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Root tabs and/or liquid ferts

Aqua360

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I would say it's very likely. In my experience Tropica root tabs are also very rich in ammonia and quick to release it, a little less but similar to osmocote. The gel capsule is there only to help you put the grains in the substrate. It will quickly dissolve ( 1-2 days). The grains take longer to release their nutrients but do release a lot more during the first few months compared to afterwards.

The lack of answer to Burr's question and the relative lack of key water values in the referenced thread should raise some questions. Highly suspect that in the end the very rich substrate fertilization ended up as very rich water column fertilization as previously hinted. The main difference is that the substrate is a hard to measure, hard to adjust and reset black box. We know that ammonia, potassium and phosphate are leached through the substrate. Here is an experiment showing that with osmocote IntuitiveAqua.net | Knowledge Experience Intuition

I've read further reviews that have experienced the exact same as me, devastated and angry.

Wish I'd read further into this, ultimately my fault; but for anyone reading this, I'd caution you to stock to dosing the water column, or choosing a root tab that doesn't float at the least.
 

tiger15

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Different root tabs have different ingredients. You have to red the label carefully. Seachem root tabs claimed to be nitrogen and phosphate free, and contains mainly iron and micro nutrients, so it is essentially Flourish comprehensive in slow release form. .Osmocote is originally made for terrestrial plants, and contains complete macros and micros of which nitrogen is typically ammonia or urea/ammonia. Osmocote is an expired patent name for osmosis, a slow diffusion process of releasing nutrients through semi permeable capsule. If use in moderation in a cycled tanks, the ammonia released by Osmocote and its clones will not reach toxic levels of live stock, but read the instruction carefully to avoid over dosing.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
In my experience Tropica root tabs are also very rich in ammonia and quick to release it, a little less but similar to osmocote....
but I've had a wave of shrimp deaths coinciding with the tropica root tabs floating from beneath the surface.
Osmocote is originally made for terrestrial plants, and contains complete macros and micros of which nitrogen is typically ammonia or urea/ammonia.
I would be very reluctant to use a "controlled release fertiliser" as a substrate tab, too many <"unknown unknowns">. I think you are much safer dosing the water column with something like the <"Solufeed 2 : 1 : 4 mix"> or similar.

I would really worry about ammonia levels if you have livestock.

cheers Darrel
 
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Aqua360

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Different root tabs have different ingredients. You have to red the label carefully. Seachem root tabs claimed to be nitrogen and phosphate free, and contains mainly iron and micro nutrients, so it is essentially Flourish comprehensive in slow release form. .Osmocote is originally made for terrestrial plants, and contains complete macros and micros of which nitrogen is typically ammonia or urea/ammonia. Osmocote is an expired patent name for osmosis, a slow diffusion process of releasing nutrients through semi permeable capsule. If use in moderation in a cycled tanks, the ammonia released by Osmocote and its clones will not reach toxic levels of live stock, but read the instruction carefully to avoid over dosing.

I get that, but nowhere does it mention how aggressively they will float. I was under the assumption that even if nutrient dense, it would stay down there.
 

tiger15

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I get that, but nowhere does it mention how aggressively they will float. I was under the assumption that even if nutrient dense, it would stay down there.
It shouldn’t float if you weigh it down in heavy substrate. What substrate do you have. I used to insert a root tab in my potted plant filled with sand and gravel, and it stayed there for months until I repotted it. I noticed that it had turned anaerobic and smelled sulfide. My plant did not root well and I blamed it on anaerobic condition and stopped using. Osmocote makes good vacation food for plant and I threw in a few in a cup to see how much is left when I returned.
 

Aqua360

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It shouldn’t float if you weigh it down in heavy substrate. What substrate do you have. I used to insert a root tab in my potted plant filled with sand and gravel, and it stayed there for months until I repotted it. I noticed that it had turned anaerobic and smelled sulfide. My plant did not root well and I blamed it on anaerobic condition and stopped using. Osmocote makes good vacation food for plant and I threw in a few in a cup to see how much is left when I returned.

I'm using tropica soil believe it or not, I made sure to submerge it deeply; but here we are
 

Happi

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I once had an idea to combine different pellets to make up certain ratios and combination. for example you can buy them Individually such as take 10 pellet of urea and 1 pellet of P and 7 pellet of K and put them into capsule and same could be done by adding few pellets of trace/fe. i canceled the idea because these are not easy to find and they sell them in bulk.

its all here if you are interested:
 

MichaelJ

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Stab a small hole in them with your tweezers before you bury them, this releases the air and stops them floating back up to the surface.
I actually did that a couple of times when using the Tropica... But really, it shouldn't be necessary to go down that path with a product that is supposed to be deployed and stay in the substrate by design.
 

Conort2

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I actually did that a couple of times when using the Tropica... But really, it shouldn't be necessary to go down that path with a product that is supposed to be deployed and stay in the substrate by design.
I agree, I’ve stopped using them and use aquario tablets instead.
 

erwin123

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1637654278207.png


Based on the release patterns - the first two weeks it seems that Osmocote releases more nutrients. (experiment was done with Osmocote in 40 degree water and I don't know if release patterns are similar at lower temps), but if users report Ammonia spikes happening in the first few weeks after adding Osmocote, it would seem to be consistent with these graphs

Seems like a good idea to gradually insert Osmocote at weekly intervals rather than dump everything into the tank at one shot.

