What plants benefit from root tabs? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-09-2010, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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What plants benefit from root tabs?

So I've read that stem plants take their nutrients from the water column, and I'm assuming that mosses, anubias and java fern do as well since they can be planted on wood or whatever. I currently have anubias, java fern, java moss, crypt wendtii brown, bacopa, amazon swords, giant hygro and a plant which grows from a bulb (p. ulvaceus or something like that). Will any of these plants benefit form root tabs? All plants seem to be adjusting well after a bit of initial leaf melt. The swords though are getting bit yellow at the tips. Any advice? I have some tabs, but wasn't sure if I'd be wasting them by putting them around the tank.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-09-2010, 07:07 PM
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Any rooted plant will benefit from tabs...especially the swords. Get those tabs by them quickly to avoid further yellowing/rot.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-09-2010, 07:11 PM
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I have found my crinum onions love them. So much in fact I got one to send up a new plant!!! I've been keeping crinums for years. This is the first time I have used root tabs and they rule!!!
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-09-2010, 07:52 PM
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Plants take up nutrients from both the leaves and roots, this is also true for terrestrial plants, but they have less reason to do so, still, they do have the ability.

Aquatics have a highly reduced cuticle, so they are really good at the water column uptake. If they have roots, then they will also take up nutrients in the sediment.

Do not fall this Steer manure..........use both locations, not "either or", "preferred" business, that's based on myths and poor understanding of aquatic plant physiology.

They are opportunist, they will take nutrients wherever they can find them.
So use both and that makes the trades go away and the method more robust.

Stem or Rossette plants, this does not matter, most swords/Crypts come from strong stream/river currents, they need roots otherwise they get swept downstream, they also need them when the water recedes during the dry season and when they flower. The roots also act as storage organs that allow the plant to go months without good conditions.

None of these traits and issues have a thing to do with whether they prefer anything as far as nutrients in one location compared to another.

Stem plants have the same issues, but address their habitat in a different manner, but they can be just as dependent on sediment as any Crypt or sword............

This is a myth.

Examples are excellent sword and crypts grown in plain sand with good water column ferts. And excellent stem plants grown in soil based sediments without any dosing to the water column.

Explain such results in this context?

It does not support such hypothesis and certainly not as far as dosing and aquarium horticulture is concerned. Using sediment ferts such as soils , clays etc is easier than dosing water columns, but that's true for all aquatic plant growing methods compared to dosing of the water column.

Wisest to use both locations, then the dosing of the water column is that much easier and then the sediments act as a back up. This obviously would yield the best growth also if you where to make a prediction.

So do that.

Tom Barr

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-09-2010, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the great feedback everyone. And Tom, thanks for the wonderful and detailed response as always! I have quite a green thumb when it comes to plants in my garden and a lot of attention is paid to fortifying the soil with proper nutrients, so I figured anything in my tank with roots must uptake some nutrients from the substrate as well. Makes sense, right? I will go ahead and put those tabs in and see what happens. The swords are the only plant that I thought might be iffy in my low tech tank, so it could be an issue with too little light as well as I understand they prefer medium to high light.
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