Flourish Tabs vs API Root Tabs - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-29-2010, 04:34 AM Thread Starter
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Flourish Tabs vs API Root Tabs

Flourish Tabs contain very little NPK, but plenty of trace elements. API Root Tabs contains a fair amount of NPK, especially N, but no trace elements other than a lot of iron. Almost seems like you need to use both. Should I? Are there situations where one is better than the other? I EI dose the water column, so I'm just looking to supplement those plants that do better with root fertz; mainly swords.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-29-2010, 06:44 AM
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have you thought about making your own? i just got done making some with a fair amount of trace and NK.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-29-2010, 07:36 AM Thread Starter
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I wouldn't know where to start. Is there a recipe somewhere?
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-29-2010, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by mgamer20o0 View Post
have you thought about making your own? i just got done making some with a fair amount of trace and NK.
would love to hear this as well.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-29-2010, 09:03 AM
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this is what i used.
Quote:
I use equal parts Red Pottery Clay and Plantex CSM+B, but you can tailor it further if you need more macros in the tank or have very little water hardness, etc.

You can add Potassium sulfate, Magnesium sulfate (epsom salt), Potassium nitrate or Calcium nitrate, etc. You can't add any phosphorus because it will precipitate with the iron in the Plantex and clay, as the clay is iron rich naturally.

The typical mix:
3/4 cup plantex csm+b
3/4 cup red pottery clay
2 tablespoons potassium sulfate
2 tablespoons epsom salt
2 teaspoons potassium nitrate.

If it were going in a well-stocked tank, I'd leave off the nitrate.

The trick to it is to add only as much water as you need. I use distilled water, but reverse osmosis filtered water would be fine as well. I use a syringe to gradually add the water, as it takes less than you'd think to mix it to the right consistency. You want to only add enough water, and add it gradually enough, until you can mix and mold the stuff and it's not sticking to anything.

I roll it into small little balls and sit it on some tin foil or wax paper to dry. I usually leave it to dry a couple of weeks or so. I do not bake them, and from talking with others, the results arent very good, they get fragile and crumbly after that.

From there I'd just use it like any other fertilizer tablet. They dissolve quicker than you'd expect, but they last long enough to get them in the substrate. From there it doesn't really matter because it's all trapped under the substrate. You don't want to hold one under water while you think about where to put it, but you have enough time to get it from your hand to where you want it in the substrate before it dissolves
i have thought about finding something to coat it with to give me a little more time when planting. it was a little messy but i enjoyed it. going to give some out to people i know see how well they do for them. i already had everything i needed but the clay which i got at joans with a coupon for $8-9. that amount will last me for a long time. i ended up making 2 different size tabs. since i have some larger and smaller tanks.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-29-2010, 02:38 PM
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Thank you very much. I am going to try an make some of these as soon as I get some red pottery clay.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-29-2010, 02:55 PM
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I don't use enough to see the need to DIY them. The only reason I prefer the Seachem version is it seems to take more time to dissolve. I've had fish dig up a couple of API's that didn't get in deep enough and they were dissolved in a few minutes.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-29-2010, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgamer20o0 View Post
this is what i used.

i have thought about finding something to coat it with to give me a little more time when planting. it was a little messy but i enjoyed it. going to give some out to people i know see how well they do for them. i already had everything i needed but the clay which i got at joans with a coupon for $8-9. that amount will last me for a long time. i ended up making 2 different size tabs. since i have some larger and smaller tanks.
I have been expiramenting and developing root tabs for a few months now and think I might have come up with a way to get a good deal of ferts under the substrate but allowing them longer life. I think that this recipe uses far too much fertilizer. It is more likely to cause an algae bloom with any stirring of the substrate.

There are some tricks to making them last a little longer that I can't decide if I want to share right away. I'd like to expiriment and have tossed around the idea of selling them(wicked cheap, compared to store bought).

I have two version right now too. One that is just a standard root tab and one that is part quick release to help with new tanks.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-29-2010, 03:00 PM
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Thank you very much. I am going to try an make some of these as soon as I get some red pottery clay.
Hobby Lobby sells it as Mexican red clay. There are several that will likely work, as most red clays are just dirt and water. http://www.meijer.com/catalog/produc...mpid=commjunct is most common

I might recommend wearing gloves when mixing it, as basically you are mixing liquid into the ferts and they then mix into your hands. No need to absorb a bunch of fertilizer(plus you won't spend 10 minutes washing your hands).
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-29-2010, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by over_stocked View Post

I might recommend wearing gloves when mixing it, as basically you are mixing liquid into the ferts and they then mix into your hands. No need to absorb a bunch of fertilizer(plus you won't spend 10 minutes washing your hands).
you mean it wont make me grow bigger and stronger?
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-29-2010, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by over_stocked View Post
Hobby Lobby sells it as Mexican red clay. There are several that will likely work, as most red clays are just dirt and water. http://www.meijer.com/catalog/produc...mpid=commjunct is most common

I might recommend wearing gloves when mixing it, as basically you are mixing liquid into the ferts and they then mix into your hands. No need to absorb a bunch of fertilizer(plus you won't spend 10 minutes washing your hands).

Thank you for that. I am going to look and see maybe if they have some kinda capsules it could be added to as well this way they might last a bit longer.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-29-2010, 03:17 PM
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i prefer the seachem ones...
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-29-2010, 04:21 PM
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For commercial products I prefer the Nutrafin NPK sticks, can find on ebay as well as other places.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-29-2010, 04:52 PM
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Considering the ingredients you are using, you dont have to worry about wearing gloves if the purpose is to avoid absorbing ferts through your skin. If your goal is to keep your hands clean then that is a sensible reason. I woudnt lick my fingers while making it though but even then it is nothing to lose sleep over except that it tastes terrible and in larger amounts will give you the runs.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 02:19 AM
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I prefer the seachem tabs personally, and my swords love 'em. In a similar, yet slightly off topic idea, has anyone ever tried hamster droppings. I read that you can insert these into the root system of larger plants, like swords, and it works great apparently.
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