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No question about it...both can be used. Flourish Tabs are best used with heavy root feeders like Amazon swords and many crypts. Liquid Flourish and the other Seachem liquid nutrients should be used in any case (at least Flourish Excel for a source of carbon and Flourish Iron for most crypts and dwarf sags).
 

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I wouldn't bother with flourish tabs. Look at the analysis:
http://www.seachem.com/Products/product_pages/FlourishTabs.html

Hardly anything in them.

Osmocote contains way more at a better price, but I can't find any labels/analysis posted online.

Unless you've got stock in seachem, you'll probably find your wallet hurts a little less if you use DIY ferts. Comprehensive is a pretty good micro, but the macros are an arm and a leg by comparison.

-Philosophos
 

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Plants feed from different areas separately. The column will lose nutrients if it isn't dosed reliably, meanwhile the substrate will retain large amounts of nutrients but not take advantage of giving nutrients to the largest available area of plant mass.

Why not dose both? Good nutrients everywhere help to maximize uptake, and leave somewhere for plants to fall back on when our dosing is imperfect.

Here's an osmocote brochure, page 8 shows nutrient levels for its product line. It's all way higher than what you'll get out of the hobby-based products:
http://www.osmocote.co.za/brochure.pdf

-Philosophos
 

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Is the osmocote safe? It even comes in tablets. At the local fish auction over the weekend, I ran into a guy that makes his own tabs using pottery clay and fertilizer. He said he makes the clay out into a little bowl shape, sprinkles some fertilizer into it. Then folds it over to trap the fertilizer inside. I think he said he uses this, I can't remember as it was a weird name I hadn't heard before. But this sounds like it. He said he buys it at lowes. If I see him again Ill have to ask him the specifics. As a home made tab sounds cheap and easy.

EDIT *after searching lowes website, they do sell osmocote. It says it's not pet safe....I'm assuming dogs etc as they might eat a bottle. Ill try to find out if he keeps fish in these tanks or if there plants only.
http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=160366-446-279010&lpage=none
 

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Plants feed from different areas separately....
agree, & specially if ur using plain gravel like me, then you def. should use Flourish Root Tabs or similar like others mentioned. :)
 

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You have to undersand what osmoscote is and why you would want to use it in the first place.

It is a time release NPK fertilizer, nitrogen-phosphate-potassium, thats it. It contains no minerals or other nutrients. Do you want to release high levels of nitrogen and phosphate into your aquarium? People that do use it usually do in very small amounts at the bottom of your tank with several inches of substrate on top of it to prevent it from getting into the water, but every time you uproot a plant and stir things up, you are still likely to release it into the water. Getting it into the water column would very likely cause a large algae outbreak If in large enough amounts, it could raise nitrogen/ammonia to dangerous levels. Root tabs contain very little nitogen and are mostly trace mninerals.

There are two types of nutrients plants use, whats called macro nutrients and micro nutrients.

Macronutrients
Nutrients used by plants in relatively large amounts. They are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), sulfur (S), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg) and potassium (K).


Micronutrients
Nutrients used by plants in small amounts. They are iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), molybdenum (Mo), cobalt (Co), and boron (B).

Osmoscote contains three of the macros N,P,K, and nothing else. They are three of the most important nutrients, but also two of the most dangerous if not used properly. Any garden fertilizer such as osmoscote or miracle grow is going to be NPK. It is also likely to be high in urea as a form of nitrogen which can cause problems in the aquarium.

Seachems flourish tabs are a great mix of micronutrients with some small amounts of macros, much much safer than osmoscote. And no urea. If you want to use an NPK fertilizer, use one that is low in phosphate. NPK fertilizers have a series of three sets of number 20=19=08 or 13-05-10 or whatever. The first number is N, second set is P, and the last set is K. If its a single digit number that is considered low, if its a two digit number that is considered high. So you want to find a fert that has a single digit middle number, meaning it is low in phosphate.
 

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You have to undersand what osmoscote is and why you would want to use it in the first place.

It is a time release NPK fertilizer, nitrogen-phosphate-potassium, thats it. It contains no minerals or other nutients. Do you want to release high levels of nitrogen and phosphate into your aquarium? People that do use it usually do in very small amounts at the bottom of your tank with several inches of substrate on top of it to prevent it from getting into the water, but every time you uproot a plant and stir things up, you are still likely to release it into the water. Getting it into the water column would very likely cause a large algae outbreak If in large enough amounts, it could raise nitrogen/ammonia to dangerous levels. Root tabs contain very little nitogen and are mostly trace mninerals.
Actually even old ADA AS I has an analysis with higher NH4 levels than the high potassium osmocote (it's looking like the better one to me). The N not from NH4 is going to be from an inorganic source, and once again far lower than even old ADA AS I. What does leech will basically be so low in toxicity that you should be more concerned with the little bit of NH4 that might come up.

Disturbing an established substrate heavily, regardless of the type, is usually a good reason to be doing water changes in a planted tank anyhow. I do all of my tank modifications at water change time, and an overhaul means intense water changes for the first few weeks.

