Alfalfa meal as aqatic plant fertilizer? @

Aquaphobia

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Was just at the local feed store and picked up some 100% alfalfa meal pellets. I know that alfalfa meal is used by organic gardeners as fertilizer and I was wondering if the compressed pelletscould be used just like root tabs to improve the substrate.

Here's a link to info about alfalfa meal as fertilizer:
 
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Aquaphobia

Aquaphobia

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Welp, I know it makes a great terrestrial fertilizer, so I decided to just go ahead and try it in my tanks! I have extremely low nitrates anyway so I'm not likely to run into huge problems with a few compressed pellets pushed into the sand around the plants.

I'll keep you apprised of the results
 
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Aquaphobia

Aquaphobia

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A few pellets at the roots of established plants don't seem to be a problem. A bunch of pellets placed under the substrate of a new tank? Not so much. Perhaps if the substrate were guaranteed to remain inviolate it might last until the roots could take care of it, but that's almost impossible. One slightly messy water change and the house bagan to fill with an unstoppable stench of hydrogen sulfide and/or dog poo. Desperate water changes and the addition of carbon did nothing to slow the increasing funk.

Bottom line: if you're thinking of trying alfalfa meal as a fertilizer in your tank, DON'T DO IT.
 

AyStr8

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When used as terrestrial fertilizer, organic matter like alfalfa meal provides nutrients to plants once it decomposes. The decomposition that is good for feeding plants is an aerobic process and cannot happen underwater. Anaerobic decomposition is pretty nasty smelling (as you learned) and it can produce some harmful substances (anaerobic decomposition is why landfills are bad for the environment). Any fertilizer that needs to decompose first should be kept out of your water.

I'm guessing that because the alfalfa pellets are compressed, a few pellets contains a lot of alfalfa.

I know I'm late to this thread, but I figured I'd share anyway
 
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Aquaphobia

Aquaphobia

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The sad part is, I know all that. Thought I could get away with it though
 

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