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I've got a low tech setup that currently is in perfect balance (virtually zero algae) but I was considering giving the plants a boost with some root tabs in the fine inert gravel I'm using right now. I'm wondering though if they leach NPK into the water in any significant amount? I just wouldn't want to stick them in there and start an algae fight.
 

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I've got a low tech setup that currently is in perfect balance (virtually zero algae) but I was considering giving the plants a boost with some root tabs in the fine inert gravel I'm using right now. I'm wondering though if they leach NPK into the water in any significant amount? I just wouldn't want to stick them in there and start an algae fight.
It was significant for me. Gravel just can't contain ferts by itself.
But that also depends on how fine your gravel is and the release rate
of your root tabs.
 

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What sort of "gravel" are you using? Is it actual, standard aquarium gravel? Or a planted substrate like Eco-Complete or some such?

How deep is the substrate and what's the size of the tank? What sort of filtration do you have? What type and how many plants?

Those things will help determine the likelihood of ferts spreading to the water in significant amounts. Typically, though, there's not too much spread. And if you have a substrate with a high CEC, most will be absorbed. Always be sure to press the tabs down deeply into your substrate - the glass, if possible - to avoid any unnecessary spread to the water.
 

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I try and break up my root tab in my low tech tank and spread the pieces around. One tab in a ten gallon once a month or when the plants look like they need it works good for me.
=place tab in doubled over paper towel and smack it once with a hammer
 
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