-Philosophos
 

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Actually even old ADA AS I has an analysis with higher NH4 levels than the high potassium osmocote (it's looking like the better one to me). The N not from NH4 is going to be from an inorganic source, and once again far lower than even old ADA AS I. What does leech will basically be so low in toxicity that you should be more concerned with the little bit of NH4 that might come up.
Osmoscote is NPK, period, plain and simple. There is nothing hard to understand about that. It usually comes in pellets and is time release. It contains NOTHING but NPK. Nothing else. Thats it. It is no different that dumping a bottle of Miracle grow in your tank. Do a little google on the affects of urea in the aquarium. If you do not use osmoscote very sparingly you are going to have a tank full of green pea soup first and then nothing but hair algae if you havn't killed all your fish by then.

Stump remover is not Osmoscote, but is potassium nitrate. Stump remover is not time release.
 

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What the heck are you talking about? Do you even understand what it is you are saying? Osmoscote is NPK, period, plain and simple. There is nothing hard to understand about that. It usually comes in pellets and is time release. It contains NOTHING but NPK. Nothing else. Thats it. It is no different that dumping a bottle of Miracle grow in your tank. Do a little google on the affects of urea in the aquarium. If you do not use osmoscote very sparingly you are going to have a tank full of green pea soup first and then nothing but hair algae if you havn't killed all your fish by then.

Stump remover is not Osmoscote, but is potassium nitrate. Stump remover is not time release.
Hey guess what's in TPN+, earth worm castings, Miracle Gro Organic Choice, and Seachem Nitrogen? :proud:

Ya, urea. Same thing some of us dose into our tank by choice.

Want some NH4? Go look at anything containing nutrients in the ADA product line.

But it's not in Osmocote Exact Standard High K, which is your better ratio for SAM's. It's not in basic Osmocote Exact either, which would be the next best thing. Both of these contain ammonia, but at lower levels than even aged ADA AS I. Go check TBR newsletter and its analysis on the stuff if you haven't yet.

What I don't get is why you're saying Osmocote is pure NPK when it clearly lists some micros, and the ppm's clearly don't even remotely add up to pure NPK. My stock solutions for fertilizing have higher nutrient concentrations than this stuff.

Simply having the nutrient there does not mean a bloom will necessarily occur. If this were so, we'd all still be running PO4 limited tanks for fear of algae. EI dosing never would've happened.

Now, if you're going to run into deficiencies, which of these nutrients are the least stable in a tank? I'd be looking at the macros myself. Guess which deficiencies tend to show up when you stop dosing? NPK, maybe iron. Usually K+ happens first for obvious reasons. Why would your concern be with micros first?

Also, why recommend seachem tabs with an analysis that looks this light: http://www.seachem.com/Products/product_pages/FlourishTabs.html

And I'm surprised that you aren't warning us all about the dangers of chlorine toxicity in flourish tabs given that 5.5% = 55mg/g, which is far higher in concentration than any of the less toxic urea, NH4 or NO3 that you've been mentioning. Check the EPA ecotox database if you want a nice long list of species to compare on this topic.

-Philosophos
 

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Actually even old ADA AS I has an analysis with higher NH4 levels than the high potassium osmocote (it's looking like the better one to me). The N not from NH4 is going to be from an inorganic source, and once again far lower than even old ADA AS I. What does leech will basically be so low in toxicity that you should be more concerned with the little bit of NH4 that might come up.

Disturbing an established substrate heavily, regardless of the type, is usually a good reason to be doing water changes in a planted tank anyhow. I do all of my tank modifications at water change time, and an overhaul means intense water changes for the first few weeks.

-Philosophos
Very nice information. With a little bit of information, it takes the "magic" out of some of these products so, I can make smarter decisions on where I spend my money. Sometimes it makes sense to buy those "high end" products for convenience and maybe, take advantage of a more specific pool of information. but, with this kind of information my eyes are "wide open" when I do spend the money. Sometimes, doing something DIY can just be more fun while, maybe saving some money.

As far as avoiding green water, I try to move no more than 25 % of the substrate before doing the 50 % water change. I've managed to create green water in the past without ever using Osmocote or ADA. Yeah, it might take a month to redo the tank but, it's been awhile since I had the green water.

Now, to put a few grains of Osmocote under one of my Crypts to see what happens. :icon_mrgr
 

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I think the confusion of macros versus micros is coming from the generation of Osmocote being referred to.

The original Osmocote brand is only NPK. If you want trace and macros, you'll need Osmocote Pro, Exact and Exact 'dct' all have trace elements. However, all osmocotes have a variation of three types of fertilizers that will need to be used with extreme caution:

Ammonical nitrogen
Urea nitrogen
Urea formaldehyde

I would be hesitant to suggest these fertilizers based on the fact the fertilizer is released based on heat - the higher the temperature, the quicker the release.
 

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I've heard of some people using osmocote but they don't give too much details on any issues they had.

Use them at your own risk. If you're moving plants, or have fish that likes to dig, you'll have issues. Ammonia is a major cause of serveral types of algae and possibly be harmful to fish.

There's nothing wrong with flourish root tabs and liquid. It's best if you use both. When you have nutrients in both the water column and the substrate, it makes raising plants a lot easier.
 
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