I have seen people recommend the use of root tabs for certain substrate rooted plants, and I'm just wondering if there's a certain brand/type that is better than others? And are they recommended for all substrate rooted plants, or are some just heavier feeders than others? I have an amazon sword, some corkscrew val, and another unidentified plant... i will post pictures of it soon though. Would they all benefit from root tabs? I already dose with Seachem Flourish Comprehensive twice a week, but it just seems like the amazon sword especially isn't doing as well as I would like. And are root tabs purchased in the fish section/at the LFS or garden centre or some third place? I was at PetLand today and looked, but couldn't find anything.... all they seemed to have was liquid fertilizers.
I could only find the flourish tabs at petsmart, after some time adjusting to my water my red rubin sword has taken off and doubled its size since. I havent tried anything else but these seem to work for me.
I just started usiing the flourish tabs on my swords. I read somewhere.. it wasn't on this site though, that swords have a harder time getting nutrients from the water column and work better with the tabs. So this past weekend I started using the tablet and stopped using the liquid. It's probably too soon to tell, but they do seem a bit perkier...
I just have a real brown thumb when it comes to plants. I think I could kill the plastic ones too.
Swords are heavy feeders so they would benefit from root tabs. I use the Seachem Flourish tabs.
thanks everyone! Maybe I'll try looking again at PetLand... now that I know what brand I'm looking for it might jump out at me. Today I had already been there talking to someone for 20 minutes, and I just didn't have the time to ask him anymore questions.
I've used two most recently, the Flourish and the Nutrafin Plant-Gro sticks. The latter certainly work, and they are much less expensive because they last for a year. I inserted Flourish tabs last week for the first time, I couldn't find the Nutrafin anywhere locally so decided to try the Flourish before ordering online. Flourish says to replace every 2-3 months, so long-term they are certainly more expensive.
As for the other part of your question, what plants need them: substrate-rooted plants (swords, crypts, vallisneria, aponogeton, sagitaria, etc) will obviously benefit most. But, these can all be grown with only liquid fertilization provided it is complete.
Swords (Echinodorus) are heavy feeders. I did an experiment two years ago, inserting a Plant-Gro stick next to a couple swords and leaving others of the same species without. After a couple months, the swords with the sticks were definitely larger, and when I pulled the plants out (moved the tank) the root systems were much more extensive too. I have also had good growth with only Flourish Comprehensive liquid, though perhaps not as strong. If you don't mind the cost, i wold use the substrate fert sticks/tabs with large sword plants.
I suspect the latter point is the source behind the comment mentioned by Gina. My experiences over 15 years clearly show that swords can be kept quite healthy with only weekly liquid fertilization, but adding a substrate fert does increase growth. By the way, twice weekly liquid (Flourish Comprehensive) was also necessary notwithstanding the substrate fert, in order to keep the swords lush and green. As I mentioned, they are very heavy feeders.
Hope this is of some benefit.
This site makes me happy... you are all so very helpful. :)
I'm going to look this weekend and see if i can find Nutrafin or Flourish tabs.
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