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I just made my DIY root tabs with an Osmocote clone called WonderCote. Several people have mentioned in its review that they have used it for root tabs and it has worked well for them.

I inserted two tabs into my 7G tank for valls and hydrocotyle. And I wrapped moss around one tab and chucked it into my moss farming container. This container has had moss from a few days and is literally a jar of water that sits on a window. However, very quickly the gel capsule dissolved and exposed the the contents to the water column. I didnt mind it too much, I figured this is what it is meant to do. But I noticed that the granules started breaking down as well and soon the capsule was just a pile of this wondercote sitting at the bottom.

Does Osmocote behave like this? I was under the impression that since the granules are coated with a "slow release resin" they would have held much longer in order to slowly release their nutrients.

Tabs look pretty cool though!
 

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Slow release is assuming intermittent water. Like in a potted plant. Dissolves a little each time it's watered.

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And the hand fillable gel caps used for supplement making absolutely won't time dissolve over weeks. So they'll rapidly dump their contents too.

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Slow release is assuming intermittent water. Like in a potted plant. Dissolves a little each time it's watered.

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So, inserted at least 2 inch into the substrate they'll still work better than just dissolving nutrients into the water column right?


And the hand fillable gel caps used for supplement making absolutely won't time dissolve over weeks. So they'll rapidly dump their contents too.

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Also, I was under the impression that these gel caps were the defacto standard for DIY root tabs. Are they not?
 

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The gel caps are just to hold everything together long enough to get it in position under the substrate - after that it doesn't matter if it falls apart - it becomes part of the lower levels of the substrate.

For fertilising a jar with no substrate you would probably be best off with a liquid fert. Although, for moss I would imagine just changing out the water with water from your tank would keep things fresh and provide all the nutrients they need.
 

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Inserted into substrate that is completely waterlogged is going to dissolve then. And then it will spread and end up in water column anyways. Maybe it'll help. I've never tried osmocote in my tanks. But I do use it on begonias. You can always try, worst off it's ineffectual

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I personally want to try making clay based tabs. But I've never considered using osmocote in my tanks. Most have fish. And I don't put them at risk

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Discussion Starter #6
The gel caps are just to hold everything together long enough to get it in position under the substrate - after that it doesn't matter if it falls apart - it becomes part of the lower levels of the substrate.

For fertilising a jar with no substrate you would probably be best off with a liquid fert. Although, for moss I would imagine just changing out the water with water from your tank would keep things fresh and provide all the nutrients they need.
Thanx for clearing that up! As for the jar, its just an experiment Im doing with the trimmings off my 7G which is growing lots of java moss. So I can experiment overloading it with nutrients just to see what happens. It sits on a window and gets sunlight for about 3hrs everyday.


Inserted into substrate that is completely waterlogged is going to dissolve then. And then it will spread and end up in water column anyways. Maybe it'll help. I've never tried osmocote in my tanks. But I do use it on begonias. You can always try, worst off it's ineffectual

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I actually took a few granules of this wonder cote in my hand and ran them under a sink. Its got two types of granules, one that has a faint green colour and other is blue. The moment it comes in contact with water, the blue granules loses its outer blue shell, suspect it's just a non toxic dye, and subsequently starts dissolving. This was however under flowing water and me rubbing it with my fingers, it's gonna face much less force in the capsule under the substrate. The other kind of granule didn't budge at all. When the blue granules had almost completely dissolved, this granule had merely changed colour to a bit paler green. Even after 5 minutes of washing, this granule was the same size.



So i think my caps are safe. The pile of rubble i saw was merely the blue granules dropping their covers.
 

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So, inserted at least 2 inch into the substrate they'll still work better than just dissolving nutrients into the water column right?

That depends on the CEC of your substrate and the flow of water through it. If your substrate has no CEC there's nothing to keep the nutrients there. If you don't have water flow through your substrate you'll have other issues.
 
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