How deep to bury gelcap root tabs? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-09-2011, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
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How deep to bury gelcap root tabs?

Hi all,

When burying tabs like Osmocote+ tabs, I know that if they come up, they can really pollute your water with ammonia. How deep should they be buried in the substrate? I buried a couple pretty shallowly (maybe half an inch to max 1 inch under). Is it worth it to try and mess with it or should it be fine? Thanks!

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-09-2011, 02:30 AM
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Deep all the way down. Really far down. I spent an hour pushing those little yellow pellets down into my stratum (which are basically little brown pellets) with tweezers. Now that was like planting glosso with chopsticks....on the moon.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-09-2011, 02:34 AM
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Deeper is better to keep more of the mutrients in the substrate longer IMO, but it doesn't really make a big difference.

They will slowly leach ammonium into the water regardless. In a heavily planted tank it's used up much more quickly than it could build up to cause any issues. I've had them pop up on me without realizing it many times, and haven't had any problems.

I personally use Multicote, which contains urea and ammonium. I was told by multiple people that it would cause all sorts of problems from algae to dead fish, none of which actually happened. It's a nice product because it has a thicker membrane and so should diffuse more slowly. I once buried probably 40x "00" capsules during a rescape at one point without any ill effects. I've used Osmocote brand in the past also.

I suppose the point of this whole reply is just to say that you should get them as deep as possible, but if you can only get them an inch down, it's not something you should lose any sleep over.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-09-2011, 02:38 AM Thread Starter
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I only used 3 of them so far in my 55G tank, so although they aren't deep, I hope it won't cause any problems (one is right next to a tiger lotus, another next to an Argentine sword, and the third in the middle of a bunch of chain swords). I didn't put in more because I figured I should ask about how deep down they should go, and I'm glad I did. Should I try to dig them up and push them in further? They've been in for more than 24 hours now so I don't want to dig up a goopy mess.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-09-2011, 02:42 AM
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Don't dig em up the gel cap is probably gone. I say don't worry about it. One or two is bound to come up and it may give you some extra nitrates before ammo problems since bacteria living on the surface of the cap and on your substrate will convert that instantaneously.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-09-2011, 02:47 AM
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3 is nothing to worry about. Plants consume ammonia pretty quickly, too.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-09-2011, 02:47 AM
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The capsule would be gone by now, so if you try to dig them up you'll just spread the little balls everywhere.

Just leave them and plant the next ones further down if possible.

Three little tabs in a 55 gallon tank wouldn't cause any problems even if you just tossed them in the water.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-09-2011, 02:58 PM
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I try to get them deep but I bet it ends up no deeper than 2 or 3 inches at best. I try to angle my tongs at 45 degess so they don't float back towards the suface and I place mine directly under demanding plants or spread about 3 inches apart on other plants, 33 to 36 in a 150 gallon so your ok.


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