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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone know of a source for buying root tabs in bulk amounts. The prepackaged are too expensive. My Swords, and Anubias are big eaters:lol:
 

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There are a lot of DIY "recipes" online.
Big eaters? Those tabs (Seachem product anyway) last 3 months due to them dissolving at that rate. Of course if your tank is full and you are just plain using that many every 3 months....

BTW, this begs for a picture as you don't have one in your tank profile.... I'd love to see these hungry plants.

I just realized that you said Anubias. Those aren't substrate rooted and won't benefit from tabs at all. Perhaps you are just overusing them. One tab for about a 4-6" diameter area should suffice.

Jeff.
 

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The Anubias have put roots into the substrate!!
Perhaps, but they would do just as well with those roots attached to a rock or piece of wood or even floating as they are not substrate feeders even if the roots are in the substrate. Tabs are wasted on them.

Jeff.
 

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We will need to know the complete picture to be able to pin this down more; for instance, are you dosing any liquid fertilizer? This is essential as aquatic plants take up some nutrients solely via the leaves so substrate tabs are not sufficient.

The API tabs have not had good reviews from members who have tried them here, but those with Seachem's Flourish Tabs report good results (myself included). One tab next to a large sword, replaced every 3 months, is all you need along with the liquid and sufficient light to balance. I buy these online in the 40-tab package which is considerably less cost. But DIY is another option, though you may not need so much.

Anubias is a slow growing plant, so nutrient uptake is very minimal. The liquid alone will suffice this plant. I have grown swords with just lioquid, twice weekly, though they do fare better (bit faster growth, and more frequent inflorescenc es) with a substrate tab plus once weekly liquid.

Byron.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The tank is a 125, small diameter gravel. High light, 312watts T-5 HO 6500K PAR is 100 at substrate. Pressurized co2, diffused through 3 powerheads, both ends, and one in the middle. Fertilizing with GLA pro ferts. Every other day Lights are on for 6hrs. per day. I use the root tabs on the Swords, and anubias. I was under the impression that the Anubias feed through the roots once the grew into the substrate, as well as through the leaves. The Swords seem to use the tabs up fairly quick. I can tell when another tab is needed, as the Sword starts to lose some of the darkness in the leaves, and new leaves slow down on growth. You learn something new everday. The tank has only been planted a few months. It was previously an African Cichlid tank. It is improving as time goes on. Guess if I can buy the tabs in a 40 count pack, that wouldn't be to bad!! Thanks for all the help, and input. I appreciate it.:)
 

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I use equal parts Red Pottery Clay and Plantex CSM+B, but you can tailor it further if you need more macros in the tank or have very little water hardness, etc.

You can add Potassium sulfate, Magnesium sulfate (epsom salt), Potassium nitrate or Calcium nitrate, etc. You can't add any phosphorus because it will precipitate with the iron in the Plantex and clay, as the clay is iron rich naturally.

The typical mix:
3/4 cup plantex csm+b
3/4 cup red pottery clay
2 tablespoons potassium sulfate
2 tablespoons epsom salt
2 teaspoons potassium nitrate.

If it were going in a well-stocked tank, I'd leave off the nitrate.

The trick to it is to add only as much water as you need. I use distilled water, but reverse osmosis filtered water would be fine as well. I use a syringe to gradually add the water, as it takes less than you'd think to mix it to the right consistency. You want to only add enough water, and add it gradually enough, until you can mix and mold the stuff and it's not sticking to anything.

I roll it into small little balls and sit it on some tin foil or wax paper to dry. I usually leave it to dry a couple of weeks or so. I do not bake them, and from talking with others, the results arent very good, they get fragile and crumbly after that.

From there I'd just use it like any other fertilizer tablet. They dissolve quicker than you'd expect, but they last long enough to get them in the substrate. From there it doesn't really matter because it's all trapped under the substrate. You don't want to hold one under water while you think about where to put it, but you have enough time to get it from your hand to where you want it in the substrate before it dissolves.


Hopefully this helps, especially with the cost of root tabs, and if you already have all the dry ferts, then the clay is the only real setback.


this isn't my recipe just something I found. you can pm me for the cited source
 

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The tank is a 125, small diameter gravel. High light, 312watts T-5 HO 6500K PAR is 100 at substrate. Pressurized co2, diffused through 3 powerheads, both ends, and one in the middle. Fertilizing with GLA pro ferts. Every other day Lights are on for 6hrs. per day. I use the root tabs on the Swords, and anubias. I was under the impression that the Anubias feed through the roots once the grew into the substrate, as well as through the leaves. The Swords seem to use the tabs up fairly quick. I can tell when another tab is needed, as the Sword starts to lose some of the darkness in the leaves, and new leaves slow down on growth. You learn something new everday. The tank has only been planted a few months. It was previously an African Cichlid tank. It is improving as time goes on. Guess if I can buy the tabs in a 40 count pack, that wouldn't be to bad!! Thanks for all the help, and input. I appreciate it.:)
Any particular reason why you decided to go with such a high energy setup? ... Not that you need to justify it I was just curious. I chose low sort of by default but would do so again due to the slower pace and easier maintenance... and lower up front and operating costs.

Jeff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Actually all I had to buy was the lights. I had the co2 tank, and an old regulator from the welding shop. I made a splitter for the reg. and added a solenoid. I was trying the lower light setup, and having a terrible time with BBA, and Staghorn. After talking to a woman who is a planted tank expert, she suggested trying a higher light setup, and co2, with a fert dosing regimen. After only a few weeks of following her instructions with the high tech setup, the algae has become very minor in the tank. Guess I never intended to have this type set up in the beginning. But it seems to be working, so I just went with it.:lol:
 

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Have you checked into Osmocote + for DIY root tabs? Either freeze a small amount to make a root tab "popsicle" or get some size 00 gelatin caps online or at a health foods store to put them in. I use the gelatin caps method for root feeders in my tanks, although I bought them pre-made.
 

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Actually all I had to buy was the lights. I had the co2 tank, and an old regulator from the welding shop. I made a splitter for the reg. and added a solenoid. I was trying the lower light setup, and having a terrible time with BBA, and Staghorn. After talking to a woman who is a planted tank expert, she suggested trying a higher light setup, and co2, with a fert dosing regimen. After only a few weeks of following her instructions with the high tech setup, the algae has become very minor in the tank. Guess I never intended to have this type set up in the beginning. But it seems to be working, so I just went with it.:lol:
Go with what works.

Jeff.
 

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you can try osmocote capsules...
i dont know the specifics but Im sure you can find it on google ^_^
google "DIY osmocote capsule"
 
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