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Old 11-21-2013, 07:30 AM   #1
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should I use these as root tabs?

I'm fairly new to planting and still completely clueless about adding ferts. I picked up some slow release tablets for water gardens back when i decided to plant my tank which i forgot about. If someone with more idea of what is helpful can tell me if these are worth using as root tabs it would be great

The product
Manutec- Water garden Tablet fertilizer.
N.P.K 10:15:10 + trace elements

Analysis % W/W
Nitrogen (N) present as urea Formaldehyde 8.00
Nitrogen (N) present as Nitrate 2.00
Total Nitrogen 10.00
Total Phosphorus (P2O5) as phosphate 15.00
Total Potassium (k20) as Nitrate 10.00
Calcium (Ca) present as Phosphate 1.60
Magnesium (MgO) present as Oxide 1.00
Added Micronutrients 1.00
(Manganese, Iron, Zinc, Copper, Boron

I bought a pack of 20x10 gram tablets for $3.00

So would these be ok to use as root tabs under my heavy root feeders (obviously broken into far smaller parts than the original 10g tablets)

While i have a thread open to ask a question i might double up and seek some advice on what sort of cycle i should have my lights running on. Recently i was switching them on for about 9 hours before work, giving a 1 hour rest period when i got home and then another 2-4 hours with lights on before bed. I recently added a timer. I now run my lights for 6hours on 4hours off 6hours on. They go off from midnight till 6am. I'm concerned that this is coming close to replicating a 24 hour cycle in a 12 hour period though which might not be great for the plants. Can anyone recommend an optimal setup for me to run the lights? I have low lighting right now.
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:29 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan79 View Post
I'm fairly new to planting and still completely clueless about adding ferts. I picked up some slow release tablets for water gardens back when i decided to plant my tank which i forgot about. If someone with more idea of what is helpful can tell me if these are worth using as root tabs it would be great

The product
Manutec- Water garden Tablet fertilizer.
N.P.K 10:15:10 + trace elements

Analysis % W/W
Nitrogen (N) present as urea Formaldehyde 8.00
Nitrogen (N) present as Nitrate 2.00
Total Nitrogen 10.00
Total Phosphorus (P2O5) as phosphate 15.00
Total Potassium (k20) as Nitrate 10.00
Calcium (Ca) present as Phosphate 1.60
Magnesium (MgO) present as Oxide 1.00
Added Micronutrients 1.00
(Manganese, Iron, Zinc, Copper, Boron

I bought a pack of 20x10 gram tablets for $3.00

So would these be ok to use as root tabs under my heavy root feeders (obviously broken into far smaller parts than the original 10g tablets)

While i have a thread open to ask a question i might double up and seek some advice on what sort of cycle i should have my lights running on. Recently i was switching them on for about 9 hours before work, giving a 1 hour rest period when i got home and then another 2-4 hours with lights on before bed. I recently added a timer. I now run my lights for 6hours on 4hours off 6hours on. They go off from midnight till 6am. I'm concerned that this is coming close to replicating a 24 hour cycle in a 12 hour period though which might not be great for the plants. Can anyone recommend an optimal setup for me to run the lights? I have low lighting right now.
Root tabs are for any root type feeders such as swords, crypts, vals ect. I personally only use flourish or API. I am not familiar with the brand you listed but they may just not be available near me. You can google what ever plants you have to find out if they are infact root feeders. I have one root tab near each of my swords. You want to put them like 4 inchs away from the stems and about half way into the substrate. Mine seem to last about 2-3 months before I have to replace them but everyone eco-system is different. From my understanding, the root tabs dissolve releasing nutrients into the substrate which your root feeders then intake. If you do have root feeders in your aquarium, you will notice a difference in color and growth over time when you add the tabs. I just recently forgot to add mine, and my one sword plants stems started to twist and the new leafs were a pale green when they should have been bright green. Root tabs are not necessary for any plants that are not root feeders.

