Osmocote and Air Bubbles on Surface - The Planted Tank Forum
 1Likes
  • 2 Post By Netcode
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 54
Question

Hello,

I have just recently used some DYI root tabs bought from a vendor that are osmocote based. Since putting the root tabs into the substrate (placed fairly deep, have not seen bits and pieces floating to the top) I am noticing a massive build up of air bubbles on the surface.

I read on another website that the wetting agent from the osmocote can raise surface tension, causing bubbles not to pop. I also noticed the odd bubble or two floating through the tank itself and not being popped.

Will this go away? Have others experience this?

Looking for some info.

Thanks

I think I have confirmed that osmocote does contain surfactants...

https://www.scottsaustralia.com.au/g...Crystals/1560/

I don't see how I am just finding this out, and not finding tons of threads on this when osmocote seems to be such a popular method for creating DYI root tabs. This method has been around for probably 10+ years.

To my understanding surfactants are bad news in aquariums.

Last edited by Darkblade48; 06-18-2016 at 01:44 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
Netcode is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 04:35 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
crice8's Avatar
 
PTrader: (52/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 804
Interesting here. I have used them forever, but I recently have had a lot of issues with surface film on my 40 gallon breeder and the only thing that has changed is I made my own osmocote + caps this time around.
crice8 is offline  
post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 54
Have you noticed beneficial bacteria dying off? A large spike in ammonia would most likely confirm this. Yes it has been said that osmocote has ammonia, which could contribute to an increase, but my thoughts are a large increase could signify death of beneficial bacteria
Netcode is offline  
 
post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 04:42 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
crice8's Avatar
 
PTrader: (52/100%)
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 804
Quote:
Originally Posted by Netcode View Post
Have you noticed beneficial bacteria dying off? A large spike in ammonia would most likely confirm this. Yes it has been said that osmocote has ammonia, which could contribute to an increase, but my thoughts are a large increase could signify death of beneficial bacteria
The only time I had an ammonia spike from osmocote was due to not burying the tabs deep enough. If you burying them deep like you should, then you should not have an ammonia spike.
crice8 is offline  
post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-16-2016, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by crice8 View Post
The only time I had an ammonia spike from osmocote was due to not burying the tabs deep enough. If you burying them deep like you should, then you should not have an ammonia spike.
I totally understand that. What I am saying though is the surfactants should degrade your beneficial bacteria (based on information all over the internet about not using surfactants in aquariums) and thus translate into other problems like ammonia spikes.

I am more concerned about the death of fish/bacteria than ammonia.

Picture...



Tested my ammonia, since I added a bunch last night, and it appears to have dropped back to zero. So that tells me there hasn't been a significant effect on beneficial bacteria.

I've done more reading and I can find some versions of osmocote indicating they use "hydroflo" wetting agent (surfactant), other versions it isn't exactly clear. I have checked the MSDS on my specific version of osmocote and it doesn't list any wetting agents, however I am unsure yet if those are required to be listed.

With that said, I did some research on Hydroflo (made by Solutions4Earth) and it indicates it is not toxic and biodegradable.

Still being unsure.. I have also that polymer coatings can potentially cause bubbles to not break. Polymer coating is clearly displayed on the label of osmocote. Are these coatings harmful to beneficial bacteria/fish? I don't know much about polymer coatings but Everris, who makes Osmocote, indicates their Poly-S polymer coating technology is biodegradable.

If there is someone out there with more information or knowledge of chemistry, it would be great to find out. I'm going all in on this one..
WaterLife and WaterLife like this.

Last edited by Darkblade48; 06-17-2016 at 02:52 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts
Netcode is offline  
post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-18-2016, 07:15 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 54
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

Cheers all!

Last edited by Netcode; 06-21-2016 at 01:24 PM. Reason: More updates
Netcode is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome