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Root Tabs

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Posted

Hi all

I'm a little over having to buy new plants on a regular basis because I seem to keep killing them. I have algea problems in my sorority at the moment, but I think that's more to do with the lack of fast growing plants in there, so that should be easy fixed with some water sprite or pennywort. I need more fast growing, free floating plants in general in all my tanks, I think.

But I only have fake plants in the barracks at the moment and a gravel substrate. I'd like to replace the fake with live, but understand that the inert substrate requires a little boosting to save me having to replace the plants again in a few weeks/months.

So I've been looking into root tabs, and I'll admit I'm more of a black thumb than green - I tend to kill everything...result being, I know nothing about this fert lark.

I've been reading old posts about Osmocote and Manutec, and others, but most of the information is quite old. What are people using now?

Anyone have any experience with this product: http://www.bunnings.com.au/osmocote-250g-aquatic-plants-controlled-release-fertiliser-_p2961623

Cheers

BT

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Posted

I'm by no means an expect or even an average aquatic green thumb. I just throw some plants in a tank and they just grow. What plants are you trying to grow? I just use low light plants, they're easy to grow, don't need fertilisers. Plus Bettas like them.

If you are having problems with algae I would look at what is causing the problem. Do you leave the lights on too long? or is the tank next to a window or door where it receives too much sun light? Are their nutrient sources that are promoting an algae bloom?

All tanks grow algae, but if it's taking over you're either not staying on top of your tank maintenance or you have something causing a bloom and this needs to be addressed.

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Posted

Hey Briz - thanks for ther reply.

I'm only on low light plants as well, but I have some grasses I would really like to take off, so yes, I have been leaving the light on a bit longer and, in combination, with the addition of liquid ferts, hence the algea, but I think the addition of something like a pennywort will help take up the excess ferts, and a couple of BN wont hurt either.

But I was thinking a controlled release, in and around the plants I'm targeting may reduce the excess ferts in the tank and therefore encourage more growth and reduce algae...in my head it sounds like a sane approach - does it sound reasonable out loud?

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Posted

Hey Brenton,

I know nothing about plants but am having the same dramas as you trying to get some plants in my sorority and wild tank to stay alive so if you find a solution please post it as I will if i can sort it out

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Posted

Swordsy - shall do.

What plants have you got in yours? How long do you leave the lights on? Do you use ferts?

Currently, I've got three good (2 x medium, 1 x large) sized anubias, and a few different types of grasses and a couple of rushes in there. As I said before, I need to get the fast growing stuff now, which is what I should have got first...

I've only got three girls in there currently, so waste isnt really an issue, but since I've added the rushes and grass, I've been adding less than a ml of liquid ferts once a week and leaving the light on for around 12-14 hours a day.

I've skipped the ferts this week, and am now allowing only low natural light in during the day, and a few hours of artificial light light during the evening. I'm getting some bristlenose next week.

Thing is, I have an almost identical size tank with my cichlids in it, with 1x medium Anubias, 1 x small Nana Anubias, similar number of rushes, and 1 x BN, and I have zero algea issues. Granted it has a powerhead as opposed to a sponge filter, but it gets the same ferts and the same light...although I think the fluro tube may be different (need to check that).

I am kind of playing with a naturally planted tank setup at the moment which had a massive algae breakout a couple of weeks ago. Four days of blackout cured that and didnt kill the plants. So I'll get the fast growing plants and BN. I'll cut down the light and ferts and see where we go...

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Posted

Root tabs only really benefit the plant they are under. Some plats like Anubis and Java fern absorb nutrients out of the water column, while others absorb nutrients from the substrate.

If you are considering fast growing plants you might need to look at a high tech set up with Co2, etc.

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Posted

Root tabs for the rushes and grasses. Fast growing plants like pennywort or water sprite shouldnt need C02 added to compete against the algae (I think). If I add these steps, I should be able to stop the liquid ferts and better control or defeat the algae issue...in conjunction with shorter light periods (timers being purchased tomorrow), while still providing better growing conditions for all (except the algae).

And probably more plants in general. Need to stick to hardy low lights for most of it, because I kill just about anything else :(

So Java Fern, moss, maybe additional Anubias. I've not got much substrate in the sorority so things I can tie to something are great.

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Posted

Hornwort it mops up excess nutrients algea love and over a time helps reduce algea blooms (not overnight but it will) plus it is easy easy easy to grow as easy as java moss only it grows a lot faster in fact it can grow too fast and take over but its easy to trim or remove chuck excess in a bucket or pond or sell it. It has no roots but you push the bottom into a pot or substate tie it to something to hold it down etc or let it float on the surface it will reduce the lighting a bit though if you do that. I have buckets of it growing in a dark corner somewhere it dosnt die it is like day of the triffids in those buckets.

