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Hi magatrev62,

How are things in the NE provinces? Flourite contains no macro nutrients and because of its low cation exchange capacity (CEC) releases low levels or micro nutrients to the roots at best. Not only would I use root tabs (I like Flourish Tabs) but I would add fertilizer to the water column as well. I use root tabs near the base of my cryptocorynes with good success.

30 gallon with crypts using Flourish Tabs and ferts
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well here in the province of Newfoundland. Thanks for the reply. I don't understand the placement of root tabs with a nutrient rich substrate. Those substrates can be pricey, filling up a 75 or bigger footprint. I think just going inert with the root tabs maks more sense. Just wondering why anyone would use it, with having to add root tabs. Thanks again.
 

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Well here in the province of Newfoundland. Thanks for the reply. I don't understand the placement of root tabs with a nutrient rich substrate. Those substrates can be pricey, filling up a 75 or bigger footprint. I think just going inert with the root tabs maks more sense. Just wondering why anyone would use it, with having to add root tabs. Thanks again.
Hi megatrev62,

I believe that calling Seachem Flourite a 'nutrient rich substrate' may be a misnomer As I stated it contains a lot of the micro-nutrients that plants require however the low cation exchange capacity may not allow those micro-nutrients to be available to the plants. Seachem Flourite does not contain any of the macro-nutrients such as nitrogen or phosphorus which are key components for plant growth.

You could go inert with either sand (pool filter type) or natural gravel and dose the water column and use root tabs for plants that seem to grow better with tabs like Cryptocorynes or swordplants.

Another choice would be calcined montmorillonite clay products that contain the same high micro-nutrient values but with high cation exchange capacities (CEC) that allows those nutrients to be available to the plants. Macro-nutrients would still need to be dosed and root tabs for crypts and swords would still be recommended. I use Safe-T-Sorb #7941 which costs about $US 6.49 per 40# bag at Tractor Supply Company.

10 gallon; 2X 10 watt CFL; no CO2 but use Excel; EI fertilizer dosing; STS #7941 substrate
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks again for response. I guess what I meant by nutrient rich was just a planted substrate. Fluorite is a recommended plant substrate, but I see it lacks some of the nutrients plants need . Looking into different substrates as a test more or less with swords in particular. Not sure what I'm going with yet. I'm having some great growth with some swords and others are not taking off as I thought they would. Stem plants are growing extremely well. I'm using silica sand#2 as well as natural gravel mixed in. Using root tabs just lately to see how the amazon sword will make out.

When I set up about 2 years ago I used cat litter and I liked it for the plants. I sold everything shortly afterwards because I lost all interest. Have since gotten the bug it back...haha Didn't go with cat littler this time around because I found it makes a dust bowl.......
 

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Hi kevmo911,

There are many with that misconception; check out post 218 in this thread where I responded to basically the same question. The Summer 2000 issue Planted Aquarium Magazine (pg 17) link in that thread is very informative.
 
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