Can i use dry ferts in soil? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-21-2011, 01:53 AM Thread Starter
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Can i use dry ferts in soil?

Can I freeze dry ferts and press in soil as root tabs? Make fert cubes?
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-21-2011, 04:47 AM
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You can freeze a near saturated solution of water and various fertilizer chemicals, as long as the solution doesn't contain both iron and phosphates. Then you can poke those down under the substrate to get more nutrients in the substrate. Of course the ice cubes will quickly melt, leaving nutrient rich water which will soon diffuse into the tank water too. But, if the substrate has a high CEC, a lot of nutrients may get locked into the soil particles until the plant roots absorb them.

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-21-2011, 04:55 AM
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You can freeze a near saturated solution of water and various fertilizer chemicals, as long as the solution doesn't contain both iron and phosphates. Then you can poke those down under the substrate to get more nutrients in the substrate. Of course the ice cubes will quickly melt, leaving nutrient rich water which will soon diffuse into the tank water too. But, if the substrate has a high CEC, a lot of nutrients may get locked into the soil particles until the plant roots absorb them.

If the nutrients are in the soil why does it matter if the iron precipitates out? You'd just end up sequestering iron into the soil which is basically the same function as iron clay and iron rich laterite etc. As to wheter or not you can? Sure. But I would advise against using KNO3 or any very soluble salts like K2SO4 or KH2PO4 if you like to move plants around a lot as they are very very very soluble in water and disturbances will cause spikes.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 12:15 AM
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I've often wondered if ice might damage the plant roots. I'm still a fan of using empty gel caps. You can buy them online very cheaply.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 01:53 AM Thread Starter
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How about clay balls w/ dry ferts?
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 06:00 AM
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Been doing that for a long time, psalm and with fantastic results. I've done the ice cubes and the clay, I prefer clay. Also, there are gel capsules you can buy and shove fertilizers in there.

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Been doing that for a long time, psalm and with fantastic results. I've done the ice cubes and the clay, I prefer clay. Also, there are gel capsules you can buy and shove fertilizers in there.
How do you make your clay and what ferts do you use?
I have the gel caps full of oscomote and hate them. The balls float out and stay on top of the sand as an eyesore. This happens no matter how far down I shove them. I also see no plant improvement. My sword are very depleted in nutrients and look awfull! I've been told to soak clay in my Seachem liquid ferts, roll into balls, and put into soil.
What's your advice? I'm thinking of buying the GLA package as well. Just wish the s/h was less.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 07:31 PM
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Will it burn the roots?

It's unlike dosing into water column, it stays concentrated in
soil/gravel pockets. And it's not slow-release either.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 07:44 PM
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If you just use dry ferts mixed in water/caps they will quickly dissolve. Mixing the dry ferts into an earthen clay is a much better idea. More work, but not bad(and very cheap).
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 07:46 PM
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How do you make your clay and what ferts do you use?
I have the gel caps full of oscomote and hate them. The balls float out and stay on top of the sand as an eyesore. This happens no matter how far down I shove them. I also see no plant improvement. My sword are very depleted in nutrients and look awfull! I've been told to soak clay in my Seachem liquid ferts, roll into balls, and put into soil.
What's your advice? I'm thinking of buying the GLA package as well. Just wish the s/h was less.

Take a red earthen clay(hobby lobby has it, in 5lb pound blocks). Take a portion, mix it with your mix of dry ferts, I'd do around 25% dry ferts mixed into the clay. Then let dry or bake and put in the soil.

Though if you aren't getting anything out of osmocote, it seems as though something else might be wrong. You won't get more nutrients from the clay ball method. Perhaps light or co2 is what you are actually missing?
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psalm18.2 View Post
How do you make your clay and what ferts do you use?
I have the gel caps full of oscomote and hate them. The balls float out and stay on top of the sand as an eyesore. This happens no matter how far down I shove them. I also see no plant improvement. My sword are very depleted in nutrients and look awfull! I've been told to soak clay in my Seachem liquid ferts, roll into balls, and put into soil.
What's your advice? I'm thinking of buying the GLA package as well. Just wish the s/h was less.
Hmmm... I was afraid of that. Looks like my house plants will benefit from my huge jug of Osmocoat Plus LOL. The 00 gel caps will still come in handy for dry substrate ferts.

I also like the idea of DIY clay+peat fert pellets w/macro+micros. If the clay is the primary iron source in the pellets then adding a little phosphate shouldn't hurt it as the iron isn't in solution anyway.

Steve


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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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I'll try the clay balls. Can I soak clay in liquid ferts for now until dry ferts get ordered?
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 09:56 PM
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I'll try the clay balls. Can I soak clay in liquid ferts for now until dry ferts get ordered?

You're going to end up with a nasty slimey mess. I'd wait for the dry ferts to come in first.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 10:00 PM
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I'll try the clay balls. Can I soak clay in liquid ferts for now until dry ferts get ordered?
It won't really do much. Just use the liquids in your tank....
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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Ok. Thanks.
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