Osmocote and/or Liquid Ferts (nilocg, seachem) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-22-2014, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Osmocote and/or Liquid Ferts (nilocg, seachem)

Hi all,

I have been using a bottle of flourish and now some tabs of osmocote are on the way to test how it goes. I was also thinking about trying nilocgs fert, probably even mix- matching them.

1. What is everyone's experience, good or bad, with any these and nilocg's liquid ferts (ease of use, plant growth, etc)?

2. Does anyone have experience with different matchups or suggestions?
For example: osmocote with nilocgs liquid micros OR flourish with nilocgs macros

Last edited by Gametheory; 05-22-2014 at 01:17 PM. Reason: edit question
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-23-2014, 01:50 AM
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Just think about how each type of fertilizer works and you should be able to figure out how to combine them if that is your goal.

Slow release ferts (Osmocote, root tabs) are buried in the substrate where there is little water movement and provide a low dose of fertilizers constantly. The tiny amount that makes it past the roots and into the water column is too small to worry about unless you have coarse gravel, and not much of it.

Fast release ferts (Agricultural grade powders) are in the water, but very quickly get taken in by the plant leaves. Only if you over dose will these build up. Since they are used up so fast you need to add them frequently so the plants get a steady supply.
If you have a substrate with high cationic exchange capacity some of the excess fertilizers will get trapped by the soil particles and will act like a slow release fertilizer. The soil won't release these nutrients until the plants take them.

In between: Decomposing matter like fish waste, fallen food and so on starts off slow, but in a mature tank there are all levels of decomposing things that are turning into plant food. So this starts off as a slow release, then becomes a pretty steady supply.

I think it does not matter to the plant which form you use.
I think it is more important that the fertilizer supply be a regular supply. So if you can dose daily, then the fast release materials will work just fine for you.
If your schedule does not allow that, but once in a while you can devote enough time to using the slow release materials, then that will work better.
The plants will get the intermediate stuff, but that is not always enough.

I used the EI method for long enough for my high CEC substrates to get a lot of ferts built up. Then things changed and I was not able to dose so consistently. The plants did OK, though, because there was a reserve supply in the substrate.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 05-23-2014, 02:50 AM Thread Starter
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Hi, thank you for taking the time to illustrate everything in a simple and informative manner even though I was asking the wrong questions.

The CEC is something that I saw once on the Eco-Complete package and didn't strike me as playing a huge role or a tool to use. It was exactly what I needed to learn more about and makes dosing fertilizers seem a bit more reliant. Now I understand what can be done and what is best suited for my needs.

Perhaps your post should be a sticky for newcomers such as myself.
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