O+ Root Tabs- How Long? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-15-2015, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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O+ Root Tabs- How Long?

How long do these last in the substrate before they start running out of steam (nutrients)? I overdid it a month ago when I put them in my 20G long (rookie mistake). I'm having to really perform a lot of wc's to keep up with excess nutrients? Experiences?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-15-2015, 12:00 PM
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Usually, 6+ months. I haven't noticed any tapering off (growth wise) in my tank, so I haven't replaced them yet.


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-15-2015, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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Looks like I'm in big trouble.......
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-15-2015, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Freemananana View Post
Usually, 6+ months. I haven't noticed any tapering off (growth wise) in my tank, so I haven't replaced them yet.
Dang.....I read somewhere when researching this that you can replace them every 6-8 weeks.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-15-2015, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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Dang.....I read somewhere when researching this that you can replace them every 6-8 weeks.

That's what I read too. The only reason I buried them in excess was because I assumed they would burn out in 1-2 months.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-15-2015, 02:09 PM
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So these really depends on the tablets. My root medic root tabs didn't last more than 2 months and I had to replace them. I've only ever had ones that last 6-8 weeks. Even if they run out fast, you want to put more in when you are out. This is so you can spread your nutrients over time. Live and learn, right.

So at this point, it's actually worse that it lasts a shorter time because they are breaking down faster and going into the water. You'd actually be better off if it was the ones that last 6+ months.

Possible Solutions: Get more plants. Get more light. Get more C02. Otherwise you're already doing what you can.

Just curious, exactly how many root tabs did you put in there? More than 20?

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-15-2015, 02:13 PM
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Well, I can start by saying it will vary from tank to tank. I have swords, vals, crypts, and dwarf sag in my tank. They show no real deficiencies (I have leafs die and whatnot, but not whole plants). My tank hasn't slowed it's growth at all so I haven't added more root tabs in since it started. My tank is low tech, so your mileage may vary. But the age old adage of "don't fix what isn't broken" has worked for my tank. I haven't needed to replace root tabs, so I haven't.

As always, I could be misinformed, remembering incorrectly, or be an outlier myself.


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-15-2015, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Termato View Post
So these really depends on the tablets. My root medic root tabs didn't last more than 2 months and I had to replace them. I've only ever had ones that last 6-8 weeks. Even if they run out fast, you want to put more in when you are out. This is so you can spread your nutrients over time. Live and learn, right.

So at this point, it's actually worse that it lasts a shorter time because they are breaking down faster and going into the water. You'd actually be better off if it was the ones that last 6+ months.

Possible Solutions: Get more plants. Get more light. Get more C02. Otherwise you're already doing what you can.

Just curious, exactly how many root tabs did you put in there? More than 20?
Let's just say I put in more than I need. Lighting is fine, stopped using DIY co2 for now because I suspect it's not helping. Going to stick with excel for a couple of weeks. I actually have absolutely no algae on the plants/glass, but continue to get horrible green water bloom after green water bloom after green water bloom (you get the picture). I will be ordering a 9w UV sterilizer in the next week or so to combat this. My guess is that the O+ is leaching out massive amounts of ammonia into the water column (even though they're 2" under the substrate. I'm hoping things stabilize and balance out once they run out of steam. Once that happens, I'll likely focus more on column dosing to avoid this from happening again.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-15-2015, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Goldsaum82 View Post
Let's just say I put in more than I need. Lighting is fine, stopped using DIY co2 for now because I suspect it's not helping. Going to stick with excel for a couple of weeks. I actually have absolutely no algae on the plants/glass, but continue to get horrible green water bloom after green water bloom after green water bloom (you get the picture). I will be ordering a 9w UV sterilizer in the next week or so to combat this. My guess is that the O+ is leaching out massive amounts of ammonia into the water column (even though they're 2" under the substrate. I'm hoping things stabilize and balance out once they run out of steam. Once that happens, I'll likely focus more on column dosing to avoid this from happening again.
Have you been testing for ammonia? I would test just to be sure. If you read any ammonia at all do water changes.

One of the suggestions about adding fast growing stem plants may be the fastest solution. That along with some aggressive carpeting plants. Water wisteria also grows really really fast. Those plants absorb everything and may help you save some time and frustration.

Are you dosing your excel daily? It has a half life of about 10-12 hours so you should dose it daily to optimize nutrient intake in plants. It will also help your plants absorb other nutrients and light because the C02 will be easier to get.

As far as the green water goes, the UV Sterilizer sounds like a good idea. I've never dealt with it so I'm a little out of depth in that field.

Good luck!

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-15-2015, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Have you been testing for ammonia? I would test just to be sure. If you read any ammonia at all do water changes.

One of the suggestions about adding fast growing stem plants may be the fastest solution. That along with some aggressive carpeting plants. Water wisteria also grows really really fast. Those plants absorb everything and may help you save some time and frustration.

Are you dosing your excel daily? It has a half life of about 10-12 hours so you should dose it daily to optimize nutrient intake in plants. It will also help your plants absorb other nutrients and light because the C02 will be easier to get.

As far as the green water goes, the UV Sterilizer sounds like a good idea. I've never dealt with it so I'm a little out of depth in that field.

Good luck!
Thanks! I've actually got some Water Wisteria as well as some Hygrophila Corymbosa (Temple Plant) starting to take off. The tank is still relatively young (2 months). Once they begin to grow fast I would expect there to be far less nutrients in the water.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-15-2015, 04:29 PM
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Here is a post I made regarding how long O+ lasts. https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/29...ml#post8216689
Other factors that come to play are plant mass, as the more you have (size and especially root feeders) the more of the nutrients get used.
As well as the amount of water changes, as the water changes will remove the unused nutrients that dissolved into the water column.

The O+ months of duration that I wrote down were listed on the O+ itself. And O+ being meant for "classic gardening", those duration numbers are geared toward "surface" plant growing, so one can assume using O+ submersed will deplete/dissolve the nutrients much faster in comparison to just occasionally watering plants in a classic "above ground" soil bed.

But yes, as Termato said, I would monitor the ammonia levels just to be safe. And don't go overboard on adding the tabs. Just put the general recommended amount in and add more next time if plants start to show deficiency (or don't show improvements of previous/current deficiency).
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-16-2015, 01:11 AM
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Osmocote plus can come in many varieties. Some release nutrients quicker than others. So to say it will last "3 months" or so is invalid. Also, the nitrogen source in Osmocote is primarily ammoniacal which can be problematic. I'm not a big fan of roots tabs in general to be honest. All aquatic plants can uptake nutrients through the water column. That I can easily measure.

I would rather have a substrate with high CEC and dose the water column. Call me crazy but I want to have an idea of what to expect. Root tabs regardless of the brands can vary widely depending on tank parameters.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-16-2015, 01:51 AM
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I believe the O+ I was referring to was the 15-9-12 formula. (Slow release)
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