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Easier than gel caps, adding osmocoat the existing aquariums

Discussion in 'Aquatic Plant Fertilization' started by Tom Barr, May 26, 2010.

  1. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    In advice to someone recently:

    Osmocoat seems like a wise idea for DIY root tab solutions that has seen some revisiting lately. Slow release, small etc, ice cubes filled with Osmocoat also would make adding it in spots very easy too.
    This is similar to soil mud ice cubes that can be added then melt in place without making a mess trying to insert it deep into the sediment.

    Some folks had thought to use gel caps for pills to do this, but ice cubes are even easier.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  2. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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    Excuse me Tom, I couldn't see how easier it is.
    The capsule is quite small compared to the size of an ice cube in my imagination.
    And (ice) melts faster too. Do I miss something?
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I have to go get the gel caps, but ice?
    If you have a freezer, then it's a done deal.

    the point is adding enough Osmocoat(or whatever) into the sediment before melting/dissolving.
    Gels caps are fine, but filling 20 of them is a PITA compared to ice fertcicles.

    The other issue, using and filled a dozen or more little gel caps?
    I can simply toss 10 x (or however much I wish) this amount into an ice cube tray and then add to the sediment.
    No, it does not melt for a few minutes.
    This can also be done using soils/clay loams, and osmocoat, or worm castings all mixed.
    Gel caps are fine, but many will not bother with buying them or dumping the contents out and trying to refill them.

    I can also make ice fert sheets to slide under the sediment for nice even distribution.
    You can certainly use gel caps.........many have/do.

    This is just another very simple way to add any ferts deep into the sediment.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. Oreo

    Oreo Guru Class Expert

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    You can buy empty gel caps but the ice method sounds like the way to go for sure.
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    For smaller packets, gel caps are popular.
    It's weird for me, since osmocoat was all the rage long ago, then no for a long time, now it's often precisely what many are looking for.
    Jobes stick have caused some issues for many in the past, others had little issues with them.

    Osmocoat cannot cause such issues due to slow release.

    Fertcicles is really simple, easy and you can add other things in there like peat, soil, clays, whatever........

    regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. argnom

    argnom Guru Class Expert

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    Now why didn't I think of that? It's so simple it's complicated.

    There I was, picking my brains out, trying to figure out what kind of binder to use to make my own root tabs, what will the gelcaps do when they decompose (it's basically Knox gelatin as far as I know) and so on.

    Water+stuff+freezer=root tabs.

    The best thing is that I cannot see why this could not work for houseplants. It could have saved me a few bucks. Instead of buying Jobe's organic sticks.

    By the way, stick with the good old Jobe's sticks. Don't go for the organics ones. They're made of bone and feather meal and tend to rot and give out a bit of a funky smell when used indoors.

    Just fill them half way. :p And indeed it does melt faster, but who cares, the Osmocote will act as a slow realease, they can melt in 30 secs as far as I'm concerned.

    Thanks for making my life a little bit simpler again Tom.

    /Ice cubes...
    //Hummm.... I think I saw trays to make little bitty ice cubes at the dollar store a few weeks ago
    ///Going to the dollar store right now
     
  7. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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    Well, my point was I had trouble pushing some small rock (about the size of an ice cube) into
    gravel substrate. So I think a capsule slim shape is probably easier. And I live in tropics,
    I'm afraid the ice cube will melt and can't hold some pellet if it's small size and I don't do it
    quickly enough.

    Anyway, I just asked out of curiosity, it's not a contest, to each his own.
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You can also make the ice cube trays 1/2 full, then they are smaller and easy to add, but if the gel caps work well, then use them.
    The ice cube fertcicles are more just a simple solution to mud, but applied to osmocoat and any other sediment additives folks wish to add.

    Smaller tanks, gel caps are fine.
    I think given you can make the ice cubes any shape and size you want, adding things like peat, mud, clays etc.......make it really easy.

    Temp wise........well, most aquariums are in the 20-30C range, so the ice melts much much faster once you add it. If you dilly dally.........well, it will melt, but that's true here as well as deserts and tropical regions.
    It's not my idea, I just thought ti be simpler than folks filling gel caps full etc. The idea is actually from a Kiwi, who suggetsed making mud cubes for enriching tablets for planted tanks, maybe 5 years ago or something?
    I just applied to everything that folks add to sediments these days.

