DIY Root tabs - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-08-2011, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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DIY Root tabs

So in the DIY section I found a "recipe" to make DIY root tabs. In that recipe they mix the ferts with clay but it sounds like it was mixed in the clay like for example cookie dough.

Any opinions on if I put the ferts in hollow clay balls if that would work as well. Basically like a clay capsule. Clay has CEC so should allow ferts to leach out slowly correct?

Just seems less messy to make that way and would have a slower more controlled release.

I dose EI but have an inert substrate that's not built up any waste or anything so I thought these might help some of my stems. I had all the ingredients for the DIY tabs so I figured i would give them a shot.

I would love to hear anyones thoughts.

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-08-2011, 09:23 PM
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How do you make hollow clay balls?

I don't think the CEC of the material that you use to deliver the root tabs matters that much. Whether it is a compressed fertilizer stick/tab, or something frozen, packed in gel capsules, or surrounded by clay, as long as you stick it fairly deep down into the substrate it should work about the same way.

Two years ago I started my tank with a good amount of Jobes fert stiks, and now it looks like whatever they supplied is pretty much gone. Adding some Osmocote caps made a noticeable difference!


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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
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Like this:-) I know the original said red clay but I don't have any around here. This says its all natural earth clay and I added Iron to the mix to try to make up for it.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 01:30 AM
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The only problem I see with that is the size of each ball.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 01:31 AM
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Now THAT is a fert tab!!! LOL!! What are trying to fertilize....an oak tree??

You may have algae problems if you put that into your tank. Just a hunch.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 03:19 AM Thread Starter
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Can't imagine it'd be any worse than a soil substrate. I'll try it and let ya know.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 03:48 AM Thread Starter
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Also there's only about 1/3 tsp of ferts in there. I dose 3tsp off various ferts straight into my water column weekly with no algae issues.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazydaz View Post
Now THAT is a fert tab!!! LOL!! What are trying to fertilize....an oak tree??
I couldn't stop laughing

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 03:23 PM
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Looks interesting. Reminds me of play-dough. Do you plan to fire/harden it in the oven? I imagine if it is as pliable as it looks from your pictures it might be difficult to push it down in the substrate without falling apart.

Either way, the clay will slow the nutrient release, and it should work.


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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 04:05 PM
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Yeah you would have to dig a hole lol. I'd like to see how it goes though.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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It air drys hard. Got some I made a few days ago that are like little rocks. They are only the size of a large marble and I use Soilmaster select so should be very easy to push down. Put one in my 75G No C02 tank under some Hygro corymbosa kompakt yesterday so we'll see. Will add some to my main tank today or tomorrow right before the water change.

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest View Post
Looks interesting. Reminds me of play-dough. Do you plan to fire/harden it in the oven? I imagine if it is as pliable as it looks from your pictures it might be difficult to push it down in the substrate without falling apart.

Either way, the clay will slow the nutrient release, and it should work.
It's not quite as soft as playdough. Comes in a hard block like most clays but I just work it a bit and it softens up. I'll let you know if it works or if its a horrible disaster

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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-09-2011, 07:00 PM
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Nice idea! The only critcism I'd have is when uprooting plants, I've found the larger the tablet, the greater the mess. Luckily with clay's natural tendency to settle quickly, it does clear up fast. I've tried doing similar to that in the past, but I honestly perfer mixing it like dough as it goes faster when you are making in bulk. Once a year, I'll make like 500 in one sitting.

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-10-2011, 09:59 PM
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Now THAT is a fert tab!!! LOL!! What are trying to fertilize....an oak tree??
i just piddled a nice puddle. thanks for the laugh.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-20-2011, 02:55 AM Thread Starter
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Well these failed as far as I'm concerned. No algae and the plants seem to be responding well. However, the clay I used was the bad part. It is leaching into the water turning it cloudy. Done two water changes a week the last two weeks. I tried to take some out and they are chalky mush. Vacuuming them out now.

Livestock was/is completely unaffected. The clay doesn't seem to have any effect on them as they are still alive, colored and acting normal. Just not aethetically pleasing. So if you do this don't use crayola air dry clay :-) It what I had locally, tried it and now I know.

Round two will be injecting the ferts in using a medicine plunger......... I read someone on here that does it and it seems much much easier.

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