Fertilizers for Sand - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-08-2016, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Fertilizers for Sand

Ok I wanted black sand.. I got Moonsand and it is black.. Then I found planted tanks... Now I want a carpeted tank.. So I think I just spent a lot of money and effort to get a substrate that won't work will for planting. I am trying to get Java moss to grow on some rocks and hope that any trimmings might stay in the sand... It has been suggested I try a few other low light plants... I have a low light set up with the lights on for 10 hrs a day to try and keep my spiral val going... I don't get much light at the bottom of the tank so I thought maybe some fert would help.. Is there a general fertilizer.. I am looking for the miracle grow to help things since there is nothing in the sand.


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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-08-2016, 07:28 PM
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try root tabs,or osmocote + caps.I'm planning to do just sand and caps in my next tank.Eco complete and floramax are actually both just gravel that's hard to plant in.

MTS? no,I just need one more tank...
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-08-2016, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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So this osmocote I just dump it in the tank? It says it is an indoor/outdoor fertilizer.. I don't want to fry my fish... Well not these fish.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-08-2016, 07:57 PM
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NO NO do not dump in.

You make your own root tabs.

1. Look up on DIY Osmocote root tabs on youtube.
2. Buy cheap Ebay 00 sized gel capsules
3. Source and buy Osmocote Plus (make sure its plus for micro nutrients)
4. Put Osmocote Plus resin covered time release granules inside capsules.
5. Insert capsules at needed position in the sand.
6.They are consumables so repeat the above as needed.

Job done. Sand fertilized.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-08-2016, 08:29 PM
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What are you trying to grow besides the Java Moss?
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-08-2016, 08:35 PM
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What are you trying to grow besides the Java Moss?
"..... It has been suggested I try a few other low light plants... I have a low light set up with the lights on for 10 hrs a day to try and keep my spiral val going... "

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-08-2016, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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I have some spiral val that I want to get all for a background plant and then I wanted a carpeting plant but gave up on that idea when I realized that I had sand... I broke a root tab into 6 pieces and put it under the val.. It is sort of working sort of dying... but someone suggested I try dwarf sag or s. repens for a carpeting plant in lower light. I didn't know if there was a way to get enough nutrients into the sand to grow a carpet of any kind.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-08-2016, 10:24 PM
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I suppose in theory you could pull up your substrate and layer some of the bare Osmocote then put back the sand but this seems a tad rediculous as opposed to just putting in homemade tabs where required.
As for carpeting plants I have had zero luck with those so I would have to defer to others more learned in that area.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-08-2016, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by MtAnimals View Post
try root tabs,or osmocote + caps.I'm planning to do just sand and caps in my next tank.Eco complete and floramax are actually both just gravel that's hard to plant in.
I had the oppose experience. I never put anything in the Eco and had no problem growing a healthy HC carpet, swords in this supposed inert substrate. That being said if you dose the water column enough you should be able to grow most plants in inert substrates including sand.

Last edited by houseofcards; 06-08-2016 at 10:53 PM. Reason: cor
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-08-2016, 10:48 PM
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You will need a whole lot of root tabs to get a carpet... I would estimate one for every sq. inch.

I would have to probably agree with Mikey even in my limited and failure filled experience with carpet plants.
On the plus side DIY Osmocote is so economical that isn't a problem if you are forced in that direction.
I just gave up on carpet plants lol.

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 06-11-2016 at 05:31 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-09-2016, 03:06 AM
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I use O+ root tabs. I went to walgreens and got a syringe for free that the gel cap would fit in. I cut the end off of the syringe and use that to inject the O+ filled gel cap. I use dirt in my low tech tanks but have seen carpets in other sand only tanks. I think I would put a tab about every 6 to 8 inches or so clear down at the bottom. You dont want to use to much of the o+, just a dab'll do ya.

I thought I would add this. I took and placed O+ tabs in a diamond around my dwarf sag and placed one right in the middle. Seemed to work well and my dwarf sag really took off.

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 06-09-2016 at 08:31 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-10-2016, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by houseofcards View Post
I had the oppose experience. I never put anything in the Eco and had no problem growing a healthy HC carpet, swords in this supposed inert substrate. That being said if you dose the water column enough you should be able to grow most plants in inert substrates including sand.
I had great luck with eco in the beginning,but it depletes.The liquid they ship it with is the ferts,after it's depleted then it's just high CEC gravel.
I planted a bunch of Vals in it,and they did great at first,then stopped till I added tabs.I wasn't dosing ferts in the water.

MTS? no,I just need one more tank...
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-15-2016, 12:39 AM
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If you dose ferts in the water column you don't need root tabs. I've grown beautiful, thick carpets and never used root fertilizers.

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