    Simple common sense and easy. But using gel caps has its place certainly........this does not take away from either, it adds yet another tool to our box.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  9. argnom

    argnom Guru Class Expert

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    After reading my post, I have to admit that I sounded a little arrogant, no offense intended nipat. I hope there are no hard feelings. :D And indeed, to each his own.

    As long as the stuff gets to where it's supposed to be, it's all good.

    Cheers!

    /People say that Canadians are polite, but I'm French Canadian, so I do have the "arrogant gene" in me. :p
     
  10. Riba

    Riba Lifetime Charter Member
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    I've been using mud+osmocote+iron icecubes. Pretty conventient.
     
  11. chad320

    chad320 Prolific Poster

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    Indeed cubes are a great tool. I use them for wormcastings. Osmocote is tricky since it floats, and will, if youre pulling stems out. I use lagunas plastic fert sticks since the cap comes off and theyre refillable. I use 19-6-12 osmocote. Buyer beware, there are several varieties of NPK ratings. I havent tested many but this one for sure works good.
     
  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I forgot about thoise refillable caps they sell.
    Good call.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  13. ibnozn

    ibnozn Member

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    I've been wondering whether to try this in the 15G (long) seagrass fuge I have on my mixed reef system. I'm dosing Co2 and just get the sense my established Halophila and Halodule should be growing a bit faster. I keep a fair amount of SPS in the system too so my nutrient levels are pretty low at
     
  14. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Coral might be due to alk and Ca, not PO4/NO3.

    If the ppm's are correct, and I'm not so sure they are..............then the plants should be okay..........if you can mange to keep the N and P at those levels and not drop/
    IME, few are able to do this and these low residuals are highly variable and hardly representative of the whole picture over time.

    It takes just a little bit of DBS bacteria to remove 2-3ppm of NO3.
    Likewise, PO4 in any semi dense plant growth should be gone in a few hours.

    CO2 dosing is not likely needed. These weeds grow well using KH or your Alkalinity.
    Most all marine plants do.

    In otherwords, few if any are carbon limited.

    You can certainly try adding osmocoat to the sediments.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  15. cannibal

    cannibal Prolific Poster

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    i have osmocote at home, but i'm not using it..why? because of precent of amonia, i know, on package they not write there is amonia in osmocote, but on croatian package they told there is some small precent of urea..
    my parents have a flower farm (i'm not good with english :D), and they also using osmocot for plant soil, they told me that osmocote release fertilizer for about 6 months..some aquaristic in serbia uses osmocote, and they told there is a good results with him, but i think there is a problem how to add osmocote on right way..the point is how much to add osmocote and that you heaven't algae boom.
    sorry for writing so bad, but i'm trying to write somehow :D :D
     
  16. Robert H

    Robert H Junior Poster

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    Hey Tom, Doesn't Osmoscote contain Urea? What is your feeling on the affect of Urea in the aquarium?
     
  17. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Yes, urea can be added to a WELL run planted tank fairly easily, provided there are not sensnsitive species and you are not larding it on.
    Around 0.8ppm per day can be added without much issue.

    If there is poor CO2 or plants are limited by some other factor, then this will likely not do too well.
    Bacteria can take care of some overloarding if you slowly ramp things up, but uprooting a lot of osmocoat is not a good idea.
    Then this can cause problems, but liquid urea has been done fairly well among a few folks, I've never been able to detect much growth/plant health difference between NH4 and NO3 dosing though.
    If urea is all you can get locally say in some other country etc, well.....little choice but to try it........
     
  18. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    About 5 grams per 25 cm x 25cm of sediment surface area 1x every 6 months
     
  19. darkoon

    darkoon Prolific Poster

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    is osmocoat suitable for soft water plants that prefer acidic substrate?
     
  20. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I've never met such plant that is a soft water obligate or acidic sediment, having grown pretty much anything folks can name, some 400 species at this point.

    Few hydric sediments are acidic. They are trending to neutral in every case I have seen good growth.
    The water column might be low pH etc, but the sediments are rarely so.

    Sometimes there might be a peat layer on top, but below this the soil is rarely low pH.
    ADA AS over time also goes to neutral.

    So does Sac river Delta sediment which is similar to ADA AS.

    But it's suitable for most plants.
     
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