Also frogbit is a surface plant usually grown in ponds but you can grow it in a fishtank it dosnt take over like duckweed and it is more attractive with hanging roots baby fish love it too. I grow Crypts in a tank with only sand and gravel as substrate never used any fancy root tabs or soil they do great. Fish poo in the substrate plus some liquid ferts and co2 is all I use. Co2 in a bottle works just fine I use API.

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Posted

my tip is turn the light off for longer.

12-14 hours a day is alot most of our tanks with fast growing plants are fine with 6-8 hours

any more and we start getting some not so nice algea.

try the root tabs perhaps ive wondered how well they work and they arent too expensive

otherwise co2 booster (or flourish excel) will help with promoting fast growth(and flourish also doubles as being able to treat/kill black beard algea):D/>

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Posted

6-8 hours...

The fish room has a south facing window so it gains almost no direct sunlight for the whole day except for the slightest bit for about an hour before sunset (this will increase a little as daylight savings kicks in), but the sliver of sunlight only just touches the very end of the barracks - and that doesnt have an algae issue (touch wood). That leaves the rest of the room in quite low light for the whole of the day.

At the moment, the roller shutter is down at night in an attempt to keep more heat in the room (still bloody cold here at night). Day temps are still only mild and with the room in the shade, it still requires constant heating (dreading my electricity bill).

Got timers for the lights on the weekend. Now they come on at 7am and shut down at 9:30pm, but you're suggeting I cut that in half?

So, if the day-light time best suited for betta breeding is 14-16 hours, and I should cut down the light over the tanks to a massive degree, should I be setting the timers to turn the lights on only for 3 or 4 hours of an evening, and leave the whole room in low light for the rest of the day?

I began putting Flourish in the tanks about a month ago. 1ml at the end of each week. I think the increase in nutrients is what caused the issue in the first place - hence the fast growth plants and switch to slow release root tabs.

As there was no fidh in my planted tank yet, I dosed with Green Away I won in a BA auction - within 12 hours it was completely clear. Have added some more plants and some root tabs. Will be adding fish to it this week :) Still a long way from where I want it to be though. Will really need to try the aquasoil stuff next time round...

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Posted

I have ferts left over from when I used to have some low tech planted tanks and occasionally add a little to my betta tanks, but realistically I don't have to. I've gone months without using ferts that I know they're not needed in my tanks.

I zip tie Anubis, Java fern and Java moss to driftwood in my betta tanks and have Water Sprite floating at the surface. Water sprite has amazing roots and absorb so much from the water column. It's a fast grower and throws so many "pups" that it's self sustaining. I usually throw the larger plants from my tanks in to my tubs out side.

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Posted

if you decrease the lights it will usually help decrease algea you can also try having a gap in the middle of the day (lights on for two short periods) but can be tricky with timers

we turn ours on at 3 pm (james gets home from work) and leave them on till we go to bed as we got real bad algea when i turned them on when i went to work but turned them off same time.

it will depend on things i assume your betta tanks wouldnt be highly planted so they could have lights on for 16 hours no issue

but will depend on lighting, plants, ferts, time etc. try cut back ferts or lights and see if that helps balance out the algea issue

otherwise youve got BN's in the mail or can try algea eaters as well :)

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Posted

Ok - new timers purchased and lights are now on for 90 minutes in the morning to allow me to see so I can feed the fish, and open the roller shutters to let in the low non-direct natural light. They then come on again at 6pm until 10pm.

As you say BN in the mail (still :()

Will let you know how we go.

The sorority is highly planted now, but mainly with low light, slow growth plants. Now I've got some fast growers in there, hopefully the addition of the BN will fix it all :)

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Posted

Algae in sorority almost completely gone from back tank wall - overnight....

Hungry little BN's. I let my three baby BN's have a day and a bit rest from their ordeal in the post and then put two of them into the sorority, and one in my fry tank. My thinking was Lodo had them for a bit, and then I had them for a bit, they are young and look very healthy...I'll take the chance (and I've only got three girls in the sorority at the moment so not a massive risk).

The sorority was the biggest concern, with a vertical wall of algae growing on the back wall of the tank, and it covered most of the plants in a light dusting (which wasnt helping them grow). The back wall was thick in places though and very unsightly.

Now there is very little on the back wall. I suspect the plants will be next on the menu.

I might even go back to liquid ferts once a week...Swordsy, get BN's :)

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Posted

Yeah mate I have four already. They slow down the algae heaps

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