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Root tabs and/or liquid ferts

erwin123

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Since I am adding Starxcote every week, I'm exploring options with no trace elements so that I can add a mix of pellets with and without trace elements.

As Osmocote is not readily available in my country, the internet has helped me to find a locally sold product Plantacote Triple 14 which appears to be NPK only (despite the confusing small print)

According to the website, Plantacote is a Dutch company, so it should be readily available in European garden stores (since its available in Asia).


No photo description available.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
the internet has helped me to find a locally sold product Plantacote Triple 14 which appears to be NPK only (despite the confusing small print)
I think it does <"contain micro-nutrients">.

It is a legal requirement for Agricultural fertilisers to state the N : P : K values with nitrogen content (as % N), <"phosphorus (as the percentage pentoxide (P2O5))"> and potassium (as potassium oxide K2O). This is a "14 : 14 : 14" formulation, so higher in phosphorus than normal mixes.

cheers Darrel
 

erwin123

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Hi all,

I think it does <"contain micro-nutrients">.

It is a legal requirement for Agricultural fertilisers to state the N : P : K values with nitrogen content (as % N), <"phosphorus (as the percentage pentoxide (P2O5))"> and potassium (as potassium oxide K2O). This is a "14 : 14 : 14" formulation, so higher in phosphorus than normal mixes.

cheers Darrel

Plantacote's own website seems to imply that Triple 14 does not have micronutrients based on the composition stated?:

Plantacote Pluss - has micronutrients Plantacote Pluss | PLANTACOTE
"100% coated controlled release fertilizer with all essential main and trace nutrients for optimal plant growth plus particularly high iron content in each granule. The nutrients are released as needed over the specified longevity depending only on the soil temperature (defined for 20-21°C). The typical, delayed initial release after 2-3 weeks makes the product very safe to crops. Plantacote® Pluss is therefore especially suited for dibbling and cultivation of seedlings."


Platntacote Tripe 14- no micronutrients Plantacote® Triple 14 | PLANTACOTE
"100% coated controlled release fertilizer with all essential main nutrients for optimal plant growth in each granule. It features a very balanced nitrogen-phosphate-potassium ratio and is therefore usable for a wide range of horticultural crops. As Sulfate of Potash (SOP) is the only source of Potassium, the Triple 14-14-14 (SOP) is free of chloride. This makes the formulation very suited for application to young plants and propagation, where the high phosphorus level is improving the root development. The nutrients are released as needed over the specified longevity depending only on the soil temperature (defined for 20-21°C). The typical, delayed initial release after 2-3 weeks ensures a high safety to crops."
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Plantacote's own website seems to imply that Triple 14 does not have micronutrients based on the composition stated?:
You are right, it does on that one, just 14 : 14 : 14 with no micro-nutrients.

cheers Darrel
 

erwin123

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Hi all,

You are right, it does on that one, just 14 : 14 : 14 with no micro-nutrients.

cheers Darrel
Thanks for confirming.. as the company seems to be registered in Holland, this should be more readily available in Europe compared to Osmocote. (I see Eminor in another thread asking about an osmocote clone from China)
 

jaypeecee

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Hi Everyone,

Forgive me if I've overlooked something but is there not a case to be made for not adding ferts to the water column? Isn't there always a risk that this could promote growth of algae and/or Cyanobacteria? In her book, Diana Walstad states* "In my opinion, the substrate - not the water - is the best place to provide plants with iron". So, perhaps, some ferts should be dosed in the water column and other(s) in the substrate? As excess/surplus iron in the water column can tip the balance in favour of algae and/or Cyanobacteria growth, isn't this worth considering?

* Ecology of the Planted Aquarium Third Edition p 169

JPC
 

Wookii

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Hi Everyone,

Forgive me if I've overlooked something but is there not a case to be made for not adding ferts to the water column? Isn't there always a risk that this could promote growth of algae and/or Cyanobacteria? In her book, Diana Walstad states* "In my opinion, the substrate - not the water - is the best place to provide plants with iron". So, perhaps, some ferts should be dosed in the water column and other(s) in the substrate? As excess/surplus iron in the water column can tip the balance in favour of algae and/or Cyanobacteria growth, isn't this worth considering?

* Ecology of the Planted Aquarium Third Edition p 169

JPC

If that were the approach to be taken how would one get Iron to epiphytes or floating plants?

If excess iron in the water column caused algae, then any dosing regime (whether EI, lean or otherwise) would lead to algae, since they will all result in some excess in the water column which will always be sufficient for algae.
 

jaypeecee

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If that were the approach to be taken how would one get Iron to epiphytes or floating plants?
Hi @Wookii

I'd be prepared not to have floating plants and/or epiphytes but your point is entirely valid. I forgot to mention this - so, thanks for correcting my oversight. I guess Diana Walstad doesn't grow either of these plant categories, either.

JPC
 

John q

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I guess Diana Walstad doesn't grow either of these plant categories, either.