 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Those are really useful graphs and illustrate the issues with potential ammonia (NH3) release.
the first two weeks it seems that Osmocote releases more nutrients. (experiment was done with Osmocote in 40 degree water and I don't know if release patterns are similar at lower temps),
My guess would be that release would be slightly slower, but the issue is that, because "Polymer Coated Controlled Release Fertilsers (PCF)" are designed for terrestrial plant production, the resin coating allows more <"nutrient release in warm, wet conditions">. This makes sense, because it is when the container plant can make most use of them.

The slower release formulations have a thicker polymer coating, but will still release nutrients <"much more quickly in the aquarium"> than they would with a container plant.

cheers Darrel
 

erwin123

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Today is water change day for my tank and exactly 7 days since I added Starxcote/Osmocote.
Algae: Amount of algae appears to be the same. Usual bit of GDA on the glass that needs to be scraped
Too early to see any difference with my Sphaerocarpa (i.e. I will need to wait for it to grow taller, trim and replant, and see whether it sheds all the bottom leaves again). A Pedicatella Golden is doing ok. Had to trim and replant some of my L. Senegalensis - hoping to see it grow 'bigger/wider' and not just thin and tall.
TDS before water change, the TDS is 208ppm, which is consistent with previous readings before Starxcote was added. After water change, 146ppm.
Nitrate test (admittedly controversial): The same yellow-orange colour I get on previous tests and not an 'angry red' which might suggest a sudden nitrate spike)
Added a few more Starxcote.

Will report back in 7 days' time.
 

Onoma1

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I have been using Osmocote in a dirted tank (John Innes Number 3 in plastic permeable bags capped with sand/gravel) for a few years now. I scatter a few over the 'dirt' before capping. Plant growth is good although probably not as fast as EI and column dosing. I haven't had any major issues with algae.

I see the primary advantages of using it as simplicity (chuck some in and then step back from fertilisation), longevity (six months to a year) ease (chuck some in under the sand cap) and very low cost (a 4 pound bag will last a couple of years). I use the 'duckweed index' and observation of plants to decide when to add more or dose micros. Shrimp seem to be absolutely fine with the stuff.
 

erwin123

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I add osmocote/starxcote and do my weekly water change on Wednesdays
I added a small amount weekly and its been 4 weeks already. 17,24 Nov, 1, 8 Dec

The only test kits I have are a nitrate test kit and my TDS meter. Both are not showing anything out of the ordinary - the colour, and TDS meter numbers are roughly the same.

More importantly, the amount of algae is the same. I just have to scrape some off the glass each week. 😅

However, in terms of plant health, I don't see an improvement to Ludwigia Sphaerocarpa's lower leaves; but one of the stems has a new sideshoot. Hopefully the sideshoot will adapt better than the original stems. However, I have 2 new Lythraceae in the tank (the Ludwigia is not a Lythracea), Ammannia Senegelansis and Capitellata - maybe they will respond better to Starxcote (i.e. Vin Kutty's Rotala Kill tank was all about Lythraceae...)
 

erwin123

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eddha-fe-jpg.jpg


I've continued to add Starxcote weekly without any Ammonia or Nitrate spikes so far. Maybe its because I'm adding a small enough amount - between 15-20 small pellets each time.

I recently purchased >6% EDDHA-FE for some garden plants. When it comes to aquarium use, the internet says turns water pink/red/brown at 0.1ppm dosing or higher. Having handled it, I would 100% agree on the potential for staining everything :)

I froze 3 small ice cubes with 0.1g of EDDHA-FE which Rotala says will give me 0.1ppm, the minimum 'water staining level'. The moment I touched the ice cubes, my hands were already 'stained' red/brown. I quickly buried them more than 6cm into the substrate and monitored the water colour. After 6 hours, so far so good. No visible staining of the water. Of course this doesn't mean no leakage, just not enough to stain the water.

Anyway, with this 0.1ppm added to my all-in-one Fe dose of about 0.35ppm, that brings me to 0.45ppm of Fe a week, wonder if it will make any difference ;)
 

Happi

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any update on this thread? lets hear how are the things going, I would assume that the test kits are maxing out on NH3/Nh4/NO3 at this point.
 

erwin123

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any update on this thread? lets hear how are the things going, I would assume that the test kits are maxing out on NH3/Nh4/NO3 at this point.
Hi Happi, my journal is updated weekly with photos of my tank. I haven't posted here as I have nothing new to report. Every week I have been adding Starxcote/Osmocote and EDDHA-Fe ice cubes to my substrate . TDS is stable. Nitrate test kit colour is the same (haven't tested NO3 recently since it seemed stable in the first few weeks, nowadays relying more on TDS meter to warn me if things are leaking into the water column). Tank hasn't crashed yet 😅
 
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medlight

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The use of osmocote, is more related to densely planted tanks, where leaks can be consumed, stop using it due to imbalances, also with a high temperature,Comes apart very fast
 
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