Which root tabs? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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Which root tabs?

I want to get some root tabs for the Crypts in my 55. I was looking at RootMedic's site and am not sure if I should get the RootMedic Plus or the Plus Iron (don't remember the exact name) I am thinking that the one with iron is probably best for plants like swords, etc. and that the plus would be OK for my needs. But, I wanted to get some opinions from you guys. I am also considering making some diy tabs using Osmocote Plus. I know it would be a lot cheaper, but also more work. How do they compare to RM in terms of effectiveness and longevity?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 04:02 PM
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I'm a total newb and have no idea what particular plants need, but I have found that OC+ and RM Complete are a lot similar and a little different:

Osmocote appears to be
N=15%
P= 9%
K=12%

And the RootMedic appears to be
N=14%
P=10%
K=11%



OC+
------------
Total NITROGEN (N) 15.0%
8.0% Ammoniacal Nitrogen
7.0% Nitrate
AVAILABLE PHOSPHATE (P2O5)† 9.0%
SOLUBLE POTASH (K2O)† 12.0%
CALCIUM (Ca)† 1.9%
MAGNESIUM (Mg) (Total)†
0.7% Water Soluble Magnesium (Mg) 1.4%
SULFUR (S) (Total)†
4.0% Combined Sulfur (S) 4.0%
BORON (B)† 0.02%
COPPER (Cu) (Total)
0.05% Water Soluble Copper (Cu) 0.05%
IRON (Fe) (Total)†
0.42% Water Soluble Iron (Fe)
0.03% Chelated Iron (Fe) 0.45%
MANGANESE (Mn) (Total)†
0.06% Water Soluble Manganese (Mn) 0.06%
Molybdenum (Mo)† 0.02%
Zinc (Zn) (Total)
0.019% Water Soluble Zinc (Zn)† 0.05%



RMC
------------
Nitrogen: 14%
Phosphate: 10%
Soluble Potash: 11%
Calcium: 1.9%
Mg: 1.4%
Sulfur: 3.7%
Boron .02%
Copper: .05%
Iron: .5%
Manganese: .05%
Molybdenum: .02%
Zinc: .05%

The cost is probably the biggest difference between these two. Other factors to consider might include the source from which each component comes from, the quality of the gelcap material, the local makeup of your water from the tap, and your ability/desire to custom tweak for particular plant needs.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 04:22 PM
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The major difference between RootMedic and osmocote is simple. RootMedic's membrane is designed for constant submersion in water, and will give a 3-6 month life in that setting.

Osmocote's membrane is designed for use in soil, and in water will last under 2 months.

That is why you pay more for RootMedic... Because it isn't as cheap for me to have a fertilizer produced, then encapsulate it. The formulas are similar because they work, why change something that works?
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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How many tabs do you get when ordering the RM Complete?

Also, with either product do they completely dissolve? Or is there stuff (i.e. part of the capsule, or little balls) left over? Also, how do you know when it's time to replenish them? Just by monitoring the plants?
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 06:09 PM
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You get 25 capsules.

The little round ball stays behind. It is a membrane and does not dissolve, in either product.

It is best to just get on a schedule to replace them. Every month with osmocote, ever 3 months for a high tech on rootmedic.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 06:50 PM
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by OverStocked View Post
The major difference between RootMedic and osmocote is simple. RootMedic's membrane is designed for constant submersion in water, and will give a 3-6 month life in that setting. Osmocote's membrane is designed for use in soil, and in water will last under 2 months.
Thanks, quick question...

Membrane = the coating that constitutes the surface of the little balls?

or

Membrane = the gelcap material that houses all of the little balls?
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 06:51 PM
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membrane is little ball. Gel caps should be gone in a day or two.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 07:15 PM
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One month for Osmocote Plus and three for RootMedic? Even in super-heavily planted tanks that are high tech, I get a lot more mileage out of both.


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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
One month for Osmocote Plus and three for RootMedic? Even in super-heavily planted tanks that are high tech, I get a lot more mileage out of both.
Not to be a jerk... But I've actually extensively tested this. The membrane in osmocote allows nutrients to pass VERY quickly when fully submerged.

You might "feel" like you get more mileage... but you can't be. I mean, literally can't be. The nutrients are leaking out regardless of whether your plants are using them or not. If you have a high CEC substrate you might be hanging on to some of those nutrients, but they aren't inside the membrane any more.

If I could just use osmocote in my products, don't you think I would? Rather than have someone (the same company that make scott's products) make it for me for 3x the cost?

I've tested it more extensively than I care to admit. Even buried deep in substrate, the depletion rate is less than 5 weeks.

