Easier than gel caps, adding osmocoat the existing aquariums

eelpout

Junior Poster
Mar 16, 2012
4
0
1
Could you teabag a small measured amount of Osmocote+ at a current source and safely fertilize your water? Or is this stuff strictly for below the substrate?

If not, do I jam fertcicles below and drop an aquarium liquid fert. above?... while I take my time and digest the mountains of info in the "read first" section, and then order dry ferts?

I have a 37 gal tank, 22" tall, 3x23 watt CFL brooder lamps, hard/high ph water.

Thanks

FNG
 

Biollante

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jun 21, 2009
3,210
1
36
Surprise, AZ
Not So Sure

eelpout;80595 said:
Could you teabag a small measured amount of Osmocote+ at a current source and safely fertilize your water? Or is this stuff strictly for below the substrate?

If not, do I jam fertcicles below and drop an aquarium liquid fert. above?... while I take my time and digest the mountains of info in the "read first" section, and then order dry ferts?

I have a 37 gal tank, 22" tall, 3x23 watt CFL brooder lamps, hard/high ph water.

Thanks

FNG

Hi,

Welcome!
:welcoming:

If this is a plant, only tank or maybe plants and livebearers might work.
:cower::nevreness:

The principle problem with Osmocote in the water column is the “8% ammoniacal nitrates.”
:eek:

:rolleyes-new:Actually, the total Nitrogen is rather high come to think of it.

Biollante
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Gerryd

Plant Guru Team
Lifetime Member
Sep 23, 2007
5,623
20
38
South Florida
If not, do I jam fertcicles below and drop an aquarium liquid fert. above?... while I take my time and digest the mountains of info in the "read first" section, and then order dry ferts?

Yep, that is a good approach. It seems better in all respects to fertilize the substrate and the water column.

I have a 37 gal tank, 22" tall, 3x23 watt CFL brooder lamps, hard/high ph water.

What are brooder lamps? I get the CFL acronym....
 

Gerryd

Plant Guru Team
Lifetime Member
Sep 23, 2007
5,623
20
38
South Florida
Biollante;80620 said:
The principle problem with Osmocote in the water column is the “8% ammoniacal nitrates.

Actually, the total Nitrogen is rather high come to think of it.

Biollante

Hi Bio,

May I ask for clarifications on these statements to help me understand your concern(s)? Please remember I am no chemist so keep it simple, please :)

I get the part about the extra ammnoniacal nitrates in that ammonia in general is not good for fish, esp with higher ph, so that the extra from the osmocote might exacerbate that condition.... At least I think that is your concern as they do mention high ph and hard water. Please correct me if this assumption is incorrect.

I am less concerned about the nitrogen for the moment. If they are overstocked on fish I would be more concerned with general health than issues from too much N. A regular schedule of water changes will alleviate that concern...

Here is where I am confused...

If the osmocate is a 'slow release' method, indicating that the nutrients will not be released immediately but generally over X time frame and perhaps at N % (how the heck do they do this anyway?), why would keeping it a mesh bag in the water column be WORSE than burying in a substrate? Does the substrate itself work to spread the nutes over time? That makes no sense to me as there are too many substrates...the ammonia would still release in the same basic amount, no? Unless the act of burying it does something? Does it have to work in the dark or something? LOL

I have never used osmocote so perhaps that is the issue here :)

I am just trying to understand your reply and increase my knowledge base.

Many thanks for your patience and time.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

eelpout

Junior Poster
Mar 16, 2012
4
0
1
"What are brooder lamps?"

Google search for pics. They keep chicks warm. In my case, discount aquarium lights.
 

Biollante

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jun 21, 2009
3,210
1
36
Surprise, AZ
You Certainly May

Gerryd;80627 said:
Hi Bio,

May I ask for clarifications on these statements to help me understand your concern(s)? Please remember I am no chemist so keep it simple, please :)

I get the part about the extra ammnoniacal nitrates in that ammonia in general is not good for fish, esp with higher ph, so that the extra from the osmocote might exacerbate that condition.... At least I think that is your concern as they do mention high ph and hard water. Please correct me if this assumption is incorrect.

I am less concerned about the nitrogen for the moment. If they are overstocked on fish I would be more concerned with general health than issues from too much N. A regular schedule of water changes will alleviate that concern...

Here is where I am confused...

