Best way to enrich inert substrates? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-02-2018, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Best way to enrich inert substrates?

I'm thinking of switching to Flourite in an already established tank so for plants getting nutrients from the substrate what are the best root tabs to use? Of course there are popular commercials ones such as seachem and API etc but we all know anything with the phrase 'for aquarium use' has a huge markup on it. So what about Osmocote Plus for water plants? I would assume it's much cheaper right? And it's pretty much the same thing?

Of course, I will also be dosing the water column as well.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-02-2018, 11:36 AM
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A sprinkling of Osmocote (little goes a long way), under a cap of Flourite,Safe-t Sorb,or plain unscented cat litter (no additives) could work well.
When I last set my 80 gal low tech planted tank a couple year's ago, I used 1/2 cup of Osmocote as sprinkling on the glass before covering it with dirt,and then a layer of safe-t-sorb to cap it off.
This is decidedly not something for those who uproot plant's a lot .
just sayin.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-02-2018, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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Oh that's very clever, so I can just sprinkle a thin layer of osmocote on the bottom of the tank then cover it with Flourite and that should last a few months? Afterwards I just have to spot treat the flourite ?
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-02-2018, 01:05 PM
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Oh that's very clever, so I can just sprinkle a thin layer of osmocote on the bottom of the tank then cover it with Flourite and that should last a few months? Afterwards I just have to spot treat the flourite ?
Yes, between the slow release osmocote,and water column dosing,plant's can do well for long time.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-12-2018, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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Just another thought, if I was to sprinkle osmocote on the bottom for substrate, what's stopping me from just throwing a small handful of the stuff into the water every now and then? I would assume it would sink to the bottom and land on top of the substrate then slowly dissolve over time therefore adding nutrients to the water column? It would be cheaper to buy the real liquid stuff.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-12-2018, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Silhouette1080 View Post
Just another thought, if I was to sprinkle osmocote on the bottom for substrate, what's stopping me from just throwing a small handful of the stuff into the water every now and then? I would assume it would sink to the bottom and land on top of the substrate then slowly dissolve over time therefore adding nutrients to the water column? It would be cheaper to buy the real liquid stuff.
You can buy dry salts and dose those directly into the water column. Doing the osmocote thing it too inconsistent, and some granules will never dissolve and they actually float.

KNO3 for K and N
KH2PO4 for K and P
CSM+B for micros

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-13-2018, 11:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silhouette1080 View Post
Just another thought, if I was to sprinkle osmocote on the bottom for substrate, what's stopping me from just throwing a small handful of the stuff into the water every now and then? I would assume it would sink to the bottom and land on top of the substrate then slowly dissolve over time therefore adding nutrients to the water column? It would be cheaper to buy the real liquid stuff.
The slow release part works best under the substrate. With constant flow, I would think it would leach faster, not be as available to roots, and am uncontrolled source of urea in my tank would make me nervous.

We put O+ in gel capsules so we can get them into the substrate deep enough.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-14-2018, 03:52 AM
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Root tabs are unnecessary. All nutrients can be supplied via the water column. There are better water column fertilizers to use than Osmocote and they are designed for planted aquariums, e.g.; Seachem and NilocG. If price is a concern, there are plenty of dry fertilizer options also available, e.g.; Green Leaf Aquariums and NilocG.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-14-2018, 06:20 AM
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Root tabs are unnecessary. All nutrients can be supplied via the water column. There are better water column fertilizers to use than Osmocote and they are designed for planted aquariums, e.g.; Seachem and NilocG. If price is a concern, there are plenty of dry fertilizer options also available, e.g.; Green Leaf Aquariums and NilocG.
It's not that they are necessary but that they can be helpful when used correctly.

I've had great success with my S. Repens after finally starting to use root tabs (inert blasting sand). I always considered them pointless as well, but I could never get S. Repens to be consistently healthy (even though everything else in the tank was great) until I added O+ tabs under them.

I think it's a good option for when you have extended vacations, plants that are known root feeders (because why make them work harder than they need to?), and to cover for when you miss dose / umder dose / whatever.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-14-2018, 01:15 PM
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Unless your providing something via the root tab that isn't in the water column in sufficient supply they are unnecessary. Seachem that sells both water column ferts and root tabs even states that themselves.
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