Fine Sand Substrate - Getting Fertilizer to the Roots - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-29-2015, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Question Fine Sand Substrate - Getting Fertilizer to the Roots


I've acquired some plants that need more fertilization around the root system than from just the water. But we got a fine white sand for the substrate for this tank.
The Dwarf Lily's that I got need NPK. The Flourish tabs don't have that, the API tabs are a bit too pricey for my tastes. I read about making Osmicote(?) tabs, but I don't want to spend a lot of time on that.

What I'm considering is getting the liquid NPK fert's from Seachem. Using a Pet Feeder Syringe, and injecting the liquid ferts directly into the fine sand at the roots of my plants.

Has any one tried this?
Am I wasting my money & time by attempting to go this route?
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-29-2015, 05:27 PM
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Just do the root tabs. It's been proven many times over on the forum and honestly I don't know how you would contain the liquid, or dry for that matter, ferts in the sand without it just leaching back into the water column. Osmocote + is a slow release fertilizer and works great as root tabs. I bought a pound of osmocote + for like 7 bucks and a bag of 300 "00" gel caps at a local health foods store for roughly the same price so for ~$15 I have at least 300 root tabs. Putting liquid ferts under the sand would be just like injecting water under the sand. Honestly, I don't see it working too well. IME if you want a nutritious substrate, either use Osmocote + tabs, get some ADA Aquasoil, or use mineralized topsoil with a sand cap. All of those should provide substantial nutrients to the substrate.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-30-2015, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks RyRob!
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