Terrestrial fertz in clay balls? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-10-2012, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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Terrestrial fertz in clay balls?

Hi all

I've been reading about people using Osmocote in clay balls as a substrate fertilizer, but i don't have access to Osmocote.

The terrestrial fertilizer that i have is called Triple-17, which is an NPK mixture in 17-17-17 ratio. It contains Urea, Potassium Chloride, Ammonium Phosphate, and "Triple superphosphate of calcium"

I was wondering if i could roll a few of the granules in clay balls and stick'em in the substrate, but i don't know if they would become toxic for the tank ecosystem.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-10-2012, 03:07 AM
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I asked about some 20-20-20.. ill find my thread and link to it.. something with a lower P is what you would want...

there are some concerns with higher ph as well.. ive never had a problem though...

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-11-2012, 01:13 AM
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Hola, el heb
If you have some of this fertilizer I would test the clay balls in a separate container, not with fish. Perhaps a bucket.

Make half a dozen clay balls.
Place them in the bottom of a bucket.
Cover them with sand, or fine gravel.
Put a small bubbler or fountain pump in the bucket so the water is pumped straight up. Do not bury either of these in the substrate, though.

Test with all your test kits for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, GH, KH, pH, TDS and all other tests you have.

You can add dechlorinator to the water if needed.
Run the test for a couple of weeks or longer.
The clay balls are supposed to slow down the release of the fertilizer. You want to make sure you are running it long enough to see what happens as the clay balls release the fertilizer.

If you see ammonia or nitrite this suggests the fertilizer is too high in that particular form of nitrogen, and is not a good idea in an aquarium. If the GH, KH or pH are rising then either there are minerals in the clay or in the fertilizer that are entering the water column. This may not be a problem if that is OK with the fish, but for soft water fish this is not very good.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-11-2012, 02:32 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Diana

I was thinking of rolling a few balls and sticking ONE under an amazon sword or cryptocoryne and watch the results on that plant. Lately my plants are growing veeeeery slowly.

I was using first the Walstad method for about a year and had amazing growth, but then i changed the substrate using pure flourite without soil and plant growth very nearly stopped.

I run 2x39w T5HO light with a so-so reflector. I don't think it's the light because i was growing plants ok until i removed the soil.

I think the soil was helping the plants, but it's a PITA to change everything AGAIN (it's a 48x18x20 tank) it took me almost a whole day to change everything.

How long should i test the water, and how would i know it's a no-go with this fertilizer? I would need to use a couple of clay balls in a plant tank without fish and test the water...
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-19-2012, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
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I bought a bag of Scotts All Purpose Sustained Release Fertilizer and rolled them in clay balls. The fert comes in a 10-10-10 ratio.

I'll let them dry hard, and post the results after a month or two of using them.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-20-2013, 03:54 PM
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I am moving to black sand, therefore I am not wanting to use the osmocote in gelcaps. I hear that they can work to the surface.
So I was thinking of rolling them into clay balls instead of wasting them. But then when the clay breaks down, I would think that I would be in the same boat as with the 00 gelcaps?
Would there be any issue with grinding up the osmocote balls and then working them into the clay instead of using my dry ferts?
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diy, fertilizer, osmocote

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