Root Tabs- Are they worth using and which ones are the best?

The Rockster

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Aug 10, 2007
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Hi,
Its time to purchase some more root tabs, especially for my Amazon Swords.
I have been using Seachem Flourish Tabs, since I started a planted tank, although lately I have been reading on the net, that perhaps there are better ones to use. I'm not really into making a DYI project out of this.

Anyone have any experiences or opinions on which ones are the best to use, and where to buy them?
 

The Rockster

Guru Class Expert
Aug 10, 2007
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Thanks,
I've been reading on the web, that Seachem Root Tabs, are a good start for beginners.
I guess the intelligent approach to this would be get a list of brands, and then compare ingredients and cost.
 

dbazuin

Guru Class Expert
Dec 30, 2009
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Comparing ingredients is not easy becouse you can't always find what the are.
I have no clue whats in de Ferka tabs. But the work well.
 

Oreo

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May 6, 2010
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I thought I saw a post around here somewhere perhaps by Tom Barr saying that the Seachem root tabs were more or less worthless because they didn't contain much in the way of nutrients. (Tom, if I'm misquoting you or saying something that isn't true I apologize.) I remember in the same thread recomendations to make your own with fertilizer rich ice-cubes or a commercial product (I can't remember the name of) that was available at most garden stores / home improvement stores that was basically little balls of time-release fertilizer that came in a box. Another suggestion was to use / make gel-capsules full of nutrient rich substrate. (empty gel capsules can be purchased at your local vitamin shop / nutrition center.)
 

The Rockster

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Aug 10, 2007
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Checking Out My Options

The Seachem Root Tabs seem to contain a lot of calcium (15%), and not so much other nutrients.

There is another very active poster, who seems really dialed in on this and most matters concerning a planted tank, whom has voiced this. I thought it would be a good idea to look at other's products prior to buying. I don't want to look back and think, I could have been using a superior root tab, at a cheaper price.

I am leery of trying home depot plant ferts in my fishtank. or for that matter, even what I have read, about API root tabs leaching into the water column. I have read that Seachem's Tabs are formulated not to dissolve in water.

So, I have an email out to aquariumferts.com asking for their analysis of their root tabs.

I checked out AP's line of Substrate Vitalization Systems. Crazy costs, and so many different pellets. I realize this system replaces dosing the water column. I think Mr. Barr did a post on the fallacy of substrate ferts dosing eliminating algae.

I really have enough DYI projects, with my parrots, and other things here.
 

Left C

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Sep 26, 2005
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You can use Osmocote Plus which contains macro and micro nutrients. It is time release little balls. You can place them underneath the substrate when you are setting your aquarium up. You can make gel-capsules like Oreo suggested. Or, you can insert a straw into the substrate and pour some of these into that hole. Then do another and another, etc.

OsmocotePlusMultiPurposePlantFood15.jpg
 

Tom Barr

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I prefer a sediment that has plenty of nutrients(all), like ADA AS, which I do not need to add a layer of sand over top, it's all one homogeneous sediment.
No tacky two type stuff, care required for moving it, sloping it, uprooting etc.

I can reuse it in another tank etc.
Looks good etc.

DIY verision, soils, muds, worm castings etc........require the sand caps.
Mud "ice cubes" can be added also, DIY etc.........then they melt and are in place.

Osmocoat seesm like a wise idea 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.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Digital

Junior Poster
Apr 26, 2010
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CT
I just got some root tabs from rootmedic.net and they have helped in my low light setup so in a high light I'm sure they'd do even better.
 

The Rockster

Guru Class Expert
Aug 10, 2007
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Thanks, Looks Like What I Am Looking For!!!

Digital;51238 said:
I just got some root tabs from rootmedic.net and they have helped in my low light setup so in a high light I'm sure they'd do even better.

Interesting.
I will look into the quality of the tabs.
Apparently a start up company only selling 4 or 5 products, very little customer testimony, or history.

So are you supplementing water column based fertilizers ( EI, Seachem Flouish Line, PPS. or PMDD) with these root tabs?

