Osmocote to help fishless cycle AND give plants a boost? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 13 Old 04-11-2013, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
Osmocote to help fishless cycle AND give plants a boost?

What do you guys think? I was reading that Osmocote is generally not used in aquariums bc it can release ammonia into the water. If you have already cycled this could cause a nitrate spike. But what about using this as a food source for an aquarium that is just starting its cycle? What do you think? Could also give the plants a boost and be nice and lush when its time to add the fishies.

Please let me know your thoughts i would love to hear them as i have a 20 gal tall thats less than 24 hours in to fishless cycle.

THANKS!
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post #2 of 13 Old 04-11-2013, 09:09 AM
I'm pretty sure Scott's Osmocote is an inorganic lawn and plant food that does not belong in an aquarium.

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post #3 of 13 Old 04-11-2013, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
i don't have scotts. I have a DIY one that a local guy did for aquariums and there is info of it being used regularly in aquariums. I just wanted to know what people thought about using it as the ammonia source as i am not sure how much ammonia it releases. The only thing i have read on that topic is "It releases 50% of its ammonia in the first 72 hours" and that was a guys opinion, not facts.

what i have is a little pill like capsule with about 30-40 little spheres in it. It is supposed to be a time released fert.
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post #4 of 13 Old 04-11-2013, 09:41 AM
'Osmocote' is a trade marked product marketed by Scott's as a lawn / plant food so I'm not sure what you have.

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post #5 of 13 Old 04-11-2013, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xfatdannx View Post
What do you guys think? I was reading that Osmocote is generally not used in aquariums bc it can release ammonia into the water. If you have already cycled this could cause a nitrate spike. But what about using this as a food source for an aquarium that is just starting its cycle? What do you think? Could also give the plants a boost and be nice and lush when its time to add the fishies.

Please let me know your thoughts i would love to hear them as i have a 20 gal tall thats less than 24 hours in to fishless cycle.

THANKS!
If you have plants, enough plants, you don't need to cycle, add the fish and they will provide a CO2 and ammonia boost helping the plants while the plants help the fish.

As far as a solid fertilizer of whatever source, I don't think it's a great idea. They are meant to be rained on not immersed. I might expect that if they dissolve the ammonia "boost" would be, at best, unpredictable, at worst, enough to kill your plants.

Is that the 20 gallon in the profile?

What fish, how many and how large are they?

Jeff.


Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-11-2013, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by xfatdannx View Post
i don't have scotts. I have a DIY one that a local guy did for aquariums and there is info of it being used regularly in aquariums. I just wanted to know what people thought about using it as the ammonia source as i am not sure how much ammonia it releases. The only thing i have read on that topic is "It releases 50% of its ammonia in the first 72 hours" and that was a guys opinion, not facts.

what i have is a little pill like capsule with about 30-40 little spheres in it. It is supposed to be a time released fert.
Sounds like your talking about DIY root tabs that are Osmocote+ in a size 00 gel capsule. Many people do use them and I have myself. I wouldn't however use it to start a cycle. I don't know if that ammonia release figure is true or not. I can't recall ever seeing a spike, but then I don't use tons of capsules at once.

Just for arguments sake let's say it does release ammonia in the way that guy said. You would likely have to use a bunch of it which also means way too many ferts. That would of course lead to an algae farm even if it did start a cycle.
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post #7 of 13 Old 04-11-2013, 11:21 AM
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I should clarify when I said "solid fertilizer of whatever source", what I meant was other than setting up your own macros or solids for aquarium use specifically as opposed to lawn care products. Way past editing time for this.

Jeff.


Total years fish keeping experience: 7 months, can't start counting in years for a while yet.

The shotgun approach to a planted tank with an LED fixture

Small scale nitrogen cycle with a jar, water and fish food; no substrate, filter etc
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post #8 of 13 Old 04-11-2013, 11:31 AM
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I've been looking into Osmocote recently as I've been wanting to make my own ferts at home.


If you crush up the spheres, it'll release a ton of ammonia at once, but youd still need a lot of them and I dont think it would be beneficial to the plants since you cant really control how much ammonia will be released. Youre likely to not release enough to properly cycle or too much and burn your plants.

Osmocote+ also has a bunch of trace elements in it which may or may not have an adverse affect on the aquarium depending on how much you use of it.


If you leave them as is and use it as ferts under the substrate, I dont think it will release enough, plus the plants will more than likely just suck it up before its released into the water.




I think your better off just running a cycle with one of the tried and true methods.


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post #9 of 13 Old 04-11-2013, 11:35 AM
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I have never cycled an aquarium in over 20 years. As Jeff said, you plant it and that takes care of the "cycle." Floating plants and faster-growing plants work best as they use (take up) more ammonia. A few fish with the plants, and you're done.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

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Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #10 of 13 Old 04-11-2013, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by blackwaterguy View Post

Just for arguments sake let's say it does release ammonia in the way that guy said. You would likely have to use a bunch of it which also means way too many ferts. That would of course lead to an algae farm even if it did start a cycle.
took thw words right out of my mouth
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