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Hi guys!

I recently started my own planted tank in a 55hex. Some of the plants I chose are heavy root feeders but I have a hard time buying root tabs when they are kind of expensive. My plants are corkscrew val, red crypts, ludwigia repens (I think) and the other is a stem plant that I'm not sure of the name. I'm already an avid gardener; have roses, veggies, herbs and so forth so I have plenty of fertilizers around the house.

So, my question is, what should I be looking for when choosing a fertilizer to make my own root tabs? I know to look for the big three (NPK) and I found a fert that is 12-6-10. It also has micro-nutrients: magnesium, sulfer, boron, copper (.01%), iron, manganese, zinc and molybdenum.

Is there other nutrients that I need to look for?
 

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You can use Osmocote Plus and fill 00 size gel caps that you can get either online or at a custom dosing place if you have one in your area. I fill the caps about 1/2 full and sink it at least 2 inches into the substrate and about every 6 to 8 inches apart, or just one by each root feeding plant. Stem plants are not heavy root feeders.
 

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There are some DIY guides for clay tabs or osmocote + tabs. I decided to go with Clay tabs because I didn't like the idea of little yellow resin balls all over my substrate. That being said, I hear they are very effective.

If you decide to go with clay tabs, you just need to by some red clay and the macros and micros. I didn't add KH2PO4 because it might precipitate out when in contact with iron though.
 
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