Still waiting to see the response from Aquariumfertilizers.com. Their root tabs contain 20 trace elements.

Nice fish and scape. :D:D:)
 

Digital

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Apr 26, 2010
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The Rockster;51249 said:
Interesting.
I will look into the quality of the tabs.
Apparently a start up company only selling 4 or 5 products, very little customer testimony, or history.

So are you supplementing water column based fertilizers ( EI, Seachem Flouish Line, PPS. or PMDD) with these root tabs?

Still waiting to see the response from Aquariumfertilizers.com. Their root tabs contain 20 trace elements.

Nice fish and scape. :D:D:)

I'm just dosing whats recommended on the bottle for Flourish, and Flourish Potassium.

Thank you on the fish and scape compliments! :)
 

The Rockster

Guru Class Expert
Aug 10, 2007
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South Florida
Anyone can make root tabs???? Glad I Asked!!!

Digital;51238 said:
I just got some root tabs from rootmedic.net and they have helped in my low light setup so in a high light I'm sure they'd do even better.

Hi,

I didn't know if you saw root.medic's holiday sale. Buy one get one free.

Does not his product look like the DYI project suggested above? (Osmocoat + Gelatin capsules)

I'm likening T.Barr's idea about Osmocoat+tankwater in ice cube trays.
Does anyone know how often to replenish the Osmocoat ice cubes? (in months)
For years I have been cooking parrot food and freezen it in ice cube trays.
Then in the morning nuke the ice cubes for 30 seconds. It works wonderful.

I'm just not sure where to purchase the Osmocoat.

I'm thinking of trying various root tabs!!!
Starting with Osmocoat.
 
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C

csmith

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Osmocote Plus can be bought at Lowes, Home Depot, Wal-Mart etc.
 

The Rockster

Guru Class Expert
Aug 10, 2007
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South Florida
Great Inputs!!!!

Hi,

I have purchased Osmocote Plus at Lowe's for about 16$ for a 4.5 pound bottle.

Since then I have put 1/2 tsp in each cube with 5 ml of tank water and froze overnight. It took about 2 minutes to fill up the ice cube tray. I am eager to see how this turns out.

I did compare the plant food ingredients with rootmedic root tabs, and found them to be near identical.


I am hoping that in time ( about 3 ice cube trays), this project will produce superior results (compared to the only root tabs I have ever used-Seachem), at a fraction of the cost.........Win, Win , Win

I want to thank all the contributors to this thread. :gw
 
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ibenu

Junior Poster
Mar 18, 2009
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Roottabcomp.png
On the right we have osmocote plus, a canadian formulation. On the left we have the rootmedic analysis.. Given the identical (near) analysis and description of product I believe the vendor is quite possibly repackaging the aforementioned osmocote product...
 

The Rockster

Guru Class Expert
Aug 10, 2007
114
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South Florida
Repacked Osmocote Plus

ibenu;51572 said:
Roottabcomp.png
On the right we have osmocote plus, a canadian formulation. On the left we have the rootmedic analysis.. Given the identical (near) analysis and description of product I believe the vendor is quite possibly repackaging the aforementioned osmocote product...

I did mention that in past posts.
What is surprising to me is why any other sites would promote and sell this product.
Would that not tend to question their business ethics and reputation?
http://www.aquariumfertilizer.com/index.asp?Option1=cats&Edit=9&EditU=1&Regit=9
 

Tug

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When it comes right down to it, business ethics are more about making a fast, easy buck every place you look.
Asking questions and reporting concerns is essential.
Buyer beware. :gw
 
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Tom Barr

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argnom;51308 said:
I had a hard time finding Osmocote in the frozen wastelands of Canada. I did find Smartcote though and it's working well for me.

http://www.plant-prod.ca/product_e.php?id=362&category=80

I think many of those time-release ferts are similar. I checked the MSDS of Smartcote for ammonia and it does mention that when combusting, it may release ammonia, but so does Osmocote.

Cheers!

Canadian Tire sells it I think.

Regards,
Tom Barr