Homemade fertilizer root plugs - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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Homemade fertilizer root plugs

Hi,

Does anybody know how or have a recipe or could steer me in the right direction to produce my own plant root fertilizer tablets,any help would be greatly appreciated.

Steven

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-20-2009, 11:48 PM
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Add water to clay dirt = mud.
Freeze in ice cube tray.
Add mud cubes to sediment deep at the bottom.

Alternatives: osmocoat(stuff sinks well and last awhile).
Plaster of Paris balls(add KNO3/KH2PO4 etc, Traces etc)
They dissolve slowly in the sediment.
CaSO4 is plaster of Paris which is basically a component of GH booster.


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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tip. but would I need to add anything to the mud before freezing such as PMDD components? if so How much?

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 12:12 AM
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I made mineralized soil and had some left over. it has clay in it which makes pliable. I made little balls out of it for later use. It dries and hardens. I guess you can bake it to further hardens it.

in the mixture I have a little garden limestone and potash.


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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 12:14 AM
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If you make the mud balls thick enough, and plant them quickly, you don't even need to freeze them. I use a lot of clay in mine, and it takes them a minute or two before they start falling apart underwater.

The mineralized dirt discussion on APC has a lot of suggestions on what additives you can use in the mud balls.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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Wow that APC article is good

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 12:47 AM
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osmocote has ammonium nitrogen in it.. I personally would stay away from it.


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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 01:12 AM
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osmocote has ammonium nitrogen in it.. I personally would stay away from it.
As long as you do not use too much and have a good amount of plants it should not be an issue, I'd imagine.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
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I went to a local garden center and the Osmocoat is only $5.99 for 3 lbs.
I like the price.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 04:18 PM
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osmocote has ammonium nitrogen in it.. I personally would stay away from it.
So does ADA AS........... and the rate of release from osmocoat is pretty slow(slower than ADA AS), ADA PS also has a similar product to osmocoat in there.

Been used by planted aquarist for gosh............???
30 years?

The key is slow release, which is mostly governed by temperature.
In aquariums, temps are very stable, so therefore so is the release(rate of nutrient dosing).

Last about 6 months or so in most aquariums.

Jobes sticks are not the same slow release coated balls, so when you pull those up, they can cause issues with algae blooms.
Osmocoat does not however and they easier to spread evenly out over a sediment.

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Regards,
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 04:24 PM
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I went to a local garden center and the Osmocoat is only $5.99 for 3 lbs.
I like the price.
If you can find a decent clean lake around your area, get some of the sediment from the just below the low water mark. Rinse in a bucket and allow to settle for a day or two, decant off the water and allow to dry into a good paste.
Mix the osmocoat with this paste.
Freeze for an hour, insert.

Some folks have used the osmocoat straight, then sprinkled it over the sediment, then pushed all the little balls into the sediment.

Blah.......too much hassle.
I have redone a section of the tank, uprooted things and move the sand over to one side, then dig down and add the layer on the bottom, then recover with the sand so the osmocoat is now on the very bottom.

After 3-4 weeks and doing this process each week for say 1/3, 1/4 sections, the tank is pretty much fully recharged. Less messy than soils, but the organic matter in soil helps. So a bit of trade off.

I use 5 grams of osmocoat per 4 gallons of tank.

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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This is real help and gets me thinking.. I am newer to planted tanks but kept fish tanks since I was a kid (30 years).The Osmocote version I assume to use is the "plus" version and I also assume not to crush the pellets to powder just leave whole. That is a real good idea I do have access to many lakes in my area, I am thinking to go to the swamp area of the lake and scoop up the muck where all the lilly pads and catails are and use that. sound ok right?

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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I also want to say that the freezing the fortified soil Idea is good one too.

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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-21-2009, 09:28 PM
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Get some of these:


Cut them into 1/2 inch pieces and push them into the substrate.

Do NOT disturb... messy.

Click here to see my dragons ->
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
If you can find a decent clean lake around your area, get some of the sediment from the just below the low water mark. Rinse in a bucket and allow to settle for a day or two, decant off the water and allow to dry into a good paste.
Mix the osmocoat with this paste.
Freeze for an hour, insert.

Some folks have used the osmocoat straight, then sprinkled it over the sediment, then pushed all the little balls into the sediment.

Blah.......too much hassle.
I have redone a section of the tank, uprooted things and move the sand over to one side, then dig down and add the layer on the bottom, then recover with the sand so the osmocoat is now on the very bottom.

After 3-4 weeks and doing this process each week for say 1/3, 1/4 sections, the tank is pretty much fully recharged. Less messy than soils, but the organic matter in soil helps. So a bit of trade off.

I use 5 grams of osmocoat per 4 gallons of tank.

Regards,
Tom Barr
Im going to try this out, is there a specific type osmocote you should use? will this one work? seems like they make a bunch different types. does osmocote leech anything into the water colomn? i assume its fish safe if you recommend it just want to make sure.
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