Osmocote + not dissolving? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-27-2015, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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Osmocote + not dissolving?

I have a 40B setup with a PFS substrate. I had been using Osmocote+ bought from a user on the forum, but after tearing the tank down I'm finding the yellow granules that I had buried in the sand everywhere. I suspected they would dissolve over time but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Should they be dissolving/disappearing, or is it normal to find the yellow granules everywhere. If they should be, why aren't they? Something off with my water chemistry?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-27-2015, 11:02 PM
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The yellow granules are probably just the coating - the terrestrial ferts are in a polycarbonate coating, or something like that, and the time-release nature of the ferts is facilitated through diffusion across that coating I believe. If you pop the spent-coatings and it's just water inside, and not a hazy-looking liquid, then they're probably empty. They only last a couple months.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-27-2015, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting. Multiple of these yellow granules come enclosed in a clear capsule that dissolves shortly after contact with the water. I was under the impression the yellow granules themselves were the fertilizer, but it seems like you're saying there's something else inside of those granules which then gets dispersed? If so, I may need to find an alternative. I hate those yellow granules that end up littering my substrate.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-27-2015, 11:23 PM
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The yellow granules are not fertilizer, but the medium that holds the fertilizer. They won't dissolve as mentioned, they allow for a slow release of the ferts. That's the downside to osmocote+. If you absolutely cannot deal with the granules, API Root Tabs are a pretty good option, but price wise, osmocote+ is a lot better.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-27-2015, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistahoo View Post
The yellow granules are not fertilizer, but the medium that holds the fertilizer. They won't dissolve as mentioned, they allow for a slow release of the ferts. That's the downside to osmocote+. If you absolutely cannot deal with the granules, API Root Tabs are a pretty good option, but price wise, osmocote+ is a lot better.
Thanks for the clarification. I learned something new. I'll probably still stick with osmocote+ just because of the price difference. Do you know if the granules break down over time? Or do people just pick them out of the substrate when the get tired of looking at them.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-28-2015, 01:13 AM
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They can get broken up over time, but removing them when they show up is faster.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-28-2015, 02:29 AM
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I've used Osmocote for many years on my houseplants and I can still recall seeing those yellow balls for a long time after applying to the soil. Now I put Osmocote in my tank but I can't quite get my Aqueon water changer hose to suck them out when they come to the surface.

Any good, quick, easy way to get them out of the substrate once they're spent? Picking them out one by one would be very tedious.

I have also decided to selectively place Osmocote under plants with larger root systems instead of just putting them every 6 inches in a grid pattern. Hopefully this will allow me to still get the benefits of substrate fertilization but minimize the little yellow balls all over the place.


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-29-2015, 05:54 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Diana, that's what I was thinking. Good to have confirmation.

Regarding siphoning them out, I find myself in the same boat. I end up just trying to re-bury them.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-29-2015, 11:46 PM
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They break down after a very very long time. You can siphon them out with any hose. Don't need a python. It's just that if they're deep in the substrate that's another story

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-05-2015, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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I ended up purchasing some grosoil tabs and just put them in the other day. We'll see how they do as an alternative to osmocote.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015, 08:09 PM
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I know it doesn't solve the real problem of not being able to get rid of them with a gravel vac, but those osmocote balls will empty of liquid over time if in the air, and then will take some real time to fill back up and sink again, so if you're trying to clean these guys out, the easiest thing to do would likely be to scoop out the densest collection of substrate/osmocote balls, let them dry on a sheet, then re-submerge after a handful of hours/days. (no idea how long) the osmocote balls should simply float to the surface at that point.

Not a great solution for an established tank, but not a bad means of sorting them out of substrates like sand once you're re-starting a tank. I found this also worked for helping me seperate organics from my gravel. In general organics, once dried out, won't resaturate quickly, so if you leave your substrate out in the sun for a day and then dump it in a bucket of water, and gently stir, all the nasty floats up and the substrate stays on the bottom. Just thought I'd throw out my two cents. It's not flawless, but I hope it might be helpful to some.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-05-2019, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by psych View Post
Thanks for the clarification. I learned something new. I'll probably still stick with osmocote+ just because of the price difference. Do you know if the granules break down over time? Or do people just pick them out of the substrate when the get tired of looking at them.
You can prepare a small packet using cloths. Put some beads of Osmocoat inside the pocket. I prefer cloth packet over gelatine capsule because, the gelatine capsule eventually dissolve allowing the beads to spread. Cloth packet will keep those Osmocoat beads (full or empty) inside it while allowing the fertilizer to dissolve in the water. That's what I do.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-05-2019, 10:08 PM
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I prefer cloth packet over gelatine capsule because, the gelatine capsule eventually dissolve allowing the beads to spread.
Interesting idea! Do you use mesh, or something else? Do you just bury them in the substrate, like you would with the gelatin capsules?
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-05-2019, 10:24 PM
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Interesting idea! Do you use mesh, or something else? Do you just bury them in the substrate, like you would with the gelatin capsules?
You can use the cheap fiberglass window screen mesh ($5 roll) to sew or glue up some mesh packets. That stuff lasts for decades and easy to retrieve. Put some peat, 5-6 osmocote pellets and 5-6 pieces of crushed coral and you’ve got a nice packet to bury beside plants.
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