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Substrate Fertilizer

4168 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  jake
anyone hear knows how to do your own?
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I don't, but would be interested in finding out!

I always wondered if you could just use some miracle-gro plant food spikes or something similar.
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its a brand of stick fertilizers youll get alot
I think it's the Jobes plant stakes for ferns that are used in aquariums.
The idea is called: "PMDD-Roll Your Own" or some variation thereof.....

Here's a Link--scroll down some:

How to roll your own PMDD with Plantex CSM

BTW, the article date is 1997--some things have changed: like CSM is now CSM+B which does contain Boron, etc...

EDIT: Apparently that article is not what I thought it was. Do a search for "PMDD + Roll Your Own" or "DIY Root Tabs" and You should be able to locate the info You are looking for...

Here's a Start: DIY Root Tab Recipes?

Sorry, but I don't have time right now.....

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I used to get clay from here:

Equal parts clay and Plantex CSM+B, add distilled water until it's good and workable. Roll into little balls and put on a piece of non-stick aluminum foil or wax paper, etc. Let dry for a couple weeks.

You can add magnesium sulfate, KNO3, or just about anything else you want to the clay/plantex csm+b mix and it'll come out fine.

I usually do 4 Tablespoons clay, 4 TBSP Plantex CSM+B, 1 TBSP Epsom salt, 1 TSP Potassium sulfate.
for the DIY root tabs, is it used like regular starter sticks, or as something that's stuck into the plant before planting?
You just push them deep into the substrate around where you have some plants, as you would with any substrate fertilizer tablets.

If not using a nutrient rich substrate, you could space out the DIY root tabs on the bottom of the aquarium, ( with your dusting of peat and mulm, etc.) and then put the substrate on top of them to give the plants a good start, then place in new ones as necessary.
oh ok. thanks for the reply.

another quick question

would there be an issue with the PO4 and FE precipitation? im not familiar with plantex (i dont think its available here in manila) so i might stick with the original formula.
I don't really know. I never put phosphates in the fert tab. I put KN03 in it only for specific tanks as well.. not every tank. I prefer to just regularly dose my macros and take care of them that way, and the plants don't seem to miss it much in the substrate. I look to use the DIY fert tablets more like Seachem Flourish Tabs, which provide mostly just micro nutrients.

Plantex CSM+B is a trace nutrient mix (dry), with boron. A person could do the same thing with any other similar dry micro nutrient mix, such as Miller Microplex, etc.... basically any aquatic-use dry micro-nutrient powder. The equal parts micro nutrient powder and clay powder should work universally. The important part is really the amount of water you use to reconstitute the clay and fert mix. You need to add water in a very small amount and very gradually, as it is easy to add too much. I use a pipette... squirt a bit of water in, work it in, repeat. Too dry and the balls will just crumble after you dry them. Too wet and you just have a mess.
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