If the osmocate is a 'slow release' method, indicating that the nutrients will not be released immediately but generally over X time frame and perhaps at N % (how the heck do they do this anyway?), why would keeping it a mesh bag in the water column be WORSE than burying in a substrate? Does the substrate itself work to spread the nutes over time? That makes no sense to me as there are too many substrates...the ammonia would still release in the same basic amount, no? Unless the act of burying it does something? Does it have to work in the dark or something? LOL

I have never used osmocote so perhaps that is the issue here :)

I am just trying to understand your reply and increase my knowledge base.

Many thanks for your patience and time.


Hi Gerry,

In part my answer is a “knee-jerk”
:unconscious: reaction to “ammoniacal,” refers of or to the ammonia (NH[SUB]3[/SUB]) or specifically to ammoniacal nitrogen (NH[SUB]3[/SUB]-N) as well as ammonia-like in general.
  • Certainly, the reported high pH makes ammonia more dangerous.
  • I believe the wordings on these labels are well focus-grouped and well lawyered and mean exactly what they say rather than what people think they say.:distrust:

I tried to leave a lot of wiggle room in my answer, since whether or not I would try the Osmocote, as direct water column fertilizer would depend on the setup and who was minding the store, so to speak.
:friendly_wink:

As to the general question, what is the difference between a slow-release or time-release fertilizer in the water column as opposed to the substrate.
I believe placing the Osmocote in the filter would be worse than adding it to a gravel substrate, as Nipat’s experience seems to confirm.
{Note I used NH[SUB]3[/SUB]/NH[SUB]4[/SUB] as the proxy for leached nutrients and did not test for others.}
When I first decided to try Osmocote, I placed a gram of Osmocote in a liter of distilled water and noted that the ammonia/ammonium (at the time I could not tell NH[SUB]3[/SUB] from NH[SUB]4[/SUB]) levels went over 0.5-ppm within 10-minutes.:numbness:

Next, I placed Osmocote at varying depths under various substrate materials from play sand to top soil and varying combinations in mason jars (6-substrate combinations, 4-depths, plus 6-no Osmocote substrates).​


  • [*=1]I found very little nutrient leaching. In the clay substrates, it was negligible after 4-days. In my worm poop mixture (Kitty litter included) though the Osmocote mixture was elevated, I do not think the amount difference was statistically significant.:indecisiveness:
    [*=1]The pool filter sand had the greatest difference in with or without Osmocote and the depth made little difference, which makes sense given the low cation-exchange-capacity and the coarseness and that it is designed not to compact.:)
I ran them another 4-day with approximately 7-times-per-hour turnover circulation​


  • [*=1]As you might expect the ammonia readings were somewhat higher.;)

I ran a similar set with plants and so on…

Though obviously there is nothing scientific from these observations, I concluded the Osmocote was safe for use in substrate in reasonably planted tanks. But then again I have used Miracle Gro and all kinds of other stuff so, what do I know…
:apologetic:

As an aside these (and other) demonstrations have led me to conclude in the long term sand and soil based substrates (> than 3-cm) are ultimately richer than the so-called enriched substrates.
:)

The total Nitrogen part I am less sure of; in the past couple of years tracking dissolved organic carbon and now trying to follow total Nitrogen I am quite convinced that many of the nasty algae and cyanobacteria problems are related to these compounds. I am finding terms like “total Nitrogen” and so on are code for organic nutrients as opposed to salts (mineral) based.

The other issue is just how slow “slow-release” is.
  • I did not keep any notes on how long the Osmocote prills lasted in plain water.
  • I have found that the Osmocote seems to be lasting in my generally acidic substrates about 9-months. I have not noticed (admittedly I have not been looking) any difference in temperature of tanks.
  • I am assuming that the prills will dissolve/breakdown faster in water than substrate.:)
  • I just tossed 6-prills in 100-mililiters of filtered tap water, I will swirl the flask whenever I wonder by and see how long they last.:cool:

Biollante
 

Biollante

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jun 21, 2009
3,210
1
36
Surprise, AZ
So Being a Slob Finally Paid Off

Hi Gerry,

Does this make any sense? Is it what you asked?
:confused:

Whether it is or is not what you asked, I am semi-hooked, I do not have much time left. But…
:eek:

It appears in the water column and probably the substrate the temperature are the determinate on release of fertilizer. Rather than a “time release or slow release,” it appears Osmocote is a temperature dependent release mechanism.

