Tell me about root tabs! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-29-2014, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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Tell me about root tabs!

I just got a 40 breeder and I'm trying to figure out what I want to do about substrate. I think I want sand for my substrate. I've tried the soil capped with sand method, but it was a gigantic mess and I don't want to deal with it. I had been averse to the idea of root tabs, but now I'm thinking about giving them a shot. I don't know much about them though. Do I just add a little sand, but the root tabs down, add more sand, and then don't worry about them for awhile?

I haven't made many decisions yet on what I want for the tank. I want carpet plants and I want the option for other rooted plants. I need to have a loot at my light fixture, but I think it has 2 T5 HO bulbs that need to be replaced.

A lot of my problems come from that I don't know what I want to do. I'm on a budget, so I'd like to save money where I can. I'm excited, but I'm a little overwhelmed.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-29-2014, 11:51 PM
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For root tabs just push them down into the substrate. If you are wanting to have a carpet you will most likely need higher light and maybe co2, in that case root tabs wont cut it, you will need some water column ferts as well.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-29-2014, 11:57 PM
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I know at least one person who has pool filter sand for the only sub and does not use
any root tabs and has heavy root feeders and they do well without the tabs.
However...I find that hair grass does grow better with it so likely also do the other typical plants that you hear of needing it. Crypts and swords are two of this type.
I don't use them(tabs) because they are not complete ferts. Osmocote+ capsules are complete but since I only have a few plants I just use my tweezers to push individual beads of it under my plants. Tweezers can be used for putting in the root tabs also.
You need fairly thick sub for the capsules or they will come up out of the sand.
A couple of people on here make/sell them and they are usually on the for sale section.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight the opposite direction...
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-30-2014, 12:14 AM
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What everyone else said, basically. I have the same size tank as you and bought root tabs (Osmocote+), I guess. I have heavy root feeders in the back of the tank and shoved a capsule down next to each one instead of throughout the entire tank. I haven't had them long enough to really see any growth but judging from what everyone has said I should soon.
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