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I have sand in my tank now and my plants have lived for several years, but are not thriving. I use root tabs but they only help for a few weeks. Thinking of redong the entire tank with Flora Max. What are you oppionions, is there something better? How many bags for a 46 gallon?
 

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Same thing. Both only have a good abiity to absorb nutrients from water when it's abundant in it. Then when the level of nutrients are low in the water, the substrate leaches those nutrients back into the water.
Osmocote+ are the only root tabs (that I'm aware of)which have complete
Macro/Micro ferts. Where as all plants CAN take nutrients from both roots and the water column, plants whose roots are not in the sub, like Anubias or Java Fern which are attatched to wood/rocks are unable to benefit from root tabs in the sub because their roots are not in the sub.
USING ANY SOIL SUB PRODUCES THOSE SAME RESULTS for plants with their roots in water instead of in the sub. And there are lots of people on here who have rooted type plants like Swords and Crypts who have inert subs like gravel or sand who only use
water column ferts and their plants do just fine.
Flourite(Sea Chem) and Flora Max have an irregular shape to the grains and are less prone to slide on you when compared to Eco Complete.
 

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I had it. And hated it. It's the same as Eco complete basically. It's only as good as gravel. Except it can absorb nutrients and then release them, sort of like carbon if you forget to replace it.

I would probably skip ahead and save the headache and money and go for the good aquasoils
 

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It's only good if you dose fertilizers as there is nothing in it that plants need. Only once it's been dosed will it help.
Isn't that the same for 99% of substrates?
 

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Isn't that the same for 99% of substrates?
Yes, though I think your percentage is exaggerated. ;)

Floramax/Ecocomplete is crushed lava rock and it contain high amounts of micronutrients including iron. However, it's not as good for plants since it only gives up the metallic nutrients when roots are in direct contact with the granules. As well, since Floramax is only available in coarse grain, there's less contact than Ecocomplete which is available in both coarse and fine grain.

However, you'd still need to add NPK in the form of liquid/dry fertz or root tabs, like Osmocote +.
 

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Yes, though I think your percentage is exaggerated. ;)

Floramax/Ecocomplete is crushed lava rock and it contain high amounts of micronutrients including iron. However, it's not as good for plants since it only gives up the metallic nutrients when roots are in direct contact with the granules. As well, since Floramax is only available in coarse grain, there's less contact than Ecocomplete which is available in both coarse and fine grain.

However, you'd still need to add NPK in the form of liquid/dry fertz or root tabs, like Osmocote +.
I wouldn't say it is all that far off. Maybe 90%? And of those 10% left, do they not eventually need to have root tabs added or the substrate changed?

Curious though, I use osmocote (maybe once a year) root tabs and have been looking into starting low-tech method of EI dosing (once a week method). Is this counter-productive?
 

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I have sand in my tank now and my plants have lived for several years, but are not thriving. I use root tabs but they only help for a few weeks. Thinking of redong the entire tank with Flora Max. What are you oppionions, is there something better? How many bags for a 46 gallon?
To the original poster/question, I use FloraMax in all my tanks larger than 5 gallons (use petco sand in anything under that). You can take a look in my sig, I have no problems using this and for the price it can't be beat. But yes, I do use root tabs purchased on this forum about once a year, and you can see the results.

Now, I admittedly do not grow any plants that would be tough in any tank/setup.
 

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You can have root tabs and column dose at the same time. I'm not aware of any disadvantages of doing this, though if it's really low-tech, I wouldn't even column dose and rely on substrate fertilization.
I have been reading some interesting articles from Tom Barr and other guru's on the advantages of doing this.

I use flora max in all my tanks and my plants do great. I do dose ferts on the EI method though as well as add root tabs under the root heavy plants.
Thanks!
 
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