She does but quite openly admits some of the floating plants die out over time (she states this could be because they don't get enough iron or light?)

Isn't there always a risk that this could promote growth of algae and/or Cyanobacteria?
There could well be a risk, I just don't think we can outrightly claim iron is the sole contributor towards algae. Many people, including myself have dosed inexcess of 0.5ppm of iron and haven't been plagued with cyanobacteria, so clearly to state iron in the water column causes this isn't true. There's lots of factors at play here, iron is just one of the many players that result in algal growth, but I'm guessing you know that already jpc.
 

jaypeecee

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There could well be a risk, I just don't think we can outrightly claim iron is the sole contributor towards algae. Many people, including myself have dosed inexcess of 0.5ppm of iron and haven't been plagued with cyanobacteria, so clearly to state iron in the water column causes this isn't true. There's lots of factors at play here, iron is just one of the many players that result in algal growth, but I'm guessing you know that already jpc.
Hi @John q

Good to be 'talking' with you again.

You are correct in saying the above. Iron is by no means the only nutrient that contributes to cyano or algae growth. But, being a somewhat fickle nutrient, it can tip the balance. I say 'fickle' as its solubility is variable, it's affected by lighting, etc.

JPC
 

Happi

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@jaypeecee
if your main source of Iron is in form of Fe2+ then this is easily prone to Cyanobacteria and other type of algae especially if you were overdosing it, sometime BBA turn green under this scenario. if its in Fe3+ form then algae have a hard time using this type of Iron, plant also have to put out lot of energy to use this type of Iron.
 

erwin123

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Just to add, one of the supposed benefits of substrate feeding is "targeted feeding", just in case you have plants that grow like weeds in response to EI dosing which will increase the maintenance burden (as the weeds may shade other plants). I think Tom Barr has said on a number of occasions that he had to remove certain species of plants from his tanks because they grew too fast under EI. Of course, he may have been showing off a bit when he said Pantanal was a weed that he had to remove from his tank 😅

I'm actually having a growing "too fast problem" with Rotala Blood Red. The interesting thing about Blood Red is that it puts its effort into growing vertically, whereas L. Super Red had a lot more sideshoots, so as least Blood Red is easy to trim when overgrown. Super Red is a tangled mess of sideshoots if overgrown 😂

Ideally I would like to trim every 2 weeks, and certainly not every 5 days, hopefully reducing water column dosing and not givng the Blood Reds Osmocote are slowing them down.
 

jaypeecee

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...if its in Fe3+ form then algae have a hard time using this type of Iron, plant also have to put out lot of energy to use this type of Iron.
Hi @Happi

I'm not sure about algae but Cyanobacteria employ something known as siderophores to chelate very low concentrations of bioavailable iron. It's no wonder that Cyano are difficult to eradicate. And that's just one of their party tricks!

JPC
 

Yugang

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13 Mar 2021
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Hong Kong
I stopped using root tabs (first commercial products, later Osmocote clone).

There is definitely a feel good factor adding all these fancy powders and root tabs to substrates. Feels really high tech, and money spent must yield some reward.
But ...
  • Substrate will deplete, and limit the time that the tank is in optimal condition - unlike sufficient water column dosing
  • Once a substrate is dosed there is no way back, to take it out, no way to finetune - unlike optimised water column dosing
  • How substrate dosing potentially adds value, and associated risks, seems not well understood - unlike inexpensive water column dosing
Hence...
- Is there any well documented case for substrate doing, other than as a compensation mechanism for poor water column dosing?

This is merely to support what seems to be almost a consensus. I am just interested if there is any clear case for the substrate dosing, that I may have missed?
 

erwin123

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Singapore
I stopped using root tabs (first commercial products, later Osmocote clone).

There is definitely a feel good factor adding all these fancy powders and root tabs to substrates. Feels really high tech, and money spent must yield some reward.
But ...
  • Substrate will deplete, and limit the time that the tank is in optimal condition - unlike sufficient water column dosing
  • Once a substrate is dosed there is no way back, to take it out, no way to finetune - unlike optimised water column dosing
  • How substrate dosing potentially adds value, and associated risks, seems not well understood - unlike inexpensive water column dosing
Hence...
- Is there any well documented case for substrate doing, other than as a compensation mechanism for poor water column dosing?

This is merely to support what seems to be almost a consensus. I am just interested if there is any clear case for the substrate dosing, that I may have missed?

dsc00871-cinereum-jpg.jpg


the substrate in my tank is 10 years old and a lot of it has turned to dust as the photo shows. So I am giving osmocote/starxcote a try. The substrate is 12cm deep already so I can't just pour on a fresh layer :p
 

Yugang

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the substrate in my tank is 10 years old and a lot of it has turned to dust as the photo shows. So I am giving osmocote/starxcote a try. The substrate is 12cm deep already so I can't just pour on a fresh layer :p
Not trying to corner you Erwin, but just interested what problem it would solve for your soil and your plants?
 
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