  • As it happens the first flask of 6-prills in 100-ml of filtered tap water, I mentioned in my post yesterday,
    • I left in the kitchen where the temperature has ranged 22-23.9⁰C.
  • I started another flask of 8-prills in 100-ml of filtered tap water and for no good reason at all,
    • left it in my office where the temperature is a steady 20⁰C.
  • Another flask of 12- prills in 100-ml of filtered tap water I started and
    • left in a covered area in back where the temperature got down to 2.2⁰C and not above 12⁰C.

My intention was to see the difference nutrient release based on amount of Osmocote in the water.

  • Being an unorganized slob, I discovered the release was not as dependent on mass as on temperature.

Had I bothered to read Scott’s “How Osmocote Works” information, I would have known this.
:eek:

So I figure I might as well make a mess and try some water column dosing. If anybody expresses any interest I will update this thread.
:)

Biollante
 

Gerryd

Plant Guru Team
Lifetime Member
Sep 23, 2007
5,623
20
38
South Florida
Hi Bio,

I am still digesting it all and will respond in detail later, but I think my answers are in there somewhere :)

I am in the midst of coding/testing some complex replenishment (supply chain) software for my company and am completely engulfed in it :)

Thanks!
 

jerrybforl

Lifetime Members
Lifetime Member
Mar 7, 2010
1,034
2
38
40
Miami Beach, FL.
Bio,

Does O+ play a roll in fish death? Meaning if too much is placed in the substrate will it poison the water per say? I have been using O+ now and when I first used it is when I had all the deaths in my 75 gallon. My 29 gallon had similar deaths as well. Just a thought. Now that time has passed and WCs have been made I haven't had any problems except with Otos. From what I hear they are a pain in the butt to keep alive anyway.
 

Biollante

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jun 21, 2009
3,210
1
36
Surprise, AZ
Otos Can Be Sensitive, Mainly They Need Algae & A Wee Bit O Tiny Critters

Hi JJ All,

It seems that the type of substrate and the amount play a role.:)

Can you describe how the fish acted prior to death and what they looked like?:confused:

That ammoniacal nitrate is a concern so overdosing the Osmocote Plus in gravel or other highly porous low cation exchange capacity substrate might cause a problem, especially if the water column were high temperature and high pH.

The interesting thing about Osmocote is that the prills are actually a temperature release mechanism with most of the nutrients inside coated with time-release material. The prills are a polymer capsule that let water in to dissolve the nutrients then allow the release of nutrients in solution as a function of temperature and diffusion.

The closer I look at Osmocote, the more impressed I am.:applause:

I do see a day when something like this is made for water column dosing. :glee::glee:

Biollante
 

Biollante

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jun 21, 2009
3,210
1
36
Surprise, AZ
This May Be The Next Step Up

Hi Charlie, All,

I have not tried the Osmocote[SUP]®[/SUP] PotShots™̣ :)

Looking at the label information it seems like it should work as a targeted root feeder.:gw

For our purposes, it might well be better to use PotShots™̣:glee::glee:

As with all the Osmocote[SUP]®[/SUP] products, I would not use them in coarse gravel.:cool:

Biollante
 

eelpout

Junior Poster
Mar 16, 2012
4
0
1
I'm interested

Biollante/all,
I'd like to hear how it goes with Osmo+ directly in the water. I guess that's obvious. I appreciate the warning about substrate. I have course gravel/pebbles I got from a big lake. All this talk about root fert and you hit on a key point: Some of you seasoned planted tankers seem to use sand or damn near sand substrate to slow down the flow between above and below the dirt line. True or way off? I fear fish soup if it leaches too fast.

Another thing. I don't think Osmo+ is sold in my state. Would regular Osmocote suffice?

If the best I can do is weekly water changes, should I rely on what comes out of my fish for low tech tank plant fert? or do I try root fert? I've not had success so far. My fish (neons, RNT, rams) are healthy but I've had plant death and light algae with low stock kit lights, a spike in growth with 3x23watt spiral CFLs and Excel...at the cost of a couple Vals that the LFS dude sold me with the Excel. The last time I got to my tank it had a nice head on it and major algae. This was after applying liquid aquarium fert into the water 7 days prior. (per directions on the bottle) Due to my life, I can't babysit this tank every day. Any input appreciated.
 