As far as lights go, 8 hours is the "lowest" staple and around 12 is the "highest" staple but again, everyone's eco-system is different. I have read of some people leaving their lights on for 14 hours a day. The best way to know if you have lighting issues is appearance of algae. As for turning them off and back on, there's really no reason to do that. All fish and plants will be fine with a 12 hour cycle of light. I have personally never done this however, when the lights go off, plants go though their "cool down phase" where they start to release oxygen into the water. By doing this, you are starting, stopping, starting and stopping the photosynthesize cycle and it may be causing stress on your plants and cause them not to grow to their full potential. Remember, with live plants you really want to replicate the sunlight that these plants would get in nature as best as you can. This will allow for optimial growth and happy plants!

If you want to be able to view your aquarium at night, you could set the timers to go on 1/2 way though your work day that way when you get home you can still enjoy the aquarium. It doesn't matter what time of the day you have the lights on as long as long the plants get a streamline period of light. Also, they sell moon lights which won't affect plant or algae growth in anyway which you can use after the main set of lights go off. I have a 55 gallon standard and I found these lights at petco which actually go under the black trim so they are really out of the way and rather bright.

I hope this answers some of your questions.
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Old 11-21-2013, 02:00 PM   #3
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That's some decent advice. I would however suggest a lighting period of at the very most 10 hours long. 7 is pretty standard in higher light plants.

The only problem I see with those root tabs is the formaldehyde that is in them. I am not exactly sure how it will react in an aquarium so I would venture on the safe side and say skip them. If you want super effective root tabs look for dynamite flower and vegetable time release fertilizer and put it inside size 00 gel capsules. Those are probably the most effective tabs you will find.
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Old 11-21-2013, 06:29 PM   #4
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Are those tabs pretty big? I buy one's similar that I use in my pond plant and due to their size they release a lot of nutrients. Honestly I suggest getting some aquarium root tabs or you can order some DIY root tabs for very cheap.

Also it is okay to use a siesta period when running lighting. Often it is used to combat algae. Many types of algae need long light periods to photosynthesis so when you break up the photoperiod algae struggles. Plants do quite well. When this is used often people run 4 hours, 2 hour siesta, then 4 hours. You can even do 3-2-3. This in no way affects the size potential of plants.

The minimum amount of photoperiod is not 8 hours. I run all my tanks at 6 hours. The rule is generally the higher the light the shorter the photoperiod needed. You can use a timer and run lights when you can view them. So you set a timer to come on 2 hours before you come home and turn off 4 or longer hours after your at home. You have various options.

Also plants release CO2 during dark hours.
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jehenry89 View Post
Root tabs are for any root type feeders such as swords, crypts, vals ect. I personally only use flourish or API. I am not familiar with the brand you listed but they may just not be available near me. You can google what ever plants you have to find out if they are infact root feeders. I have one root tab near each of my swords. You want to put them like 4 inchs away from the stems and about half way into the substrate. Mine seem to last about 2-3 months before I have to replace them but everyone eco-system is different. From my understanding, the root tabs dissolve releasing nutrients into the substrate which your root feeders then intake. If you do have root feeders in your aquarium, you will notice a difference in color and growth over time when you add the tabs. I just recently forgot to add mine, and my one sword plants stems started to twist and the new leafs were a pale green when they should have been bright green. Root tabs are not necessary for any plants that are not root feeders.
As Rivercats mentioned below these tabs are large tabs designed for potted pond plants. I was concerned theywould release too many nutrients if i used more than a tiny amount. I have some crypts plus a couple of Pongols which are definitely root feeders. I'll leave these tabs out of my tank. The LFS sells API tabs. I might just get a pack of them as the easy option. I have some Ludwigia that is growing broad thin leaves at the surface which may be a lighting or nutrient issue. They are growing well and adding plenty of side shoots though so it could also be because they have hit the surface.