RootMedic's thicker membrane means that the ferts come out slower. If they are used up slower, they also do not escape as quickly during the initial phase as the nitrogen actually clogs the pores in thicker membrane. This is what helps the RootMedic membrane last longer in slower growing tanks. But eventually it would deplete even if no plants were present. It is the nature of a controlled rate membrane.

The "6 month" rating on Osmocote's bottle is for dry soil at about 75 degrees with watering every few days for just a few minutes. Now turn that into 75 degrees fully submersed...

If you want to test it yourself I bet you can see. Put it in a cup of water. Test for ammonia. Drain water, repeat. After less than a few weeks they'll have nothing left. This is a sped up version of the test, but representative none the less.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 07:29 PM
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Don't think you're being a jerk in the least and I'm not questioning your products. Nor am I questioning your testing.

But I am, can and do get more mileage out of your very own products. I use them in every tank I've got that's under ten gallons. And I've dug up Osmocote Plus from various substrates after 12-14 weeks only to find lots of it still intact. With Eco-Complete and its high-ish CEC? Yes, it absorbs nutrients. And in dirt-based substrates like those from Fluval and ADA, once compacted, there's not a ton of water flow deep into the substrate. So I'm certain I get much longer usage than I would if they were in open water or there were tons of water constantly flowing over them.

In an inch or two of sand? I get maybe - maybe - 2-3 weeks.

And wouldn't any tank be unique? Meaning fert consumption and such is dependent upon that tank? Because I'm not pulling my own years of experiences out of my rear.

Again, I'm most certainly not questioning your product. If anything, I'm saying it's better than advertised.


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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-19-2011, 07:32 PM
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The membrane in both products will stay intact forever.... It doesn't dissolve. The ferts leak through the membrane as water passes through.

The issue is that with the thinner membrane, and even thicker to some extent, that ferts move through the membrane regardless of nutrient uptake. What I'm saying is that in a tank with zero plants, osmocote will deplete at the same rate as in tanks packed full. It moves to the water column if nothing is pulling it up.

RootMedic is the same, to some extent. Only the thicker membrane seems to somehow trap nitrogen, which in turn slows down nutrient loss, but does not prevent it. It is still only slightly effected by nutrient uptake of plants.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 01:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
One month for Osmocote Plus and three for RootMedic? Even in super-heavily planted tanks that are high tech, I get a lot more mileage out of both.
+1. I have tried both and they great rootabs!

Its just a choice whether one would go cheaper but do the hardwork of putting them on caps and replacing them every month or pay more for less work.

I paid about $16-$18 for a bottle of Osmocote Plus and made about close to 1,000 capsules. Maybe even a lot more!
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 04:09 AM
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I can get a bottle of osmocote for $8-20 depends how big the bottle is.
It's 3x less then rootmed.

So do the math osmocote last only 1 month but u get 5x more.

Rootmed last 3month each. You get 27 cap
Osmocote like hern say you can make up to 1000 cap
Which last 1month each.

3 osmocote cap = 1 rootmed cap.
81 osmocote = 27 rootmed.
If you use 100 cap a tank 1000 will give you 10month.
1000 cap = 1000 month. ^_^ if you only have one root plant . Haha

It's the same as buying a Honda or a BMW.
You buy the cheapest car that can drive you from point A to point B.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 05:03 AM
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I've had good results with pfertz root tabs

I have no interest in putting tablets in my substrate every month, every 3 months sounds much nicer to me. Also they are large, each one treating 7x7 inches area, and are 15% iron. My red plants look very nice with this under it.

Saving 3 dollars a month to use an inferior product, and waste my time planting it under my plants everywhere is worth nothing to me. I would much rather pay 12 dollars for pfertz every 6 months (a pack of 20 tabs is 12 dollars, and i use only half a pack each time), than have to mess around with osmocote.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 05-03-2012, 07:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordalphus View Post
I've had good results with pfertz root tabs

I have no interest in putting tablets in my substrate every month, every 3 months sounds much nicer to me. Also they are large, each one treating 7x7 inches area, and are 15% iron. My red plants look very nice with this under it.

Saving 3 dollars a month to use an inferior product, and waste my time planting it under my plants everywhere is worth nothing to me. I would much rather pay 12 dollars for pfertz every 6 months (a pack of 20 tabs is 12 dollars, and i use only half a pack each time), than have to mess around with osmocote.
Since I just recently put some pfertz tables into my DSM method. Will these tables dissolve over time? I did cut them in half with nail clippers and it is brittle and powder looking when break in half. Right now I'm just assuming it will leave no little "balls" / membrane behind.

I'm starting to think it is actually just powdered fertilizers compacted very tight together molded into a tablet.

Any thought on this morph?


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