If anyone out there is following along...
I tested my water parameters tonight and notice my pH crashed majorly (this has never happened before). My KH was also down to 0 ppm, and that has never happened either.
At this point I made the decision to dig up all my plants and gravel and attempted to remove the osmocote. Let me tell you... pain in the ass. haha.
Anyways I removed quite a bit and I am fairly confident that I removed about 90%, I found all the clusters I put in.
After removing them I did 50% water change and tested parameters. (note: I did a 50% water change after the initial finding of bubbles on June 16)
Water has been circulating for over an hour and the bubbles are significantly less. It was totally the osmocote.
pH is back up (naturally as the water change would bring it up since tap was higher than the tank was currently at)
KH is back up (same as above)
Ammonia at 0 as expected. I have added more ammonia, note: I have no fish and trying to finish my cycle, which seems to have stayed on track despite all of this.
One thing to note: My glass top on the aquarium, when dried, was littered with crusty white spots (almost like dried salt). I have a picture and can upload if interested.
I will check back in 24 hours.
I am not sure why the osmocote was causing an issue in my tank, as I know this method has been used for like two decades now, but it appears to have been an issue in my tank. I will be moving forward with SeaChem Flourish tabs, despite the price (this was the first reason I went with these damn osmocote tabs)
UPDATE @ June 21:
Last night as I noticed the pH was dropping again. I used a pH meter to get a more accurate reading. pH was at 6.5. Confirmed tap is at 7.5. Also noted that Nitrates were sitting around 20ppm. So I have done a 50% water change.
After the water change the bubbles appear to be popping as they hit the surface more so than ever before. There is still some build up but I expected so. I went out and bought Seachem's Flourish Root Tabs. I feel better that I have something that is specifically built for aquariums. I know they aren't as "potent" but at this point I'd rather be safe. I am waiting on the pH to stable out before putting these tabs into the gravel.
It seems that my issues are slowly disappearing after removing the osmocote. I guess that really ends the situation. Whatever the reasons.. I had issues with it and based on the results I have to say that I strongly believe osmocote has surfactants in it. Whether or not these are dangerous to fish remains to be undetermined, but with so much information out there on the internet about how they have negative effects makes me personally not want to use osmocote.
Crossing my fingers Seachem's product will do the trick.
AgSafe has an amazing product in my opinion based on the ingredients but I cannot source this in Canada. http://agritab.com/agsafeaquariumplantrootspikes.aspx