Quote:
As far as lights go, 8 hours is the "lowest" staple and around 12 is the "highest" staple but again, everyone's eco-system is different. I have read of some people leaving their lights on for 14 hours a day. The best way to know if you have lighting issues is appearance of algae. As for turning them off and back on, there's really no reason to do that. All fish and plants will be fine with a 12 hour cycle of light. I have personally never done this however, when the lights go off, plants go though their "cool down phase" where they start to release oxygen into the water. By doing this, you are starting, stopping, starting and stopping the photosynthesize cycle and it may be causing stress on your plants and cause them not to grow to their full potential. Remember, with live plants you really want to replicate the sunlight that these plants would get in nature as best as you can. This will allow for optimial growth and happy plants!
My lighting fixtures at the moment provide low light at best. I run single 60cm 18W, 6400k t8 bulb over each 20g tank. I do get growth from most plants but some are slower than i would expect. I am having a small algae issue which was why i was inquiring about the rest period. I think i forgot to mention that.

Quote:
If you want to be able to view your aquarium at night, you could set the timers to go on 1/2 way though your work day that way when you get home you can still enjoy the aquarium. It doesn't matter what time of the day you have the lights on as long as long the plants get a streamline period of light. Also, they sell moon lights which won't affect plant or algae growth in anyway which you can use after the main set of lights go off. I have a 55 gallon standard and I found these lights at petco which actually go under the black trim so they are really out of the way and rather bright.

I hope this answers some of your questions.
Thank you Jehenry. I was thinking that the rest period should be shorter. I set it that way so i got optimal viewing time with my tanks and so my fish have light to feed by before i'm leaving for work. Will just feed with room lights on in the morning i guess. I'll be ordering some finnex planted + fixtures soon which will give me decent light and moonlights. Will have to wait till i have the cash though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mebbid View Post
That's some decent advice. I would however suggest a lighting period of at the very most 10 hours long. 7 is pretty standard in higher light plants.

The only problem I see with those root tabs is the formaldehyde that is in them. I am not exactly sure how it will react in an aquarium so I would venture on the safe side and say skip them. If you want super effective root tabs look for dynamite flower and vegetable time release fertilizer and put it inside size 00 gel capsules. Those are probably the most effective tabs you will find.
Thanks Mebbid. I will probably opt for about an 8 hour period with a couple of hours rest asi improve my lighting. I was a little concerned about some of the additives with the root tabs so i thought i would ask before adding them to my tanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivercats View Post
Are those tabs pretty big? I buy one's similar that I use in my pond plant and due to their size they release a lot of nutrients. Honestly I suggest getting some aquarium root tabs or you can order some DIY root tabs for very cheap.
Thats the ones. If i had used them i was going to break them into very small parts and bury a fragment with my root feeders.

Quote:
Also it is okay to use a siesta period when running lighting. Often it is used to combat algae. Many types of algae need long light periods to photosynthesis so when you break up the photoperiod algae struggles. Plants do quite well. When this is used often people run 4 hours, 2 hour siesta, then 4 hours. You can even do 3-2-3. This in no way affects the size potential of plants.
I do have a bit of brown algea starting to build up and it has been a minor issue since i planted my tanks (I have a comet in each tank which is over stocking and something i'm working on solving). I wasn't sure about how long a siesta would be helpful. I will toy with my timer a little and maybe buy some glut instead of just using DIY CO2. I also added a Ramshorn snail to each tank to clean up the leaves which were becoming a pain to scrub.

Quote:
The minimum amount of photoperiod is not 8 hours. I run all my tanks at 6 hours. The rule is generally the higher the light the shorter the photoperiod needed. You can use a timer and run lights when you can view them. So you set a timer to come on 2 hours before you come home and turn off 4 or longer hours after your at home. You have various options.

Also plants release CO2 during dark hours.
Thanks Rivercats. I will slowly dial back to a 4-2-4 setting with my lights. I'll maybe stick with 5-2-5 while i have this light set up as it's barely adequate according to most opinions i have seen. Plants and algae are surviving. I didn't know plants released CO2 at night There is so much i don't know.

There is a company that sells ingredients for DIY fert packs called Aquagreen that i plan to buy some fish from when i rehome a big comet to a more appropriate tank. I'll research what i need and order from them pretty soon. They have a fantastic plant selection too. I guess for now i will buy the API tabs.
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