am using oilsorb as a cap and MG at its base about 1/1/2 inch of each. it takes a little while for the tabs themselves to disintegrate enough to explose the ferts I can usually tell when they start working as my substrate bubbles at times.

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Old 12-27-2013, 11:41 PM   #4
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instead of 10 would i would have used 3-4 for the entire tank. definitely too potent.... glad to see nothing was harmed.
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Old 12-28-2013, 01:54 AM   #5
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I have Hemianthus Micranthemoides (Pearl Weed) carpet. It was doing fine for couple months, then not doing so well recently. I figured that it was not enough nutrients since I had 0 Nitrate and 0 phosphate. So, I started PPS-Pro this week, which should have fixed the problem if I gave some time. BUT... I got impatient and wanted to provide maximum fertilizer for the carpet; thus plugged root tabs in much higher density than last time... sigh...
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:03 AM   #6
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Ohh, thats like when i first learned how to not over feed my fish! lol.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:26 AM   #7
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Yup... same kind of problem! =)

Now, I do noticed that the gills my guppies are red. Does it mean permanent damage to the gills from the high ammonia?
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Old 12-28-2013, 04:54 PM   #8
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Yeah you went a tad overboard there. I put maybe 10 in my 125.
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Old 12-28-2013, 09:16 PM   #9
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Day 2 - Another 50% water change, but the ammonia and nitrite levels are still high (over 5 ppm)... Only think I can rely on is Seachem Safe... Since it detox the ammonia and nitrite to a form that is not harmful to fish, I am hoping that it will prevent any further damage to my fish. I am adding 1/2 tsp of Safe for my 46 gallon every 12 hours. In order to prevent any overdose issue, I added airstone to infuse additional oxygen. sigh...
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Old 12-28-2013, 09:33 PM   #10
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I added too much the first time I bought any as well. It's not like they come with instructions to use only 1-2 per 10gal or anything. More often in the forums, people say something like "swords are heavy root feeders, put some roottabs around it".

I didn't end up with any deaths, just an algae outbreak, the only remnants are on my Anubias barteri because I don't want to cut any leaves off of it.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:41 PM   #11
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You could have also caused a problem but stirring up so much substrate.
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:18 AM   #12
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Ammonium nitrate is very harsh, it dissolves readily in water. They are designed to dissolve slowly in dirt where the release rate is slower
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Old 12-29-2013, 01:54 AM   #13
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I tested water again and the Nitrite level is now at 1.25 ppm (knowing that safe will throw off test results to some degree.) So, at least it is getting better and moving into the right direction!

"I didn't end up with any deaths, just an algae outbreak,"
=> I have inline UV, so I am not experiencing bacterial bloom or algae bloom!

"Ammonium nitrate is very harsh, it dissolves readily in water."
=> Yup. Learning the hard way...
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:26 AM   #14
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Yea I wouldn't put that many in that is way too much. They are good as they said for a few months. I almost did the same thing once and found a thread like this!
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:56 AM   #15
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Fortunately, water came good after 3 days of 50% water change and no fish died thanks to Safe!
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