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Can non aquatic plant fertilizer sticks be used for planted aquariums? If they can would they be any kind of drawbacks etc?

Ken
 

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Any kind of substrate fertilization has it's pro's and con's. Pro's...some plants actually do take up nutrients through their roots.

Con's...when you try to move plants for the rescaping urge, you run the risk of freeing some of these nutrients into the water column which can then affect your algae (i.e. you might get a bloom).

The one that is recommended by a lot is Jobes' Palm and Fern sticks.
 

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If you use the Jobes, break them in half before putting them into the substrate. This way you will make sure that the entire stick is under the subtrate preventing any leaching of nutrients into the water column.
 

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Do they fully desintegrate after all the nutrients are used up? Or do I have to worry about disturbing the leftovers when I go to feed again? Also how often should I apply?

Ken
 

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They will completely disintegrate, go 3-4 months between replacing them.
 

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Jobes and other like ferts have NH4 and urea added to them.

If they get into the water column you will have an algae bloom, espeically with higher lighting.

This can happen when you uproot plants and forgot that you have them down there etc.

Therefore, if you chose to use them, you cannot measure the nutrient content, and be very careful to keep them down as far as you can and not disturb the area.

If you do, do a large water change asap.
Vacuum the gravel in that area.

I don't use these, They do not have inmpact on plant growth if the water column is supplied and there is no plant that needs(or does better) root ferts for macro nutrients I know of.

I can control and maintain the water column easily by dosing KNO3, traces and KH2PO4. Adding ferts to the substrate is not bad, it can be a good back up IMO, but only if you allow the water column to have too little will the plants start to use the root sources.

They need to come out with a NO3 only based fert stick.
Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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So tom are u saying that the majorty of plants only need the nutrients in the water column to live. That it is not nessary to have root tabs in. Sorry newbie here just trying to learn something.
 

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I think I remember tom saying that as long as the water column contains all the nutrients needed for growth. So I'm interpreting that substrate doesn't even matter whether it's gravel, flourite or ADA when you have a good supply of nutrients in the water column. Therefore, fertilizer sticks won't even be needed. I'm not sure if that's what he really said, but I know having the proper amount of nutrients in the water column is more important than having nutrient rich substrate....imo.

But ...only Tom can verify or correct. haha
 
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