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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 01:23 AM Thread Starter
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root tabs

Probably a dumb question but i dont know if it does or doesnt so i am going to ask it lol.

Do root tabs help with the overall health of the plant? So lets say that i have a very full bushy background of pogostemon erectus(my 60gallon tank has this) and that means the the base does not get as much light if not any. Is this a main reason for root tabs or would this not do anything for the plant in the scenario im asking about? I am guessing it would help with it, but i just thought it would be best for me to ask.

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 02:18 AM
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Probably a dumb question but i dont know if it does or doesnt so i am going to ask it lol.

Do root tabs help with the overall health of the plant?
Yes, assuming the plant isn't getting an optimal supply of nutrients via the water column.

See also:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=876457

Quote:
Originally Posted by treyLcham View Post
So lets say that i have a very full bushy background of pogostemon erectus(my 60gallon tank has this) and that means the the base does not get as much light if not any. Is this a main reason for root tabs or would this not do anything for the plant in the scenario im asking about?
What does light at the base of the plant have to do with anything?

Fertilizers don't provide the same thing as light.. they're not interchangeable, and you can't make up for a lack of one with excess of the other.

A combination of light,water, and Co2 provides plants with calories, but no other nutrition. Like plain bowls of sugar...

You could think of fertilizers as providing "vitamins and minerals" to the plant, these are the odds and ends a plant needs to grow, make more chlorophyll, cell walls, etc, however the provide no calories or energy to the plant... (This is a slightly broken analogy, but close).

The plant needs both to grow... Just as you can't live on vitamin tablets or sugar alone.

Lots of fertilizers but no light = plant that starves to death. It has all the minerals it needs, but no calories for energy.

Lots of light + no fertilizers = plant that dies of nutrient deficiencies. It's got energy, but is lacking minerals needed to produce healthy new plant tissue.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 02:19 AM
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If I understand you correctly, then I would say root tabs are not a substitute for lighting. Unless the plant is exposed to the correct lighting and can perform photosynthesis, the nutrients at it's disposal mean nothing. Root tabs are said to be good for plants with robust root systems(i.e. swords) and in scenarios where people want to minimize water column fertilizing.

It's also something (and I've tried several brands, they all do this) that dissolves very quickly as you're trying to bury it and as you might imagine it's a bit of a hassle to use if the surface of your substrate is thick with plant life

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 02:27 AM Thread Starter
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Ok so what I was trying to say is this, I have great light for the plants and co2 and nutrients in the water Collum, but what do you do for the base of the plant? Typically when u have a Forrest the base of the plans do not get the light that lets say the middle to the top of the plant would get, which if I'm not wrong would cause the base to start dying? Idk I could be wrong but I'm just curious if the root tabs could possibly help with this or if I will just have to keep trimming it down to the base every so months to help with the problem?


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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 03:14 AM
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Root tabs will not help with lighting problems.. period. If your bases are dying off due to lack of light, no fertilizer will ever fix that.

Now, if you are loosing leaves due to lack of phosphate, root tabs can help with that.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 04:29 AM Thread Starter
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Here is a picture. what do you think? Lack of light or what?


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 05:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treyLcham View Post
what do you think? Lack of light or what?
I see an eheim skim350, love those things, but I do not see a lack of lighting. If there were some fledgling independent plants down there I'd say yes and I'd suggest replanting them elsewhere.. but the plants growing below are the same organisms growing up high in the light. They may perhaps need something to grow fuller and healthier but I can't say what that is without looking at your tank first hand.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by treyLcham View Post
Ok so what I was trying to say is this, I have great light for the plants and co2 and nutrients in the water Collum, but what do you do for the base of the plant? Typically when u have a Forrest the base of the plans do not get the light that lets say the middle to the top of the plant would get, which if I'm not wrong would cause the base to start dying? Idk I could be wrong but I'm just curious if the root tabs could possibly help with this or if I will just have to keep trimming it down to the base every so months to help with the problem?


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You trim plant's back.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 07:25 AM
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From what I understand, the lower leaves will drop off since they are no longer getting enough light since they are shaded out by other plants (or possibly it's taller self), however that doesn't mean the plant is dying, it is still perfectly healthy, just shedding it's no longer efficient lower leaves (probably not the plants choice to shed, but more like the lower leaves are dying off) to grow more leaves at the top to get more light (as you will see the stalk/base of stem is still healthy and not decaying, thus the plant is still doing fine, perfectly normal to drop leaves, unsightly, but normal). Like Matt mentioned, it's probably a light problem, and more nutrients/root tabs won't help that.

People would trim/propagate the tops to allow more light to reach the bottom, or space them more apart for the same effect. Now I am not sure if the lower leaves will grow back or not even if the light reaching issue is corrected, however if you propagate new plantlets and keep addressing the light reaching bottom issue (by trimming or spacing), then the new propagations should keep their bottom leaves.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the comments!! Definitely helped.


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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaterLife View Post
From what I understand, the lower leaves will drop off since they are no longer getting enough light since they are shaded out by other plants (or possibly it's taller self), however that doesn't mean the plant is dying, it is still perfectly healthy, just shedding it's no longer efficient lower leaves (probably not the plants choice to shed, but more like the lower leaves are dying off) to grow more leaves at the top to get more light (as you will see the stalk/base of stem is still healthy and not decaying, thus the plant is still doing fine, perfectly normal to drop leaves, unsightly, but normal). Like Matt mentioned, it's probably a light problem, and more nutrients/root tabs won't help that.

People would trim/propagate the tops to allow more light to reach the bottom, or space them more apart for the same effect. Now I am not sure if the lower leaves will grow back or not even if the light reaching issue is corrected, however if you propagate new plantlets and keep addressing the light reaching bottom issue (by trimming or spacing), then the new propagations should keep their bottom leaves.
+1 to this entire post

IME the only time your bases will die is if the plant is unhappy. If it is growing healthy it will RARELY drop off lower leaves and continue to go strong. A good sign of this is if it is sending nice long white roots down (which yours are). If they are unhappy the plants will struggle to root and absorb lower leaves rapidly. This could be a light problem, CO2 problem, etc...

Just what I have seen

Your plants are totally fine - lack of substrate ferts are not going to cause your plants to struggle. They look like they have everything they need.


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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 03:11 PM
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+1 to this entire post

IME the only time your bases will die is if the plant is unhappy. If it is growing healthy it will RARELY drop off lower leaves and continue to go strong. A good sign of this is if it is sending nice long white roots down (which yours are). If they are unhappy the plants will struggle to root and absorb lower leaves rapidly. This could be a light problem, CO2 problem, etc...

Just what I have seen

Your plants are totally fine - lack of substrate ferts are not going to cause your plants to struggle. They look like they have everything they need.
+one
Not always lack of light that causes lower leaves to drop.
I used to think it was, and was finally convinced via photo's of clearly shaded lower leaves still intact and healthy on easy and demanding plant's as well, that this is not the only cause.
CO2 play's more a part than lighting was the explanation I got.
The gas want's to rise up towards the surface and is difficult to keep at the lower region's.(Is why good distribution/flow is needed)
Subsequently,the plant will sacrifice the lower leaves where CO2 is less concentrated and the top portion will thrive cause the gas content is higher nearer the surface.
Is also why some are sure they have plenty of CO2 when drop checker near surface is indicating higher level's of CO2 than if drop checker was mounted lower in the tank.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2015, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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wow this thread gave me gobs of information that i didnt really know totally about!! Super thanks to all the posters and info that you all were able to bring in!!
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