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Old 02-18-2012, 06:29 PM   #1
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Root Tabs/Fert?

Hey everyone, I was just watching a little gardening show on tv, and they were talking about clay balls in the soil to help with nutrients. I just bought a big box of clay to add to my soil a couple weeks ago and got almost the full 5 lbs left still, so I was thinking about popping a few extra ball of clay in the pots I got in my aquarium. Any thoughts on if this is a smart or dumb idea? lol

Also, I was thinking of taking it a step further and using a pen to make a hole to the middle of the ball, and shove some potting soil or other nutrients in it, then then closing the balls off. Maybesome soil then a few drops of flourish or something along those lines.

Any ideas? Like I said, just a thought, please dont crucify me if its stupid! haha
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:09 PM   #2
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Clay is what most root tabs use as a binder, so it's not a bad idea. My root tabs just consist of clay and various dry macro/micro ferts mixed together and dried.
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:37 PM   #3
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You can put a few granules of osmocote or some blood and bone in the middle of the clay balls.
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:38 PM   #4
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nice man, I actually seen your recipe when I searched the forum and am planning on trying it once I get the proper ingredients. This just kinda became a spur of the moment interest so I'm going to do a few tests and see what happens.

I also have this stuff used for vegetable plant food. Cheap stuff called "Speedy Green" I was going to try putting in the middle. Its like little rock granules, and I'll take a pic of the ingredients on the back. It says it contains 4.3% Urea Nitrogen and 2.4% Ammoniacal Nitrogen. Honestly, with the tiny ammount of the stuff I will be using I doubt it'll be a problem, but I have read high doses of this stuff is bad, what you think?

oops forgot the pic hold on... lol
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:54 PM   #5
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OK my camera decided to suck and was too blurry to read the words so here I go...

Ingredients:
Total N --------------------------- 12%
ammoniacal Nitrogen----- 2.4%
nitrate Nitrogen ---------- 5.3%
urea Nitrogen ------------ 4.3%

Avail. Phosphate ---------------- 5%
Soluble Potash ------------------ 7%
Calcium ------------------------- 8.3%
Total Magnesium --------------- 1.31% (water soluble)
Zinc ----------------------------- 0.5%
Boron --------------------------- 0.1%
Sulfur --------------------------- 0.5%

Derived from: Urea P{olymer Urea Ammonium Sulfate, Mono Ammonium Phosphate, Potash, Calcium Carbonate, Mg Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Boron

The more I typed the worse it kept sounding lol! Yay or Nay?

And thanks Mumma! Just googled it, you have used this yourself?
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:06 PM   #6
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I use osmocote minus the clay and I use DIY clay and blood & bone tabs (that I didn't make myself lol).
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:12 PM   #7
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good stuff thank you!
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:17 PM   #8
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I'd avoid using ferts that contain ammonia if you plan to have stock in the tank, with it buried it *shouldn't* release much, if any, of that ammonia into the tank (assuming a deep substrate), but there's no sense in risking it. Remember that we measure ammonia in PPM, as in parts per million, so it only takes a tiny bit to become a big problem.
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:29 PM   #9
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I'd avoid using ferts that contain ammonia if you plan to have stock in the tank, with it buried it *shouldn't* release much, if any, of that ammonia into the tank (assuming a deep substrate), but there's no sense in risking it. Remember that we measure ammonia in PPM, as in parts per million, so it only takes a tiny bit to become a big problem.

where do you get the dry ferts you use in your root tabs? do you buy online?
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:41 PM   #10
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Yeah, it's easier to just buy them all from a vendor online like Bobs Tropical Plants or Planted Aquarium Fertilizer - , , , , Planted Aquarium Fertilizer - , , , but you can also buy most of the macros locally, kno3 is found in a stump remover (i forget which brand) and mgso4 is epsom salt. Another place to check locally is hydroponics shops.
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:44 PM   #11
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Yeah, it's easier to just buy them all from a vendor online like Bobs Tropical Plants or Planted Aquarium Fertilizer - , , , , Planted Aquarium Fertilizer - , , , but you can also buy most of the macros locally, kno3 is found in a stump remover (i forget which brand) and mgso4 is epsom salt. Another place to check locally is hydroponics shops.
dang only if i was in humboldt still, ill have to check around then cause im interested in trying it out for me and a friend, also how far will a pound take me?
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Old 02-18-2012, 09:00 PM   #12
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thanks jeta, yeah the more I typed the worse it sounded lol.

I will gather the ingredients and do it without ammonia based ingredients. I've looked at both those websites within the past hour and most likely will go that route.

As for mixing the product, do you put the ingredients in the middle of the clay as I was thinking of doing? or work it directly into the clay?
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Old 02-18-2012, 09:17 PM   #13
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thanks jeta, yeah the more I typed the worse it sounded lol.

I will gather the ingredients and do it without ammonia based ingredients. I've looked at both those websites within the past hour and most likely will go that route.

As for mixing the product, do you put the ingredients in the middle of the clay as I was thinking of doing? or work it directly into the clay?
can i also ask what kind of clay you have? i went to ace hardware and home depot and browsed the gardening sections but couldnt find anything
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Old 02-18-2012, 09:18 PM   #14
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A pound will last most aquarists for well over a year. You'll use more of the micromix than the macros, so it's a good idea to get something like a pound of the micros and then 1/2lb of each of the macros.


As far as mixing them into root tabs goes, I just mix it really well into the clay (I use clay powder) and then add water with a pipette till it gets mixed well. It should have a texture like putty. Be careful not to add too much water, it will get soupy and be near impossible to reduce to the right consistency without fudging with the recipe.

Put it on a cookie sheet and roll it out as flat and evenly as possible. If you foresee a possibility of it sticking to the pan, you can always dust the pan with clay powder prior to rolling it out, but I've never had a problem with this.

Once you have it rolled out flat you can do whatever you want with it, you can cut it into squares, circles, or anything. If you find some fondant/cookie cutter shapes you can get really fancy.

After you are done cutting it, leave it to dry in the sun for several hours. If it's too cold out you can do this in the oven at it's lowest setting (~200) but watch it to make sure it doesn't burn.

I order my clay powder from a supply place online, but you might be able to source it through a pottery supply store local to you. The most important thing is to make sure you get real clay and not polymer, it can be the wet kind but I prefer the dry powder.
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Old 02-18-2012, 09:41 PM   #15
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nice thank you very much. clay powder may be a problem. I've worked with clay since high school and finding truely "natural" clay can be a pain. All that polymer stuff is everywhere now. If you have a source online I'd appreciate a site suggestion, but I'm sure with a little research should be able to find some.

All ur tips are appreciated, looks like you got all this stuff to a science!

Here in FL we dont got to worry about the cold too often tho! hah
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Old 02-18-2012, 10:01 PM   #16
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I really like Axner Pottery and Ceramic Supplies , I also order pure dolomite powder ( ca(co3)2 )from them as well.

Here's the specific link to the stuff I get
http://www.axner.com/redclay-cred.aspx
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Old 02-18-2012, 10:05 PM   #17
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I really like Axner Pottery and Ceramic Supplies , I also order pure dolomite powder ( ca(co3)2 )from them as well.

Here's the specific link to the stuff I get
Red Clay - Carbondale Red (C-Red) (sold per lb.)
im lost haha what clay and i looking for the earthenware stuff?
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Old 02-18-2012, 11:21 PM   #18
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The second link I listed is what I use, it's found under the 'raw materials' tab on the home page.
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Old 02-19-2012, 12:03 AM   #19
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thanks a lot man I really appreciate it! decently priced also
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