osmocote (?) - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-17-2007, 04:16 AM Thread Starter
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osmocote (?)

i have ordered some SMS and expect to see it this week. i understand that it is pretty much inert and nutrient free, so i wonder about feeding roots in this new tank that i am setting up.

i have some experience with API Root Tabs, and i could use those. Root Tabs seem to work well, but i have wondered about mixing in osmocote as a less-expensive alternative.

any experience or general thoughts?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-17-2007, 03:03 PM
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We used this on the APD and in AGA for many many years.
Used sparingly, works well.
It's a very good item for long term dosing of the sediment.

Regards,
Tom Barr




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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-17-2007, 03:32 PM
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Puchisapo,

I would hesitate to use Osmocote. First of all, in my experience it floats. Second, the content of those little capsules is dispensed in part as a reaction to moisture, so the "slow release" aspect of it will be less effective, and you won't have any control over the rate of release. Third, and most importantly, from the Scott's website itself, one of the main ingredients in the makeup of some of the capsules is "polymer encapsulated sulfer coated urea. If that doesn't wreak havoc with your ammonia levels, I'd be surprised.

http://www.scottsprohort.com/_docume...smocotePro.pdf

In the interest of full disclosure, I have a beef with the Scott's corporation because they are suing Terracycle, a very small organic fertilizer company. They claim that the packaging looks too similar to their own. Terracycle uses old 1 and 2 liter bottles (recycled soda bottles) to package their product. The whole thing smacks of the big guy picking on the little guy in my opinion, so I'm not going to use any Scott's products.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-17-2007, 03:33 PM
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Then again, I'd certainly listen to Tom Barr over me any day.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-18-2007, 05:00 AM Thread Starter
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thanks very much. i have a jar of osmocote, so i might just experiment. you know annoher thing that came to mind was to mix in a quantity of "clean" garden soil. of course, this might cancel some of the advantages of using the SMS.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-18-2007, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puchisapo View Post
thanks very much. i have a jar of osmocote, so i might just experiment. you know another thing that came to mind was to mix in a quantity of "clean" garden soil. of course, this might cancel some of the advantages of using the SMS.
Hi Puchisapo

Which Osmocote product did you get?

I looked at Osmocote Plus and it contains:
Ammoniacal N and Nitrate N
P
K
Mg
S
B
Cu
Fe and chelated Fe
Mn
Mo
Zn

This isn't much different than what Tropica's Plant Nutrition+ Capsules contain: http://www.tropica.com/pdf/aquacare/...%20kapsler.pdf

Tropica's Plant Nutrition+ Capsules don't contain any S. I don't know if they contain any Ammoniacal N or not, but they claim 15% N.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-18-2007, 05:01 PM
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The rate of dissolving is very critical here, Osmocoat is pretty slow.
So not much with the NH4.

It's more longer term stuff.

For faster: soil work pretty well, but then you have the NH4 issue, same with Jobes sticks.

But if you boil(10min)/mineralize(shallow water soaked for 3weeks)/bake(1 hour at 400F) you can remove it from soils.

So a mix of both is workable.
If you look in ADA powersand, they add a similar product as well.

BTW, many things in sediments we use float, peat etc, we just bury it with sand on the bottom.

You are not using much, the rate is slow and so we'd expect little added growth from it as well, but it's benefit is the longer term time frames.

That's the trade off.

Ideally when designing and thinking about nutrient sources, you will want to mitigate things by adding the benefits of one thing to balance the trades offs you do not like.

This is the most logical approach.

To get the most out of any nutrient source, we should look to the water column, the long and short term bioavailability in the sediments.

Adding Water Column nutrients will reduce the draw from the sediment sources and allow it to last longer.

Adding nutrients to the sediments will allow you not to depend on the water column as much and you can mess up more or use less(using "more" will not hurt however), forget to dose as we do at some point.

Basically allowing us more back up and using several methods synergistically together.

Same for short and long term supplies of nutrients in the sediments.
Some have suggested plants prefer sediment sources, however, aquatic plants are opportunistic, they take nutrients where ever they are available.

Regards,
Tom Barr




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-18-2007, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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i'm ignorant. how does soil create NH4 problems? is it because of the death of microorganisms and continued decomposition of organic matter? if that's the case, then it should be temporary as new soil flora adapts to the submerged condition(?).
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-19-2007, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by puchisapo View Post
i'm ignorant. how does soil create NH4 problems? is it because of the death of microorganisms and continued decomposition of organic matter? if that's the case, then it should be temporary as new soil flora adapts to the submerged condition(?).

You are correct, decomposing organics do generate ammonia. However, eventually, soil can effectively be used as a substrate. Many people do so. Tom Barr, I believe has advocated baking soil to remove ammonia. I heard of others who thoroughly rinse their soil first. Still others do nothing, but just wait things out and add lots of plants, especially floating plants, to soak up the ammonia.

This summer, I set up a 17 gal outdoor tub with pots of cheap garden soil and 1 tsp/gal of osmocote. I topped this with a layer of soil master select. Everything grew great!! I had very little algae and I think that the key to this is that I had a god amount of water lettuce and hyacinth in the tub.

I'm sold on soil as a substrate. Right now I use soil master select, but my next tank will have soil topped with the SMS. I use high light and pressurized CO2.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-19-2007, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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i just went and fetched my bag of SMS at the Lesco warehouse. it will be fun to experiment with it.
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