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I have use API root tabs in the past, and currently have Flourish root tabs in my aquarium. I have read about Osmocote being put into capsules, but understand these to be only N-P-K?
What is your favorite all-around root tab (for swords and crypts, for example) that provides what big root feeders need?
 

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I have used Jobes sticks (the Ferns & Palms variety mostly) with good success. I have also used Osmocote in gel capsules. Both can be pushed deep into the substrate without causing issues leaching into the water column.

Honestly though, it is hard to tell which are best and what the exact results are without doing randomized double-blind studies... :)
 

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single osmocote pellets or small 1cm balls of dried worm castings work well for me. I don't recommend using the worm castings if you replant a lot as they make a lot of silt although they do hold up underwater for at least a year, they just shed mud when disturbed.
 

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Nicolg Thrive makes a root tab which is 17 dollars for 60 tabs which is considerably cheaper then most (all?) of the competition. Its also specific to aquariums which can give you some peace of mind. I have used another root tab named Thrive (not nicolg) which is designed for ponds with good success. It is even cheaper at 12 dollars for 60 tabs but it doesn't specifically say for aquarium use.
 

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I like and use Seachem Rootabs.

I tried the cheaper alternative of Osmocote, but my cichlids disturb the substrate too much and I had yellow balls everywhere. just not an attractive look.
I also tried the Osmocote method and didn't like it much. Those little fertilizer balls kind of suck lol

I've been using both the Seachem Flourish tabs and Aquarium Co-Op tabs with decent results. I dose the water column and only use the tabs as supplements for heavy root feeders. Also wouldn't hesitate to use NilocG's tabs, but have no experience with them personally.

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@Discusluv, @varanidguy and @Roboto:

Generally, I am not a proponent of root tabs, with one exception in my tank: Dwarf Sag - a heavy root feeder, at least where iron is involved. I agree that Seachem's Root Tabs do the job. However, Seachem has introduced a "New & Improved" version. Have any of you tried this and, if so, have you noted any difference in performance?
 

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@Discusluv, @varanidguy and @Roboto:



Generally, I am not a proponent of root tabs, with one exception in my tank: Dwarf Sag - a heavy root feeder, at least where iron is involved. I agree that Seachem's Root Tabs do the job. However, Seachem has introduced a "New & Improved" version. Have any of you tried this and, if so, have you noted any difference in performance?
Now that you mention it, I did just get a brand new pouch of 40 Seachem tabs. I noticed they're pretty different from what I got before, in terms of physical appearance. I'll keep a closer eye on growth. My big Red Rubin sword just got two at its base, one for the Hadi Red Pearl, and one for the Echinodorus schluerteri.

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Keep in mind the different contents of root tabs/sticks/caps etc.

Seachem root tabs, for example, only contain micro nutrients, which is great if that's what your plants need, and you dose regular (macro) fertilizers. But, not so great if you are looking for an alternative to water column dosing. Or, maybe good for low tech tanks to improve the substrate.

To give typical root feeders (like Sword plants, Nymphaea etc) a good boost, look for something that has some NPK in it as well. Especially if you want to supplement water column dosing.
 

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Keep in mind the different contents of root tabs/sticks/caps etc.



Seachem root tabs, for example, only contain micro nutrients, which is great if that's what your plants need, and you dose regular (macro) fertilizers. But, not so great if you are looking for an alternative to water column dosing. Or, maybe good for low tech tanks to improve the substrate.



To give typical root feeders (like Sword plants, Nymphaea etc) a good boost, look for something that has some NPK in it as well. Especially if you want to supplement water column dosing.
That might have been true in the past, but is no longer the case according to the packaging.



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In my opinion still very NPK compared to something like API root tabs (which are great). Osmocote is over 30% by weight various macro nutrients for reference. Worm castings are close to 1-1-1 in soluble NPK so are much leaner but rich in organics and humates.


Osmocote should be used as single pellets and never packaged in many pellets in a gel cap like I see often sold. You will avoid the issue of a bunch of yellow balls everywhere and also high nitrates that people observe when using too much.
 

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That might have been true in the past, but is no longer the case according to the packaging.

...

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Yep, that is exactly my point: They contain near zero NPK. You will see numbers between 10 and 20 for N in something like Jobes sticks.
 

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In my opinion still very NPK compared to something like API root tabs (which are great). Osmocote is over 30% by weight various macro nutrients for reference. Worm castings are close to 1-1-1 in soluble NPK so are much leaner but rich in organics and humates.


Osmocote should be used as single pellets and never packaged in many pellets in a gel cap like I see often sold. You will avoid the issue of a bunch of yellow balls everywhere and also high nitrates that people observe when using too much.
I use gel caps all the time and never saw any yellow balls in my tank. However, I do stick them deep into the substrate, don't have digging fish, nor deep-vacuum. So it just depends... of course using too much of anything is never a good thing.
 
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