Biollante

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jun 21, 2009
3,210
1
36
Surprise, AZ
Somewhere "They" Sell Osmocote Plus

Hi Eelpout,

The “Plus” in Osmocote Plus are trace nutrients.
:)

Two weeks ago would have stated outright that Osmocote (including Plus) were dangerous in the water column or leaching out, in fact leaching ammonia into the water column was my principle concern.
  • Now I am not so sure.:confused:

I have started a couple of test containers with Osmocote Plus in the water column…

Yes many folks cap with sand or even as I do in many tanks use sand (& clay) with nothing else. Many use straight top soil.
:)

I recommend you start a new thread and tell us about your situation, include tank information, what you are trying to accomplish and so forth. Telling us where you are can help as well, Walker Minnesota, perhaps.
:cool:

Biollante
 

Biollante

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jun 21, 2009
3,210
1
36
Surprise, AZ
Osmocote experience: Nipat’s Right Again… I Do Not Know Why I Bother…

Hi,

[h=2]Under the heading Nipat is right again.[/h]Or so it would appear

Not sure anyone cares, but…

About three months into my Osmocote in the water column, it appears it works fairly well.

Now I will leave the controlled falsifiable hypothesis stuff to those who care. This is a curiosity demonstration triggered by Gerry’s comments, Nipat’s observation and an honest question.

I am actually surprised.
:surprise::surprise::surprise:

The Osmocote Plus seems sufficient on its own to keep low or moderate light tanks operating.
:)

It is interesting in a container with a hang-on-back filter, no plants, water temperature about 26°C, we change the water daily and it appears the we are getting a bit over [SUP]1[/SUP]∕[SUB]120[/SUB] dose per day, which is right on target with the 4-month life expectancy.
:rolleyes:

About two months ago I placed 2-grams of Osmocote Plus in a filter bag inside a Fluval 2 underwater filter with the sponge removed, in a very mature 55-gallon, deep sand bed, aerated, no external filtration, 160-watt, 6700K, 10 hours per day, plus high ambient light tank. The tank was dosed higher end EI that I thought was non-limiting. Within days, growth increased in 3-weeks the growth was obvious and explosive.

This tank had a substantial growth of algae on three walls and covering many of the rocks. The algae have died, the moss, Taxiphyllum barbieri continues strong growth.

About a month ago, I did the same thing with the similar 55-gallon tank next to it and I am seeing similar results.
:)

A bit of messing around with some 20-longs and I think something like 1.5 to 2.5-grams for every 200-liters of water seems about right.
:gw

Strong root feeders will still benefit from 3-5-grams per square foot (~0.1-m[SUP]2[/SUP]).

Heavy iron users will do well with supplemental iron.

Bigflusher and another victim, I mean volunteer are starting 80-gallon tanks.
:cool:

Biollante
 

1077

Guru Class Expert
Aug 19, 2010
189
2
18
I have been using Osmocote Pot Shot's in 80 gallon low tech tank for a couple year's now.
I place them (1) under sword plant's,and crypt's and have seen encouraging growth with no Ill effect's to fishes,shrimp's.:D

Replace them about every four month's,maybe sooner .
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Gerryd

Plant Guru Team
Lifetime Member
Sep 23, 2007
5,623
20
38
South Florida
Biollante;84076 said:
Now I will leave the controlled falsifiable hypothesis stuff to those who care. This is a curiosity demonstration triggered by Gerry’s comments, Nipat’s observation and an honest question.

Bio,

Thanks for posting this, I care :) I appreciate the effort you expended...

I think this provides a nice enhancement to our fertilization methodology toolbox.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Marcel G

Banned
Jun 5, 2012
173
17
18
Czech Republic
I have found a very useful Osmocote fertilizer brochure (see http://www.osmocote.co.za/brochure.pdf). There is a lot of answers to your questions. Also there is written that once the fertilizer package is open the granules begin to absorb water and start to release nutrients. This process can't be stoped (only slowed down by decreasing the temperature or by freezing)! So if you unpacked the fertilizer package, the nutrient releasing process already began and the effectiveness is slowly decreasing. So if you have 4-5 months Osmocote fertilizer (already opened), after 5 months the nutrients in the fertilizer should be depleted. That's very important finding (at least for me).