What root tabs? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-28-2019, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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What root tabs?

What root tabs should I use for amazon swords and nymphea rubra? I could do flourish but they are a bit spendy.

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-28-2019, 11:23 PM
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My solution was to buy a 16 oz jar of Osmocote Plus at a Nursery, along with some 00 size gel caps purchased for a few bucks at a nutrition store.
Total expenditure was maybe 11 dollars and I had enough product to make 100s of gel caps. I still have way more than I will ever use.

I don't use tabs any longer, however, as it can be easy to overdose and the time release is not an exact science.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-29-2019, 04:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ustabefast View Post
My solution was to buy a 16 oz jar of Osmocote Plus at a Nursery, along with some 00 size gel caps purchased for a few bucks at a nutrition store.

Total expenditure was maybe 11 dollars and I had enough product to make 100s of gel caps. I still have way more than I will ever use.



I don't use tabs any longer, however, as it can be easy to overdose and the time release is not an exact science.
I personally have bad experience with Osmocote. I made these tabs myself in a heavily planted aquarium and had a nasty nitrate spike. Above 40 ppm when I like to keep my tanks between 5-10 ppm. Switched to easy life root tabs, so far haven't noticed a difference...

Edit: my substrate wasn't very deep (about 2.5 inch) so that definitely may have been part of the problem.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-29-2019, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Where did you buy the easylife from?

My amazon swords are dying. They need macros. What should I do? I have heard mostly bad about API root tabs. I am just 4 days into the nitrogen cycle, so no nitrates yet. I will test today though. I have hard that seachem root tabs are only micros. I am dosing seachem flourish already.

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 08-30-2019 at 12:21 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-29-2019, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by aquanerd13 View Post
My amazon swords are dying. They need macros. What should I do? I have heard mostly bad about API root tabs. I am just 4 days into the nitrogen cycle, so no nitrates yet. I will test today though. I have hard that seachem root tabs are only micros. I am dosing seachem flourish already.
I doubt if they are dying after 4 days from lack of food. Why don't you just dose some macros? You don't need root tabs for any plant including swords if your dosing.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-29-2019, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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I doubt if they are dying after 4 days from lack of food. Why don't you just dose some macros? You don't need root tabs for any plant including swords if your dosing.
How do I dose macros?

(Stupid question alert)

Bump: OH BTW it has been a lot more than 4 days. They arrived in not so great condition.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-29-2019, 05:06 PM
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To keep things simple for now. You already have Flourish Comp right. So just order dry salts NPK and you pretty much have everything you need in most cases. I say most cases since I don't know your tank. That's what I've done for the last 10+ years.

Follow EI guidelines. If you tank is low tech, use approx. half doses and see how things go. You could order dry N,P,K from

greenleaf.com
aquariumfertilizer.com

and other vendors on ebay/amazon.

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KH2P04 (P)


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-29-2019, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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I may actually just make my own toot tabs with osmocote plus. Thank you though!

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10 gallon species tank with 11 neon tetras

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-29-2019, 05:14 PM
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I may actually just make my own toot tabs with osmocote plus. Thank you though!
You could do that just make sure they have macro.

Generally the root tabs effectiveness will be more isolated while dosing will get everywhere. So if you have ferns, moss, etc the root tabs won't do much in the event they need more macros then what is provided by fish waste.


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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-29-2019, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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I would only be using them for swords and my nymphea rubra.

Bump: They have macros.

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10 gallon species tank with 11 neon tetras

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-29-2019, 07:03 PM
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I use flourish just because that is what is locally available and they've always worked well for me... only issue is that if you accidentally uncover and touch one that's been in there for a few weeks the smell takes a few days to wash off your fingers!

I doubt your swords are dying though; they're quite hardy and are probably just adapting to their new environment. I didn't give mine root tabs for years and still have them, after all!
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-29-2019, 07:09 PM
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I've done the DIY Osmocote gel caps. My nymphea rubra, crytps, vals, swords etc all love them.

To keep from overdosing, I use half substrate/half Osmocote in the caps, bury them all the way down to the bottom glass, and start very conservatively in case it does get into the water column & cause a nitrate spike. I also use a low dose of nilocG's Thrive to keep the stems & floaters happy.

Word to the wise--use a pin to poke a small hole in each end so they'll stay sunk. Hold them under water for a minute or so for the air to bubble out & water to replace it. Learned the hard way that they'll pop right up to the surface even when buried in 2-3" of substrate.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-29-2019, 07:30 PM
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I've heard good things about Aquarium Co-Ops easy green liquid ferts. I haven't used them myself but always see it mentioned in other groups.
I also see Thrive root tablets mentioned a lot too. I just purchased a bottle of that to try out so I don't know how well they work just yet.
I have used osmocote plus in gel tabs though with a lot of success. They do come up to the surface easily if you have a light weight substrate like sand, but it's easy to pick out the little balls if they bother you. My root plants seem to really like them.

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-29-2019, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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Are the capsules plastic? I will have corydoras and if they are plastic, that may be an issue. I will have salvinia minima and anubias so flourish will be good. I will dose only once a week. @germanblueramlover, Thank you. I forgot about that they need to adapt. The yellowing and blackening on the leaf tips looks like nutrient deficiency, that is why I was mistaken.

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10 gallon species tank with 11 neon tetras

"Do not pray for an easy life. Pray for the strength to endure a difficult one” – Bruce Lee

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