Fert Balls. Huge batch made easy - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-22-2014, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Fert Balls. Huge batch made easy

Fert slip/tablet technique. Ok, kneading the clay with dry ferts just wasn't fun for me, so I came up with an easier way to make tons of fertilizer sticks. Get clay 4.5 kg. Cut into small pieces and put in bucket with HOT water. Let sit while you get your ferts together. Add ferts and mix like crazy. See how smooth it is? Get a syringe and use some of the slip for injecting into small freshly rooted plants or use a big one and go crazy. For solid fert spikes/balls, I'm gonna pour some into a big flat mortar mixing tray and let it dehydrate till its a little thicker, then extrude using an icing bag. Works great and easy as pie. Make them as thick or thin as you want. Extrude onto wax or parchment paper and let dry.





Creamy smooth. All crystals dissolved.











Fert recipe is up to you. Makes a billion fert balls.

!A

130 Gal Acrylic cichlid,125 Oceanic planted, 58 Oceanic planted/cichlid. 500 timbers holding pond, 180 GF pond, 60 horse trough grow out tank. Front porch garden pond (130 overflow), Whiskey barrel water garden, Puddles when it rains.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-22-2014, 03:27 PM
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this is a great idea!

-Neil
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-22-2014, 04:06 PM
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Wait, isn't the point of letting fert balls dry so that the release of fertilizer is slow release?

If you're injecting wet clay into your substrate ALL the fertilizer in that mix is immediately available. I could be wrong, but please correct me if I am.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-22-2014, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creekbottom View Post
Wait, isn't the point of letting fert balls dry so that the release of fertilizer is slow release?

If you're injecting wet clay into your substrate ALL the fertilizer in that mix is immediately available. I could be wrong, but please correct me if I am.
Put one of your clay balls in a cup of water and see how long it stays solid. My experience is with root tabs for pond lillies. They turn to mush almost immediately. The ferts are trapped by the clay substrate in that case. You can let these dry out after extruding like I posted. It's what others recommend here. I'm no expert, just looking for an easier method for me, found it, and thought I would share. This is my first large batch. I did a small batch about 6 weeks ago. Working great in the tank, both injected and dry. I had some root damage on smaller plants when shoving the hard, dry pieces in, so I thought the slip injection method would be easier on those delicate plant roots. I was right. Just experiment around with it.

130 Gal Acrylic cichlid,125 Oceanic planted, 58 Oceanic planted/cichlid. 500 timbers holding pond, 180 GF pond, 60 horse trough grow out tank. Front porch garden pond (130 overflow), Whiskey barrel water garden, Puddles when it rains.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 07-17-2014, 05:15 PM
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Hi Jeff,

I finally finished the bag of fert slips you sent me, and want to make some. Generally speaking, how much clay and dry ferts did you use? Also, did you use Macros only or include Micros CSM+b too? I think you hit on a good mix. Here is a sample of my crypt mi oya before and after adding the slips.


Crypt Mi Oya before adding root slips
IMG_0596 by chrislewistx, on Flickr

Crypt Mi Oya after adding root slips
IMG_1985 by chrislewistx, on Flickr


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